15 March 2007

The Death of Her Serene Highness, Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna of Russia

The Death of Her Serene Highness, Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna of Russia

On 28 February/13 March 2007, in Uruguay, Her Serene Highness, Princess of the Imperial Blood Ekaterina Ivanovna died at the age of 92.

Her Serene Highness was born in Pavlovsk on 12/25 July 1915. Her parents were Prince of the Imperial Blood Ivan Konstantinovich and Princess Elena Petrovna (a princess of the Serbian royal house). Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna’s father was executed by the Bolsheviks at Alapaevsk, together with his brothers, Prince Konstantine Konstantinovich and Prince Igor Konstantinovich, Royal New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fedorovna and the nun Barbara, Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich, and Prince V. P. Paley.

Princess Elena Petrovna tried up until the last moment to save her husband, and was herself the victim of political repression. She was spared execution thanks to the efforts of diplomats and was able to leave Russia, which had become consumed by civil war.

The young Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna and her older brother, Prince Vsevolod Ivanovich, were taken abroad prior to all this by their grandmother, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna, the widow of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (the poet otherwise known as “K. R.”).

In 1937, Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna married morganatically an Italian, Ruggero, Marchese Farace di Villaforesta. In accordance with the laws and traditions of the Russian Imperial House, before the marriage the princess requested the permission of the Head of the Dynasty, the Emperor-in-Exile Kirill Vladimirovich, and on 4 August 1937, the princess signed a formal renunciation of her rights to the succession to the Imperial All-Russian throne.

On the princess’s wedding day, 15 September 1937, Emperor Kirill Vladimirovich issued a decree preserving for Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna, Marchese di Villaforesta, the title of Princess of the Imperial Blood, along with all the rights that belong to members of the Russian Imperial Family, except for the right of succession to the throne, which Her Serene Highness had already and of her own free will renounced.

From her morganatic marriage with the Marchese R. F. de Villaforesta, Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna had three children: Nicoletta, Fiametta, and Marchese Giovanni. The marriage ended in divorce in 1945, and Her Serene Highness never remarried.

After the death of her aunt, Princess Vera Konstantinovna, in 2001, Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna became the last member of the Russian Imperial House outside of the senior line of the dynasty. With her death is extinguished the royal line descended from Grand Duke Konstantine Nikolaevich, the second son of Emperor Nicholas I the Ever-Memorable.

Her death reduces the membership of the Russian Imperial House to only three persons:

  1. The Head of the Russian Imperial House, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna, born in Madrid on 10/23 December 1953.
  2. Her Imperial Highness, Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna (widow of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich), born in Tbilisi on 23 September/6 October 1914.
  3. His Imperial Highness, Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich, born in Madrid on 28 February/13 March 1981.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.