Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia - Later Life

Later Life

The family eventually left Finland and headed first to Coburg and then to Saint-Briac, France. Kira was born Princess Kira Kirillovna of Russia, but her father later gave her the title "Grand Duchess" when he declared himself Guardian of the Throne in 1924. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed Kira, high-spirited and straightforward, also had an even temper. She was intelligent, curious, and interested in the arts like her mother, with whom she worked in the art studio at Saint-Briac. Kira also frequently visited her cousins at various royal courts or attended house parties in the United Kingdom. Kira had some difficulty finding a suitable husband. She was interested in the hemophiliac Alfonso of Spain, Prince of Asturias, son of Alfonso XIII of Spain, but was disappointed when the prince showed more interest in one of the daughters of Prince Nicholas of Greece. Later, she was fond of Prince Constantine "Teddy" Soutzo, a Romanian aristocrat. Her cousin, Carol II of Romania, refused to permit the match for political reasons. Finally, Kira married Louis Ferdinand of Prussia in 1938. Louis Ferdinand worked with the underground against the Nazis, and, in the later years of the war, the couple was arrested and imprisoned at Dachau concentration camp, where they were rescued by American troops in 1945. They raised a family of four sons and three daughters in a village near Bremen, Germany. Her children were:

  1. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia (b. 9 February 1939)
  2. Prince Michael of Prussia (b. 22 March 1940)
  3. Princess Marie Cécile of Prussia (b. 28 May 1942)
  4. Princess Kira of Prussia (27 June 1943 – 10 January 2004)
  5. Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (25 August 1944 – 11 July 1977)
  6. Prince Christian-Sigismund of Prussia (b. 14 March 1946)
  7. Princess Xenia of Prussia (9 December 1949 – 18 January 1992).

After World War II, Kira was called upon to testify in the case of Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. Kira had met Anderson briefly in 1952 at the urging of her mother-in-law, Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia, who believed Anderson's claim. Kira was not convinced. She found the woman "repellent" and "not a lady" and incapable of speaking the cultured English used by her family. Kira had last seen Anastasia when she was a child of seven. Kira's uncle, Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia had been convinced Anderson was Anastasia, but her father and mother were unconvinced by Anderson's claim.

In later years, Kira was disappointed when her eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm, renounced his rights to the title and married a commoner. She also paid little heed to her health, putting on weight and suffering from high blood pressure in her fifties. She was in good spirits on a visit to her brother Grand Duke Vladimir of Russia at Saint-Briac in September 1967, where she ate well and dumped several spoonfuls of sugar into her coffee, commenting, "God forbid I should eat anything healthy!" That night, she suffered a heart attack and soon died.

Read more about this topic:  Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna Of Russia

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