Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich, Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich (the future Emperor Nicholas II),
and Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich at Tsarskoe Selo
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This page was last updated on September 16, 2010
The titles of male members of the Imperial Family of Russia who bore the title
*Великий Князъ were regulated by an Imperial Ukase of 14 July, 1886, whereby the sons and paternal grandsons of Emperors, and were accorded the title of GRAND DUKE OF RUSSIA with the qualification of His Imperial Highness (HIH).
There were a total of 39 Grand Dukes. Seven of them succeeded to the Russian throne, while the remaining 32 were members and dynasts of the House of the reigning Emperor. Some were but a heartbeat from the Imperial Throne.
Three Grand Dukes died in childhood. They included:
Alexander Mikhailovich, son of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich (28 January 1831 27 - March 1832)
Alexander Alexandrovich, son of Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich (7 June 1869 2 - May 1870)
Alexander Vladimirovich, son of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (31 August 1875 - 16 March 1877)
Seven Grand Dukes who were also Tsesarevich were to succeed as Emperor of Russia. They included:
Grand Duke Peter Feodorovich (1728-1762) who succeeded as Emperor Peter III,
Grand Duke Paul Petrovich (1754-1801) who succeeded as Emperor Paul I,
Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich (1777-1825) who succeeded as Emperor Alexander I,
Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich (1796-1855) who succeeded as Emperor Nicholas I,
Grand Duke Alexander Nicholaievich (1818-1881) who succeeded as Emperor Alexander II,
Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich (1845-1894) who succeeded as Emperor Alexander III,
Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich (1868-1918) who succeeded as Emperor Nicholas II.
There are biographies of each Emperor listed in The Romanovs section of this web site (please refer to the Directory at the top of this page).
Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholaievich (1904-1918) would have succeeded as Emperor if the Russian Revolution had been averted and he had outlived his father, Emperor Nicholas II. The general consenus among historians has been that the latter would have been unlucky given the fact that Alexis was afflicted with hemophilia.
*The translation from Russian into French and English as Grand Duke is debated amongst royalists and genealogists, many of whom claim that Grand Prince is correct.
N.B. On February 1, 1918, Russia switched from the "Old Style" Julian calendar to the "New Style" Gregorian calendar, which was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar during the 19th century and 13 days ahead from March 1, 1900. In this reference to the Grand Dukes, the Gregorian calendar is used.
HIS IMPERIAL HIGHNESS THE GRAND DUKE. . .
Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armies 1815, renounced his rights of succession to the Imperial Throne 1822, born at Tsarskoe Selo 8 May 1779, married first at St. Petersburg 26 February 1796 (marriage dissolved by divorce 1 April 1820), to Anna Feodorovna, formerly Juliane Henriette Ulrike (born at Coburg 23 September 1781; died at Elfenau 15 August 1860), third daughter of Franz Friedrich Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Grand Duke Constantine remarried (morganatically) at Warsaw 24 May 1820, to Joanna, created Princess Lowicka with the qualification of Serene Highness by Emperor Alexander I 1820 (born at Warsaw 29 September 1799; died at Tsarskoe Selo 29 November 1831), daughter of Count Antoni Grudna Grudzinscy, by his first wife Marianna Dorpowska. Grand Duke Constantine died without issue at Vitebsk 27 June 1831.
(Second Son of Emperor Paul I)
Born at St. Petersburg 8 February 1798, married at St. Petersburg 19 February 1824, to Elena Pavlovna, formerly Friederike Charlotte Marie (born at Stuttgart 9 January 1807; died there 21 January 1873), elder daughter of Prince Paul Heinrich Karl Friedrich August of Wurttemberg. Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich died at Warsaw 9 September 1849.
(Fourth Son of Emperor Paul I)
General-Admiral of the Russian Navy, born at St. Petersburg 21 September 1827, married there 11 September 1848, to Alexandra Iossifovna, formerly Alexandra Friederike Henriette Pauline Marianne Elizabeth (born at Altenberg 8 July 1830; died at St. Petersburg 6 July 1911), fifth daughter of Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenberg. Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaievich died at Pavlovsk 24/25 January 1892.
(Second Son of Emperor Nicholas I)
Nicholas Nicholaievich, Sr.
General Field Marshal of the Russian Army, born at Tsarskoe Selo 8 August 1831, married at St. Petersburg 6 February 1856, to Alexandra Petrovna, formerly Alexandra Friederike Wilhelmine (born at St. Petersburg 2 June 1838l died at Kiev 25 April 1900, eldest daughter of Duke Constantine Friederich Peter of Oldenburg. Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaievich, Sr. died at Aloupka, Crimea 25 April 1891.
