Prince Dimitri Romanov spent the first ten years of his life in Antibes, France, where he received a traditional Russian education, supervised by his grandfather Grand Duke Piotr Nikolaevich of Russia, In 1936 his family moved to Italy, where he continued his education and for a time lived at the Royal Palace in Rome, the King of Italy was his uncle. In 1946 his family moved to Egypt, where they lived for a number of years before returning to Italy. In 1960 he moved to Denmark, where he worked for a number of banks including the Danske Bank, where he was an executive until his retirement in 1993. He was fluent in Russian, French, English, Danish, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
Prince Dimitri Romanov was married twice. His first wife was Baroness Johanna von Kauffmann (1936–1989), whom he married in Copenhagen on 21 January 1959. After being widowed in 1989, he married Countess Dorrit von Reventlow (born 1942) in Kostroma on 28 July 1993.
Since his retirement Prince Dimitri became involved in a number of charitable endeavours. In June 1992 he was one of seven Romanoff princes who met in Paris where they decided to create the Romanov Fund for Russia with the task of carrying out charitable acts in post communist Russia. He visited Russia in July 1993 on a fact finding mission to decide on what areas the charity should focus Prince Dimitri has served as Chairman of the Romanov Fund for Russia since its creation.
He was also chairman of the Prince Dimitri Romanov Charity Fund, which he founded in 2006
Prince Dimitri was a member of the Romanov Family Association since 1979, the year of its creation, and served as a committee member.In July 1998, he joined other members of the Imperial family in St. Petersburg to attend the funeral of the last Russian Emperor to reign, Nicholas II, and his family. In March 2003 the then Bulgarian Prime Minister, and former King, Simeon of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha invited Prince Dmitri to attend events celebrating the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878.
In September 2006 after a successful lobbying campaign of his relative the Queen of Denmark, Margaret II,with the Russian head of state, Vladimir Putin, Prince Dimitri arranged for the remains of Her Imperial Majesty the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna to be moved from Denmark, where she died in exile, to Russia so she could be buried alongside her husband His Majesty Emperor Alexander III After attending the funeral mass for the Empress Maria Feodorovna at the Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark, Prince Dmitri accompanied her remains on the Danish naval ship that transferred them to Russia After their arrival, Prince Dimitri with other descendants of the Imperial family attended the reburial service in Russia.
As a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover he was also in the line of succession to the British throne
Adapted from an obituary by Luis Wetzler
The Board of Directors of the Russian Nobility Association in America announce with regret the death of Princess George Galitzine, 91, whose daughter, Princess Katya Galitzine, has been a member of the Russian Nobility Association’s annual Spring ball’s international patrons’ committee for many years.
Princess George Galitzine, who has died aged 91, was prominent in many charitable enterprises, most notably the Prince George Galitzine Library in St Petersburg, the Terence Rattigan Society and UK Youth, having been world-famous as Jean Dawnay, a top model for Christian Dior and the last remaining “supermodel” from the 1950s.
She epitomised style and elegance and was both quick-witted and clear-thinking, as evidenced by her performances as a panellist on the popular television series What’s My Line? She was an optimist, and everything she did was conducted with not only wisdom but also sparkle and zest.
Her early life was far from easy. Jean Mary Dawnay was born in Brighton on March 22 1925, one of two children of Frederick Archibald Dawnay, chief clerk at a meat importers, and Maud Howard, a pianist at the Electric Theatre in Peckham. Jean’s mother died when she was four, and because her father was unable to look after her alone (and later remarried), she was fostered by Marjorie Grover at Chailey in East Sussex. When she was 14 she went to live with her brother in Mecklenburgh Square, London.
When the war came she was only 17, but claimed to be 18 to join the WAAF in 1942 and was posted to RAF Exeter between 1942 and 1943, working in a parachute factory. She transferred to FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry), serving in a unit for women (top secret at the time) who undertook espionage work with the Special Operations Executive. She was posted to Bletchley Park and worked directly with Leo Marks, the celebrated cryptographer and code breaker.
Following the surrender of German forces, Jean was promoted and posted to Berlin to the Allied Control Commission, working directly under Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, as PA to Lieutenant General Sir John Cowley, GC. She was demobbed in 1946.
After the war she worked as an air hostess with Westminster Airways, a private air charter airline operating from Gatwick and Blackbushe airports between 1946 and 1949. Jean often arrived exhausted after dancing late at the 400 nightclub, and subsisted on £8 a week. The irregularity of the work soon made her ill, after which she was forbidden to fly by her doctor.
It was suggested that she try modelling, but she was told that her astigmatism and prominent front teeth counted against her. So she threw away her glasses and had her teeth fixed. But the breakthrough was not easy. At her first interview, she thought she looked “like a trussed chicken” and left feeling crushed. She upset one agent by signing simultaneously with another and her early experiences were far from glamorous – trailing round photographers’ studios, manufacturers and showrooms.
In those days models were expected to provide their own make-up and jewellery. She learnt tricks such as to put white theatrical paint on the inside rim of her lids to encourage a wide-eyed look (something which later entered the mainstream of cosmetics). She began to appear in fashionable magazines and was fired by strong ambition. She refused to model underwear, but one misadventure found her modelling a swimming costume by the fountains outside the Dorchester on a freezing cold day.
She broke through to stardom, however, posing for John French, Richard Dormer, Cecil Beaton and Baron. Gravitating to Paris, she was offered a contract of 40,000 francs by Jacques Fath, but accepted six months at Dior at 35,000 francs instead. She arrived in a burst of publicity, and Dior re-christened her “Caroline”, as Jean in French sounded like a man.
