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Romanov Princess, 94, Dies

Published: January 16, 2001 (Issue # 636)


VALLEY COTTAGE, New York - Princess Vera Constantinovna of Russia, the great-granddaughter of Emperor Nicholas I and the last member of the Romanov family to be born in Russia, has died at 94.

She died of natural causes Thursday in her private apartment at the Tolstoy Foundation in Valley Cottage, New York, said Catherine Larin, a foundation administrator. She had lived in New York since 1951 and worked for charitable organizations, such as the Tolstoy Foundation, Larin said. She was also a devoted member of the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile.

According to the Romanov Family Laws of Succession, the princess inherited the legitimate claim to the Russian throne after 1989 but never took advantage of it and viewed others' attempts to do so with skepticism.

The youngest of nine children by Grand Duke Constantine, known in Russian literature as the poet "K.R.," and Princess Elizabeth of Saxen-Altenburg, Vera Constantinovna escaped with her mother and one brother from the Bolshevik Revolution to Sweden in 1918, said Xenia Cheremeteff of the Tolstoy Foundation.

Five brothers were killed in World War I, while her three other brothers died in the so-called Alapayevsk Mine Shaft Massacre, Cheremeteff said. The Bolsheviks threw the men, together with Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, into a mine shaft and bombarded them with hand grenades. According to legend, they did not immediately die, and local peasants heard them singing hymns.

From 1918, Vera was a stateless refugee. She never took foreign citizenship and never married, Cheremeteff said. Vera Constantinovna will be buried Monday in the Russian Orthodox Cemetery of Novo-Diveyevo in Spring Valley, New York.





 


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Friday, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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