Non-Dynastic Descendants of the Romanoff Family
While HIH Grand Duchess Maria and HIH Grand Duke George are the only two living members of the Russian Imperial House, there are many descendants of the Russian Imperial House alive today who are not dynasts.
The non-dynastic descendants of this illustrious family are spread all over the world. Although a few still speak Russian and are Russian Orthodox, as a whole they now have diverse nationalities and religious traditions. A number of them seek to honor their family descent by means of charitable endeavors in Russia.
As stated elsewhere on this website, during the monarchy the descendants of non-dynastic or morganatic marriages were not allowed to use the Romanoff surname, which was reserved for members of the dynasty. Such non-dynasts received new surnames like Yurievsky, Iskander, Torby, Paley and Brassov, as well as new coats of arms. The Revolution of 1917 ended the monarchy. Surviving dynasts fled into exile in the West, and most contracted non-dynastic marriages. Their non-dynastic sons and daughters then inherited the Romanoff surname under the laws of the western countries (such as France, Britain and in the United States) in which they were born – countries in which children take their father’s surname. The fact that in exile both dynasts and non-dynasts used the Romanoff surname caused confusion as to who were members of the Imperial House and who were simply descended from the Imperial House.
Immediately after the revolution, two members of the Nikolaevichi, the second most junior branch of the Imperial House, did not ask the head of the house for permission for marriage: H.H. Princess Nadejda Petrovna of Russia (who became Princess Nicholas Orloff), and H.H. Prince Roman Petrovich of Russia (who married Countess Praskovia Cheremetieff). Though these two new spouses were members of the highest Russian aristocracy, they were not of “equal birth” under the dynastic laws (that is, they were not members of a royal or sovereign dynasty) and therefore their children were never eligible to be members of the Imperial House.
The equal marriage laws of the dynasty made clear that Prince Roman of Russia’s two sons, the late Nicholas Romanoff (d. 2014) and his brother, Dimitri Romanoff were excluded from dynastic membership. Authoritative references books such as the “old” (that is, pre-1944) Almanach de Gotha and the Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels listed the two sons as non-dynasts. In a 1938 Declaration published with the permission of the head of the dynasty, Grand Duke Wladimir, and signed by the five deynasts most senior in the line of succession after Wladimir, the signatories stated definitively that Nicholas, Dimitri and the other non-dynastic sons alive in 1938 were not members of the Imperial House.
If they were not members of the dynasty, then what was their status in exile? In order to give noble (non-royal titles) to these non-dynasts and to try to counter their increasing use of the Romanoff surname, Grand Duke Kirill, Head of the Imperial House, decreed in 1935 that the non-dynastic (morganatic) wives and descendants of dynasts would have the title of Prince or Princess Romanovsky, hyphenated with the name of a former estate or the maiden name of the spouse. He also specified that the eldest male descendant of the non-dynastic marriage would have the right to the qualification of Serene Highness. Thus, the son of Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich became H.S.H. Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky (Ilyinskoe having been the Grand Duke’s family estate in Russia) and the wife of Prince Vsevolod of Russia became H.S.H. Princess Romanovsky-Pavlovsky (Pavlovsk being the Russian estate of Prince Vsevolod’s branch of the family). The surname “Romanovsky” (meaning “of the Romanoffs”) denoted kinship to the House of Romanoff, but not membership in it. In the 1920s and 1930s, all of the senior members of the Imperial House, such as the Grand Dukes Andrei and Boris Vladimirovich, Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich, the older sons of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, and the son and grandson of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich all sought and received permission for their non-dynastic marriages and received titles for their non-dynastic wives and children, titles granted by Grand Duke Kirill and Grand Duke Wladimir. These new titles were acknowledged by the Almanach de Gotha and other reference books. In 1951, Grand Duke Wladimir issued a further edict confirming the noble title of Prince or Princess Romanovsky to the non-dynastic spouses and descendants who had not specifically received these noble titles in the 1920s and 1930s.