Back in London she was much in demand, with shows in Scotland, and jobs for the carpet magnate Cyril Lord, Silver City Airways and KLM. She was one of the first clutch of supermodels to be sent abroad for Vogue, travelling in 1952 to Sydney under the guidance of Sheila Scotter, the founder of Australian Vogue. She modelled for Balenciaga, Norman Hartnell and many more. “At least a model can never complain of monotony,” she wrote later.
In 1956 Jean Dawnay wrote Model Girl, which was serialised in the Daily Express. It was mainly autobiographical but contained sage advice for aspirant catwalkers. She knew the career could not last for ever, noting: “No glove ever felt so discarded as a discarded model.” She followed this book with How I Became a Fashion Model in 1960.
She was a close friend of Sir Terence Rattigan, and acted as hostess at many of his parties. She inspired the character of Anne Shankland in Rattigan’s Separate Tables. For the opening of the film The Prince and the Showgirl (written by Rattigan) in 1956, Jean Dawnay greeted the guests including Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh as well as Dame Sybil Thorndike, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Sir John Gielgud, Lady Diana Cooper and Dame Peggy Ashcroft. In 2010 she became inaugural president of the Terence Rattigan Society.
In 1956 she took over from the actress Andrée Melly (sister of George) on the BBC’s What’s My Line?, alongside Gilbert Harding, Isobel Barnett and Bob Boothby. In one show she employed ESP to guess the answer, but was hauled up by a disbelieving press and accused of cheating.
She made her film debut as the very blonde Anne in Wonderful Things! (1958), a romantic film set in Gibraltar starring Frankie Vaughan, directed by Herbert Wilcox and produced by Anna Neagle (it was also Ronnie Barker’s first screen appearance). Although she was hailed as the new Grace Kelly, Rattigan advised her against signing her life away to the movies. She appeared on stage in A Hatful of Rain (1957), about a Korean War veteran with a secret morphine addiction.
In the early 1960s she worked as a freelance fashion adviser, choosing clothes for Marks & Spencer when they set up in Paris, and launching them in Milan, the collection selling out in a week. It was her idea for M&S to introduce transparent plastic snap fasteners. She was also production assistant for Changing of the Guard, a series of documentaries about England for NBC, which won an Emmy.
From the late 1950s she was involved in charitable endeavours, notably as a vice president of UK Youth, for which she was appointed MBE in 2012. A terrible driver herself, with an abiding interest in road safety and driver education, she was appointed vice-patron of First Gear, the Foundation for Safer Road Use.
On December 7 1961 she met Prince George Galitzine, scion of one of the noblest houses of Imperial Russia. They danced the twist together and it was love at first sight. Born in 1917, he was a direct descendant of Catherine the Great and grandson of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His family had emigrated to Britain when he was three. They married in the Orthodox church in Rome in 1963 and lived in Milan, returning to London before the birth of their daughter in 1964.
In the 1970s Jean worked with Wadlow Grosvenor, producing some of the first training videos. With her husband she began travelling to Russia towards the end of the Soviet era. After the Prince’s death in 1992, she and her daughter co-founded the Prince George Galitzine Memorial Library, housed in his mother’s family home in St Petersburg, which opened in 1994. It remains today the only Anglo-Russian library in Russia that collects Rossica – books on Russia published abroad.
Jean was the longest resident of Eaton Square, her home since the 1950s. In later life she became increasingly blind, but she still attended cultural events and parties, always elegant. Every Lent she would give up starch and sugar.
She is survived by her daughter, Princess Katya Galitzine, a sculptor, writer and director of the Galitzine Library, and by her grandson George, to both of whom she was devoted.
Countess Catherine Vassiliyevna Cheremeteff, Mrs. Daniel P. Davison
Princess David Chavchavadze (Née Evgenia de Smitt)
Princess Eugenie Chavchavadze with her husband, Prince David
Adapted from the Washington Post.
Yaroslav Leonidovitch Tiajoloff
(May 19, 1919 - December 6, 2014)
The Board of Directors of the Russian Nobility Association in America announce with regret the death of Yaroslav Leonidovitch Tiajoloff who reposed on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ, while being treated for pneumonia. Born in Kingston, NY on May 19, 1919, he was predeceased by his wife Anne Coelho Tiajoloff in 2009 and his brother Yuri (George) in 2010.
The son of a Russian diplomat, he was born after the Russian Revolution as an American citizen, but was almost immediately brought back to Russia when his father, Leonid Dimitrioivich, returned to Vladivostok in 1920 at the request of Admiral Kolchak to serve in the Free Priamur Russian Government.
Forced to leave the Priamur when the Soviet Army took control, he was evacuated on the last boat to Japan and then reunited with his maternal grandmother, Julia Pavlovna Azanchevsky (nee Vakar) who had settled in Tunisia where he would spend the next 20 years of his life.
Upon reaching maturity, he began work for the US State Department as a clerk in the Embassy in Tunis. During WWII he was taken captive by the Germans, flown to Berlin and scheduled to be shot on Hitler’s personal orders. Refusing to assist the Germans in this occupation of North Africa, he languished in a German prison where he suffered from malaria, malnourishment, and vermin. He was released to a diplomatic prison in Baden-Baden and, according to an Army doctor, was one day short of certain death.
Eventually obtaining his release in a prisoner swap, he returned to North Africa to find his mother abandoned and suffering from scarcity and cancer. He arranged for transport during wartime for his mother and brother to travel from Algiers to Lisbon, and eventually made his way back to the States.
In New York, he worked for Revlon as a package designer. His interest in publishing moved him to start the News Portraits Syndicate. He also published a weekly column in the Bergen Record under the title “Have you met…” where he drew a portrait alongside a biographical write-up of local Bergen County personalities. Eventually this resulted in commissions to make portraits of Governors Brendan Byrne and William Cahill. Additionally portraits were commissioned by Senators Birch Bayh of Indiana and 1972 Presidential Candidate George McGovern of South Dakota.
