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Vasillisos Markos 08-04-2010 02:46 PM

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich (1891-1941)
I have been reading Felix Yussopov's biography, Lost Splendor, and I am now intrigued by Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich who was a conspirator and actor in Rasputin's death. Does anyone care to comment about Dmitri, his life, his role in the imperial family, and the part his descendants may play in laying claim to the Russian throne?

To the moderators: Forgive me if this thread is redundant but I scoured the site and was unable to locate a thread devoted solely to Dmitri.

pamela18335 08-13-2010 11:10 PM

Vasillisos, Dmitri and his sister, Marie the younger (or Maria, I forget how she called herself) are sort of orphans. I think that both were strongly affected by their living with Serge and Ella.

I've read both of Marie's books years ago, and as I recall, was singularly unmoved. I found her rather superficial.

However, Dmitri is another story. Wouldn't it be fascinating to hear from his own fingers his version of the plot to assassinate Rasputin, and his real reactions to that rather botched job? Again, if I recall correctly, it was Dmitri's exile for his participation in Rasputin's murder that kept him out of Russia and the hands of the bolsheviks. Guess he owed Nicky a rather large debt of thanks (tongue firmly planted in cheek).

Vasillisos Markos 08-13-2010 11:18 PM


Thanks for the responses.

I had heard that Marie was traumatized by being forced to marry into the Swedish Royal Family and also emotionally harmed being raised by Serge. Could this have rendered her superficial? But I would love to hear more about Dmitri. I think Felix Yussopov was in love with him and their estrangement after the murder hurt Felix but I don't think Dmitri was bisexual like Felix

Odette 08-14-2010 06:22 AM

I do not believe that GD Serge's upbringing of the children harmed them more that GD Ella's regard towards them. If you get the chance get the book "Education of a princess" it is GD Marie's autobiography. Dmitri married Audrey Emery and had two children Paul and Angelika (Kauffmann) I do not believe he ever wrote an autobiography. I visited the Yussupov Palace last week and was struck at how fragile his wax figure makes him look. During the years of the revolution Dmitri was very much in love with Natasha, GD Michael's (brother of Tsar Nicholas) wife. I doubt he was bi sexual or had any relationship with Felix other than their common hate towards Rasputin.

MAfan 08-14-2010 11:07 AM


Originally Posted by Odette (Post 1124416)
Dmitri married Audrey Emery and had two children Paul and Angelika (Kauffmann)

Dmitri and Audrey had only one child, Paul, born in 1928; Angelica Kauffmann is Paul's second wife and widow.

Odette 08-14-2010 12:28 PM

:previous: Thanks McAfan.. I always thought they had two children. :bang:

Russophile 08-14-2010 07:28 PM


Originally Posted by Odette (Post 1124416)
During the years of the revolution Dmitri was very much in love with Natasha, GD Michael's (brother of Tsar Nicholas) wife. I doubt he was bi sexual or had any relationship with Felix other than their common hate towards Rasputin.

That's the Crawford book on Michael and Natasha. Very good book, BTW. They tell how Dmitri visited Natasha when Michael was at the front and used to cough up blood from having TB and laugh when Natasha was alarmed.
GD Marie used to visit Michael and Natasha as well, however it isn't mentioned in her book "Education of a Princess" I wonder if it weren't because Natasha, as beautiful and educated as she was, was still a commoner.

Vasillisos Markos 08-14-2010 10:10 PM

So Marie was a snob and looked down on Michael's marriage? I guess her upbringing was stronger than her own feelings since it appears she was forced to marry into the Swedish royal family. People can be funny.

I don't believe, from what I've read, that Dmitri was in love with Felix or even that he was bisexual but I think Felix greatly admired Dmitri and even had a strong attraction which was sexual in nature.

Odette 08-15-2010 07:31 AM

:previous: It cannot be assumed she was. In her book she speaks so little about everything and gets into minute details that can fill a book but sheds very little light in her real life.
I believe the fact that she was raised without a mother made her cold and distant.
In the book "Michael and Natasha" there is little evidence that either one of them ever gave her a second thought. Natasha was harbouring warm feelings for Dmitri and Michael was jealous.

Vasillisos Markos 08-15-2010 11:05 AM

I really must read Michael and Natasha. I saw how dashing Michael looked following Alexandra and Nicholas down the gangplank in the photos which accompanied a 1904 magazine article about the Romanovs. I wonder if there was any resentment between Nicky and Michael? I know dowager Empress Marie favored Michael.

Warren 08-15-2010 11:16 AM

I'm sure that Vasillisos has been patiently waiting for his thread to attract some attention.
It may have taken nine days, but it's paid off and the thread is now established within the Imperial Family of Russia Forum. :flowers:

ETA.. I note that some subtle (or otherwise!) hints were employed elsewhere, but "whatever it takes" is a legitimate tactic to encourage posting. :biggrin:

Vasillisos Markos 08-15-2010 12:16 PM

Thank you, Warren. I love this forum.

