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Hello, I am Yelena Igorovna Grinkova, the Princess Scholar. The Daughter of Professor-Prince Igor Ivanovitch Gringkov and Princess Marie Isabel of Orleans. I an one of 10 children: Igor (1886), Elizaveta (1888), Ekaterina and George (1892), Ioann (1894), Peter (1896), Mikhail (1898), Ivan (1900), Xenia (1902).
I was born July 4, 1890. So it gives me a reason to love America. I love the ideals it stands for, and wish that Russia would incorporate some ideas into the government.
When I was 16, my papa sent me on a tour of America to further my education and get a glimpse of the world. However, the real reason was that several grand dukes proposed marriage and he wanted to get me out of their hands. I enjoyed the experience and when I got back I continued with my studies. I sneaked into University to listen to the professors lectures.
My papa and Mother do not like navigating court politics, so my brother and my sister and myself represent my parents at court functions. I try to be the princess and lady I am, but it is hard because of the pettiness. I hold my head up high and do my best to try not to have any angry outbursts. The Grand Duchess Vladimir, particularly gets on my nerves.
In the The Romanovs - One Last Dance Novel:
In Romanovs Last Dance, I am married to Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovitch, "Uncle Bimbo." We have five children (Alekei (1911), Sophia (1913), Cecile (1915), Alexander (1917), Igor (1919)), and another one on the way.
In 1908, I met Nicholas while I was studying in the park. He was with a companion who he sent away when he saw me. He was smitten, but I was harder to convince! I even ran away to my father's estate in the Crimea to try to avoid the Grand Duke's attentions. It took two years, but he managed to convince me to marry him. In 1910, I agreed to marry him.
We married with great ceremony, but we both would have preferred to have a small marriage ceremony. After the wedding I became Nicholas' research companion. We lived as quietly as we could, working together on his research and working on his pride - putting together an archive for Russia.
The war interrupted our lives. Nicholas became an aide-de-camp assigned to visiting the hospitals and was soon horrified by the war. He protested the war and was exiled for his views. I became a nurse on the front, so I could join him. I followed him into exile on our country estates. We sent our oldest children to Sweden to my brother and his wife who were charged to take care. During the war, Alexander and Igor were born. The birth of our brought joy in our lives, however there were dark days ahead.
The war started out badly, the Duma begged Tsar Nicholas to abdicate. However when the war started to turn around, the Tsar suspended his powers. My Bimbo, begged Nicholas to sign the document and submit to the newly forming constitution, which he did. I had hoped to have a role in forming the new constitution, as everyone knows I have a politically sharp mind, but was laughed out of the Duma.
After the war, Nicholas and I took the children out on a trip to America. I had enjoyed my experience and wanted to share it with everyone. We were gone for a two years, living in America like regular citizens. We traveled along the east coast, went to the Midwest and settled for a time out west. It was an eye opening experience for Nicholas and the children.
When we returned to Russia, there had been several many changes. One of which made Nicholas do back flips for weeks - Tsar Nicholas II had changed the succession by including the Countess Tarkhan and her children, putting the Vladimirichi farther down the succession.
Photo of Uncle Bimbo taken from Wikipedia.
Photo is Marion Breese, taken from my personal collection.
The Romanovs - One Last Dance
My Reference Books:
Damiana Manrique de Lara
Ileana of Romania
My Favorite Reads:
The Bull Among the Lilies
Zone : History
The Lion's Den
The Romanovs - One Last Dance