After retiring, much of his time was devoted to seeking relief from the US government for his wartime sacrifices which, while supported by Senators Case, Widnall and Williams, never came.
A great-grandson of the princely line of Drustskoy-Sokolinsky, he never ceased being a son of the Russian Empire. His strong aristocratic bearing was a blessing to him, and his life ended quietly with his son at his side. He is survived by two sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren.
Theodore Georgievich Selinsky
(November 16, 1941 – July 28, 2015)
The Board of Directors of the Russian Nobility Association in America announce with regret the death of Theodore Georgievich Selinsky on the 28th of July. Theodore Georgievich Selinsky was born in Belgrade on November 16th, 1941, during the German occupation, in a family of White Émigrés. His grandfather, Theodore Petrovich Selinsky (1874-1957), descendant of an old noble family, was an associate of A. Glazunov, an orchestra conductor, violist and faculty member of the Imperial Russian Musical Society in Simferopol who conducted a special performance of Glinka’s “A Life for the Tsar” for the Imperial family at their residence in Yalta on the 300th anniversary of the Romanoff dynasty in 1913. His son, Georgi, the father of Theodore Georgievich, became a White Army volunteer, fought in the cavalry of Gen. P. Wrangel and retreated with him to Gallipoli.
Conductor Theodore Petrovich emigrated to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia, after 1929) where he was united with his son, Georgi, and continued his career, conducting the Novi Sad opera and operetta, the Belgrade Opera, Belgrade Symphony, and leading the Belgrade Radio orchestra from 1929-1949.
Georgi Selinsky became an entrepreneur, and in 1937 married Antonina Ivanovna Nesterova, daughter of an ataman of the Don Cossack Host, who finished the Don Institute Boarding School for Noble Young Ladies in Belaya Tserkov, Yugoslavia. In 1949 the Selinsky family moved to Trieste, Italy, where they lived for four years with other Russian families in a refugee camp, finally arriving in New York, USA, in 1953 when Theodore was 11 years old.
Since early childhood, Theodore was close to the Church and grew up among Russian émigré youth. He was an altar boy in the Synod Cathedral in New York, attended the Synod Sunday School and participated in the St. Vladimir youth clubs. In the summer, he was a camper in NORR (Russian Explorers) and at the Tolstoy Foundation. For several years, along with other Russian-American adolescents, he served as a volunteer helper at the St. Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, which left an indelible spiritual impression upon him.
Theodore graduated from CCNY with a major in Physics and received his Masters from the Steven’s Institute. He worked at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, then in the technology field at RCA, Grumman Aerospace, eventually becoming the editor of the major magazine of the US Space Agency – NASA Tech Briefs.
When Theodore Georgievich started his own family with his wife, Ludmila Rostislavovna (née Polchaninoff), who gave birth to their son, George, Theodore became the director of the St. Seraphim parish Sunday School in Sea Cliff, NY, where he also taught Russian history. For many years, Theodore was also a volunteer at the ORUR (St. George Pathfinders) youth camp and supported various Russian-American charitable and cultural organizations, including the RNA. As a long time parishioner of the St. Seraphim’s Church, he also became the Parish Council’s secretary, an obedience he carried out until his sudden and untimely passing on July 28th, 2015 – by God’s grace, the day of the 1000th Anniversary of the expiry of Great Prince St. Vladimir, equal to the Apostles, who baptized Russia. Theodore Georgievich also loved to visit the Novo Diveevo Monastery in NY, where his parents and relatives are buried, and where he himself was buried on July 31st, on the eve of the Feast Day of his St. Seraphim parish.
Theodore Selinsky was a living connection to Old Russia, cherishing childhood memories of the White Army officers who were friends and comrades-in-arms of his father. His passing was a profound loss to his family and to the hundreds of friends who came to mourn him at church services and the funeral. His widow, Ludmila (RNA Newsletter editor), and son George express heartfelt appreciation to the RNA for their memorial wreath with tricolor ribbons of the Russian flag, and pledge to honor his legacy with good works.
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Фeодор Георгиевич Селинский родился в Белграде 16 ноября 1941 г., во время немецкой оккупации, в семье белых эмигрантов. Его дед, Феoдор Петрович Селинский (1874-1957), потомок старинного дворянского рода, был сподвижником композитора А. Глазунова, дирижёр, альтист и педагог Императорского русского музыкального общества в Симферополе, которого пригласили дирижировать оркестром в особой постановке «Жизни за Царя» Глинки для Императорской Семьи в их резиденции в Ялте в честь 300-го юбилея Дома Романовых в 1913 г. Его сын Георгий, отец Феoдора Георгиевича, вступил в ряды добровольческой армии, где воевал в кавалерии генерала Врангеля, и отступил с ним в Галлиполи.
Дирижёр Феодор Селинский эмигрировал в Королевство СХС (сербов, хорватов и словенцев, с 1929 г. Югославия), где встретился с сыном и продолжил карьеру – дирижировал Ново-Садской оперой и опереттой, Белградской оперой, Белградским симфоническим оркестром, и руководил симфоническим и эстрадным оркестром Белградского радио с 1929-1949г.
Георгий Феодорович занимался частным предпринимательством, и в 1937 г. женился на Антонине Ивановне Нестеровой, дочери станичного атамана Войска Донского, которая закончила Донской институт благородных девиц в Белой Церкви, в Югославии. В 1949 г. семья Селинских вместе с другими русскими уехала в Триест (Италия), где провела четыре года в лагере для беженцев, а затем прибыла в Нью Йорк (США) в 1953 г., когда Феодору Геoргиевичу было 11 лет.
Феодор Георгиевич с детства был близок к Церкви и рос среди зарубежной русской молодёжи. Он прислуживал в Знаменском Синодальном соборе г. Нью-Йорка, учился в синодальной церковно-приходской школе и принимал участие во Владимирских молодежных кружках. Летом он бывал лагерником в организации НОРР и на Толстовской ферме, а также несколько лет нёс послушания с другими русскими подростками в Свято-Троицком Монастыре в Джорданвилле, что произвело на него неизгладимое впечатление.
