Grand duke 1878-1918
Nicholas II’S youngest brother Michael followed his heart stubbornly. With a history of inappropriate romantic choices in both commoners and first cousins, the objects of his affections were kept under surveillance by the Tsarist secret police, the Okhrana. Michael then fell for another commoner, the wife of a fellow cavalry officer, Natalia Sergeyevna Wulfert.
Kept in a St Petersburg apartment at his expense and carrying his son, the pair married in Vienna having given their Okhrana minders a different destination for their holiday. Michael was banished from Russia and forced to live on a stipend from his brother.
A portrait of State Council Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich Romanov