Wikipedia’s disgraceful censorship

 

I have intensively been working for the past few days on several articles for Wikipedia on Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow and the Royal House of Anjou-Durassow. The articles were thoroughly researched and had many references and footnotes and were a team work of  a group of very serious and committed historians and journalists working together to try and prove  what is known as the Survival Theory of the Russian Imperial Family. Our only interest is to uncover the truth, whatever this truth is.

Thus my articles were not biased and my only intention as an author and an amateur historian, in this particular case, was to shed light on this very fascinating and controversial character who has been slandered,  after his death, without shame and mercy by people that have written articles in Wikipedia.

An encyclopedia such as Wikipedia that is based on additions of contributors  is very interesting if it allows freedom of speech and other contributors are not allowed to practice censorship and vandalize articles.  A few contributors with an obvious hidden agenda ganged against me by calling me a SERIAL HOAXER, deleted my articles and It is an absolute disgrace that a contributor  is allowed to do so without contacting the other first and discussing whatever points might be contentious in order to clarify any possible misunderstanding or  possible erroneous information.

To add insult to injury all editions that I have done to articles with no connection to the above mentioned articles have also been deleted without any consideration to the data or the facts and without giving me the opportunity to explain myself and my research.

This is cultural bullying  and it goes against free speech. I am lost for words at such antics worthy of a regime such as North Korea!

The truth about Prince Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow, Duke of Durazzo

Alexis de Anjou 001His Royal Highness Prince Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow, Duke of Durazzo

In this month of March that we commemorate the One Hundred Anniversary of the Abdication of Nicholas II to the Russian Throne, I cannot stop thinking about a person that, I believe, would have had a significant role in all the controversies still going on, with respect to the true fate of the last Imperial Family of Russia.

Now, let me explain who was  this singular person, who circulated among the aristocratic circles of Madrid during the eighties and early nineties, and  whose fascinating claim was taken very seriously by many; especially by those with links to some of the European Royal houses that lived or came frequently to Spain.

He was charismatic, educated and charming and used to introduce himself as Prince Alexis D’Anjou-Durassow, Duke of Durazzo. According to his narratives, he was direct descendant of Tsar Nicholas II, since her Grandmother was Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanov, third daughter of the last Tsar and therefore he was the Head of the Russian Imperial Family. This statement bought him many problems within his family.

I met Alexis in 1979 after my dear friend Prince Sergei Nazarewicz, whose family originated from the Ukraine, received a Manifesto in which he, Alexis, proclaimed himself Volodar (King) of the Ukraine.

Fascinated by history as I am, and especially about the Russian revolution and its aftermath, I arranged to meet Prince Alexis. I wondered if indeed he was related to the Russian Imperial Family, and especially how his grandmother Maria Nikolaevna had been able to escape from Russia. By that time I had already read the book “The File on the Tsar”, not only in its English version, but also in the Spanish version published in 1978. British journalists Anthony Summers and Tom Mangold suggested -after a long and professional investigation that lasted six years-,that it was possible that the Tsarina Alexandra and her children were able to escape and therefore, did not die in July of 1918.

I had always believed and still do to this day, that Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan was the real Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia; whatever the conclusions of the DNA tests as this tests can be fabricated. In fact the 1994 DNA results have since been challenged by many scientists around the world. According to one of her biographers, Peter Kurth, author of Anastasia, the Riddle of Anna Anderson, “The DNA tests that were done in 1994 are no longer accepted as reliable. But aside from that — I knew her too well to accept on faith arbitrary (and actually dubious) tests that contradict every other scrap of evidence that we have. Anyone who knew her (really knew her, I mean) knows that she was not “pretending” anything. Also, though she became increasingly “eccentric” and at the very end suffered from dementia (was it’s Alzheimer’s? — it was never officially diagnosed), there was never a single crack in her personality.”

http://www.forensicmag.com/news/2015/02/dna-evidence-can-be-faked

Our first meeting was at his  home. Alexis lived in a small but elegant apartment in Madrid’s posh barrio de Salamanca, filled with family portraits and Russian memorabilia. Many more meetings followed. Some were dinners at friend’s houses, others were at my own house. I especially recall inviting him and his mother, Princess Olga Beatrice Dolgoruky to several of the dinner parties and equestrian events I organized in those days. When we met, he was known as His Royal Highness Prince Alexis D’Anjou Dolgoruky. He had proclaimed himself Volodar (King) of the Ukraine with the support of members of the Orthodox Church of the Ukraine before the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Both he and his elegant mother, Princess Olga Beatrice were fascinating people and blended perfectly in the high society life of those interesting years in Europe. Both were fluent in several languages, including Russian, but French was their preferred form of communication.

Prince Alexis has a great presence and he was unnaturally formal unless he felt comfortable enough to speak freely and then he was relaxed and candid in his manner.  He was particularly knowledgeable of the ins and outs of all the Royal Families of Europe. He referred to the members of these families by their nicknames and spoke of them with great familiarity.  In those days after his auto-proclamation as Volodar of Ukraine in exile,  he had already divided Madrid society in two, with one half supporting his claims and the other proclaiming him a fraud.

He was always extremely poised and until he felt comfortable enough to speak freely, he was unnaturally formal.  Very knowledgeable of  the ins and outs of all the Royal Families of Europe, he always referred to the members of these families by their nicknames and spoke of them with great familiarity.  In those days after his auto-proclamation as Volodar in exile of the Ukraine, he had already divided Madrid society with a part supporting his claims and others proclaiming him a fraud. The fact is that controversy was a constant companion in his life.

I never believed he was an impostor, not even after the publication of the Spanish edition of his book in Spain in 1982,  “Yo, Alexis bisnieto del Zar.” in which he claimed to be a Romanov. In the book that became an editorial success , Alexis claimed that his grandmother Maria had revealed that she was in reality not Countess Cecilia di Fonso but Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Nicolaievna Romanov, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II.

EARLY YEARS

Alexis was born on 4 May 1946 in Costermansville (now present day Bukavu, Republic of Congo). There has always been a lot of disinformation about his true date of birth. He himself  claimed in his book that he was born on May 6, 1948, although the truth is that he was born on the same day but in 1946.  All his life,  prince Alexis tried to hide the fact that Victor Brimeyer was his real father. This denial came out of shame because his mother was a teenager when she eloped with Brimeyer, an engineer from Luxembourg; a commoner with no royal blood or aristocratic background.  He even persuaded his mother to sign a sworn notarized affidavit in Belgium on the 7th February 1986, stating that though she was married to Victor Brimeyer at the time of his birth, the real father was Prince Basil d’Anjou-Durassow. This was blatantly untrue! Although they never had any contact, Victor Brimeyer haunted prince Alexis’ life.

The reality behind Alexis birth is the that Princess Olga Beatrice who was a beautiful, seductive and  free spirited young woman, had eloped and married Victor Brimeyer when still a  minor and without the consent of her parents in 1945.  Less than a year later and after Alexis’ birth, the  illegal union was legally annulled. After this scandalous affair, the Princess married Prince Basil d’Anjou-Durassow, born in 1887 and fourty years her senior. They were married in Rome on the 15th of April 1947 by the Archbishop of Minsk, Rizi-Rizki who was then living in exile in Italy. This marriage of convenience did not last very long either but it served its purpose as Basil d’Anjou-Durassow acknowledged Alexis as his flesh and blood.

IMG_2647H.R.H. Prince Basil d’Anjou-Durassow, Duke of Durazzo, Head of the Royal House of Anjou-Naples

IMG_2641H.R.H. Princess Olga Beatrice Dolgorouky at the time of her marriage to Prince Basil d’Anjou-Durassow in 1947

Thus, Alexis was brought up as heir to the Royal House of Anjou-Naples, a defunct royal house revived by a royal decree of King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1911 and ratified in 1916 by Tsar Nicholas II and King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. This decree  recognized Basil d’ Anjou-Durassow as the Head of the revived royal house .