Феодор Георгиевич закончил высшее образование по физике в университете CCNY, получил магистра в Steven’s Institute, и работал в Библиотеке Конгресса в Вашинтоне, потом в технической области в фирмах RCA и Grumman Aerospace, в конечном итоге став редактором основного журнала Космического агенства США – NASA Tech Briefs.
Когда у Фeодора Георгиевича появилась своя семья, супруга Людмила Ростиславовна, ур. Полчанинова, и сын Георгий, он стал директором церковно-приходской школы Серафимовского храма в Си-Клифе, Нью Йорк, где одновременно был преподавателем Русской истории. Феодор Георгиевич также много лет помогал в работе с детьми в лагере ОРЮР и поддерживал русские зарубежные благотворительные и культурные организации. Будучи многолетним приxожанином Серафимовского храма, он также стал приходским секретарём и нёс это послушание до своей внезапной кончины 28 июля 2015 года, сподобившись преставиться ко Господу в день 1000-летия кончины святого равноапостольного великого князя Владимира, Крестителя Руси . Феодор Георгиевич также очень любил посещать Ново-Дивеевский женский монастырь, где похоронены его родители и близкие, и где он был сам похоронен 31 июля, в канун престольного праздника Серафимовского храма в Си-Клифе.
Princess Irina Sergeievna Bagration-Moukhransky
Née Countess Chernysheva-Bezobrazova
(26 September, 1925 – 9 July, 2015)
Princess Irina with her husband, Prince Teymouraz
The Board of Directors of the Russian Nobility Association in America announce with regret the death of Princess Irina Sergeievna Bagration-Moukhransky on the 9th of July. Princess Bagration was 89 years old, and a cornerstone of New York’s Russian and Georgian émigré communities.
Countess Irina Sergeievna Chernysheva-Bezobrazova was born at Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France, on 26 September 1926, the youngest daughter of Count Sergei Aleksandrovich Chernyshev-Bezobrazov and his wife, born Countess Elizaveta Cheremetieva. Educated privately, Irina Sergeievna and her older sister grew up at the center of the émigré circles in France and Germany in the period between the wars. Irina’s older sister, Countess Xenia Sergeievna Chernysheva-Bezobrazova married H.I.& R.H. Archduke Rudolf Syringus of Austria, the youngest son of Karl I, the last Emperor of Austria-Hungary.
After World War II, Irina Sergeievna moved to the United States where she met Prince Teymouraz Konstantinovich Bagration-Moukhransky. The marriage was celebrated on 27 November 1949, and took place in New York City. He was 37 and she was 23. They had no children.
Prince Bagration was the son of Prince Konstantin Alexandrovich Bagration-Moukhransky, a descendant of the senior branch of the former Georgian Royal House, and his wife, HH Princess Tatiana Konstantinovna of Russia. Tatiana Konstantinovna was the daughter of H.I.H. Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna, born a Princess of Saxe-Altenburg. After escaping the Revolution with his mother and his sister, Prince Teymouraz moved to Serbia, where he served in the Royal Yugoslav Army during the war, and moved to New York in 1947. The marriage was celebrated on 27 November 1949 and took place in New York City. He was 37 and she was 23. They had no children.
Prince Theymouraz was invited to join the Tolstoy Foundation in 1949. He became Executive Director of the Foundation in 1979 and led the organization from 1986 until his death in New York in 1992. On 5 July 2007, Princess Bagration presented her husband’s unique archive to the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia.
The funeral services are scheduled to take place at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Astoria at 10:00 am Saturday, July 11, followed by the burial at the Cemetery of the Novo-Diveevo Convent in Spring Valley, New York.
Dr. George Naryshkin
June 3, 1930 – February 27, 2015
Dr. George Naryshkin, 84, of Port St. Lucie, FL, passed away on Thursday, February 27, 2015. He was born in Philadelphia to Fred (Feodor Nikitovich) Naryshkin and Pauline Brecik and attended Central High in Philadelphia. A hard worker with abounding intellectual curiosity, he attended Trenton State Teacher’s College and went on to graduate school at Indiana University, dental school at the University of Louisville, and then completed his M.D. degree at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, KY. He was a member of Phi Chi Medical Fraternity. He married and started a family while in medical school, simultaneously working at the Red Cross. He took his internship and residency in OB/GYN at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ and settled with his family in Toms River, N.J. where he was in private practice for several decades. He had a wonderful bedside manner that touched so many as he delivered thousands of babies at Community Medical Center.
A highly skilled surgeon, he was ahead of his time in cancer surgery, meticulous in avoiding post op infections, and was published in the medical literature. Missing clinical practice after early retirement, he worked for a short time in a family practice clinic in New Brunswick, NJ, where he used his Russian language skills. He never liked cold weather, so spent as much time as possible in Florida before finally permanently retiring to Port St. Lucie. As a gentleman farmer, he bred, trained, and raced Standardbred horses on his Marlin Farms in Howell, NJ. An expert in Russian art and history, he served as a member of the Museum Committee of the Kuban Cossacks Museum and Library in Howell, NJ.
As a proud member of the Russian Nobility Association, he studied Russian genealogy, attended many functions in New York City, and appeared with his wife in Town and Country Magazine. He always had a heart and appreciation for the elderly, and served as Vice Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of the Tolstoy Foundation Nursing Home in Valley Cottage, NY. He traveled North America and Europe with his wife, and at times, with his children. He loved to ballroom dance with his wife, and enjoyed listening and playing Russian balalaika folk music. He was a violinist in his youth. He liked to plant trees and to spend time boating on Barnegat bay. He and his wife were members of the Toms River Country Club and Toms River Yacht Club for many years.
