Author Topic: Sofka Dolgoruki  (Read 22844 times)

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julia.montague

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Sofka Dolgoruki
« on: November 05, 2005, 09:37:58 AM »
Today I found a book written by Russian Princess called Sofka Dolgoruki about her life.

In the little book-description inside it says that she should have married the Tsarevitch, but then they had to flee because of the Revolution. She was born in 1907 so the Tsarevitch was Alexey.

What do you think about this? Do you know something about her?

Offline Margarita Markovna

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2005, 11:42:11 AM »
Wow this is the first I've heard of this!

etonexile

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2005, 01:46:25 PM »
Who knows...before the Marxist Revolution...she would not have been royal enough....

Phil_tomaselli

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2005, 11:15:32 AM »
By a strange coincidence I was looking at Soska/Sophie/Soskia Dolgoruki's MI5 files at the National Archives at Kew yesterday.  Having looked through the files I suddenly realised that about 10 or 12 years ago she was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 and I recall her saying she'd sat on Nicholas' lap and used to call him "Uncle Tsar".  Her mother learned to fly and served briefly with the Provisional Govt's Flying Corps, and she sent me a photcopy of her flying certificate after I wrote to her.

Soska was born in St P in 1907.  Her family fled Russia after the revolution (in HMS Marlborough from the Crimea).  Lived in Britain and the South of France.

There is a potted autobiography in the MI5 file that looks like they "acquired" it from some source such as the Communist Party of Great Britain post WW2.  Soskia claims to have been a-political after the revolution but never anti-Bolshevik as she had been persuaded by the two sons of her coachman that "it was quite logical that those who lived in apalling conditions should try and oust us from our luxury."

She married a White Russian exile Leo Zinovieff in 1931 and seems to have started to drift leftwards.  I believe they divorced but my notes are not clear on this.  in 1934 she became secretary to Lawrence Olivier and in 1937 married Grey d'Esterville Townsend Skipwith who shared her left sympathies.  In 1939 he joined up and she went to Paris and was interned ther by the Germans.  Her husband was killed in action and in spite of being imprisoned she worked for the resistance & joined the Communist Party.  She returned to the UK in 1944/5 and became active in the CPGB, hence MI5's interest.  In 1945 an MI5 agent described her as "quite unreliable.  she is oversexed and this has led to her having many affaires".  She seems to have moved in theatrical circles and to have worked for the "old Vic".  The files run up to 1955.  I believe she died in the mid-1990's.

I'd be delighted to have more details of her book if you could please post them.

Phil Tomaselli

julia.montague

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2005, 01:11:24 PM »
At the moment I have so much to do, that I can't read it immediately. But when I read it, I tell you more.

Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2005, 03:46:59 PM »
Sofka. What sort of a name is that? ::)

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2005, 07:26:09 PM »
A Russian one. A nickname for Sophia.

Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2005, 08:11:12 PM »
My name is Sofia. I just made fun of my own name!! :-[ ::)

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2005, 10:42:57 AM »
The Dolgoruky family were well known in Russia, although I have not heard of this member of it. It is intersting. The second wife of Alexander II was a Dolgoruky Princess, and the marriage was a morgantic one. What made this Princess think she would have married Alexei? Did they have a youthful crush on each other? She was three years younger than him, thus only 10 or 11 when he died.
The Dolgorucky family was a important noble family, but unless the laws regarding marriage of romanovs changed after the revolution, this marriage would have had to be morgantic. And I am sure Nicholas and Alexandra would have wanted Tsarvitch Alexei to marry
a suitable princess so his children, if any, could be full legtimate Romanovs, and thus continue the sucession. He was their only son, their only hope for the bloodline of Nicholas II to remain on the throne of Russia. They would nt have wanted a morgatic marriage. But if the laws had changed to allow marriage with members of the Russian Nobility, this Princess could have been one of the prime contenders.

Phil_tomaselli

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2005, 02:31:19 PM »
I suspect that Soskia, being "theatrical" was inclined to exaggerate her own importance.  I don't doubt that she was well acquainted with the Royal Family butwould take anything else she says with a pinch of salt.

Phil T

Lizameridox

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2005, 06:29:27 AM »
It must have been that every little Russian girl about the age of the Tsarevich must have considered him the most eligible little bachelor in Russia, that's all.  When Alexei Nikolaevich was extremely young, at least one magazine printed a picture of him and gave it the caption 'The Handsomest Crown Prince in Europe' at a time when he was certainly the smallest and most likely to elicit admiration on the terms it it usually given to a toddler.  I have also read a description of him by Prince Michael of Greece: 'he was the most beautiful baby in the world.'

Go figure.... handsome little heir to the throne whose photographs could then be circulated worldwide, including in the frontispiece of French language textbooks for Russian children.... millions of girls his age throughout his country.... enough fairy tales of Vasillissa or Maria Morevna or the Firebird....  and there you are.  A real Tsarevich with an angelic little face was the stuff childish dreams were made of.

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2005, 10:36:38 AM »
Yes, I am sure she was not the only litle Russian girl of the nobility dreaming about marrying the Tsarvitch. He would not have had a hard time finding someone to marry if he had lived. It is kind of like Prince William or Prince Harry today, isn't it. Eeveryone whatever their rank in life wants to be a wealthy priviliged princess, even today. That fairytale magic will never die, even if it is rooted in reality. Those kind of dreams are common still today, even more so as now the field of whom royalty can marry is more wide open. This claim of the Dolgorucky Princess most likely doesn't represent anything serious, but it is interesting.

julia.montague

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2005, 11:04:25 AM »
The book



The book description inside, where it says that she was the future bride of the Tsarevitch



Some photos from inside the book (there are more of her when she was older, I will post them when I have time to scan them)






« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by julia.montague »

Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2005, 11:25:23 AM »
Wow, I thing she was very pretty. Maybe thats because I think she looks like me, lol. Thanks for the pics Isa!

sofi ;D

Phil_tomaselli

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Re: Sofka Dolgoruki
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2005, 12:58:38 AM »
She certainly was pretty in her youth & the MI5 file has a couple of photos of her taken about the time of her second marriage.  By the late 1940's however she had, as happens to us all, put on a fair bit of weight.

Thanks for the details from the book.  Apparently she also wrote o a book of russian recipes.

Phil T