On his mother’s side he was a Dolgorouky. His great grandfather was General Alexander Dolgorouky, Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Army with the support of the German Imperial troops in 1918. In fact, it was he who made the arrangements for Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna to be evacuated from Moscow in October of 1918. She was escorted by Ukranian officers during a train ride to Kiev, using fake documents under the name of a Countess Ceclava Czapska. Maria Nikolaevna arrived safe and sound to Ukraine and was a guest in the house of General Alexander Dolgorouky, where she was introduced to his son Nicholas Alexandrovitch and daughter Maria Alexandrovna Dolgourikaya. A few days later they departed to Bucharest, also accompanied by the husband of Maria Alexandrovna Dolgorukya, a Romanian prince named Vladimir Cantacuzene just days before Ataman Simon Petlioura invaded Kiev on January 2nd, 1919, and forced General  Alexander Dolgorouky into exile to Odessa where he was later murdered

Romance flourished between the Prince Nicholas Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna. While in Bucharest, living under the protection of Queen Maria of Romania, the couple decided to marry and continue their journey together. Relatives agreed and they were married in the chapel of the Royal Palace of Cotroceni, close to Bucharest on the 20th January 1919 in the presence of King Ferdinand II and Queen Marie of Romania. Days later they traveled to Serbia, under the protection of the King.  In 1920 they received Italian passports, sent from Rome through diplomatic pouch. Those passports provided the fake identities that they would use until the end of their lives.  The documents presented them as Count and Countess Di Fonso, and with those identities they traveled all over the world, had two daughters: Olga Beatrice and Julia Yolanda and were able to buy properties and lead a “normal” life.

300px-Ceclava_CzapskaH.M. Volodar Nicholas Dolgorouki of the Ukraine-Ruthenia and his wife who later claimed to be Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanov, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II.

On the 14th of March 1939, with the compliance of Nazi Germany, Prince Nicholas Dolgorouky, was proclaimed in Hust (Ruthenia),  king (Volodar) of the newly declared independent Ukraine-Ruthenia but the adventure lasted less than a week, when Hungary invaded the territory and annexed it. Prince Nicholas, a rabid anti-soviet had embraced Nazi Germany, (as many Russians and German Royals did in those days), as the last recourse to eradicate the Reds from their beloved homeland. After this failed attempt, the family escaped to Romania and finally settled in the Belgian Congo. It was into this background that Alexis was born in 1946.

Prince Nicolas DolgorukiThe exiled Volodar Nicholas with his wife Maria and their daughters Princesses Olga Beatrice and Julia Yolanda Dolgorouky

Prince Nicholas realized that his eldest daughter Olga Beatrice lacked maternal instincts and he wisely decided to take over the upbringing of the young prince, who was pampered from birth by his loving grandparents. He was named after the Tsarevich and his Godfather was King Carol II of Romania. According to his memoirs, Alexis’ childhood and adolescence were happy and spent in the family home, Villa Ukraine in present day Bukavu. Since he was practically raised by his grandparents he was widely known as Prince Alexis Dolgorouky. He grew up very close to them, who raised him with strict protocol and provided for him the best education. Alexis spoke fluent French, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, English and Spanish.

Shortly after the annulment of his mother’s marriage to Prince Basil, she married her cousin, Prince Igor Dolgorouky on 6 September 1948 in the Greek Orthodox Church in Albertville, Belgian Congo. This marriage was also short lived as well as the one that followed to Ferdinand Fabry in London on the 7th of September 1950.  Before her 24th birthday, Princess Olga Beatrice had been married four times!

During those years, the family traveled extensively to Italy, Portugal and the French Riviera. Also made frequent trips to the Egypt of King Farouk. The Egyptian royal family was very familiar with the situation of the Romanovs and always kept contact and provided support to its members in exile.  In public and among the royal families they were known as “the Di Fonso family”. After 1960, once the family returned to Europe, prince Alexis was sent to boarding school in France to further his education. He spent the next ten years surrounded by comfort and luxury; vacationing in the best resorts in Europe, but in that period of his life he did not have a close relation with his mother.

IMG_2651H.I.H Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanov and her grandson prince Alexis in Cannes 1960

On the 4th of May 1966, his twentieth birthday, Prince Basil of d’Anjou-Durassow abdicated his rights as Head of the House of Anjou-Naples and Prince Alexis became Duke of Durazzo and Head of the Royal House. That same day, he met Prince Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg who was a loyal supporter of not only Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna (Anna Anderson) but also of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna who lived in Menaggio (Italy) under the name of Marga Boodts. The day they met, according to Alexis’ memoirs was when Maria Nikolaevna revealed to him her true identity in  his presence and after that meeting he began to be introduced to other members of the family. He met Prince Felix Yussupov, and his wife Irina, as well as Prince Vladimir (Vova) Vladimirovich, the son of Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovitch Romanov and his wife the ballerina Mathilde Kschessinskaa.

IMG_2652Prince Nicholas Dolgorouky with his wife Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanov and sister in law, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov at the Eden Roc Hotel in 1958

IMG_2644H.I.H Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanov, Princess Dolgorouky in 1955

Suddenly, at the beginning of 1970, that world of comfort suffered a hard setback. During the last months of 1969, Prince Nicholas Dolgorouky had been attending some private “top-secret” meetings to discuss the “Affaire Anastasia.”  Both Maria Nikolaevna and her husband were very cautious to the point that they did not discuss anything even with their daughters.  On the 19th January 1970, Nicholas Dolgorouky, the ephemeral last Volodar of the Ukraine died in Brussels.  After one of those “secret meetings” and while driving back towards his home, he started feeling ill. He stopped at the house of his daughter Olga Beatrice, who took him to the hospital. After several days hospitalized and in an almost unconscious state, he died. Unfortunately, he was not able to reveal where the meeting had taken place or who had attended that last fatal session. All symptoms showed that he had been poisoned.  The family mourned and felt a tremendous fear.  From that day on, they felt at risk everywhere. In view of the circumstances the next  month Maria decided to make a civil and a dynastic testament. Shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer. She was devastated and she decided to move to Rome to be close to her sister Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, and await for the day she would be called by the Lord.  In her handwritten notarized dynastic will, prince Alexis was made universal heir with the name Romanov-Dolgorouky, but she asked that her dynastic will would only be revealed until ten years after her death.

IMG_2653The last picture of Volodar Nicholas of the Ukraine and his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanov, taken in Brussels shortly before his death on the 19th January  of 1970

New Years greeting letter from Their Majesties King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania to Prince Nicholas Dolgorouky and his family. Prince Nicholas had died two days before this letter was written. (Marie Stravlo collection- copyrighted)

Grand Duchess Maria died in Rome on the 1st of December 1970 and she was buried at Flaminio Cemetery in Rome. Prince Basil d’Anjou-Durassow, who had been in contact with Alexis throughout his life died in 1971. From that day on, Alexis was alone and he soon made the first of many tactical mistakes.

Tumba Gran Duquesa Maria, RomaThe grave of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanov in Flaminio Cemetery (Rome)

THE GREEK MISADVENTURE

After the death of his grandmother Maria Nikolaevna, Alexis felt practically lost. Prince Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg tried to introduce him to some of his friends so that he would receive company and economic support. One of the biggest problems was his economic situation that was really precarious. Several members of royal houses of Europe provided to cover his expenses. He knew that he had to respect the “ten year period” before going public as a descendant of the Romanov Dynasty. He made then a series of mistakes that proved to have  very negative repercussions for Alexis’ image.

