Once a Grand Duchess: Xenia, Sister of Nicholas II
An important new archive of material including letters, postcards, photographs, and other Romanov documents allows a biography of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia (a member of the last Tsar family) to be produced. Sister of Nicholas II, Xenia was born in 1875 and brought up in the wealth of the Russian royal family, becoming a key witness to the tumultuous events within the Romanov empire. She saw her brother Nicholas' crowning as Emperor; the violent murder of Rasputin in which her son-in-law, Felix Youssoupov, was implicated; the 'terrible horror' as the first rumours of the imperial family's capture and death began to circulate; and the exile of family members, herself among them, throughout Europe. After Nicholas' abdication and violent death, only the repeated pleas of relatives abroad finally persuaded her to leave Russia. In her later years, Xenia became involved in the Anastasia affair, there was a swindle over the sale of her jewels, and she made unsuccessful attempts to recover Romanov money and land as one of the heirs to the Tsars.
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