Princess Andrew Romanov of Russia Frogmore Cottage 1928 Antique Signed Letter


Charming signed letter from Princess Andrei of Russia, born Elisabetta Ruffo-Sasso dei duchi di Sasso-Ruffo dei principi di Sant' Antimo  (1886–1940). The letter is addressed to her daughter Elisabeth Frederici in Teneriffe discussing family affairs, accompanied by its original envelope and an original photograph of the Princess.

"My dear Betty,

I received your two letters and kiss you very much for them. I didn't reply earlier because there was so much commotion here, with my own return home, and then the children al jostling about and running to and fro - the Grand Duchess returned, Vasili also came - well there you go - I sat down twenty times to write to you, and every time someone or something got in the way. I still have your old sweater blouse here from before the operation, as well as some other things that you left behind like for example the Machado boxes - meant for sweets - but I still haven't yet managed to get to London in order to send them to you - I'll send them as soon as I go - I'll also send you a little present from us (I wish I could do more) - a  little package with a comb and hand mirror, all that I could get hold of in Windsor. Sandrik and I chose it all last Saturday - I thought that they might be useful for you, since yours is awful and as for a mirror, I didn't even see that you had one - I also got yu a miniature bottle of scent - cold cream and vanishing cream Ponds - and a small lipstick all I can do with my 'shpints'.

I send you my best wishes my dear for the upcoming Holiday and New Year - may the Lord preserve you and grant you health, wellbeing, wealth, and most important, Lasting Happiness. Andriusha also asks to send you a kiss and his best wishes, it is very, very, very sad and difficult that again this year we will be spending the holidays apart - I hope that will spend these holidays happily with Machado - At any rate you will be hotter than us and the sun will warm you up. We don't see it anymore here and although thank God there's not too much rain, it's cold all the same and very affable.

The operation was extremly unpleasant and I suffered very, very, very much, but now thank God, "it is a thing of the past" and I am better. My strength has not yet returned and the stitches ache now and then but after what I have been through this pain is a mere trifle. It turned out that I didn't only have lumps but also then different complications started - this was why it was so painful.

I will spend the holidays here with the children and after this I will go to Rome - last Sunday when Sandrik was here we celebrated his coming of age (21 years). He bought some wine and I added to this and it was a great time - Sandrik Volkov was here and Merika and we celebrated it early as now that the factory is open he cannot come any longer - it's very sad' neither of you will be with me.

Sandrk told me about your flirt on the steamer - was it serious? Or do you not think about him? Write and tell me my dear.

I now have to go to the house (first to settle down Bobby) and to say faewell to Mish  and Baba and to have lunch - I send you best wishes and kiss you and wish you all the best on earth - God bless you and guard you, and guide you all through your life.

The children kiss you, as does Sandrik. i kiss you affectionately and tenderly and love you.

Your loving Mama

P.S. Everything is as it was before, all the days are the same and there is nothing to tell you!!"

She married Andrei the eldest son of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia and Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia. It was during the Russian Revolution that  Andrei began a relationship with
Elisabetta, a young divorcée. They had met in St Petersburg in 1916. She was a daughter of Fabrizio Ruffo, Duke of Sasso-Ruffo and Princess Natalia Alexandrovna Mescherskaya (herself a descendant of a famous family of the Stroganovs). Elisabetta had a daughter (Elisabeth Alexandrovna Friederici) from her first marriage to Major General Alexander Alexandrovitch Friederici. When Elisabetta became pregnant, they married on 12th June 1918 in the family chapel at Ai-Todor in the presence of his family, including his grandmother the Dowager Empress.  Andrei was twenty one years old and his grandmother had thought him too young for marriage but his parents gave their permission.

Short of money and without a steady occupation, they eventually settled permanently in England at Frogmore, where his mother had a grace and favor residence named Wilderness House. They later moved to Hampton court. They were living there during World War II when Elisabetta, stricken with cancer, died during an air raid in October 1940. One bomb hit very close to their house knocking the ceiling beam down onto Elisabetta who succumbed to the injuries shortly thereafter.

Two years later, while staying in Balmoral, Andrei met his second wife Nadine McDougall. She was the eldest of the three daughters of Lieutenant Colonel Herbert McDougall and his Finnish wife Sylvia Borgstrom. They became engaged on 18th June 1942 and married at Norton, Kent church, near Provender on 21st  September 1942. The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated the Anglican service while the Russian Orthodox wedding was presided by Archimandrite Nicholas who, as Sydney Gibbes, had been tutor of the children of Tsar Nicholas II.

Envelope Size; 12 x 9.5 cm approx

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