27 January 1928|
Embassy of the United States, London, England, United Kingdom
|Died||10 February 2004
Palm Beach, Florida, United States
Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky (27 January 1928 – 10 February 2004) was a three-time mayor of Palm Beach, Florida, and the only child of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia and his morganatic wife, Cincinnati heiress Audrey Emery. He was a great-grandson of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and a first cousin once removed of Nicholas II.
As a direct result of his involvement in the murder of Grigori Rasputin in 1916, Grand Duke Dmitri had been sent to the Persian front, which ultimately saved his life; many of his relatives, including his father and half-brother, were executed by the Bolsheviks. Dmitri, who was working as a champagne salesman, married in 1926 Audrey Emery.
Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia, Dmitri's cousin and the self-proclaimed Emperor in exile, elevated Grand Duke Dmitri's wife and their descendants to Russian princely (Russian: knyaz) rank (rank of nobility, not dynastical). Any children the couple would have would be known as Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, the latter half of the surname derived from Dmitri's former property in Russia, Ilinskoe.
The marriage ended in divorce in 1937, and Ilyinsky was raised by his mother who mostly lived in France. That same year, she married her second husband, Prince Dimitri Djordjadze, a member of a princely house of Georgia; they also later divorced. Dmitri Pavlovich's health had always been somewhat frail, and in the 1930s, his chronic tuberculosis became acute, leading to his death in 1942.
Ilyinsky, who was a U.S. citizen, attended Woodberry Forest School in Virginia and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, England, before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. He served with distinction as a combat photographer in the Korean War and retired a lieutenant colonel. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1953.
Ilyinsky lived in Cincinnati for about 20 years, serving on the board of the company founded by his mother's family, Emery Industries, and working as an author and photographer. In 1980, he returned to Palm Beach, Florida, where he had lived before moving to Cincinnati. He served on the Palm Beach Council for 10 years and was mayor for three terms. He resigned for health reasons in 1999. Ilyinsky was named the first Distinguished Citizen of Palm Beach for his outstanding service to the Boy Scouts of America of Palm Beach County. While in Cincinnati, he received the Silver Beaver Award – one of the Boy Scouts of America's honors for distinguished service to youth.
After the Soviet Union broke apart in the early 1990s, Leningrad reverted to its original name of Saint Petersburg, and a private delegation visited Ilyinsky while he served on Palm Beach City Council to ask him to return to Russia to claim the throne as tsar. Ilyinsky said, "Gentlemen, I could not be more pleased and flattered at your invitation, but I must tell you that I am entirely satisfied with my present occupation."
Titles and heritage
Paul is regarded by some[who?] to have become a "Prince and Duke of Schleswig and Holstein-Gottorp" as his birthright. As such, his style was Serene Highness, and his titles, which he never used, included "Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig, Holstein, Stormarn and Dithmarschen" as well as "Duke and Count of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst". Where a dynasty's house law or customs were silent on the equality requirement, German princely law was deemed to apply, and by the 19th century, marriages to commoners were held to be non-dynastic for all formerly immediate German dynasties of the Holy Roman Empire.
|Ancestors of Paul Ilyinsky|