Friday, February 26, 2010

anastasia's cousin, princess irina alexandrovna

Today is the anniversary of the death of Princess Irina Alexandrovna, the daughter of Alexander Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Ksenia (or as is more commonly written, Xenia) Alexandrovna, Nicholas's sister.

Irina was born on July 15, 1895, the first of Alexander and Xenia's seven children. In a family of perpetual sons, she was also their only daughter. Like most of her family, she spoke French better than she spoke Russian and was sometimes called by the French version of her name, Iréne.

Her husband, Prince Felix Yussupov, was incredibly scandalous for the time period. He was known to dress in women's clothing and had several homosexual relationships. Despite this, Irina still wanted to marry him, and they would go on to have a very happy relationship. Their only child, Irina Felixovna, was born in 1915.

Felix is more known for his part in the murder of Rasputin. Because of this, Irina and Felix were banished from Russia in 1916, effectively saving their lives. They lived out the remainder of their lives in Paris. Felix died in 1967; Irina died three years later.

And the story comes full circle: a DNA sample was taken from Irina's granddaughter Xenia Sfyris to identify the remains of Nicholas and his family in 1997.

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