He was a strong, kind, highly intelligent, generous and fascinating man who loved his family. He will be greatly missed by the many people he impacted. He is survived by his wife Vera (Bondaretz), to whom he was married for 60 years! Also surviving are his daughter Sonya Naryshkin, granddaughter Larissa Sobolewski (fiancé Daniel Brunner), grandsons Peter Sobolewski and Steven Sobolewski, son George F. Naryshkin DMD (Nazilma), granddaughter Ana Maria and grandson Nicholas, son Gregory Naryshkin DMD (Viviana) and grandsons Christopher and Stephen. He was predeceased by his brother Paul. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 3 from 4-8pm at “The Family Owned” Carmona-Bolen Home for Funerals 412 Main Street, Toms River. A funeral liturgy will be offered on Wednesday at St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church in Jackson at 11:30am. Burial will follow at Saint Vladimir’s Cemetery, Jackson.
Prince David Chavchavadze
May 20, 1924 -October 5, 2014
Prince David Chavchavadze, who has died aged 90, was descended from the royal families of both Russia and Georgia, and served as a cold war case officer with the CIA for 25 years; he later made his mark as a writer and historian.
As part of the CIA, Chavchavadze’s career saw him travel the globe under a number of aliases, recruiting and running agents; he was particularly involved in surveillance and clandestine communications (such as dead drops) in the Agency’s Soviet Operations division.
He considered the work to be his duty to his adopted country, America, and to Russia, a homeland that had been lost to revolution. Notwithstanding his charm and good looks, Chavchavadze insisted that a good spy should be able to walk into a restaurant unnoticed, citing Alec Leamas, the MI6 officer in John le Carré’s novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, as an accurate depiction.
Prince David Pavlovich Chavchavadze was born in London on May 20 1924, the son of Prince Paul Chavchavadze, a descendant of the last king of Georgia, George XII, and of HH Princess Nina Georgievna of Russia, herself descended from Tsar Nicholas I, Christian IX of Denmark, and George I of Greece. David’s maternal grandfather, the Grand Duke George Mikhailovich , had been executed by the Bolsheviks in St Petersburg in 1919, and his widow, in the safety of Britain, spent long periods living as a companion to her aunt, Queen Alexandra.
When he was a year old, David’s parents hired a Russian nanny, a tiny but powerful young woman called Vera Nagovsky, and through her he learned to speak fluent Russian and to take pride in his Russian heritage. In 1927, when David was four, his parents moved to America, where his father wrote books, but, to make extra money, also worked for the Cunard shipping line; his mother painted “portraits” of interiors. In New York, they socialized with the Astors and the Vanderbilts.
David was educated at Phillips Andover Academy, Massachusetts from where he won a scholarship to Yale. But after completing his freshman year he volunteered for war service with the US army. An early IBM computer at the newly built Pentagon identified him as a Russian-speaker, and he was sent to Camp Ritchie, in Maryland, for induction into a military intelligence unit for linguists. After completing his History course at Yale, in late August 1950, he received the following telegram from the CIA: “Please report to Washington on September 5, 1950”.
After retiring in 1974, he travelled for the first time to Russia, visiting the palaces in which his family had once lived. Three years later he went to Georgia, where he visited his ancestral home, Tsinandali, now a museum. He spent much of his free time studying and translating from the Russian manuscripts and primary sources, and published several books on history and politics. A talented singer, he accompanied himself on the guitar and sang in 11 languages.
Prince Nicholas Romanovich Romanov
Prince Nicholas Romanovich, the oldest living descendant of the Russian Imperial Family died on the 14th of September at his family home in Tuscany, his younger brother Prince Dimitri Romanovich reported to Itar-Tass. “This is a huge loss for us,” he said, noting that the place and time of the burial had not yet been decided.
Prince Nicholas Romanovich’s father, H.H. Prince Roman Petrovich of Russia was a second cousin and godson of the last Tsar, and his mother Countess Prascovia Dimitrievna Cheremeteff, was a daughter of Count Dimitri Cheremeteff, a childhood friend and adjutant to Emperor Nicholas II. Prince Nikolai Romanovich was born in Antibes, France, on September 26, 1922. Prince Nicholas Romanovich was a direct male descendant of HM Emperor Nicholas I Pavlovich.
The family moved to Rome before World War II, and he entered the classical department of the Lyceum. In 1942, the 19-year-old Nicholas Romanov rejected the proposal of the fascist government of Italy to become the king of the occupied Montenegro. After July 1944, he worked with allied organizations engaged in military actions against Nazi propaganda.
After the war, the family settled briefly in Egypt, and then returned to Europe. On the 21st of January, 1952 he married Italian Countess Sveva della Gherardesca, descendant of an important Florentine comital House. The family ultimately moved to Switzerland, while he continued to manage the family estate in Tuscany. The Prince and Princess have three daughters.
In 1989 he was elected president of the Romanoff Family Association after the death of HH Prince Vasili Alexandrovich of Russia, where he set a goal to “achieve a decorous and historically correct” ceremonial reburial of victims of the Yekaterinburg tragedy. In July 1998, he participated in the funeral ceremony in the Peter and Paul Cathedral of the remains of Emperor Nicholas II and the royal family. Another of the initiatives of the Romanoff Family Association is a charitable foundation, which is led by his younger brother Prince Dimitri Romanovich. Among the Fund’s activities are assistance to hospitals and schools in Russia.
Prince Nicholas Romanovich lent his name and his gracious support to the efforts of the Russian Nobility Association in America for many years. The Board of Directors and the members of the Russian Nobility Association in America send their condolences and best wishes to Prince Nicholas Romanovich’s family and to all the descendants of the Russian Imperial House.
