Princess Marie (1876-1940), later Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna of Russia
In her autobiographical work, translated by her family, she makes some intersting
observations of life, thinking and how it was in Greece and the world then.
"Our summers were spent at a lovely summer place in the mountains called
TATOI, about fiftenn kilometers from Athens. My father bought Tatoi in 1871 from a family called SOUTSO. Tatoi was an old fortress of the Spartans called Dekelia. One could still see bits of the wall of the ancient citadel. At first my parents lived in the original house, which was extremely primitive, like a peasant's house. There were already four children at that time, and how they could all have fitted into that small abode is hard to image."
She continues on to add: "My father had to set about building a larger house at
Tatoi to make room for our growing family. Papa, like all of us, loved that place
more than anything else in the world. We were free to do what we liked there,
and run completely wild in the woods. My mother had a small chapel built in the
pine forest, about ten minutes walk from the house, where we were taken
every Sunday and on fete days. On our birthdays orname days the military
band used to come up from Athens and walk us up by marching three times
around the house, playing an old Bavarian march. "
Then she goes on to describe the events of the occassion: "a cake with as
many candles as we had years..." and "then we went to church for a
Te Deum, after which we all gathered on the terrace in front of the house.
The suites and some of our friends, especially invited for the occasion, would
be with us to listen to the band and drink chocolate."
"We usually had breakfast in the garden at Tatoi, on a platform built over a pond, with creepers, roses and ivy growing up the on the bars like an arbour. A flight of steps lead down from the chapel to a playground under the pine trees with swings, merry-go-rounds and giant strides, where we enjoyed ourselves between lessions and during the holidays. We all used to ride over the estate
with our father, so what with that and our long walks over mountains and ravine, we came to know every path and corner of the place."
Here she gives a detailed description TATOI.
"We [also] had a big farm at tatoi, with beautiful Swiss cows, my father's pride.
Our parents had given my three oldest brothers and my sister small donkey carts, and we drove all over the place in them, risking our lives at every turn. As I had
no donkey cart of my own and refused to be cheated out of any fun that was going on, I would sit with one of the boys. I remember one summer, during the
vintage, we were told to go and help cut the grapes in the vinyards. The fruit was
put into huge deep baskets. When we got bored with working, we carried off
empty grape baskets and put onto the carts. This suggested a most exciting game: we would sit on top of these inverted baskets and drive at full speed around a sharp corner in the park. Centrifugal force hurled us, with the baskets,
off the cart, and we landed almost anywhere. My sister Alex thought she would
go one better and sit on top of the opening of the basket. When she was
hurled into space she was sucked into the cavity, and landed like that in a field.
We had the greatest trouble getting her out. Another useful idea withthose
donkeys was to ride them up and down the very steep steps which led to the
[they sure sounded like they had fun!]--
"We usually remained at Tatoi until the middle of October."
The size she quotes as: "tatoi had about 50,000 acres." pp. 6.
So that gives us a clue as to life and time of season when the RF used tatoi.
This is from page 5-6, "A Romanov Diary," by Grand Princess George of Russia.
As to the other proeprty owned by the family then, Grand Princess George
[Marie of Greece] of Russia, recalls this in her diary:
"Besides Tatoi, my father had a lovely place with a villa on the island of CORFU.
He called it MON REPOS because he said it was the one place where he could
really rest. * We also had a palace in the town of Corfu, but it was only used
for official purposes, such as receptions and dinners. That palace had been the
residence of the British High Commissioners, when the IONIAN ISLANDS belonged
to Great Britian.  One of my father's conditions in accepting the throne of
Greece was that the Ionian Islands be ceded to him, and Great Britian agreed."
=pp. 7; "The actual name was, The United States of the Ionian Islands,
and were a protectorate of Great Britian."
She goes on to educate the reader about Mon repos: "Mon Repos is sitguated
just above the sea. During the British occupation the English officers use dto spend their summers there. The house was typically English and very comfortable,
with terraces and balconies. The park was really beautiful, with alot of very old
cypresses, shady trees, and a variety of flowers. There was also a lovely little old
chapel at the end of the garden. Both my brother George and my sister Alexandra were born at Mon Repos. We usually went there in the spring, when the whole
island of Corfu looks like a garden; it seemed like a kind of paradise to us. We
used to bathe, go about in boats, and play on the rocks, as there was no
beach. We also took long drives in the country, which is very lovely with many private villas [among] the orange groves."
From this: we can receive a better picture of what those estates really looked
like at the turn of the century-as the photos on the site 'MON REPOS"
are what it looked like when KC and Q AM (in the yellow dress) photogrpahed,
and the others pictures from how it is now! Notice the same picture
of THEN AND NOW* notice the tall gree plants missing and the the ghost
like appearance of the building and area?
Yet the photos do not tell us anything as much as the Grand Princess's detailed
descriptions of the surrounding area and of when they visited these areas.
Very good book.
