Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the romanov's cincinnati connection

Audrey Emery and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to visit the Cincinnati Museum Center, where they had an exhibit on the Romanovs. The exhibit included clothing (the baptismal gown was featured, as well as a uniform Tatiana wore as a child), toys, Faberge jewels and photographs taken from negatives that had never been published.

Why was all this in Cincinnati? Incredibly, the Romanovs have a very interesting connection to the city in Ohio that comes from Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich. (Read about his mother, Alexandra Georgievna, in this post.) Dmitri was exiled from Russia when he and Felix Yussupov murdered Rasputin. He was a notorious womanizer and had several affairs, including one with Coco Chanel. (Come on - handsome royal with a Russian accent. I dare you resist that!) He eventually settled down with an American heiress, Audrey Emery, whose family was from Cinci. While the marriage did not last, the couple had one child, Paul, who eventually became the mayor of Palm Beach, Florida, and died in 2004.

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