Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia

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Today mark the 60th Anniversary of the Death of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, who died on this day in 1960! The elder daughter and fourth child of Tsar Alexander III of Russia and Princess Dagmar of Denmark and the sister of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Grand Duchess Xenia grew up at the Gatchina Palace, educated by private tutors with a special emphasis on the study of foreign languages, studying English, French, and German alongside cookery, joinery, and making puppets and their clothes for their theatre. She also enjoyed horseback riding, fishing, drawing, gymnastics, dancing, and playing the piano. In 1894, just months before her father’s death, Grand Duchess Xenia married a cousin, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia, with whom she had seven children, including Princess Irina Yusupov, the wife of Prince Felix Yusupov, the eclectic Heir of a very wealthy noble family who murdered Rasputin. The family resided in St. Petersburg and in a villa in Biarritz, where both the couple had affairs, and though they remained married they lived apart for the rest of their lives. Grand Duchess Xenia founded her own charity, the Xenia Association for the Welfare of Children of Workers and Airmen, and was active in charity work before and during the First World War. The family spent most of the Russian Revolution at their estate in the Crimea, from where they were evacuated by a British battleship in 1919. Grand Duchess Xenia settled in England, where she was given the use of Frogmore Cottage, now given to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, before moving to Wilderness House on the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, where she passed away on this day in 1960.

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