Николай Романович Романов
Князь Николай Романович, старейший представитель Российской Императорской Фамилии, скончался 14 сентября в его фамильном доме в Таскании, как сообщил князь Димитрий Романович. Церемония прощания и отпевания в присутствии родственников, представителей РФ и городских властей Италии состоялась в местной церкви святых Якоба и Христофора. Тело усопшего предано земле в семейном склепе супруги князя делла Герардески в городе Пиза. Отпевание по православному обряду совершили два священника из римского храма Святой великомученицы Екатерины Московского Патриархата.
Князь Николай Романович был сыном кн. Романа Петровича, кузена и крестника последнего русского царя; его мать – графиня Прасковья Дмитриевна Шереметева, была дочерью гр. Димитрия Шереметева, друга детства и адъютанта Императора Николая II Александровича. Николай Романович был прямым потомком Императора Николая I Павловича.
Князь Николай Романович родился в г. Антиб, Франция, 26 сентября 1922 года. Семья переехала в Рим перед Второй Мировой войной, где князь получил классическое образование в лицее. В 1942 году 19-летний Николай Романов отказался принять предложение фашистского правительства Италии стать царем оккупированной Черногории. После июля 1944 года он работал в организациях антигитлеровской коалиции. После войны семья переехала в Египет, затем вернулась в Европу. 21 января 1952 года князь обвенчался с итальянской графиней Свева делла Герардеска. У них три дочери, пять внуков и три правнука.
В 1989 году кн. Николай Романович был выбран главой после смерти кн. Василия Александровича. В июле 1998 он принял участие в перезахоронении останков Императора Николая II и членов Императорской семьи. Возглавляемая им Romanoff Family Association известна своей благотворительной дейтельностью, в том числе. Князь Николай Романович поддерживал деятельность Russian Nobility Association in America в течение многих лет.
Совет директоров и членов РНК выразить свои искренние соболезнования семье покойного и всем потомкам Императорского Дома Романовых.
президент Дворянского собрания Америки /
Russian Nobility Association in America
Oleg M. Rodzianko (1923-2013)
The Board of Directors and Membership of the Russian Nobility Association are saddened to announce that Oleg M. Rodzianko, a resident of Rockland Lake, passed away on May 1, 2013 at the Tolstoy Foundation Nursing home, with his loving spouse Tatiana at his side. He was 90 years old. Oleg, a son of White Russian émigrés, was born March 21, 1923 in Panchevo, Yugoslavia. One of 8 children born to Michael M. and Elizabeth F. Rodzianko, he is the last of these children to pass away. He was a professional engineer and taught Mechanical Engineering at CUNY Bronx Community College. He was a loyal and active member of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and helped build churches, a parish hall and cupolas for churches in the Russian diaspora in the US. He touched many lives by being active in cultural organizations and always opened his home to immigrants fleeing the Soviet yoke. He is survived by his wife, Tatiana, five children; Michael, Alexis, Nicholas, Anna, Tatiana; 15 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Funeral services were held on Monday May 6th at the St. Sergius Church on the grounds of Tolstoy Foundation 104 Lake Road, Valley Cottage NY. Burial was at the Novo Diveevo Cemetery 100 Smith Road, Nanuet, NY, immediately following the church service.
Count Nikita Cheremeteff (1932-2013)
The Board of Directors and Membership of the Russian Nobility Association are saddened to announce that Count Nikita Cheremeteff, the RNA’s Director Emeritus, passed away on March 9, 2013 in Chevy Chase, MD.
Pre-deceased by his adored wife Maiko, née Kobiashvili, he was the son of Basil and Daria, née Tatistcheff. Dear brother of Catherine C. Davison, of NYC; beloved father and father-in-law of Constantin and Jane, of Bethesda, MD; Kyra and Thomas, of Washington, DC; Mother Seraphima of Etna, CA; Nicholas and Fiona, of London, UK; and adoring grandfather of Alexandra, Isabella, Andrew, Katerina, and Elizabeth, he is survived by a wide host of beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Born in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 25, 1932, Nikita was raised in Haute-Savoie and Paris, France, then Montevideo, Uruguay. He served in the U.S. Army, was a graduate of Yale University, ‘56, BS Chemical Engineering. His graduate studies in Business Administration at NYU presaged a transformative body of work in international manufacturing across five continents with Singer Corporation and Loctite Corporation. Past member of the Board of Directors of the Tolstoy Foundation, Director Emeritus of the Russian Nobility Association, he was a patron and member of numerous Russian charities, historic and genealogical organizations.
Nikita was exceptionally well educated in several languages. His rich library reflects a boundless love of world history and culture, poetry, literature, the symphony and ballet. He was an avid fly fisherman. Enchantingly engaging and unforgettably personable, his broad smile, deeply loving and honorable character, easy sense of humor, sharp intellect, and extraordinary erudition will be greatly missed.
Tsarstvie Nikite Nebesnoe! Vechnaya Pamyat’!
“Cantando me he de morir,
Cantando me han de enterrar,
Y cantando he de llegar
Al pie del Eterno Padre…”
–Martin Fierro, by Jose Hernandez
You may also read the “Repose of Count Nikita Cheremeteff” by Archbishop Chrysostomos at http://www.drg-international.com/ifu/CountNikita.pdf.
Mme. Tamara Vassiliev
The Board of Directors and Membership of the Russian Nobility Association are saddened to announce that Mme. Tamara Vassiliev, whose late husband Igor Vassiliev was at one time on the RNA Board, has died. The funeral Services were held at the Church of Our Lady of Kazan, Willow Shore Avenue, in Sea Cliff, N.Y. We express our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mme. Tamara Vassiliev.
