Imperial Dancer: Mathilde Kschessinska and the Romanovs
Mathilde Kschessinska (1872-1971) is well-remembered for two things – as the first great Russian Prima Ballerina, and for her affair with the future Tsar Nicholas II. As a young ballerina she caught the eye of the young Nicholas, and it was rumoured that he had a secret passage built linking her house to the Winter Palace in St Petersburg so he coul... Little Mother of Russia
Empress Marie Feodorovna, the 'Little Mother of Russia', was the last but one Empress of Russia. Born Princess Dagmar of Denmark in 1847, she was the second daughter of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, who became King of Denmark in 1863. Of her siblings, one brother was chosen as King of Greece, and her favourite sister Alexandra married the future King Edward VII of England. In 1864 she was betrothed to the sickly Nicholas, heir to the throne, wh...