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Prince George Galitzine

46 Fontanka

The Galitzine Family

The Mecklenburg-Strelitz Family






The Galitzine family is one of the oldest noble families in Russia, having appeared over 500 years ago.  The Galitzines can be directly traced from Gidimin - Grand Duke of Lithuania.  One of his ancestors, Prince Mikhail Bulgakov, got the nickname “Golitza” due to his habit of wearing an iron glove on one of his hands.  According to the legend, this is where the name ‘Galitzine’ ( Golitsyn) came from.
A note on the spelling, the family of Prince George Galitzine use the European spelling, whereas many transliterations of the name from Russian will write it as Golitsyn or Golitzin.
“Vir est Vis”, or "man himself is power”, is the Galitzine family motto.  Throughout history members of the family have seemingly tried to follow it, serving Russia faithfully and truly. Among the members of the Galitzine family, there were ministers, ambassadors, governors, marshals of the nobility, maids of honour, scientists, musicians, writers, patrons and collectors. 
The Galitzine family is closely connected with many noble Russian families, with the Rurik and the Romanov dynasty, and even with the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  There are four branches of the Galitzine family tree: Vasilievichi, Ivanovichi, Alekseevichi, and Mikhailovichi.  Prince George Galitzine’s line (1916-1992) goes back to Prince Alexei Andreevich Galitzine (1632-1694) – ancestor of the largest branch of the Alekseevichi.
In 1821 Prince George’s great-grandfather Vasili Sergeevich Galitzine (1794-1836), aide-de-camp to the Russian Emperor Alexander I, married Countess Aglaida Pavlovna Stroganova (1799-1882).  She was a granddaughter of Princess Natalia Petrovna Galitzine (1741-1837) who was the inspiration for The Queen of Spades in Pushkin’s tale.  Countess Stroganova was the owner of the large estate Mariino in the province of Novgorod (nowadays – the Tosno district of the Leningrad region), which was inherited by her eldest son Prince Pavel Vasilievich Galitzine and his descendants.
The youngest son of Prince VasiliGalitzine and Princess AglaidaGalitzine, Emanuel (1834-1892) served in the Life Guards Horse-Grenadier regiment.  Having retired, he was appointed as Marshal of the Nobility of the Novgorod-Seversky district of  Tchernigov province.  Prince Emanuel Vasilievich Galitzine married twice.  In his second marriage with Ekaterina Nikolaevna Gordeeva (1853-1888) he had four children, two of whom died at a very young age.  The remaining two sons – Nikolai (1879-1958) and Vladimir (1884-1854) became orphans at a very early age.  They were therefore brought up by their uncle Nikolai Nikolaevich Gordeev (1850-1906) and his wife Valentina Sergeevna (nee Ushakova) (1862-1931) as they had no children of their own.  Nikolai Gordeev held an appointment as vice-governor of Riazan, governor of the Polish town of Plotzk, and since 1903 governor of Kursk, where he achieved much in a short time.  After his death, Valentina Sergeevna left for The Martha-Mary Convent of Mercyfounded by Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna.  She handed down the estate Yakshino in Tula province to her nephews – Prince Nikolai Emanuelovich and Prince Vladimir Emanuelovich Galitzine. Valentina Sergeevna was treasurer to the Convent; after the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna’s death she became its prioress, and occupied this post till the closing of the Convent.
In 1907, Prince Vladimir Emanuelovich Galitzine graduated with honours from the Imperial Lyceum at the Moscow University.  He then moved to St Petersburg and enlisted as a volunteer in the Horse-Guards regiment of Her Majesty The Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna; soon he passed his exams and become an officer.  In 1913 he marriedCountessEkaterina Georgievna Carlow (1891-1940), the daughter of Duke George of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Countess Natalia Carlow.  (It should be noted that in 1916 the Duke's second  daughter Countess Maria Georgievna Carlow(1893-1979)married His Serene Highness Prince Boris Dmitrievich Galitzine (1892-1919), who was the Prince Vladimir Emanuilovich Galitzine’s third cousin).
Three boys were born into the family of Prince Vladimir Galitzine and Countess Ekaterina Carlow: Nicholas (Nikolai) (1914-1999), George(1916-1992), and Emanuel (1918-2002). On the eve of the World War I the commander of the Russian army Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich (Jr) invited Prince Vladimir Emanuelovich to become his aide de camp.  In autumn 1919 Prince Galitzine resigned as staff captain and emigrateв  from Russia to Great Britain together with his family.  Prince Vladimir Emanuelovich Galitzine and Countess Ekaterina Georgievna Carlow's descendants now live in Great Britain, Germany, and Canada.