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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.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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