Has anyone read The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga by Perry and Pleshakov? The book is cited in a Wikipedia article about Dmitri and I wondered if the book covers Dmitri's life in detail.

Russophile 08-16-2010 03:48 AM

Is that fiction or non VM??
I got into Russian history due to reading a fictional account of Coco Chanel's life. I cannot remember whether the affair between Coco and Dmitry came first, or that GDMarie worked for Coco first and then the affair followed.

As to Felix and his, hmmmm. How shall we say this?
Attachment to Dmitry? He reminds me of a family member. Bi-sexual, yet a bit of a predator. Used to attach himself to those he felt attracted to with the hopes of "coverting them." Felix reminds me of this. However, this is only an opinion and I haven't any proof.

Vasillisos Markos 08-16-2010 11:26 AM


Dear Russo (my partner in crime)

I don't know much about the book but I suspect it is non-fiction since it appears to be about the Romanov survivors and their lives. I just wondered if it covered Dmitri in great detail which would be wonderful since he was on the scene when Rasputin was dispatched.

I concur with your feelings about Felix. Reading his bio, one gets a sense of his self-importance and that he did not give a fig about others' feelings when he wanted to engage in madcap antics and that he was enamored (for lack of a better word) about Dmitri.

Russophile 08-16-2010 02:10 PM

(We are Bonnie and Clyde and poor Warren is the law!! HA! :biggrin:)

Isn't it funny that there isn't much written about Dmitry. I found instances of him being "Dashing" to the Tsar and Tsaritza. GD Marie, his sister, had a big attachment to him and he was there when she married, then met her in Sweden. She was always greatful for that. Others have described him as handsome, yet melancholy. I think that came later with the shooting of Rasputin. I think he never forgot it and when Felix kept entertaining his guests with the telling which, I read in Greg King's book--got more and more dramatic with each new recitation.
He was rather lost as so many Russian emigre's were when they left their Mother Land. He did go back and visit Natasha in Paris. I would have thought he would have married her since he had such an undying love for her (they --Michael and Natasha--called him "Lily of the valley" whenever he came. Seemed to be his calling card, via GD Marie's book).

Odette 08-16-2010 03:06 PM

:previous: If the wax figure in the basement of the Yussupov Palace is true to form, Dmitri was a very slim, small in statute person. It makes sense if he had TB. Perhaps this was the reason why Natasha called him Lilly of the Valley to suggest he was delicate. In the book Michael and Natasha one is left with the impression those two were never lovers, although in other books it was suggested that he was more to her than a dear friend.
After they both left Russia, I would suspect they both needed more wealthy partners than each other and they drifted apart...JMHO:flowers:

Russophile 08-16-2010 03:14 PM

He might have been Odette. I cannot understand the Russian psyche, however. So passionate! I don't doubt Natasha felt for him too.
Though, weren't they all thin? GD Serge was very thin from all the pictures I have seen.

Vasillisos Markos 08-16-2010 05:07 PM


Originally Posted by Russophile (Post 1125047)
He might have been Odette. I cannot understand the Russian psyche, however. So passionate! I don't doubt Natasha felt for him too.
Though, weren't they all thin? GD Serge was very thin from all the pictures I have seen.


As the Duchess of Windsor allegedly said, one can never be too thin or too rich. :whistling:

I wonder if Dmitri's psyche was absolutely and adversely affected by: 1. his mother dying after his birth; 2. absentee father; 3. pseudo father blown up by terrorists; 4. involvement in Rasputin's murder; 5. eventual murder and destruction of his royal relatives. Maybe this could explain why Dmitri did not write any memoirs nor (and I am guessing here) why he may not have opened up to others about his life in Russia. Perhaps it was all buried away in this subconscious.

Russophile 08-16-2010 05:28 PM

Very good theory VM! In GD Marie's book she caught GD Serge saying several times "I am your father now!" (Not in a Darth Vader way, however! :biggrin:)
Then he spent a lot of time with Nicholas and Alexandra and we know how socially retarded they were. :whistling:

Odette 08-17-2010 07:25 AM

I wonder how many non Imperial Highnesses could withstand all these tragedies and still keep their heads screwed on properly.
Apart from the Duchess of Windsor's statement, Dmitri looked frail not just fashionably thin. He suffered from TB and this may have been a reason why he did not look too "healthy". Of course the guide's explanation was that he was so pale because he was scared of what they were about to do....which imho he should have since none of them could manage to kill Rasputin and discard his body without half the neighbourhood being in the know before daybreak...:flowers:

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