(Third Son of Emperor Nicholas I)
General Field Marshal of the Russian Army, President of the Council of the Empire, born at Peterhof 25 October 1832, married at St. Petersburg 28 August 1857, to Olga Feodorovna, formerly Cacilie Auguste (born at Karlsruhe 20 September 1839; died at Kharkov 12 April 1891), youngest daughter of Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden. Grand Duke Michael Nicholaievich died at Cannes 18 December 1909.
(Fourth Son of Emperor Nicholas I)
Czarevich of Russia, born at Peterhof 20 September 1843; died unmarried at Nice 24 May 1865.
(First Son of Emperor Alexander II)
General of Infantry of the Russian Army, Adjutant General, and historian, born at St. Petersburg 22 April 1847, married there 28 August 1874, to Maria Pavlovna, formerly Marie Alexandrine Elisabeth Eleonore (born at Ludwigslust 14 May 1854; died at Contrexeville, France 6 September 1920), eldest daughter of Friederich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich died at St. Petersburg 17 February 1909.
(Third Son of Emperor Alexander II)
Born at St. Petersburg 14 January 1850. The Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich is alleged to have contracted a marriage in Italy in 1870 with Alexandra (born at Dusseldorf 11 November 1842; died 26 August 1899), daughter of the celebrated poet Vassili Zhukovsky, by his wife Elisabeth von Reutern. The marriage, if it took place, was never recognised; and is said to have been annulled. There was however, one son of the union, Count Aleksei Aleksandrovich Believskoy-Zhukovsky, who married twice and left descendants. Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich died at Paris 27 November 1908.
(Fourth Son of Emperor Alexander II)
Born at Tsarskoe Selo 11 May 1857, married at St. Petersburg 15 June 1884, to Elisaveta Feodorovna, formerly Elisabeth Alexandra Louise Alice (born at Bessungen 1 November 1864; murdered by the Bolsheviks at Alapaievsk 17/18 July 1918), second daughter of Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was assassinated at Moscow 17 February 1905.
(Fifth Son of the Emperor Alexander II)
General of the Cavalry and Adjutant-General of the Russian Army, born at Tsarskoe Selo 3 October 1860, married first at St. Petersburg 17 June 1889, to Alexandra (born at Corfu 30 August 1870; died at Ilinskoie, near Moscow 24 September 1891), eldest daughter of George I, King of the Hellenes. Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich remarried (morganatically) at Leghorn 10 October 1902, to Olga, created Countess von Hohenfelsen by the Prince Regent of Bavaria 29 October 1904 and Princess Paley with the qualification of Serene Highness by the Emperor Nicholas II 28 August 1915 (born at St. Petersburg 14 December 1866; died at Paris 2 November 1929), formerly wife of Erich von Pistohlkors, and daughter of Valerian Valerianovitch Karnovitch by his wife Olga Meszaros. Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich was murdered at St. Petersburg 30 January 1919.
(Sixth Son of Emperor Alexander II)
Born at St. Petersburg 14 February 1850, married (morganatically) at Orenburg 1882, to Nadejda (born 1861; died 1929), daughter of Alexander Gustavovitch Dreyer, by his wife Sophia Ivanovna Opanovsky. For decades it was believed that Grand Duke Nicholas had been murdered by the Bolsheviks, but in 1998, the Russian Federal Prosecutors Office determined that he had in fact died of pneumonia on the 26 January 1918. He was buried in St George's Cathedral, Tashkent (later demolished by the Soviet regime) and despite the fact that the revolution had started, he received a state funeral as he was so admired by the local population.
(First Son of Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaievich)
General of Infantry Russian Army, born at Strelna 22 August 1858, married at St. Petersburg 27 April 1884, to Elisaveta Mavrikievna, formerly Elisabeth Auguste Marie Agnes (born at Meiningen 25 January 1865; died at Leipzig 24 March 1927), second daughter of Prince Moritz of Saxe-Altenburg, Duke of Saxony. Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich died at Pavlovsk 15 June 1915.
(Second Son of Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaievich)
Born at Strelna 13 June 1860; he was murdered by the Bolsheviks at St. Petersburg 28 January 1919. He was unmarried
(Third Son of Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaievich)
Born at Warsaw13 July 1862; died unmarried at St. Petersburg 27 February 1879.
(Fourth Son of Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaievich)
Nicholas Nicholaievich, Jr.
Viceroy of the Caucasus, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army 1914-15, born at St. Petersburg 18 November 1856, married at Yalta 12 May 1907, to Anastasia (Stana) (born at Cetinje 4 January 1868; died at Cap d'Antibes 15 November 1935), formerly wife of George Maximilianovich (de Beauharnais), Prince Romanovsky, 6th Duke of Leuchtenberg, and third daughter of Nicolas I, King of Montenegro. Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaievich, Jr. died at Cap d'Antibes 5 January 1929.
(First Son of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaeivich, Sr.)
