L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Prince Andrei Alexandrovich Romanov and his wife, photographed by Bassano, 10 August 1923

Prince Andrei Alexandrovich of Russia (12/24 January 1897, Saint Petersburg – 8 May 1981, Faversham), the second child and first son (of six) of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia. As a child he and his siblings spent much time traveling with their parents. When he was old enough, he joined the Russian navy, where he served under his father. He later became a lieutenant in the Chevalier Guards. At the Revolution, he went with his siblings and parents to the Crimea; those of the Romanovs and other aristocratic families who were able to do so, sought refuge in the Crimea at that time. At first the Romanovs were left undisturbed, but later they were put under house arrest.

During this time, Andrei began a relationship with Elisabetta Fabrizievna Ruffo di Sant' Antimo* (26 December/January 8 1886, Snamenskoe – 29 October 1940, Hampton Court), a young divorcée. She was a daughter of the Duke of Sasso-Ruffo and Princess Natalia Alexandrovna Mescherskaya (herself a descendant of the Stroganov family). Andrei had met Elisabetta - called Elsa within the family - in Saint Petersburg in 1916. She was eleven years the prince's senior, with a daughter from her first marriage, and his family was not at first supportive of their relationship. But after Elisabetta became pregnant, they consented to the union, and the pair was married on June 12th, 1918. In December of that year they, along with Andrei's father, were able to leave Russia - the rest of the family would leave four months later - and the couple spent the first few years of exile in France. They would have three children together, and later move to England to live with the prince's mother, Grand Duchess Xenia, at a "grace and favour" residence provided by the British royal family, first at Frogmore and later at Hampton Court. In 1940, Elisabetta, ill with cancer, died of injuries sustained in an air raid.

Two years later, Andrei married again; he and his second wife, Nadine McDougall (5 June 1908, Lynsted – 6 June 2000, Faversham), had a daughter together. In 1949 they moved to Provender House in Faversham, Kent, which was owned by his wife's family. The prince took to the life of a country squire, and live quietly until his death at the age of eighty-four.


* I've been unable to find a definitive answer as to the surname of Andrei's first wife.  Ruffo-Sasso, Sasso-Ruffo, Ruffo di Sant' Antimo, Ruffo dei Principi di Sant' Antimo, Ruffo dei Principi di Sant' Antimo Sasso... or Ruffo.  After all the many, many sources I've checked, I still can only hazard a guess.


  1. Are you still interested in them? I could show you some photos. You can tell me what you think.

    1. Oh? I'm sure that would be very interesting.