The first was when he accepted the invitation from the fascist General Stylianos Pattakos to travel to Athens on the 28th of January 1971. The historical background of this case is very important to understand the situation in which Alexis was entangled.  On the 21st of April 1967, Colonel Giorgios Papandreu headed the military coup d’etat that took advantage of the volatile political situation that had arisen from a conflict between King Constantine II and the aging former prime minister, Georgios Papandreu. From the onset, the relationship between King Constantine II and the regime of the colonels was an uneasy one. The king of the Hellenes finally decided to launch his counter-coup on 13 December 1967 but it failed and on the following day he left Greece with the Queen and their children never to return as king.

In early December 1970, there were two factions within the military rulers of the Greek Junta that ruled Greece with an iron fist. One wanted the immediate proclamation of a republic while the other, of which General Pattakos was its leader, was seeking for the restoration of the monarchy with a new dynasty.  On the 21st February of 1971, General Pattakos arranged for Prince Alexis to be registered in the Athens Town Hall as a step to be de iure a Greek national. His presence in Athens, though secret, obviously reached King Constantine II and thus the rest of the royal houses of Europe who were all in favor of the return of King Constantine and democracy to Greece. Prince Alexis’ presence in Greece alienated him with the people he would most need for his future. The poor prince, inadvertently had become a pawn in the power struggle between the two factions of the  Military Junta and he would soon suffer the consequences. This situation caused a fracture between prince Alexis and the royal houses of Greece and Spain, since Queen Sophia was sister of the Greek monarch.

On the 21st March of 1972, Colonel Papadopoulos, the strongman of the Junta, proclaimed himself Regent of Greece with the intent of eventually proclaiming the republic with him as President. Colonel Ioannis Ladas with the pro-monarchist faction in the Junta planned another coup to oust Papadopoulos, assassinate him  and proclaim Alexis as king. The Secret Services discovered the plot and a purge of the army followed. Prince Alexis was “invited” to leave the country which he did on the 20th of July 1972. The Greek adventure ended in failure. It was the first great mistake of Alexis’ life but it would not be his last.  This misadventure was the first excuse that Alexis gave his enemies to start the campaign to discredit him. Unfortunately he would repeat the same mistake again.

SELF PROCLAIMED VOLODAR OF THE UKRAINE AND THE PUBLICATION OF I, ALEXIS GREAT-GRANDSON OF THE TSAR

From Greece, Alexis flew to Portugal as a guest of his godfather’s widow, Princess Elena of Romania (Magda Elena Lupescu, third wife of King Carol II of Romania).  He lived with her in Estoril for some months, and then decided to move to Madrid in early 1973. Prince Alphonse of Bourbon-Dampierre, cousin of King Juan Carlos of Spain, who was married to General Franco’s granddaughter, Carmen Martinez-Bordiu, had arranged a residence permit for him in Spain.

In November of 1976 an organized movement called the Ukrainian Public Group to Promote Implementation of the Helsinki Accords was established in Kiev and was  formed by poet Mykola Rudenko and nine other persons concerned with the violations of rights in Ukraine. By the end of the decade, of the 33 members of the group, only six were in freedom, the others had either been arrested, granted visas to the West or resigned. Sometime in 1979 concerned by the terrible Soviet repression and with the support of  the Metropolitan of the Carpatho-Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Church in America, Archbishop Ambrosij,  prince Alexis made the second error of his life by auto-proclaiming himself Volodar of the Ukraine following the footsteps of his grand father. His intentions were noble, for he felt that the Ukrainian people should not be alone in their struggle. He wanted to lead them to a free world and help them seek new ways of spotlighting their plight. Also, to support them in their aspirations to regain freedom and independence. Though made with the best of intentions and the welfare of the Ukrainian people in mind, it did not achieve anything but negative publicity. In my opinion he should have returned to the Ukraine immediately after its independence in August 24 of 1991. Then he could have lobbied for the restoration of the monarchy as a unifying force and a national symbol of statehood as the Bagrations did in Georgia at the same time. There, the restoration of a constitutional monarchy is still a possibility.

In 1976, BBC journalists Anthony Summer and Tom Mangold published their bestseller “The File on the Tsar”, after five years of investigations. They traveled extensively and interviewed many people with deep knowledge of the whereabouts of the Imperial Family of Russia, including members of royal houses like Lord Mountbatten, Vladimir Kyrillovich, prince Frederick  of Saxe-Altenburg, and Prince Sigismund of Prussia. They tracked down witnesses and long-lost documents. The search led to Moscow, Tokyo and Washington and their persistence finally paid off when they found at Harvard Houghton Library, a suppressed bulk of documents not included in the  official dossier on the murder of the Imperial Family written by investigator Sokolov in 1924. – Their book “The File on the Tsar” concluded that the public was fed a lie and, that at least, the Romanov women were evacuated “alive” from the Ipatiev House. They did not die at Ekaterinburg, but became pawns in an international power game, involving Lenin, the Kaiser, the British Royal Family and British Intelligence.  Summers and Mangold’s book, published in 1976 confirmed to Alexis what he already knew, but he still had to wait four more years until 1980 to divulge to the world that his grandmother was Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanov. It was then when he started considering publishing his memoirs. He discussed the possibility of the publication of his book with members of the Romanov family and with prince Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg who had been a staunch supporter of the surviving Grand Duchesses. Every one of them, including his mother princess Olga Beatrice and his aunt princess Julia Yolanda tried to persuade Alexis to wait. His Russian Romanov cousins were completely aware of his  existence as well as of his desire to make such a publication. Some of them advised not to publish, others suggested to include some changes, beginning with the title of the book. They did not really want these family secrets revealed because some people that had been involved were still alive. But stubborn as he was, he went ahead with his plan to publish.

On the 16th of January of 1980, prince Alexis granted an interview to Spanish royalist newspaper ABC who was sympathetic to his cause and to the theory of the survival of the Imperial women as per the investigations of Summers & Mangold.  Unfortunately for his cause and under pressure from his enemies, ABC became their voice and turned against him in a savage and cruel way.

H.R.H Prince Michel of Orleans, Count of Evraux and H.R.H Prince Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow who presided the ceremony of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem at Blois Cathedral in France in 1987

The book was first published in France. As expected, it caused enormous speculation and sensation and opened the door to more controversy and more attacks against the prince. Alexis used the book not only to reveal his grandmothers true identity, but also her dynastic will by which he was appointed by her as Tsarevich or Tsar in waiting and the Head of the Imperial House of Russia. The following year the book was published in Spain, stirring even more controversy, as it was the country where Alexis lived.

H.R.H Prince Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow and H.H Prince Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg in Madrid in 1980

To me, the book despite its gaps, was a re-confirmation of what Grand Duchess Anastasia (Anna Anderson) had told Anthony Summers and Tom Mangold, during her bizarre interview. The authors of the bestselling book: The File on the Tsar say  that she refused to talk, but when they were leaving she exclaimed, “There was no massacre there….but I cannot tell the rest.” So if there was no massacre, then at least the Tsarina and the four grand duchesses survived as the research of Summers and Mangold suggests. This is also maintained by historians such as Marc Ferro, Michel Wartelle and Marie Stravlo who are to this day dedicated to uncovering new evidence that will prove this plausible theory.

We all know the fact that in 1992, the UK-based Forensic Science Service worked with the Russian authorities to try to identify the alleged remains of the Romanovs using forensic techniques. DNA-based sex testing and a DNA profiling technique called ‘short tandem repeat analysis’, which looks at repeated patterns of DNA sequences, proved that the bodies came from a family group. Forensic scientists used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which they use when only minute amounts of DNA are available, or when the DNA samples have been degraded by time, to analyse DNA samples from the bones. These were compared with relatives of the Romanovs, including Prince Phillip (Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II), and the scientists concluded that there was a 99% probability that the skeletons were those of the Romanov family.

