December 12, 1912
Berlin, Dec. 12--A special dispatch from St. Petersburg today said it was learned from a reliable source that Czar Nicholas was preparing to issue a ukase depriving the Grand Duke Michael, his only brother, of military and other honors, because of his refusal to divorce his wife.
The Grand Ducke Michael married without the consent of his imperial brother, and the Czar declared that the woman was ineligible. At the time, the Grand Duke voluntarily renounced his rights to succeed to the throne in the event that Czar Nicholas died without male issue.
There was an unauthenticated story today that the choosing of an heir-designate to the throne of Russia was being discussed in court circles because the czarevitch was the victim of nihilism and could not succeed to the throne. It was said that the czarevitch was suffering from a wound inflicted by a trusted servant, who proved to be a Nihilist.
Romantic Story of Moscow Beauty's Rise to Shadow of Throne
The story of how the famous Moscow beauty, daughter of a Russian senator, became wife of the Grand Duke Michael, younger brother of Czar Nicholas of Russia, and as such came near to being Czarina, is one of the most romantic of modern times. Michael, in the course of his wild life, first at the Russian court of St. Petersburg and then at his estate in Oriol, met the charming woman, the wife of a Russian millionaire, and fell desperately in love with her.
His love was returned, and she immediately set about obtaining a divorce from her husband. However opposed to this the husband might have been, it is said, even so powerful a man as M. Mamontoff could not trifle with the affections of the Grand Duke, so the divorce, was arranged.
The lady had been too precipitate, however, for Michael was not yet ready to have the marriage with himself consummated so he prevailed upon an obliging young cavalry officer to marry her and then had the pair separated by having the officer's regiment transferred to a distant post.
The lady again took the initiative and arranged the second divorce, and in a short time after was married to the man of her choice. The marriage is morganatic, but this would not prevent the grand duke from giving her any position he chose. She is strong, unscrupulous and possesses remarkable fascination over all who come in contact with her. The control she is said to exercise over Michael is as astonishing as it is complete.