On This Day: Death Of A Greek-Born Russian Grand Duchess

  September 24, 2016 at 8:00 am by

125 years ago, the 21-year-old Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna of Russia passed away at the Ilyinskoe Estate, six days after giving birth to her second child, son Dmitri.

The Grand Duchess – who was born a Princess of Greece and Denmark as the eldest daughter of George I of the Hellenes and his wife Olga Constantinovna of Russia – had fallen while climbing into a boat docked on the Moskva River, which brought on premature labour the following day. The infant was born shortly after tiny and not well; Alexandra fell into a coma from which she never awoke.

Alexandra’s husband, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich, was devastated by her death – the couple had had a truly happy marriage. During her burial at the St Peter and Paul Cathedral, Paul had to be restrained from throwing himself into his wife’s grave after the coffin was lowered.

Her children – toddler Maria and newborn Dmitri – were cared for by her brother-in-law, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, and his wife Elisabeth Feodorovna intermittently in years after her death, before they were made guardians of the children in 1902 upon the second marriage and banishment from Russia of Grand Duke Paul.

Paul outlived his wife by 28 years, while Maria would eventually marry and divorce a Swedish Prince, and Dmitri would be involved in the 1916 murder of Rasputin.

Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna of Russia

Filed under Greece, Historical Royals, Russia
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