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, June 25, 2017

When a Romanov puts on a swimsuit - le prince Théodore Alexandrovitch de Russie à la plage

All these photographs are believed to have been taken in the south of France, circa first half of the 1920s.

Prince Feodor Alexandrovich (23 December 1898, St. Petersburg - 30 November 1968, Ascain), the second son of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (elder sister of the last Tsar) and Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, he reached manhood just as Russia devolved into revolution, and his family was forced into exile. He was tall - more than six foot four inches - athletic and handsome; he had something of Gary Cooper about him, and something of Cooper's earnest, boyish charm. He was apparently a simple soul, liked to work with his hands. He was also probably not possessed of the most brilliant intellect. And he certainly was rather inept at making his way in the world; throughout his life he was rarely able to find and maintain steady employment or sufficient income. His only sister, Irina, was the wife of Prince Felix Yusupov, and Feodor spent much of the early Twenties living with the couple in Paris, traveling in Italy, Corsica, England. In 1923, he married his first cousin once removed, Princess Irina Pavlovna Paley, the morganatic daughter of the murdered Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich. The couple had a son the following year. But the marriage proved a failure; Irina had an affair with a French count, whose daughter she bore in 1934, and she and Feodor were divorced two years later. In the aftermath of the affair, Feodor went to America, was unhappy there and, after more professional disappointments, he returned to England where, heading into his forties, he settled with his mother. During World War II, still in England, he developed tuberculosis; by the end of the War, he was gravely ill. With the support of his sister and brother-in-law, he returned to France, arriving in Paris on a stretcher; the doctor's prognosis was that death might be imminent. Instead, he was sent to a little house in the Basque region where, supported by his family, he spent the next twenty years, surviving to the age of seventy.

With his wife, née Princess Irina Paley, and her sister, Princess Natalia Paley, later the wife of couturier Lucien Lelong.
With his brother (on the left) Prince Nikita Alexandrovich.
With his brother Nikita (center) and Nikita's wife, née Countess Maria Illarionovna Vorontsova-Dashkova.