In 1993, I personally wrote a letter to prince Alexis encouraging him to also run DNA tests, using his blood and some hair samples that he had from his mother and grandmother. In 1994 he started the procedures. His representative in London, Sir Frank Peters contacted Dr. Pavel Ivanov and Dr. Gill. Alexis choose a laboratory in Madrid and provided the samples; but sadly he became very ill after he submitted the samples and died soon after. I really don’t know what happened to those samples or if they were tested in England. What I know is that in 2004, scientists from the USA argued against the results from the UK Forensic Science Service, based on an analysis of the DNA from the preserved finger of Tsarina Alexandra’s sister, the Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna. They suggested that the people who handled the alleged bones of the Romanovs in Russia probably contaminated the samples from the grave-site, perhaps intentionally. In any case, I have done some research on DNA and it is known currently that it is possible to fabricate DNA in a lab. That absolutely leaves the door wide open to further investigation in spite of the efforts of the Kremlin and Europe’s Royal Houses to put this historical enigma to bed, once and for all.

Maria-Nicolaevna-RomanovPrince Alexis better than anyone, knew the laws of succession to the Russian Imperial throne, known as the Pauline Laws.  We discussed them many times and I remember telling him that even if his grandmother was Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, he had no claims to the Imperial throne. He was not happy with my views and he claimed that he did have the rights as Tsar Nicholas II had amended the Pauline Laws in 1906 in view of the ill health of his heir, Tsarevitch Alexei. According to prince Alexis this amendment meant that in the case that the Tsar died without male heirs the throne would go to the eldest surviving female line closest to the last Tsar. Alexis’ interpretation was incorrect since even today, I have never found any documents substantiating this amendment. In any case, in those days it was impossible to know if he was right or not but the reason for my argument was that the Pauline Laws made very clear that a woman descendant could claim her rights to the Throne of Russia only in the absolute absence of male members of the Imperial Family of Russia to succeed. These  laws were implemented by Tsar Paul I in 1797.  This meant that even if the survival of the Grand Duchesses was one day accepted as a historical fact, Alexis could never be the Head of the Russian Imperial Family because there were Romanov princes descended from lateral male lines that would always have more rights than him. He also knew the Act of Abdication of the late Tsar Nicholas II in favor of his brother the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich and the later resignation of the latter transmitting the rights of the Family to the decision of the Constituent Assembly (Sobranich).

The publication of the book  made him two new powerful enemies: The Romanoff Family Association and Grand Duke Vladimir Kryllovich Romanov who also lived in Spain and claimed to be the Head of the Family, a claim that was not accepted by either Alexis or the Romanoff Family Association who never recognized the title of Grand Duke that was used by Vladimir until his death.

The book was the excuse his enemies had to go to work together in an effort to totally discredit him through the press in a smear campaign that included disinformation, slander and lies. A campaign that reminded me of the dirty antics used against Grand Duchess Anastasia by her enemies during the longest running court case in German history to date. He was called an impostor and anything that could hurt him was published: Victor Brimeyer, about his mother’s many marriages and the Greek episode, all had negative impact.  He was even accused of name appropriation in the French courts by Grand Duke Vladimir when Alexis’ book was published in France. This case was won by Alexis and it was a sweat victory, when Vladimir was condemned to pay Alexis for the damages.

During the following years prince Alexis maintained his dignity and kept fighting to prove  the truth. He had been told by his grandmother Maria Nikolaevna, that the Vatican had helped them during the negotiations to obtain their liberation. It was also the Vatican who provided some protection during their lives in exile. It was necessary for his cause to find some documents that would proof such divine intervention. The person with more experience and contacts was undoubtedly prince Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg, and he asked him to do so. During 1982 the old German prince started his investigation with even more interest and desire to discover the whole truth. As I mentioned before, he had been in contact with all three sisters, Grand Duchesses Olga, Maria and Anastasia during many years. He focused then all his attention in a place full of secrets: The Vatican.

In conversations with high ranking members of the Holy See, Prince Frederick managed to get bits and pieces of a fascinating story. Prince Alexis told me that he used to inform him on the progress. He contacted somebody that would provide excellent information; somebody from the very inner circle of Pope Pius XII: Mother Pascalina Lehnert, the nun that was the governess to the Pope for over forty years. She had been his shadow; knew everybody and everything that was going on at the Vatican. The information that she provided was mesmerizing.

It was at that same time that Alexis asked for help from another friend, Fray Fernando Lamas, a friar living in Rome at the Monastery of Saint Giovanni Decollato. Fray Lamas also visited Mother Pascalina and gathered new information from her. After that first interview with the nun, he wrote a long dossier to Prince Alexis with every detail of the meeting. Now he knew who helped his grandmother, and about the meetings of Maria and Olga Nikolaevna with Pope Pius XII. He also knew about the existence of documents in the Vatican archives, some of which he was able to acquire and include in the new edition of his book that would be published in Italy.

On November 13, 1983 during a trip to Vienna, Austria, Mother Pascalina died. The next day the news was reported around the world and on the 15 of November, the most important newspapers in Rome published with headlines the statements made by Pascalina about the survival of the Romanov women and the news was picked up by the world press. Alexis was delighted but most of Europe’s royal houses were upset by the leak of what they considered a family secret and a discreet campaign of damage control was launched.

It was during this turmoil in the press that I received a phone call that politely suggested that my social standing could suffer if I would continue my acquaintance with prince Alexis. Unfortunately, being young and insecure, I ceased my contact with the prince, something that to this day I regret wholeheartedly as had I continued my acquaintance with him, I have no doubt that I would have had the opportunity to investigate further and would have had access to a treasure cove of important documents and testimonies that supported prince Alexis’ claims.

I now know, thanks to the excellent investigations of journalist and author, Marie Stravlo, that most of those documents, contained in seven bulky folders, were handled by Prince Alexis in November of 1993 to the Russian Ambassador in Madrid, to be considered by the special commission conformed in Russia. The same special commission that was investigating the murder of the Imperial Family and had requested the DNA tests of the alleged bones of the Romanovs discovered in 1991. As I mentioned before, I encouraged Prince Alexis to perform DNA tests of himself and his mother (who at that time was still alive) and his grandmother.  He had a representative in London, who contacted Dr. Gill and Dr. Ivanov who were at the Aldermaston Institute. There exist documents and testimonies about such actions.

THE SERBIAN FIASCO

On the 9th February of 1992 in a contortion of the Yugoslav political scene, the Spanish conservative daily ABC reported that a Serbian delegation headed by Milan Babic, president of the Autonomous Serbian Republic of Krajina, a territory in Croatia with a strong Serbian majority and by Vojislav Seselj, president of the Serbian Radical Party and commander-in-chief of the Chetnik guerilla forces, was due to visit Spain momentarily to meet with Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow, to offer him the throne of Serbia! The visitors were members of a Serbian extremist faction.

With the exception of Babic and Seselj the delegation was made up by people known for their extreme nationalism and aspirations for “Great Serbia”, or the incorporation to Serbia of all the territories of the former Yugoslav republic with a Serbian majority. Thus a Serbia which would include a good part of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo. Further, Milan Babic and Vojslav Seselj opposed the UN peace plan for Yugoslavia and the presence of the “Blue Berets” in territories with a Serb majority in Croatia.

Rade Atic, publisher of the Yugoslav opposition magazine “ON” and a member of the delegation, said that the purpose of the visit to Spain “was to offer the Serbian crown to  Prince Alexis d’Anjou.” According to the magazine’s article of the 10th January of 1992, “there has been much well-founded excitement generated in Serbian circles in the last few weeks on the subject of Prince Alexis II Nemanitch Romanov Dolgorouky, Grand Master of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.”  Well-founded because “Prince Alexis is undoubtedly the descendant of the glorious Serbian Tsar as well as of the famous royal family Nemanitch”. For Mr Rade Atic and Mr Borivoje Borovic, after two months of research which included the examination of many documents, genealogical tables and correspondence, had come to the irrevocable conclusion that Prince Alexis II is the descendant of glorious Hrebeljanovic Nemanitch and great grandson of Nikolaj II Tsar of Russia. In another part of the article the magazine stated that, “the Serbian connection comes through two marriages. The first, was that of Jelisaveta, daughter of Dragutin Nemanitch, with Etien Kotormanic. Their granddaughter, also named Jelisaveta, married Louis I d’Anjou, King of Hungary. The father of Prince Alexis II is a direct descendant of that marriage. The other connection comes through the great grandmother of Prince Alexis II, Princess Cleopatra Dabic Kotromanic, who was the descendant of Prince John, married to Maria, daughter of Tsar Lazar.” Further along the article, we learn that “many Serbs want” Prince Alexis II to accept the crown and that Serbia will soon become a monarchy. Prince Alexis II, however “will accept only under the condition that it reflects the will of all Serbian people including the Serbs who are now in Bosnia, Croatia,Slovenia etc.”