Prince Andrei Petrovich Gagarin
The Board of Directors and Membership of the Russian Nobility Association are saddened to announce the death of Prince Andrey Petrovich Gagarin, head of the Russian Nobility Association of St. Petersburg. Prince Gagarin passed away in Maryland where he was being treated by his son’s US Hospital, on January 30, 2011. We would like to express our sympathy and condolences to the entire Gagarin family and our friends at the Russian Nobility Association of St. Petersburg.
Maiko, The Countess Cheremeteff (1936-2010)
The Board of Directors and Membership of the Russian Nobility Association are saddened to announce the passing of Maiko, the Countess Cheremeteff, on August 9, 2010, in Washington, DC . We would like to express our sympathy and condolences to the entire Cheremeteff family. We will miss Maiko and her good humor, intelligence and charming presence, and membership in the RNA over these past many years. Cyril E. Geacintov President Russian Nobility Association in America, Inc.
Maiko, The Countess Cheremeteff, 74, died peacefully in her sleep on Monday August 9, 2010 in Washington, DC. Beloved and loving wife of 49 years of Nikita, The Count Cheremeteff, of Chevy Chase, Maryland; devoted mother and mother-in-law of Constantin and Jane Cheremeteff of Bethesda, Maryland; Kyra Cheremeteff and Thomas Richardson of Washington, DC; Mother Seraphima, of Etna, California; and Nicholas and Fiona Cheremeteff, of Moscow, Russia. Proud and adoring grandmother of Alexandra Richardson and Andrew Richardson of Washington, DC, and Isabella Cheremeteff and Katerina Cheremeteff of Bethesda, MD. Loving sister and sister-in-law of Zurab and Elizabeth Kobiashvili of The Woodlands, Texas, and loving aunt of their daughters, their husbands and their children: Gettys and Major Michael Nelson, Sasha (+), Peter, Andrew and Kyra Nelson of Monterey, California; Henry and Katherine Christner of Richmond, Virginia; Sarah Kobiashvili of London, United Kingdom.
Maiko was born in Thorn, Poland on March 12, 1936, the daughter of Simon Kobiashvili and Kyra Kobiashvili, born Kyra Bakradze, originally of Tbilisi, Georgia, and St. Petersburg, Russia, and, later Arlington, Virginia.
She was a graduate of George Washington University and carried out her graduate studies at Columbia University in Near and Middle Eastern History. She completed her fellowship in Istanbul, Turkey. She spoke Russian, Georgian, Polish, German, French, Turkish, Spanish and English, was an avid practitioner and student of the decorative arts and painting, fine needle point, literature and poetry. She served as a guide at the United Nations in New York City and as a substitute teacher, translator and active volunteer for many causes in the many contries in which she resided.
Maiko was raised in Warsaw, Berlin and Munich until 1949 and subsequently in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Arlington, Virginia.
Maiko and Nikita were married on October 21, 1961 at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York City. They raised their 4 children and built a vibrant and loving family life in Peru, then Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Colombia and finally in Dublin, Ireland and Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland prior to returning to the United States, residing in Westport, CT and subsequently Blackrock, CT.
Maiko had a deep and abiding faith and was unwaveringly devoted to and beloved of a wide and richly diverse community of family and friends throughout and from many countries. An ever ready and generous hostess, friend and volunteer, her deep faith and spirituality, unconditional love for her family and friends, generosity and warmth of spirit, vivacious intelligence, grace and truly exceptional elegance and beauty will be deeply missed.
A Russian Orthodox service and funeral were held on August 16, 2010 at Novo Diveyevo Convent. www.novo-diveyevo.org. 100 Smith Road, Nanuet, NY, 10954. TEL: 845-356-0425.
Dorogaya Maiko, Mayunya, Deda, Mami, Bebi, Tsarstviye Tebye Nebestnoe!
“Then steal away; give little warning; Choose thine own time. Say not, ‘Good-night!’ but in some brighter clime, Bid me, ‘Good-Morning!’” -Anna L. Barbauld
Mr. Frederick Mali
The Board of Directors and Membership of the Russian Nobility Association are saddened to announce the passing of its good friend, Frederick Mali, after a short illness. He was the husband of RNA member Princess Lucretia Obolensky.
Born in New York City, Fred was educated at Buckley, Groton, Yale, and Harvard Business School. He served his country in the U.S. Army between WWI and WWII.
Fred was the fifth generation to run his family’s firm, HWT Mali & Co., the oldest continuously family-run company in New York City. He was the great-grandson of John Taylor Johnston, the principal founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and great-great-grandson of abolitionist Lucretia Mott, and the first-cousin eight-times removed of Benjamin Franklin.
A memorial service was held on February 10th at St. John’s Church, 1670 Rt. 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York.
Mr. Peter Mesnaieff (1928-2007)
The Board of Directors and Membership of the Russian Nobility Association are saddened to announce that Peter G. Mesniaeff died on January 27, 2007 at Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood, NJ, after a lengthy illness. He was 78 and was a longtime resident of Teaneck, NJ.
He was the son of Gregory V. Mesniaeff and Vera Mesniaeff. Born April 30, 1928 in Novocherkassk, Russia and raised in the city of Rostov-on-Don, Peter and his parents fled the Soviet Union during Hitler’s occupation of Russia and were reunited with their White Russian émigré family in Germany and France after World War II, eventually settling in New York. The family traces its ancestral roots to the landed gentry from the city of Belev, in the Tula province of Russia.
Peter graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ in 1959 with a B.E. in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, he worked as an electrical engineer for several major defense contractors, including Sperry, General Dynamics, and Norden/United Technologies. In the early 1970s, he switched careers and became an editor for Control Engineering magazine, and then worked as a technical public relations executive for Keyes Martin agency and later as a marketing manager for Electroid Corporation, both in Springfield, NJ.
He leaved behind his wife, Kira Kuzmin-Polansky, of Teaneck, NJ; his son from a previous marriage, Gregory Mesniaeff, of New York and Sharon, Conn.; and a cousin, Anna V. Mesniaeff, of Kiev, Ukraine. He was interred at the Novo Diveyevo Russian Orthodox Cemetery in Spring Valley, NY.