Lt.-General and Adjutant-General of the Russian Army, born at St. Petersburg 22 January 1864, married at Peterhof 7 August 1889, to Milica (Militza) (born at Cetinje 26 july 1866; died at Alexandria, Egypt 5 September 1951), second daughter of Nicholas I, King of Montenegro. Grand Duke Peter Nicholaievich died at Cap d'Antibes 17 June 1931.
(Second Son of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaievich, Sr.)
An eminent historian, born at Tsarskoe Selo 26 April 1859; died (being shot in the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul) at St. Petersburg during the Russian Revolution 28 January 1919. Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich was unmarried.
(First Son of Grand Duke Michael Nicholaievich)
Born at Peterhof 16 October 1861, married (morganatically) at San Remo 26 February 1891, to Sophia Nikolaievna, created Countess de Torby by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg 1891 (born at Geneva 1 June 1868; died in London 14 September 1927), elder daughter of Prince Nicholas Wilhelm of Nassau, by his (morganatic) wife Countess Natalia von Merenberg (nee Pushkin). Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich died in London 26 April 1929 and is buried at Hampstead Cemetary.
(Second Son of Grand Duke Michael Nicholaievich)
Lt.-General and Adjutant-General of the Russian Army, born at Bielyi-Kliutsch,near Tiflis 23 August 1863, married at Corfu 12 May 1900, to Maria Georgievna (born at Athens 3 March 1876; died at Athens 14 December 1940), second daughter of George I, King of the Hellenes. Grand Duke George Mikhailovich was murdered by the Bolsheviks at St. Petersburg 30 January 1919.
(Third Son of Grand Duke Michael Nicholaievich)
Admiral of the Russian Navy and Adjutant General, born at Tiflis 13 April 1866, married at Peterhof 6 August 1894, to Xenia (born at St. Petersburg 6 April 1875; died at Wilderness House, Hampton Court, Middlesex 20 April 1960), elder daughter of Emperor Alexander III. Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich died at Roquebrune, Alpes-Maritimes, France 26 February 1933.
(Fourth Son of Grand Duke Michael Nicholaievich)
Born at Borjom, Georgia 7 October 1869; murdered by the Bolsheviks at Alapaievsk 17/18 July 1918. Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich was unmarried.
(Fifth Son of Grand Duke Michael Nicholaievich)
Born at Tiflis 28 December 1875; died unmarried at San Remo 2 March 1895.
(Sixth Son of Grand Duke Michael Nicholaievich)
Rear-Admiral Imperial Russian Navy, born at Tsarskoe Selo 12 October 1876, married at Tegernsee 8 October 1905, to Victoria Feodorovna, formerly Victoria Melita (born at Malta 25 November 1876; died at Amorbach 2 March 1936), formerly wife of Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, and second daughter of Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Great Britain and Ireland. Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich died at Neuilly-sur-Seine 13 October 1938.
(First Son of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich)
Major-General Russian Army, born at St. Petersburg 24 November 1877, married at Genoa 12 July 1919, to Zenaida Rachevskaya (born at Dvinsk 3 November 1898; died 13 December 1963). Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich died at Paris 9 November 1943.
(Second Son of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich)
Major-General Russian Army, born at Tsarskoe Selo 14 May 1879, married at Cannes 30 January 1921, to Maria Felixovna, formerly Mathilde Kshesinska (born at Ligovo, near Peterhof 1 September 1872; died at Paris 7 December 1971), daughter of Felix Krzesinski (W. Nieczuja), by his wife Julia. Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich died at Paris 30 October 1956.
(Third Son of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich)
Born at Ilyinskoie 18 September 1891, married at Biarritz 21 November 1926, (marriage dissolved by divorce 1937), to Anna Aubrey (born at New York 4 January 1904), third daughter of John Josiah Emery, of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich died at Davos, Switzerland 5 March 1942.
(First Son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich)
Born at Tsarskoe Selo 9 May 1871; died unmarried at Abbas Touman, Transcaucasia 9 August 1899.
(Second Son of Emperor Alexander III)
Nominated as Heir to the Throne 2 March and renounced it 3 March 1917, Knight of the Order of the Garter 1902, born at St. Petersburg 4 December 1878, married at Vienna 15 October 1911, Natalia, who assumed the title of Princess Brassow with the qualificiation of Serene Highness 1928 (born at Moscow 9 July 1880; died at Paris 26 January 1952), formerly wife of Sergei Ivanovich Mamantov, and previously of Vladimir Vladimirovich Wulffert, and daughter of Sergei Alexandrovich Cheremetevsky, by his wife Julia Viacheslavovna Sventizky. Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich was murdered by the Bolsheviks at Perm sometime between 18 and 28 July 1918.
(Third Son of Emperor Alexander III)