Alexis confirmed that he had been in touch for the last six months with Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic who favored a restoration of the monarchy. He recognized that there was a wide difference of opinion between Milosevic, who accepted a UN role, and Babic, who did not. Milosevic allegedly told Alexis that he would like to make use of him in some way in an effort to find an honorable “way out” but that he was, in the final analysis, responsible for the war. Once again he was used as a pawn in a power struggle but he did not realize it and the only reason I can think for this terrible judgement mistake is that he was by then so disenchanted with his life of a prince without a country that he decided to play along. This mistake would destroy the little credibility that he had and his reputation with the other European royal houses left beyond repair.

Two days later, on the 11th of February 1992 in a private ceremony that took place in the Parador Nacional de Monte Perdido in Bielsa (Aragon), Alexis solemnly accepted the crown of Serbia. According to ABC,  in his acceptance speech he made an allusion to God and referred to a “Great Serbia” which would include all the territories of the former Republic of Yugoslavia.  He also stated that his heart bleeds for the suffering of the Serbian people and made reference to several of his ancestors among which were the Serbian Nemanitchs, Serbian Tsar Lazar his great grandfather twice removed and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia his great grandfather. He promised to undertake to assume his obligations as “Prestolonaslednik and Great Voivod of Greater Serbia and of all Serbian lands.” The Spanish paper concluded that Alexis in reality was accepting the crown of a huge nonexistent Serbia whose borders he claims were those of 1918.

Evidently Alexis never traveled to Belgrade to sit on the Serbian throne! After this fiasco, he had no chance whatsoever to be accepted into the “Royal Club,” as all its members  rallied in support of His Royal Highness Prince Alexander Karageorgevic  and looked aghast at the pantomime. They had done the same during his Greek ill-fated adventure.

PRINCE ALEXIS’ OBSESSION WITH BEING ADOPTED

To try and analyze the psyche of another human being is a mission better left to professionals. In my limited understanding, I must suppose that Alexis’ obsession with being adopted by different father figures came from the lack of having that figure in his otherwise happy childhood. He hardly ever saw his “official” father, prince Basil d’Anjou-Durassow, who was of a similar age as his grandfather Nicholas Dolgorouky. Indeed,  prince Dolgorouky was the most positive male influence during his growing up years.

Adoption by Prince Nicholas Louise d’Anjou-Durassow

On the 1st November of 1979, Alexis was adopted by his cousin Prince Nicholas Louis d’Anjou-Durassow. The document states that “the undersigned Nicholas Louis Durassow, Prince d’Anjou Durassow, by these presents adopts his well-beloved cousin H.R.H. Don Alexis Dolgorouki d’Anjou-Durassow, prince d’Anjou-Durassow, Duke of Durazzo, stateless and under the protection of the Spanish state with identity document N.93.315, born in Bukavu, 4 May 1948, only son of my deceased Cousin and head of our family Prince Basil d’Anjou- Durassow, Duke of Durazzo (1887-1971).” The document concludes that Nicholas Louise authorizes his adopted son and heir as of the date, to style himself in Spain using the traditional and complete form of the name as recognized by King Alfonso XIII: “Durassow d’Anjou-Durazzo”.

One would ask why would prince Alexis need his cousin to adopt him? Why was he craving for such a recognition that he did not need? I can only speculate that the reply lays in the insecurity that he felt due to the fact he knew that his biological father was Victor Brimeyer and this was something totally traumatic and unacceptable to him.

Request of adoption to Prince Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg

In 1982 prince Alexis asked Prince Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg to adopt him with the excuse of obtaining German nationality. The German prince not only declined the request, but also gave serious advise to him concerning his responsibilities and his behavior. Prince Frederick came from a German royal family with strong connections with all the royal houses of Europe. He was loved, respected and considered a scholar in royal genealogy and European History. His dealings with Alexis were causing concern to some of his friends and relatives. Prince Alexis did not like nor understood his refusal and their relationship was hurt but after a short rift, they went back to their old warm relationship.

Adoption by Prince Bruce Alphonse of Bourbon-Condé

On the 3rd of February of 1984, Prince Bruce Alphonse of Bourbon-Condé, who three months later married Princess Olga Beatrice, officially adopted Alexis and authorized him to use the name of Bourbon-Condé. This is probably one of the most bizarre episodes in Alexis’ tragic life and unheard of in royal circles where the members of the different royal families only uses the surname of the father. From that day onward he would style himself as Prince Alexis d’Anjou Bourbon-Condé and Romanov-Dolgoruky, Duke of Durazzo.

Her Royal Highness Princess Olga Beatrice Dolgorouky with her son Prince Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow, Duke of Durazzo at the time of her marriage to Prince Bruce Alphonse of Bourbon-Condé.

EPILOGUE

Princess Olga Beatrice died on the 18th of May 1994 and was buried in San Sebastian (Spain). Her demise was another big blow for Prince Alexis. Despite their cold relationship during many years, when she became the widow of prince Bruce Bourbon-Condé, she moved to Madrid to be close to her son. They lived in the same building and kept a close contact. Mother and son were starting to grow a bond when she was diagnosed with cancer. After her death, Prince Alexis became ill and very depressed. His few loyal friends tried to distract him.  He was unable to work or carry out any political activities. His only goal was to demonstrate who he really was using scientific evidence. He never knew what happened with all the documents that he sent to Russia in November of 1993, to be studied by the commission. He had big hopes on the DNA testing, but his condition worsened; by the end of 1994 he was very weak. Forgotten by his Ukrainian supporters and ostracized by the European Royal Families and Madrid society, he died in great solitude on the 27th of January 1995 at the Hospital de la Princesa in Madrid supposedly from a double brain tumor. Some friends and acquaintances attributed his passing to pneumonia, others said it was a heart attack and many believed he was the victim of systematic poisoning.  Before he died he was able to make a testament by which he appointed Regent of the Neapolitan Royal House of d’Anjou-Durazzo and Lieutenant Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of the Ecumenical Knights of Malta O.S.J, his aide Emilio Lobera, Baron of Lobera. To this day Emilio Lobera is active in his mission to preserve the legacy of this tragic twentieth century prince, who during the course of his life never really found an identity with which he identified and felt at ease.

In my opinion, Alexis should have only been known as prince Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow, Duke of Durazzo. I know for a fact that this was the advice he received from some of his influential friends in Spain which he did not follow.  Sadly for him, he was not very good at heeding advice.

Had the Ukrainian people  decided the return of the monarchy, as was his pretension, at that time he could have changed his name to Dolgorouky (his mother’s name).  When his grandfather, Prince Nicholas Dolgorouky  died in 1970 he passed the rights to the throne of Ukraine to Alexis. After that day, he started to be known as Alexis d’Anjou-Dolgorouky which could be acceptable, especially in Spain where everyone, by law, uses both parents surnames.

The later addition of Romanov to his name, was in my view another judgement mistake, though it had been his grandmother’s will that he do so. It is unheard of in royal families to do such a thing because as I previously mentioned, all members of royal families only use their dynastic family name!

