Family Portrait, Russia

Princess Alexandra was the eldest daughter of King George I and Queen Olga, and married Grand Duke Paul of Russia. She died at 22, during childbirth, leaving behind two children, Dimitri and the subject of this photograph, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Younger. Maria was partly raised by her grandparents in Russia. She is pictured here in the enchanting park of the marvelous Pavlovsk Palace, which belonged to her great-grandfather, Grand Duke Constantine.


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The wife of Grand Duke Constantine Nikolayevich was one of the great beauties of her time. Alexandra Iosifovna was born a Princess of Saxony. She integrated well in her new country, embracing the Russian Orthodox Church and often receiving black cloaked and bearded members of the clergy.


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Trips on the yacht for the Russian Imperial Court were often complicated and formal affairs. Whenever a member of the imperial family arrived or departed an entire detachment of marines assembled to present arms on the bridge, as seen in this photograph.


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The Russian Imperial family had at their disposal countless marvelous palaces and country homes, each surrounded by enchanting fairytale gardens and immense parks stocked with game. They loved spending times at these homes. However, the presence of the reigning empress, Alexandra Feodorovna, pictured in this photograph, was quite rare. The wife of Nicholas II was quite timid and felt disliked by her in-laws, and rightly so. To the left, Grand Duke Serge with his ward, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Younger. Empress Alexandra is under the umbrella in the dark grey dress. I do not recognize the others.


All photographs come from the private albums of my grandmother, Queen Olga.



by  Prince Michael of Greece