Princess Nina Georgievna of Russia

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Princess Nina Georgievna
Princess Nina Georgievna of Russia.jpg
Spouse Prince Paul Aleksandrovich Chavchavadze
Issue Prince David Chavchavadze
House House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov (by birth)
Father Grand Duke George Mikhailovich
Mother Princess Maria of Greece and Denmark
Born (1901-06-20)20 June 1901
Mikhailovskoe, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died 27 February 1974(1974-02-27) (aged 72)
Wellfleet, Massachusetts, USA

Princess Nina Georgievna of Russia, (Russian: Нина Георгиевна) (20 June 1901 – 27 February 1974), was the eldest daughter of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna of Russia. A great-granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, she left her native country in 1914, before World War I. She married Prince Paul Chavchavadze and spent the rest of her life in exile, first in England and from 1927 in the United States.

Early life[edit]

Princess Nina was born in Mikhailovskoe, the Palace of her paternal grand father, Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich of Russia. Through her father, she was a member of the Romanov family, and princess of the Imperial blood as a great-granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Nina's mother was a princess of Greece and Denmark. On her maternal side, Nina was a great-granddaughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and related to members of many European royal families.

Princess Nina spent the first years of her life in apartments at the Mikhailovsky Palace outside St. Petersburg, the residence of her paternal grandfather Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich of Russia. In 1905, the family moved to a newly built small palace in the Crimea. Constructed in English style, they gave the property a Greek name, "Harax". For nine years the family led a quiet life. A contemporary of Tsar Nicholas II two youngest daughters, Princess Nina and her only sibling Princess Xenia, played sometimes with them, while they were in the Imperial capital.

The marriage of Nina's parents was unhappy. Grand Duke George was a devoted father, and the two sisters were close to him, but Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna never liked Russia and eventually became estranged from her husband. In June 1914, Maria took her two daughters to England on the pretext of improving their health; in reality, she wanted to be separated from her husband. When the war broke out a month after her arrival, the Grand Duchess did not rush back to Russia and later it was too dangerous to attempt a return.[1] Princess Nina and her sister never saw their father again. He was killed during the Russian Revolution. Imprisoned by the Bolsheviks, he was shot by a firing squad, along with other Romanov relatives in January 1919. During the turbulent years of World War I and the Russian Revolution, Princess Nina remained living safely in London with her mother and her sister. Both sisters treasured their father's memory and resented their mother. In part to escape her control they both married very young.

Marriage[edit]

Princess Nina married Prince Paul Alexandrovich Chavchavadze (1899–1971) on 3 September 1922 in London. Paul Chavchavadze, was descended from the Chavchavadze family of the Kakheti province in Georgia, and also, in a direct line, from the last King of Georgia, George XII. They had first met as children when he was nine and she was seven, at a party at the British embassy in Rome in 1908. When they next met, it was in London many years later. By the time they were married, the world they knew had changed radically, with the collapse of the feudal system in Russia, the rise of the Bolsheviks, and annexation of Georgia by the Soviet Union. Most of their aristocratic riches were lost in the revolution, but they never complained about their material losses. Prince Paul, who also lost his father at the hands of the Bolsheviks, served in the military service on two continents. The couple had an only child, Prince David Chavchavadze, born in 1924 in London.

In 1927, Princess Nina moved with her family to the United States, where they settled in New York. In 1939 they moved to Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Princess Nina was an artist, her husband worked as an author; he wrote five books and translated several others. Their son, Prince David Chavchavadze, thanks in part to his knowledge of Russian, eventually became a CIA officer. After his retirement, he wrote a book about the Grand Dukes of Russia. Princess Nina's husband died in 1971, she outlived him for only a couple of years. She died near Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1974, aged 72. Her son left descendants.[2][3]

Ancestry[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ “ A Romanov Diary”: Grand Duchess George of Russia, p. 176
  2. ^ Zeepvat (2004)
  3. ^ Paul Theroff (2007). "Russia". An Online Gotha. Retrieved 28 January 2008. 

References[edit]

  • Zeepvat, Charlotte (2004). The Camera and the Tsars. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3049-7