Great story from the book! It sounded so ideal and romantic to be a child
then! Her story really brings to life the way it was. I saw the pictures on the
other site Mon Rios and it did not show the chapel, grapes growing that the
Princess Marie mentions.
I enjoy this and want to hear more. What else can you share from her
Its great to see the pictures of eveyone at parties, their latest fashions,
but we also need to know the details of information of their lives. This is a
great addition to the site.
BLESS YOU!!!!What was the title of the book????
The name of the book is A Romanov Diary, and it was published by Atlantic International. The firm no longer exists.
I was the editor of that book, actually, and I would ask that you limit the number of words of text in your post -- if you post more than 50 words in one post, you do need to obtain permission. From me. After the publisher died, I was the one who had to close down the firm.
Less than 1000 copies of the book were published before the owner of the firm died, so A Romanov Diary is rare and difficult to find.
I am afraid that reprinting the entire book online would be impossible, and would violate intellectual property laws. The copyright holders are Marie's two grandchildren, and they certainly would not allow the text of the book to be published online without payment -- and this would range in the thousands of dollars for such rights.
The book was published in the early 1990s, and won't be out of copyright for until 75 years after the deaths of the copyright holders.
Copies do turn up for sale every so often. I sold all but one of my copies some years ago, and finally found another copy, so now I have two again.
I assume that Grand Duchess George lived in Russia at the time of the Revolution. Does anyone know anything of her life in Russia and where she was when she died?
Princess Marie was in Greece when the Russian revolution errupted. Her husband was in Russia and was arrested along with GD Nikolas & Dimitri. He was executed by the Bolshevics.
GD Maria later married Admiral Ioannides. If you can find in a used book store her memoirs "Anamnissis ti Vasilopedos Marias" in Greek (memoirs of princess Maria) it makes for a great reading. She had a fascinating life.
She died on the 13th of December 1940 at the villa in Psychico in Athens where then Crown Prince Pavlos lived. She is buried in Tatoi.
Thank you for this information. I will certainly attempt to locate the book. A friend had an aunt who lived in the same suburb of Athens, very posh. Thanks again.:flowers:
:previous: You are welcome.
Actually the day you thought of her and I responded was the anniversary of her death. Strange..:flowers:
Like the Windsors who, traditionally, spend late summer at Balmoral, I understand that Paul and Frederika would spend a certain period each summer at Mon Repos, Corfu.
Does anyone know when or during whose reign the summer vacation in Corfu became a year-after-year ritual and part of the royal schedule?
I thought Marie married out of duty the first time but married for love the second. Her grandson posted an amusing story about his two grandmothers and said the Greek Marie (both grandmothers were Marie, but the paternal grandmother was Russian by birth) was so happy to be returning to Greece when Constantine I was restored to the throne that she would "marry the first Greek she met!" This is probably apocryphal but Ioannides was the captain of the ship which returned Marie to Greece in 1920.
The memoirs were written by Princess Marie and were published after her death by the Admiral who seemed deeply in love with her.
It does not mention if the first marriage was out of duty but the letters the Grand Duke was writting to the Princess were warm and loving.
Then again she spent a lot of time in Greece with her family but in those days spending months at a time with the family away from their husbands was routine for all the princesses.:flowers:
Vassilissos, Which book did you read the grandson wrote? I'd love to read it.:flowers:
:previous: Hi Odette,
I'm sorry if I mislead you with my comment but it was not a book (exactly) which I read but more of an essay which I stumbled across on line one day. It is written by David Chavchavadze and Princess Marie of Greece was his maternal grandmother. Here is a link, I hope that it works for you:
In his essay, Mr. Chavchavadze implies that the Grand Duke was crazy about Princess Marie, which is supported by your observation that his letters to her were warm and loving, but also implies that P Marie was not crazy about any marriage which would remove her from Greece and that she spoke as little Russian as possible. That's why I inferred that she may have married out of a sense of duty.
I hope you can read the article.
:previous: Oh Thank you! I saved the article and the photos.
If you read her book you will just love it!:flowers:
You are very welcome. The photographs are wonderful, aren't they? I will certainly be on the lookout for a copy of Pss Marie's book!
:previous: Try a used book store in Greece since there is no chance this book in Greek is to be found elsewhere. Good Luck!:flowers:
Marie , her mother Olga and her second husband Admiral Pericles Ioannidis(from Getty Images)
i'd like to know if - by any chance - the Grand Duchess George could have been in Calais (harbour in the north of France, in front of Great-Britain) on August 1st, 1914 ?
i read in a local newspaper in Calais that the Empress Consort of Russia Maria Feodorovna came back from England by boat that day, arrived in Calais near 18:00 & met "the Grand Duchess George" at her descent of the boat.
And the only "Grand Duchess George" I could find on internet was Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna of Russia
But I read on wikipedia that she was in England at that time, since June 1914 & never saw her husband anymore.
So if someone could answer me, or if someone read her memory "A Romanov Diary", it'd be a huge help !
thank you in advance,
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