The cherry on the pie which discredited him further and gave his enemies the argument that he was an impostor suffering from folie de grandeurwas when he added to the long list of dynastic names,  Bourbon-Condé.

One can understand that being legitimate is essential for a member of any royal family but prince Alexis, though genetically the son of Victor Brimeyer, was not illegitimate. It is vital to understand this. He had been recognized by his official father, prince Basil d’Anjou-Durassow as his son and heir. On his mother side he was a member of the House of Dolgoroukov, an old Russian princely family that was a cadet branch of the Obolenskys. Sadly for prince Alexis, the shadow of Brimeyer would haunt him all his life and in my opinion it is the cause behind this absurd obsession of adding dynastic names to d’Anjou-Durassow as part of his quest for the recognition he so much craved.

The smear campaign against  prince Alexis continued well after his death and sadly with the advent of the World Wide Web his enemies made sure that his name would remain in the mud for generations to come by publishing different negative articles with the knowledge that he could no longer defend himself. I think that for history’s sake, it would be good to set the record straight through further scientific investigation and leaving aside personal feelings as he is no longer a threat to anyone’s interests.

In spite of the controversy that followed most of his decisions, Alexis had a kind nature and was a refined man of aristocratic manners. Highly cultured and with a great sense of humour, he was also very stubborn as Taurus are and in his own way quite a rebel. A true gentleman in the most ample concept of the word. With the perspective of time, I feel honoured to have been able to share some time with him and regret my erred decision not to have continued my acquaintance with him which could have very well ended in sincere friendship. May his soul rest in peace.

H.R.H Prince Alexis d’Anjou-Durassow ( Madrid 1985)

CONCLUSIONS

After many years of study and talks with specialists on the this fascinating mystery, I have come to the conclusion that the fate of the Romanovs could very well be included in a book titled One hundred years of deceit. I still ask myself why isn’t the truth allowed to resurface as all the main characters in this drama are deceased? Why is it still necessary to maintain the charade of the Ekaterinburg  murders?

I am convinced that the grand duchesses and the tsarina survived Ekaterinburg. I am now also certain that prince Alexis was not an impostor but a victim as was Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan (Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikoliaevna).

I have just found out that prince Alexis suffered the same hereditary malady as the tsarevitch, Alexei Nikolaevich: hemophilia. For some reason he hid this from everyone  with the exception of just very close friends. This is further proof of his Romanov connection.

I hope that some of the historians that are dedicating their lives to investigating the theory of the survival of the Imperial family and very specially, my friend Marie Stravlo, will soon publish a detailed account of the fate of the four beautiful grand duchesses. I know for a fact that she has interviewed people all over the world with amazing stories and connections to the truth, and has thousands of documents to support the real version of what really happened in Ekaterinburg in 1918.

And to conclude this article, let us go back to the Pauline Laws and to who is the Head of the Russian Imperial Family in 2017. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in favour of his brother Grand Duke Michael who was proclaimed “Emperor Michael II,” to Russian troops and in cities throughout Russia, the new Emperor deferred to the will of the people and acknowledged the Provisional Government as the de facto executive, but neither abdicated nor refused to accept the throne. In his statement he said:

“Inspired, in common with the whole people, by the belief that the welfare of our country must be set above everything else, I have taken the firm decision to assume the supreme power only if and when our great people, having elected by universal suffrage a Constituent Assembly to determine the form of government and lay down the fundamental law of the new Russian State, invest me with such power.
Calling upon them the blessing of God, I therefore request all the citizens of the Russian Empire to submit to the Provisional Government, established and invested with full authority by the Duma, until such time as the Constituent Assembly, elected within the shortest possible time by universal, direct, equal and secret suffrage, shall manifest the will of the people by deciding upon the new form of government.”

As I have mentioned, the Pauline Laws  provide for succession by both male and female dynasts and they establish male-preference primogeniture.  This means that succession to the throne (or headship of the dynasty) passes by primogeniture to the senior male dynast.  At the death of the last male dynast, the succession passes to the female dynast most closely related to the last emperor.

For nearly two centuries, from the accession of Emperor Paul I in 1796 to the death of Grand Duke Vladimir in 1992, male dynasts held the throne or headship of the dynasty, based on primogeniture.  Due to the numerous non-dynastic marriages that occurred after the Revolution of 1917, the male dynasts of the Imperial House grew smaller in number as the years passed and finally died out in 1992.  The last living male dynasts were Prince Vassily of Russia who died in 1989 and Grand Duke Vladimir Kyrillovitch who died in 1992.

According to the Russian Legitimist Organization, as there are no male dynasts, the succession to the headship of the dynasty has passed to Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna.  She is the surviving female dynast most closely related to the last emperor, Tsar Nicholas II (or Michael II), but The Romanoff Family Association is not in agreement with this point of view or this interpretation of the Pauline Laws.

http://www.russianlegitimist.org/

http://www.romanovfamily.org/

I attended the same school in Madrid that Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna went to, and have had the honour of knowing her since those days. I was invited to the baptism of her son and heir, Grand Duke George. I only have praise for her and her work on behalf of the monarchy in Russia. In March 2013, her claim was recognized by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia and this has drawn further supporters among Russians to her cause and the possibility of the restoration of the monrchy. In an interview, the patriarch firmly rejected the claims of the other Romanov descendants and stated, “Today, none of those persons who are descendants of the Romanovs are pretenders to the Russian throne. But in the person of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son, George, the succession of the Romanovs is preserved — no longer to the Russian Imperial throne, but to history itself.”

http://www.imperialhouse.ru/en/

 

 

 

 

Does Vladimir Putin know the true fate of the Russian Imperial Family?