The Non-Dynastic Descendants of the Romanoffs:
The following is a list of the non-dynastic descendants of the Imperial House alive today.
They are listed according to their genealogical seniority, and are identified here by the noble non-Imperial princely titles created for them either by Grand Duke Kirill or by Grand Duke Wladimir, the recognized successive Heads of the Imperial House. Those whose antecedents did not request new names or titles at some point are recorded with their current civilly legal surname of "Romanoff". As non-dynasts, none of these people listed have the right to the titles of Prince or Princess of Russia (Princess or Princess of the Imperial Blood), which is reserved exclusively for dynastic members of the Imperial House.
The title of "Prince Romanoff" or "Princess Romanoff" used by some never existed during the monarchy and is awkward -- akin to calling somebody “Prince Windsor” or “Archduke Habsburg.”
Male members are listed in bold, female members are listed here in accordance with their father’s precedence, spouses and living widows are not listed.
HSH Prince Dmitri Pavlovich Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, b. 1954
Princess Catherine Dmitrievna Romanovskaya-Ilyinskaya, Mrs. Goodyear b. 1981
Princess Victoria Dmitrievna Romanovskaya-Ilyinskaya, Mrs. Binda b. 1984
Princess Lela Dmitrievna Romanovskaya-Ilyinskaya, b. 1986
Prince Michael Pavlovich Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, b. 1959
Princess Alexis Mikhailovna Romanovskaya-Ilyinskaya b. 1994
Princess Paula Pavlovna Romanovskaya-Ilyinskaya, Mrs. Comisar b. 1956
Princess Anna Pavlovna Romanovskaya-Ilyinskaya, Mrs. Glosinger b. 1959
HSH Prince Hans-George Alexandrovich Yourievsky, b. 1961
Daughters of the late Nicholas Romanovich Romanoff, d. 2014
Natalia Nikolaevna Romanoff (now Sig. Consolo), b. 1952
Elizaveta Nikolaevna Romanoff (now Sig. Bonacini), b. 1956
Tatiana Nikolaevna Romanoff (now Sig. Tirotti), b. 1961
Prince Andrew Andreievich Romanovsky b.1923
Prince Alexis Andreievich Romanovsky b. 1953
Prince Peter Andreievich Romanovsky b. 1961
Prince Andrew Andreievich Romanovsky b. 1963
Princess Natasha Andreievna Romanovskaya b. 1993
Princess Olga Andreievna Romanovskaya, b. 1950 (Half-sister of Prc. Andrew Andreievich, b. 1923)
Tatiana Mikhailovna Romanoff, b. 1986 (The natural daughter of Prince Mikhail Mikhailovich Romanovsky, b. 1959 later adopted by her grandfather, Prince Mikhail Feodorovich Romanovsky b. 1923)
Princess Irina Feodorovna Romanovskaya, Mme. Soulas b. 1934
Princess Stephena Alexandra Rostislavovna Romanovskaya, Mrs. Boggess b. 1963
Princess Alexandra Rostislavovna Romanovskaya b. 1983
Prince Rostislav Rostislavovich Romanovsky b. 1985
Rostislav Rostislavovich Georgante, b. 2013 (The natural son of the unmarried Prince Rostislav Rostislavovch, b. 1985.)
Prince Nikita Rostislavovich Romanovsky b. 1987
Prince Nicholas Rostislavovich Romanovsky, b. 1945
Prince Nicholas Nikolaevich Romanovsky, b. 1968
Prince Daniel-Joseph Nikolaevich Romanovsky, b. 1972
Princess Madison Daniilovna Romanovskaya, b. 2007
Prince (Jackson) Daniel Daniilovich Romanovsky, b. 2009
Princess Heather Noel Nikolaevna Romanovskaya, Mrs. Munao b. 1976
Princess Marina Vasilievna Romanovskaya, b. 1940