No 26 GRAND DUCHESS XENIA ALEXANDROVNA

Discussion in 'Non Hampton and Richmond Borough FC related' started by Les 1949, May 3, 2018.

  1. Les 1949

    Les 1949 Member

    HAMPTON, AROUND AND ABOUT

    Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

    No 26 GRAND DUCHESS XENIA ALEXANDROVNA

    A Refugee from the Russian Revolution

    There has been a lot of talk in the media about the treatment of Women. I find it very difficult to find women who appear in Hampton’s history, but in Xenia I have certainly found one!

    Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (1875 – 1960). Xenia was the sister of Tsar Nicholas II and married a cousin Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich. So Xenia was a member of Russia’s Royal family and also related to our own Royals as well as the German Kaiser.

    In 1881 Xenia’s father became Tsar (Alexander III). Xenia married in October 1894, shortly afterwards Alexander III died and her brother, Nicholas, assumed the crown. The next few years were a tumultuous period in Russia’s history. A failed war with Japan in 1904, Russia’s own ‘Bloody Sunday’ when 2,000 protestors were casualties when the army opened fire on them and in 1905 the Black Sea Fleet mutiny.

    All this time Xenia was involved in charitable works – after all, what else was a female member of the Romanovs to do with her time?

    When World War 1 broke out, Xenia was in France and made plans to travel back, with her mother, by train to Russia through Germany. However, they were stopped at Berlin and despite being related to Kaiser Wilhelm were not permitted to travel on. Eventually they got back to Russia via Denmark and Finland.

    At the start of the war, Xenia opened a hospital specialising in providing artificial limbs. Xenia’s brother, Nicholas, took command of the Russian Army and headed a disastrous campaign. Around this time Rasputin, aka the Mad Monk, became a malevolent presence in the Royal family with a strange hold on Tsar Nicholas’s wife. Rasputin was murdered in December 1916, one of the assassins was Xenia’s son-in-law, Felix Yusupov.

    Tsar Nicholas and his immediate family were arrested during the October 1917 revolution and held as prisoners until they were executed in July 1918. Fortunately Xenia was in the Crimea when the revolution started. With the Red Army closing in on the Crimea, Xenia and her mother were rescued thanks to Britain’s Queen Alexandra. HMS Marlborough was sent by King George V and brought them, and other surviving members of the Romanov family, back to Britain.

    Initially, Xenia lived in Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park, in receipt of a small pension from George, but in 1937 moved into Wilderness House in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace where she lived until her death in 1960.

    And what of the Romanov Family? Well, her grandson Prince Andrew Andreevich (born in 1923) has been head of the family since December 2016. Currently the claimant to the Russian throne lives in Inverness. One assumes he, or his children, have no intention of returning to Russia, anytime soon.

    The Old Historian
     
  2. Although they took some historical liberties with the facts, the Romanovs living in the grounds of Hampton Court was depicted in Peaky Blinders. Tommy Shelby and his gang of WW1 veteran tunnellers dug under the Thames to reach the basement vault and steal a haul of Imperial Russian treasure.
     

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