Grand Duke Nicholas Konstantinovich of Russia
|Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich|
14 February 1850|
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
|Died||26 January 1918
|Burial||St. George's Cathedral, Tashkent|
|Spouse||Nadedja Alexandrovna von Dreyer|
|Issue||Prince Artemy Nikolaievich Romanovsky-Iskander
Prince Aleksandr Nikolaievich Romanovsky-Iskander
|House||House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov|
|Father||Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaevich of Russia|
|Mother||Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg|
Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich of Russia (14 February 1850 – 26 January 1918) was the first-born son of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich of Russia and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna of Russia and a grandson of Nicholas I of Russia.
Born in St Petersburg in the middle of the nineteenth century into the Romanov family, he had a very privileged childhood. Most royal children were brought up by nannies and servants so by the time Nikolai had grown up he lived a very independent life having become a gifted military officer and an incorrigible womanizer. He had an affair with a notorious American lady Fanny Lear. This affair led him into a plot to betray his family, in which he stole three valuable diamonds from an icon that belonged to his mother. He was declared insane and he was banished to the far reaches of the Russian empire never to see home again.
He lived for many years under constant supervision in the area around Tashkent in the southeastern Russian Empire (now Uzbekistan) and made a great contribution to the city by using his personal fortune to help improve the local area. In 1890 he ordered the building of his own palace in Tashkent to house and show his large and very valuable collection of works of art and the collection is now the center of the state Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan. He was also famous in Tashkent as a competent engineer and irrigator, constructing two large canals, the Bukhar-aryk (which was poorly aligned and soon silted up) and the much more successful Khiva-Aryk, later extended to form the Emperor Nicholas I Canal, irrigating 12,000 desyatinas, 33,000 acres (134 km²) of land in the Hungry Steppe between Djizak and Tashkent. Most of this was then settled with Slavic peasant colonisers.
Nikolai had a number of children by different women. One of his grandchildren, Natalia Androsova, died in Moscow in 1999.
Nikolai married Nadezhda (variantly spelled Nadejda) Alexandrovna von Dreyer (1861–1929), daughter of Orenburg police chief Alexander Gustavovich von Dreyer and Sophia Ivanovna Opanovskaya, in 1882. Two children were born from this marriage:
- Artemi Nikolaevich Prince Iskander (or Prince Romanovsky-Iskander) (1883–1919), killed in the Russian Civil War
- Alexander Nikolaevich Prince Iskander (15 November 1887 N.S. – 26 January 1957), married Olga Iosifovna Rogovskaya / Rogowska (1893–1962) on 5 May 1912. The couple had two children. Alexander and Olga were later divorced, and Alexander married Natalya Khanykova (30 December 1893 – 20 April 1982) in 1930. No children resulted from the latter marriage.
- Prince Kirill Romanovsky-Iskander, adopted name (via stepfather, Nicholas Androsov) Kirill Nikolaevich Androsov (5 December 1914 – 1992)
- Natalya Alexandrovna Princess Romanovskaya-Iskander, adopted name Natalya Nikolaevna Androsova (2 February 1917 – 1999)
Among his illegitimate children were the following:
With Alexandra Abasa (1855–1894):
- Nicholas Nikolaevich Wolinsky (11 December 1875, Moscow – 30 December 1913, Rome)
- Olga Nikolaevna Wolinskaya (May 1877, Odessa – 9 October 1910, Leipzig), wife of Ludwig Adolf von Burgund, Graf (Count) von Burgund (1865-1908), official of Kaiserliche Marine
With unknown mistresses:
- Stanislav (d. 1919)
- Nicholas (d. 1922)
- Daria (d. 1936)
- Tatiana (died ?)