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

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The children of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich

Prince Oleg as Spring Rain.

Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (22 August 1858, Strelna – 15 June 1915, Pavlovsk), son of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich and his wife Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg, grandson of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia.  He was a celebrated poet and playwright, who wrote under pen name "K.R." (for Konstantin Romanov).  Despite his bisexuality - his tortured response to his homosexual "lapses" can be read in many entries in his diaries, only recently translated and published - he was happily married to Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg, his second cousin, with whom he had eight children.  (Another child died at two months.)  Very religious, he was a devoted family man and a loving father, beloved and respected within his extended family.

Here, in April of 1909, all but the two oldest children are costumed for "Wedding of Sun and Spring" which they performed in honor of their parent's twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

Prince Konstantin as the Sun.
Princess Tatiana as Spring.
Prince Igor as Winter Wind.
Prince Georgy as Snowdrop.
Georgy with three year old Princess Vera, who looks to be a snowflake.


In the image above, those pictured are, left to right:
Prince Ioann (1886–1918)
Prince Gavril (1887–1955)
Princess Tatiana (1890–1979)
Prince Konstantin (1891–1918)
Prince Oleg (1892–1914)
Prince Igor (1894–1918)
Prince Georgy (1903–1938)
Princess Vera (1906–2001)

  Of Konstantin and Elisabeth's eight children, only four survived the war and Revolution.


  1. Man, way to casually and off-handedly bust my heart again with the progression of this post. Also, what an incredibly sweet picture of the snowdrop boy and his grinning snowflake sister.

    1. It seems I love to tell the flip side, doesn't it, the heartbreak that so often went unseen, obscured by the wealth and glamor. : )

  2. I met Vera Konstantinovna in NYC in 1996, thanks to our friend Prince Dmitri Volkonsky who was a very good friend of Vera and grew up in Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk together, before I met Princess Ekaterina Ioannovna of Russia, daughter of one of the martyrs of Alapayevsk Prince Ioann Konstantinovich, her godfather was Prince Konstantin Konstantinovich almost murdered as well, in both cases we spoke about that horrendous period and both sister and daughter had a vivid memory of all the damaged caused to their family by the Bolsheviks and to Russia first and foremost.

    1. Yes, so much damage. So reckless and cruel. But then the Russian people - as a group, not as individuals - are such an odd lot. Paradoxically destroying and preserving/venerating in equal measure. Thank you for sharing this remembrance.