History  is re-discovered and re-written from time to time as it should be when historians and investigators make discoveries that question accepted facts. Could the true fate of the last Romanov Tsar and his family be one of them?
A few days ago an article was published mentioning  the profound interest that President Putin has shown in the re-investigation of  the disappearance of Tsar Nicholas II ‘s  and his family. His government created a new commission of experts and former President Dimitri Medvedev hand picked  the historians and scientist that would work together with members of the Orthodox Church in the supposedly final investigation. They have worked for over a year with no results yet, at least not announced. But why would this new investigation be necessary? Why all the doubts after they announced in 1994 that the remains had been properly identified using DNA from royal relatives? Those remains were buried at the Cathedral of Peter and Paul and many members of the Romanov Family attended the ceremony. Then, what is wrong in this case?
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According to a Facebook page with thousands of followers from around the world, the true fate of the last Imperial  Family of Russia was very different to what has been accepted for almost a century.
The page of The Russian Imperial Family Historical Society (RIFHS) http://www.facebook.com/RUSSIAN-IMPERIAL-FAMILY-HISTORICAL-SOCIETY-281626701958649/ is visited every day by hundreds of Romanov fans; some attracted by the romantic stories of the family, others with real historical interest because they  believe that there are many facts that have not been revealed yet.
After the disappearance of the Romanovs in July of 1918, several articles in prominent newspapers outside of Russia reported them as “alive and in hiding”. Even the mother of the Tsar, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, repeatedly affirmed till the last day of her life in 1928 the her son and his family were alive, living in hiding and surrounded by loyalists. She never  went into mourning and remained in high spirits during the months following the alleged murder. The “official version” of the murders was published by investigator  Sokolov in 1924, and from that moment on it was accepted as the truth, although serious historians, forensic experts and Romanov scholars have contested his findings and disputed his shallow arguments.
minnieDowager Empress Marie Feodorovna on board HMS Marlborough on her way to exile.
In 1992, after the discovery of some putative bones of the Romanovs was announced, the Orthodox Church inside Russia raised their concerns, and so did a group of scholars and amateur historians from twelve different countries that have continued investigating this case in depth, visiting public and private archives, and gathering documents, letters, photos and testimonies in different languages and from truth worthy people.
In 1998, the Russian government announced the burial of the bones that had been identified as those of Nicholas II and four members of his family. Two skeletons were missing.  When the state funeral of the so called “Romanov remains” took place,  the Orthodox Church refused to participate. Alexei II, then Patriarch of Russia did not attend the ceremony and a few days before appeared on national television explaining the reasons why him and his group of investigators did not believe those bones belonged to the Imperial Family. During seventeen years they continued asking for a new investigation, especially after the surface of forty four bone fragments that were discovered and also identified as those of the missing skeletons.
final_burial_01Burial at the Crypt of St Petersburg’s st Peter and Paul Cathedral on July 17th 1998
Finally, in 2015 the Russian government ordered the  re-opening of the investigation. The director of the State Archive A. Mironenko agrees  that is necessary to take into account all the historical documents. This is the same claim that a group of dedicated  historians in Ekaterinburg, led by Professor Veniamin Alekseev, have made since many years.
But there has also been keen interest in the west. In 2010 I became aware of the existence of several historians in Europe and in the USA that firmly believe that the truth about the fate of the Romanovs has not been told, yet. They are very excited about this new chance to scrutinize what has been told and written and reveal to the world the other story that has been banned to the public.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to discover the truth and set the record straight. Scientific proof is highly important. I believe DNA tests are crucial and must be taken into account; but also historical documents and lots of circumstantial evidence should be examined”. Said Marie Stravlo, an investigative journalist, author and translator that is now leading the RIFHS. I  met her in Spain several years ago during one of her many  research trips .
She started her own investigation in 1998 after receiving privileged information about the true fate of the Romanovs by a member of the Imperial Family of Germany, whose parents had strong blood ties with the Romanovs. Since January of 2009 Stravlo has been completely devoted to a full time investigation with amazing but controversial results. That same year she met other investigators that shared information and documents, and joined the Russian Imperial Family Historical Society. After traveling to nine countries on several occasions, and interviewing members of royal houses, other Romanov scholars, historians, authors and  people with amazing knowledge of the story, she is absolutely convinced that there is ” another story, the real story”, that has never been told with regard to this case.  During seven years she gathered not only stories about the members of Nicholas and Alexandra’s family that were never told before, but also photos, documents, testimonies and letters, hundreds of letters that could expose a different fate of the Imperial Family.
marieMarie Stravlo
I have always had a core believe, from when I was a teenager, that Anastasia Manahan was Grand Duchess Anastasia and  the story has always fascinated me. When I met Marie Stravlo and she kindly shared some of her findings, I was so impressed that I wanted to write a historical novel. She agreed to cooperate and allowed me to use the story about a lost Romanov Icon that belonged to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, daughter of Tsar Paul I.   The book, published in 2012 under the titled THE LOST ROMANOV ICON AND THE ENIGMA OF ANASTASIA,
http://www.thelostromanovicon.com/  refers to the religious relic, but also to the case of Anna Anderson, providing information and documents which prove that she was Grand Duchess Anastasia. It is also an eye opener to all this case.
Marie Stravlo has published three books related to the topic. Another is ready to be published  in 2017 and is working around the clock on a new biography of the Romanov women that will surprise the world.
I am very  pleased  because she agreed to work with me on the sequel to The Lost Romanov Icon.
It is very possible that President Vladimir Putin knows the truth. As a former KGB agent he might have had access to classified information from the Cheka, the acting secret police when the Romanovs disappeared. Cheka files are still classified, despite the many years that have passed and the requests by historians to read their content. President Putin  is waiting  for the final conclusion of  the team of investigators appointed by the government, to prove one version or the other, and close the case forever.
“I believe that the people of Russia deserve to know the truth. It’s Russia’s past. It’s Russia’s history. But also the rest of the world needs and wants to know what happened in Ekaterinburg, at the Ipatiev House, during the night of July 16-17, 1918, once and for all”. Said Marie Stravlo when I met her, and I fully agree with her.
If the Romanovs were rescued and survived, what happened to them?  I have had lengthy talks with Marie Stravlo and I think she will soon have most of the answers which I trust she will reveal  in her future publications; or perhaps we all will have to wait until the Russian government and the Orthodox Church announce their findings and close this fascinating case forever.
I personally have concluded that the Imperial Family did survive and I trust that this fact will be finally revealed and history re.written.
Interesting Facebook page on Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicolaievna   https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=anastasia%20romanov%20manahan%20historical%20society

We must help save Tibet from total assimilation by China.

I am writing this post from Dharamsala (India), the seat of the Tibetan Government in exile. Two days ago I participated in the 57th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against the Chinese occupying forces. The passion with which Tibetans of all ages , many of which have been born in exile, marched peacefully chanting  vigorous slogans demanding the United Nations to take action and save their beleaguered nation, impressed me greatly.

IMG_5254__1457793919_182.75.173.178Tibetans peacefully and freely commemorating the 57th Anniversary of the Uprising against the Chinese in Dharamsala (India).

On the 20th,  close to 160.000 Tibetans living in exile in over 32 countries will vote on a second round to choose  their democratically elected Prime Minister and whomever is elected has a crucial role to play in the saving their country from total assimilation by China.

IMG_0238With Dr Lobsang Sangay, current Sikyong of Tibet in exile (Prime Minister)

IMG_0241Mr Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan parliament and opposition candidate for the post of Sikyong

In contrast, the reality for close to six million Tibetans living in Tibet alongside over eight million ethnic Chinese is dramatically different. The Tibetans in Tibet have no freedom of movement to travel even within the country,  they have no freedom to practice their religion without the scrutiny of Communist officials, possessing a Tibetan flag or a photograph of the Dalai Lama or the Karmapa Lama is considered a most heinous crime and lands the perpetrator in jail where he or she will be submitted to torture and a lengthy sentence. The brutality of the Chinese invaders has no limits as can be seen by the following video:

The Chinese are not allowing tourism into Tibet as they do not want any witnesses to their savage repression. Just to mention some examples, Tibetans are segregated in schools  from the Chinese and children now barely know how to write their own language.  A Chinese worker gets paid double the salary than a Tibetan one for the same job though only good jobs are available to ethnic Chinese or Tibetan collaborators. The Tibetans are also discriminated in their access to the health system and according to the Tibetan Government in Exile, women are forcibly sterilized and even forced to have abortions and mixed marriages are encouraged.  According to international think tanks, Tibet is the most repressed country in the world behind Syria. It is actually a police state.

The following images speak for themselves:tibet

2012_China's_Agreesive_Violence_Against_Tibetan_People_中國極權暴力血腥攻擊西藏_-_圖博人

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It is clear that the long term strategy of the Chinese occupying government is the total assimilation of the Tibetans and the disappearance of their unique culture and way of life. This is clearly Cultural Genocide.

The tragic self-immolations of 144 desperate Tibetans since 2009 has not served any purpose in advancing the terrible plight of Tibetans but has been used as anti Tibetan propaganda by the cruel Chinese regime and regrettably the Western press relegates these incidents to a foot note in their  newspapers and magazines, if at all, but the reality is that Tibetans are so desperate about their plight and lack of basic freedoms that they take these sort of desperate actions.

images

So the question is what is the best way forward. His Holiness The Dalai Lama, though now retired from active politics has marked the path through the Middle Way approach by which Tibet would have genuine autonomy within the Chinese constitution  but the reality is that the Chinese government is just playing a waiting game. They believe that as the Dalai Lama is 80 years old they only need to be patient and the circumstances will play in their favour to achieve their long term goal of total assimilation.

Both candidates to Prime Minister, advocate His Holiness’ Middle Way approach and do not seek total independence, though many voices specially from the impatient young Tibetans want a more violent approach and desire total independence. They lack, in my view, any pragmatism  though their frustration is totally understandable. That is why, it is my believe that the newly elected Prime Minister must take a more aggressive approach towards finding a solution.  I see as a  first step  that as soon as he takes office, he requests from a  friendly government such as India or the United States that they host direct talks with no preconditions between His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama and the President of China, with the Prime Minister of India or the U.S President as moderators in the talks depending which country is hosting them.

