Princess Olga Paley

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Princess Olga Valerianovna
Countess of Hohenfelsen
Olga Valerianovna Palej.jpg
Born (1865-12-02)2 December 1865
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died 2 November 1929(1929-11-02) (aged 63)
Paris, France
Spouse Erich von Pistohlkors
Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia
Issue Alexander Erikovich Pistohlkors
Olga Erikovna von Pistohlkors
Olga Erikovna von Pistohlkors
Marianna Erikovna von Pistohlkors
Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley
Princess Irina Pavlovna Paley
Princess Natalia Pavlovna Paley
Father Valerian Karnovich
Mother Olga Vasilyevna Meszaros

Princess Olga Valerianovna Paley (Ольга Валериановна Палей) (2 December 1865–2 November 1929), was the second wife of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia.

Early life and first marriage[edit]

She was born Olga Karnovich at St. Petersburg, the daughter of Valerian Karnovich and his wife Olga Vasilyevna Meszaros. She married Erich Gerhard von Pistohlkors (1853–1935 Riga) in 1884, by whom she had four children:

  • Alexander Erikovich von Pistohlkors (1885–1944), who married Alexandra Taneyeva.
  • Olga Erikovna von Pistohlkors (1886–1887).
  • Olga Erikovna von Pistohlkors (1888–1963), married firstly in 1906 to Count Alexander Belzig von Kreutz and secondly in 1922 to Fürst Sergius Kudaschew.
  • Marianna Erikovna von Pistohlkors (1890–1976), married firstly in 1908 Peter Durnowo, secondly in 1912 to Christoph von Derfelden and thirdly in 1917 to Count Nicolaus von Zarnekau.

Scandal of second marriage[edit]

She later began an affair with Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia, causing a great society scandal, and bore him a child, Vladimir. Her marriage to Pistohlkors was terminated by divorce, and Paul asked permission of Tsar Nicholas II to marry Olga, but he refused.

In 1902, Paul married her morganatically, but the marriage was not approved, and she was given no titles. In 1904, Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria granted Olga the title of Countess von Hohenfelsen. Nicholas II later acquiesced to the marriage and made her Princess Paley.

Olga and Paul had three children:


Olga left Russia in 1920 with her two daughters to Finland, after her son and her husband were executed by the revolutionary government. She died in exile in Paris on 2 November 1929, at the age of 64.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 1865-1884: Miss Olga Valerianovna Karnovitsch
  • 1884-1898: Mrs Olga Valerianovna von Pistohlkors
  • 1898-1902: Ms Olga Valerianovna Karnovitsch
  • 1902-1904: Mrs Olga Valerianovna Romanov
  • 1904-1914: Countess Olga Valerianovna von Hohenfelsen
  • 1914-1929: Princess Olga Valerianovna Paley

External links[edit]