Today marks the Centenary of the Death of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, the Grand Duchess Vladimir, who died on this day in 1920. Born Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1854, she was the daughter of Grand Duke Frederick Francis II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Princess Augusta Reuss of Köstritz. In 1874, she married Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, the third son of Alexander II of Russia, getting the new Russian name of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. The couple had four sons and one daughter, Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna, and mainly resided at the magnificent Vladimir Palace in St. Petersburg, becoming the most prominent Society Hostess, often a rival with the Imperial Court. The Grand Duchess Vladimir was the last member of the Romanov Family to escape Russia, travelling to the Caucasus in her own train in 1917, and remaining in Russia, hoping to install her son, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich as the Tsar, until February 1920, when she finally fled to Venice, from there to Switzerland and then to France, where the Grand Duchess passed away, surrounded by her family, at her Villa in September.
The Grand Duchess had a magnificent collection of jewels, which were smuggled from Russia by a family friend, and included the Vladimir Sapphire Kokoshnik, the Vladimir Pearl and Diamond Tiara, the Vladimir Fringe Tiara, and Vladimir Emerald!