Son of Alexander III, the emperor of Russia, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich refused to accept the throne unless Russians were allowed to decide if they wanted the monarchy or a republic. Both Michael and his British secretary, Nicholas Johnson, were arrested and shot to death during the Russian Revolution.
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Emperor Alexander III, was a sickly but studious child. After leaving her first husband, who was homosexual, after a 15-year unconsummated marriage, Olga married Nikolai Kulikovsky and later fled with him and their children to escape the Russian revolution.
Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova was the daughter of Frederick William III, King of Prussia, and Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She had a difficult childhood and lost her mother when she was just 12. She married Nicholas I, who later reigned as Emperor of Russia. The couple had a happy marriage that lasted till Nicholas’ death in 1855.
Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia was the youngest child of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia and Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Her marriage was arranged with Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, and the wedding took place in 1902. The couple had three daughters. The duchess became involved in charity work later in life.
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia had been raised as a refined young woman, well-versed in drawing, piano, and gymnastics. Daughter of Tsar Alexander III, Xenia was also fond of writing. Her diary mirrors her thoughts about various topical events. She also devoted herself to charity during World War I.
The third wife of King Henry I of France, Queen Anne of Keiv ruled France as a coregent of their minor son King Philip I until her controversial second marriage to Count Ralph IV of Valois. Also the founder of Abbey of St. Vincent, Senlis, she signed royal charters in Cyrillic, one of which is held in French National Library.
The first wife of Emperor Peter I of Russia, Eudoxia Lopukhina was chosen by the emperor’s mother as his bride when the emperor was 17. Unfortunately, the marriage ended disastrously, and her husband left her for a mistress. After the emperor’s death, she was imprisoned in a dungeon before being released later.
Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia was the daughter of Nicholas I of Russia. An art collector, Maria served as the president of the Russian Academy of Arts. She was married to Maximilian de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg from 1839 until his death in 1852. In 1854, Maria married Count Grigori Aleksandrovich Stroganov.