Published in the New York Times from 1/30/2007 – 1/31/2007.
Count Georgi P. Monomakhoff (1917-2005)
The Board of Directors and Membership of the Russian Nobility Association are saddened to announce that Count Georgi P. Monomakhoff, Russian Nobleman, died peacefully on Monday, January 17 2005, at his home in Buffalo, New York.
Monomakhoff with his family, escaped from St. Petersburg in 1917 during the Russian Revolution. His parents were Count Pavel Monomakhoff and Countess Aleksandra Oreus. He moved to the United States in 1928. During WWII, he served in the European Theater, U.S. Army, 87th Division, Combat Intelligence, receiving a Bronze Star with two clusters. Before moving to Buffalo in 1996, he resided in Wantagh, Long Island.
He was a member of the Russian Nobility Association, and the 87th Infantry Division Association, VFW.
Survivors include his wife, Countess Eileen Monomakhoff, two daughters, Countess Alexandra Monomakhoff, Countess Kathleen Monomakhoff Loree, and two grandsons. Burial was in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York.
Michael Andreevich Romanov (1920-2008)
Michael Andreevich Romanoff: member of the Russian Imperial Family
The Times – October 11, 2008
Michael Andreevich Romanoff, a grand-nephew of the last Tsar, was, in age, the most senior member of the Romanoff family at his death.
He was born two years almost to the day after the massacre at Yekaterinburg, and his funeral coincided with a ruling from the Russian Supreme Court that the killing of Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children was a political act and that the family should be considered victims of Bolshevism. Yet, despite his links, of all the Romanoffs, his life in Sydney, where he lived for more than six decades, was probably most removed from his imperial heritage.
The family were already in exile when he was born, on the feast of St. Vladimir the Great, in Versailles where his parents had fled with his paternal grandfather. He was the second child and elder son of Prince Andrei Romanoff. Prince Andrei was the eldest of the six sons of Romanoff cousins, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, a grandson of Nicholas I, and Grand Duchess Xenia, a sister of Tsar Nicholas II.
Michael’s mother, Donna Elisabetta, was the daughter of an Italian father, Don Fabrizio Ruffo di Sant’ Antimo, Duca di Sasso, and a Russian mother, Princess Mestcherskya. Since Michael’s mother was not royal, under the old Imperial Law, the marriage was “unequal” and therefore morganatic, but the family still accorded him the title of prince.
Soon after his birth he joined his grandmother, Grand Duchess Xenia, and other members of the family at Windsor. The previous year Xenia, her mother, the Empress Marie Feodorovna, and other members of the family, had been rescued from the Crimea when the Empress’s nephew George V sent HMS Marlborough to bring them to Malta then on to England where he offered them sanctuary.
In 1925 Xenia (his favourite cousin) and her large family moved into Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park. The family proved so extensive that in 1934 the King had an extra wing built on the cottage to house them. Michael, his brother Andrew and sister, also Xenia, knew the King as Uncle George.
Young Michael was educated at the Imperial Services College, Windsor, and in 1938, the year he became a British subject, he attended the College of Aeronautical Engineering, London. In 1937 the family had moved with their grandmother to Wilderness House in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. It was here that his mother, who was suffering from cancer, died on October 29, 1940, the same day that the house was bombed. For most of the war the family were based at Craigowan Lodge on the Balmoral estate.
The Prince joined the Royal Navy and, as Lieutenant Romanoff, he found himself in Australia with the Fleet Air Arm as Japan surrendered. There was some delay in his repatriation and by the time it was announced he had decided to stay in Australia. Although his grandmother was to live at Hampton Court until her death in 1960, the intimate links with the British Royal Family died with George V. His father had remarried and gone to live in Kent while most of his family had left Britain.
As early as the 1920s the family had been beset by pretenders. He recalled his grandmother, Grand Duchess Xenia, denouncing Anna Anderson’s claim to be her niece Anastasia. The family “looked upon Anderson and the three-ringed circus which danced around her, creating books and movies, as a vulgar insult to the memory of the Imperial Family”, he said. He felt vindicated when DNA tests indicated Anderson to be Franziska Schanzkowska, a Kashubian factory worker. He took a lighter view of less serious claimants. In the 1960s, on his first trip abroad since the war, he happily dined in New York with the celebrated restaurateur and actor Mike Romanoff. This Mike was, in fact, the Lithuanian-born Hershel Geguzin, a former trouser presser from Brooklyn — and splendid company.
Princes are a rare species in the Antipodes, and his easy charm and noble bearing could have made him a valuable commodity, but he never traded on his legacy. He was taken up by the Monarchist League of Australia and Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. He had no personal imperial ambitions and never sought to be a claimant to the Russian throne but he was vice-president of the Romanoff Family Association, which represents the majority of Romanoff descendants of Tsar Nicholas I.
His only visits to the country that exiled his family were augustly sombre occasions that served to remind him of their demise. In July 1998, 80 years to the day after their assassination, Michael Romanoff joined 60 other members of the family for the burial of the remains of the last Tsar and his family in the Sepulchre of St Peter and St Paul in St Petersburg. He returned there again in September 2006 for the interment of his great-grandmother, Empress Marie.
Michael Romanoff married firstly Jill Murphy in 1953 (dissolved the same year); secondly Shirley Cramond in 1954, who died in 1983; and in 1993 Giulia Crespi. She survives him with her son (his stepson, Daniel). Michael Romanoff had no children. By a remarkable coincidence, his first cousin and near-namesake, Prince Michael Feodorovich Romanoff, died in France on the same day as him.
Prince Michael Andreevich Romanoff was born on July 15, 1920. He died on September 22, 2008, aged 88.