Prince Michael of Kent
Defends King George V

King George V and his grandson, Prince Michael of Kent

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Prince Michael of Kent has defended his grandfather George V over accusations the King failed to help save the Russian Tsar Nicholas II.

In a television interview examining the murder of the Romanov family in 1918, the Queen's cousin spoke of George V's concern for the Tsar and his plans to try to get an RAF officer to fly in and rescue them.

Prince Michael said: "They were first cousins and they were on very affable terms together - they were very close."

He added: "It was thought that there was an attempt made by an aircraft to get them out.

"On the staff of King George V, my grandfather, was an RAF Officer called Commodore Fellowes who was, they say, given the opportunity to plan an escape, and that he would have flown in and landed nearby and got them out."

Unfortunately, the RAF officer's mission did not go ahead due to the logistics of where the family was being held.

George V came under severe criticism for his role in the events.

Asylum in the UK was offered to the Tsar and his family following the 1917 revolution, but later withdrawn after the King raised concerns about how it would impact on the reputation of the House of Windsor.

Helen Rappaport, author of Ekaterinburg which examines the situation, said "King George became increasingly conscience-stricken.

"He had a consultation with the British Secret Service in which he said 'If you can get them out, get them out.'"

The Press Association
5 February, 2010