Prince Andrew Romanov

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Andrew Andreevich
Prince of Russia
Head of the House of Romanov (disputed)
Tenure 31 December 2016 – present
Predecessor Prince Dimitri Romanovich
Heir apparent Prince Alexis Andreevich
Born (1923-01-21) 21 January 1923 (age 95)
London, England
Spouse Elena Dourneva
Kathleen Norris
Inez von Bachelin
Issue Prince Alexis Andreevich
Prince Peter Andreevich
Prince Andrew Andreevich
Full name
Andrew Andreevich Romanov
House Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Father Prince Andrei Alexandrovich of Russia
Mother Donna Elisabetha Sasso Ruffo, Princess San-Antimo
Religion Russian Orthodox Church

Prince Andrew Andreevich Romanov (born 21 January 1923) is a Russian American artist and author. He is a grand-nephew of Russia's last Emperor, Nicholas II. Since 31 December 2016, he is a claimant to the headship of the Imperial House of Russia and Honorary President of the Romanov Family Association. He is a great-great-grandson in the male line of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia.

Family bonds[edit]

Prince Andrew Andreevich belongs to the fourth branch of the Mikhailovich line of the House of Romanov. He is the great-great-grandson of Emperor Nicholas I and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in a straight male line. Through his grandmother, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, he is a great-grandson of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna.

On the paternal side, Andrew Andreevich is related to the Danish Royal Family, the Greek Royal Family, the Leinningen Family and the House of Baden. On his mother's side, he is a descendant of the now-extinct line of the Dukes of Sasso-Ruffo (the former rulers of Bagnara), and also a descendant of Russian noble families, including the Meshcherskys, Stroganovs and the barons von Vietinghoff[1]. He is a distant relative of Queen Paola of Belgium.

Childhood and education[edit]

Russian imperial family
Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire

HH Prince Andrew Andreevich
HH Princess Inez

  • HSH Prince Alexis Andreevich
    HSH Princess Zoetta
  • HSH Prince Peter Andreevich
    HSH Princess Barbara
  • HSH Prince Andrew Andreevich
    HSH Princess Elizabeth
    • HSH Princess Natasha Andreevna

HSH Princess Olga Andreevna

HH Princess Dorrit

HH Princess Sveva

  • HSH Princess Natalia Nikolaevna
  • HSH Princess Elizabeth Nikolaevna
  • HSH Princess Tatiana Nikolaevna

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna

Prince Andrew Andreevich was born on 21 January 1923 in London, England, in the family of Prince Andrei Alexandrovich of Russia (1897–1981) and his first wife Princess Elizabeth Fabricievna, née Duchess of Sasso-Ruffo and Princess of San-Antimo.[2] His godfather was the future King Edward VIII.[3] He spent his childhood living in a guesthouse at Windsor Castle.[4]

The third child and youngest son in the family, Andrew Andreevich spent his childhood with his sister and brother in the guest house of Windsor Castle, granted to his family by King George V. The Windsor Grounds made for a fantastic playground, with vast lawns, curving paths along the River Thames, fishponds, greenhouses full of exotic plants, and polo fields. He was brought up in the Russian tradition under the strict control of his grandmother, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna. She never stopped believing that someday the Romanovs would return to Russia and rule the country once more, and her grandson would take his place in Russia. Andrew Andreevich's parents belonged to another generation of the family and no longer hoped for the restoration of the monarchy in Russia, so they tried to raise their children as simple and responsible people, with a sense of duty to the Motherland, and the ability to cope with the realities of the modern world. At home, Andrew Andreevich always spoke Russian, and he was expected to behave like a prince. His mother made him practice walking with a stick under his arms so that he would stand up straight, like royalty.

One day, Prince Andrew Andreevich was riding his bicycle around the castle grounds when he happened upon young Princess Elizabeth, who would later become queen. "How do you do?" Andrew asked her, before quickly riding away. That evening, an answer arrived in the form of a phone call: Andrew Andreevich's family was not to walk in the private gardens while the British royal family was staying at the castle. When Andrew Andreevich was six, his grandmother took him to meet Queen Mary at the castle. She patted him on the head and said, "You may call me Auntie Mary and King? Uncle Bertie." According to Andrew′s memoirs, she was tall and always wore a veil, in the fashion of the day.

In childhood, Andrew Andreevich preferred walks in the woods, he liked fishing for perch on the river Thames, and with great pleasure also watched animals in the local zoo. He also began to show interest and success in drawing. The first teacher for him was his father, Andrei Alexandrovich, who became in exile a talented landscape painter. Up to 12 years of age, Andrew Andreevich studied at home and received a private traditional education, characteristic for the House of Romanov. Then he studied at the Imperial Service College.[citation needed]

World War II[edit]

In 1942, at the height of World War II, he entered the British Navy. He refused to accept an officer's post, preferring to be a simple sailor. He served on the light cruiser HMS Sheffield under the command of Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt. He took part in the Arctic convoys and often sailed to Murmansk, where he performed the duties of an interpreter. Prince Andrew Andreevich became the first of the Romanovs to visit Russia after the revolution and the overthrow of their dynasty. He also took part in the Battle of the Atlantic, the Operation Torch and the landing of the Allies in Normandy. At the end of the war, he was serving in the Pacific Ocean. After demobilisation in 1946, he returned to England.

