Vladimir Paley

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Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley
Prince Vladimir Paley.jpg
Born (1896-12-28)December 28, 1896
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died July 18, 1918(1918-07-18) (aged 21)
Alapaevsk, Russia
House Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Father Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia
Mother Olga Valerianovna Paley

Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley (Владимир Павлович Палей; December 28, 1896 – July 18, 1918) was a Russian poet.


Vladimir was born Vladimir von Pistohlkors in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on December 28, 1896.[1] His parents were Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia, the youngest child of Emperor Alexander II, and his father's mistress, Countess Olga Valerianovna Karnovich, who was then still married to her first husband. In 1902, Grand Duke Paul—-a widower after his short marriage to Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, with whom he had two children before her premature death in childbirth-—wed Olga morganatically. In 1904, she was created Countess von Hohenfelsen by Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria, making Vladimir Count Vladimir von Hohenfelsen. In 1915 Olga was created Princess Paley by Nicholas II, making Vladimir a prince.

Prince Vladimir had two elder half-siblings of his father's marriage to Alexandra Georgievna of Greece, née Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark: Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia. He had two full sisters, both of whom eventually were styled Her Serene Highness Princess Paley, Irina Pavlovna and Natalia Pavlovna. He also had three half siblings from his mother's first marriage: Alexander Erikovich von Pistohlkors, Olga Erikovna von Pistohlkors, and Marianna Erikovna (or Marianne) von Pistohlkors.

He spent his childhood in Paris and later graduated from the Corps des Pages, an aristocratic military school in Saint Petersburg.[1] In December 1914 he entered the regiment of the Emperor’s Hussars and fought with the Russian army in the First World War. He was promoted to lieutenant decorated as a war hero with the Order of Saint Anne.

Even as a teenager Vladimir Paley showed remarkable talent as a poet. He published two volumes of poetry (1916 and 1918) and wrote several plays and essays, as well as a French translation of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovitch's play The King of the Jews.[1]

In the summer of 1917 he and his family were placed for a short while under house arrest by the Provisional Government, because of a poem he wrote about Aleksandr Kerensky. In March 1918 he was arrested by the Bolsheviks and sent to exile in Vyatka and later Ekaterinburg and Alapaevsk. He was brutally murdered in a mineshaft near Alapaevsk, together with his cousins Prince Ioann Konstantinovich of Russia, Prince Konstantine Konstantinovich of Russia, Prince Igor Konstantinovich of Russia, and other relatives. Their bodies were recovered by the Imperial White Army and placed in coffins and moved around while they fought with the Red Army until they were brought and buried months later at the Russian Mission Orthodox cemetery in Beijing, China the site of which was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and is now a parking area.

A biography of Prince Vladimir Paley by Andrey Baranovsky was published in 1997 in Russian, and another (A Poet Among The Romanovs) by Jorge F. Saenz in 2004, in both Russian and English.


Saenz, Jorge F., A poet among the Romanovs, Eurohistory, 2004.



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