Life in America[edit]

After the end of war, Andrew Andreevich became an intern on an English farm in Kent to obtain the profession of an agronomist. He also worked in a special garden near London. Finding no further prospects in Europe, after the invitation in 1949 of his uncle Prince Vasily Alexandrovich, along with his cousin Prince Nikita Nikitich, and having only 800 dollars in his pocket, he immigrated to the United States on a cargo ship carrying racehorses, pigeons and eight passengers.

After settling in California, he started working in a store, then worked with his uncle at California Packing, where he grew tomatoes on hydroponics and worked on the introduction of new varieties of vegetables.[5] He studied sociology and criminology at the University of California at Berkeley. Then he worked as a broker in a shipping company and spent three years in Japan and Korea. Returning to San Francisco, Andrew Andreevich became an agent for the sale of real estate. He also worked as a simple employee and designer. He became a naturalised US citizen on 20 December 1954.[1]. After the death of his second wife, he moved to the city of Inverness, Marin County, California, where he worked as a carpenter and joiner and later was engaged in a jewellery business.

He began to draw as a primitive artist, without formal art education, drawing pictures by intuition and relying on imagination. Andrew Andreevich also engaged in artistic photography. After retirement, he devoted himself entirely to art. On his preferred medium of Shrinky Dinks (plastic sheets that shrink by two-thirds when cooked in an oven), he draws and paints, shrinks the inimitable scenes, then mounts them on painted panels. Andrew's unique, utterly original artwork is firmly rooted in the traditions of American folk art. There is a refreshingly earnest humor in the choice of material and in the witty execution of Andrew's deceptively simple renderings. His work typically depicts personal memories, impressions of American news, culture, and scenes of domestic life.

Currently, Andrew Andreevich lives with his wife, the American painter Inez Storer, in Inverness. They reside in a house that is 110 years old, during which time it has been a tourist hotel, a private home, and, for the past four decades, a cozy nest for real-life royalty. In 2007, he released an autobiography called The Boy Who Would Be Tsar, which is illustrated with his artwork. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including recent exhibitions at Gallery 16 in San Francisco.

Succession claims[edit]

Prince Andrew Andreevich is considering that following the death of Prince Dimitri Romanov in 2016, he is a new head of the House of Romanov and his rightful successor.

Marriages and children[edit]

Prince Andrew has been married three times. He was married first in San Francisco on 9 September 1951 to Elena Konstantinovna Dourneva (5. 05. 1927, Tokyo – 31. 05. 1992, Oakland). She was an only daughter of Konstantin Afanasievich Durnev (1896–1970) and Felixa Stanislavovna Zapalsky (1903–2002). They had one son before divorcing in 1959.

  • Prince Alexis Andreevich Romanov (born 27 April 1953, San Francisco). He graduated from St. Mary's High School in San Francisco, and then studied at the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, he owns his company, which provides accounting and fiduciary services to individuals. He married on 19 September 1987 in Oakland, California to Zoetta (Zoe) Leisy (born 25 November 1956, Memphis, Tennessee) daughter of Robert Leisy and Ellen Telfer. No issue. Prince Alexis Andreevich is heir to his father for supremacy in the House of Romanov.

He was married secondly in San Francisco on 21 March 1961 to Kathleen Norris (1. 03. 1935, San Francisco – 8. 12. 1967, San Francisco). They had two children. Kathleen Norris was a granddaughter of American authors Kathleen Norris and Charles Gilman Norris. She died after pneumonia.

  • Prince Peter Andreevich Romanov (born 21 November 1961, San Francisco). He worked as an auto mechanic. His current job is also related to cars. He married on 2 May 2009 in Marin County, California to Barbara Anne Jurgens (born 1968). No issue. He is second in the line of succession to the title of the head of the Romanov Family.
  • Prince Andrew Andreevich Romanov (born 20 February 1963, San Francisco). He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and works as a Project Manager. He married on 12 July 1986 in Point Reyes Station, California to Elizabeth Flores (born 25 April 1964, San Francisco). She is a daughter of Armando Flores and Cecil Sherrod. They have one daughter. He is third in the line of succession to the title of the head of the Romanov Family.
    • Princess Natasha Catherine Romanov (born 2 February 1993, Greenbrae, California). She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2016 with honours in Psychology.

He was married third on 17 December 1987 in Reno, Nevada to famous American artist Inez von Bachelin (born 11 October 1933, Santa Monica, California). She is a daughter of Franz Bachelin and Anita Hirtfield.

Title and styles[edit]

N.B. Since the Russian revolution members of the Imperial family have tended to drop the territorial designation "of Russia" and use the princely title with the surname Romanov.[6] However this title, and even his right to the surname Romanov are disputed by some.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage". Retrieved 3 October 2007. 
  2. ^ Almanach de Gotha. Gotha: Justus Perthes. 1944. p. 113. 
  3. ^ van der Kiste, John; Coryne Hall (2004). Once A Grand Duchess. Sutton Publishing. p. 209. ISBN 0-7509-3521-9. 
  4. ^ Farr, Kristin (5 February 2007). "Art Review : Andrew Romanoff: The Boy Who Would Be Tsar". Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007. 
  5. ^ Liberatore, Paul (22 January 2007). "Liberatore at Large: Shrinky Dink autobiography tells the storybook life of a Russian prince in Inverness". Retrieved 3 October 2007. 
  6. ^ Almanach de Gotha (186th ed.). 2003. p. 314. ISBN 0-9532142-4-9. 
  7. ^ "Dynastic Succession". Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 

External links[edit]

Prince Andrew Romanov
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 21 January 1923
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Prince Dimitri Romanovich
Head of the House of Romanov

31 December 2016 – present
Prince Alexis Andreevich