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The Dalai Lama is recognized world wide as a statement of impeccable integrity: a man of peace, and though retired from politic because of his stature, what he can achieve no politician whoever seasoned can. Once they sit face to face, there is a  very good chance that the Chinese will see that His Holiness is a sensible man whom they deal with and definitely is not the problem they consider he is but in fact is the only the solution to their quagmire. All talks held until now between envoys of both sides have been just another strategy by the Chinese in their game  and have  been exclusively used by them as a propaganda tool.

A master stroke by His Holiness was the crowning of Laghyari Trichen Wangchuk as the XVIIIth Lhagyari King of Tibet in Dharamsala, thirteen years ago at the age of twelve.  His father,  King Lhagyari Trichen Namgyal Gyatso, spent two decades in prison after the Chinese invasion and died in Dharamsala after he was released having served in the Tibetan government in exile. The XVIIIth  descendant of a lineage of Kings is another proof of Tibetan sovereignty whatever argument the Chinese might use and this is not counting previous dynasties of Tibetan Kings. The young King is currently living in the US and is mentored by the Dalai Lama. He travels the United States and gives talks at different universities about the plight of his people though bears not even an iota of hatred towards the Chinese.  I have no doubt that this bright young man will be called when the time is right to play a pivotal role in the future of  his country and that is obviously for me, the reason behind His Holiness official recognition.

general-banki-moonKing Lhagyari Trichen with General Banki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations in New York

Tibet is now at a crossroad and its very survival is at stake. There is no time to loose. I trust that the Tibetans in exile will choose whom they consider the best candidate as Prime Minister to act on their behalf and save their countrymen inside Tibet from total assimilation. If a solution is not found, when His Holiness is no longer with us, Tibet will explode and undoubtedly their will be a blood bath. Sadly the severe repression that will follow will mean the annihilation of the Tibetan’s dream for freedom.

China plays with all the cards in their hand and is not prepared to loose, but there is a factor that in their pride and vanity the Chinese communist regime, that sees itself as eternal, has not taken into account and that is that no regime on earth has lasted: not those of antiquity and not those of the modern era, the latest example the collapse of the Soviet union. History is there to proof it and China will be no different. China has changed so much during the last decades and the economical reforms of the regime have created a thriving middle class that will be its Achilles heel. Sooner than later this middle class will demand political reform and when that happens the Chinese regime will have reached its twilight.

In my latest book, The Twilight of the Fourth World, co-written with my sister Charis we foresee just that scenario and Tibet will be once again be free. There is a very valid reason why they say that “Thoughts become Things.”

Tiny man in dreamlike landscape made of clouds

I invite you to visit Bhopal

I visited Bhopal for the first time over  years ago, when I was doing research on my soon to be released novel, The Indian Kings of France: the fascinating story of the Bourbons of Bhopal, and I have returned on several occasions.

During my research, I was fortunate to meet members of the Royal Family who are the owners of the charming Jehan Numa Palace hotel which is a must destination when visiting the city.

jehan_numa_palace_hotelThe charming Jehun Numa Palace Hotel

The capital of Madya Pradesh unfortunately is still known world-wide for the tragic catastrophe of Union Carbide which marked its citizens for ever; but since then it has recovered from the terrible trauma and there are many reasons to visit the city. The older part of the city still bears the stamp of the Nawabs of Bhopal, who ruled the city until independence. During the 19th century, Bhopal was governed by a succession of four extraordinary Queens known as the Begums of Bhopal. These women, in a man’s world, gave the city its roads, civic institutions and important mosques and palaces. Regrettably, the local government has not taken care of this heritage and most of the palaces are in an appalling state unlike other former Kingdoms in India.

shaukatmahal1Shaukat Mahal the beautiful palace built by the Bourbons and given as a gift to the Begums is now sadly in a terrible state of decay though it is an architectural marvel of Indo-European architecture.

Please do not let this discourage you, as Bhopal is worthwhile visiting. The influence of the Bourbons , two of which were Prime Ministers of the state during the rule of the Begums, is ever present in all the historical buildings through the Fleur de Lys which was even included in the Royal Court of Arms of the Royal family. In any case, during my research, as I mentioned earlier I visited Shaukat Mahal, Sadar Manzil and Gohar Mahal which had  all been all Royal

indexGohar Mahal

residences and of course the Bhopal Church constructed by Prince Salvador of Bourbon.  Another very interesting place to visit is the Center for Performing and Visual Arts known as Bharat Bhawan  and designed by the famous architect Charles Correa in harmony with the surrounding landscape.

1348639261_940Bharat Bhawan

I would also recommend the National Museum of Mankind, this institution is spread over 200 acres on the Shamla Hills near the Upper Lake. It is among the largest open-air anthropological museums in India, and showcases tribal art and culture. The museum is located on a prehistoric site and is dotted with painted rock shelters. The outdoor space has been divided into various thematic exhibitions, which contain life-sized dwellings from coastal, desert and mountainous habitats, built by different tribal communities. Located on the hilltop, the indoor museum contains 13 galleries. There’s also a library, an audio-visual archive, and a collection of ethnographic specimens within the premises.

Bhopal  has two extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage sites: The Bhimbekta Caves ( 46 Km away which are a cluster of 14 rock shelters which house some of the best prehistoric rock art in the world. The cave paintings date back to the Mesolithic period, and explore themes such as hunting, dancing, music and animals. They also depict animals such as bisons, tigers, lions, wild boars,

index1Bhimbekta Caves

index3Details of the many amazing Prehistoric paintings

antelopes, and elephants, as well as religious and ritualistic symbols. They have been made primarily with red and white colours, with the occasional use of green and yellow. These colours were prepared using natural dyes, minerals, coal, and animal fat.

The other World Heritage site that being a Buddhist fascinated me is Sanchi as it contains some of the finest examples of ancient Buddhist architecture in India. Located at a distance of 40 Km, Sanchi is most famous for its Great Stupa, which was built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. The stupa has four monumental gateways or ‘toranas’ covered with exquisite carvings. These depict scenes from Buddha’s life, Jataka stories and Buddhist history. Sanchi was a major Buddhist centre from the 3rd century BC until the 12th century AD, and also contains the ruins of several other stupas, temples, pillars, monasteries. Absolutely fascinating!

t_1The amazing Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi

No visit to Bhopal can finish without going what is for me probably one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Built by Shah Jehan Begum, the 8th ruler of Bhopal ,  the Taj-ul- Masjid,  is considered one of the largest mosques in Asia. Currently under renovation it is a building of rare beauty.

index 5The extraordinary Taj-ul-Masjid built by Begum Shah Jehan

On my last visit, I decided to split my stay between the Jehun Numa Palace Hotel and the new Jehun Numa Retreat. And what a treat it was. Both establishments pride themselves in their gastronomy but all the vegetables and most of the fruits at the Retreat are sources from their own vegetable gardens that are dotted throughout the property and tendered with love by local women. The retreat is set in the midst of a lush park and has 28 suites exquisitely decorated by Her Royal Highness Begum Bano. The rooms and common areas are an epitome of what I call, understated luxury where even the smallest detail has been considered but nothing is pretentious. The pool and spa is also beautiful and simple in tone with the rest of the property.

index6The entrance to the Jehan Numa Retreat

jehan-numa-retreatThe 28 individual cottages are spacious, exquisitely decorated and have their own private verandas overlooking the vegetable gardens and an exterior shower to glance at the stars while showering!

548840_13120716590017845841_STD_wThe beautiful reception area

Bravo to His Highness Prince Zafar Rashid of Bhopal who is the director of this wonderful property and to his mother the exquisitely elegant and ravishing, Begum Sonia who I saw inspecting the property and assuring herself that even the most seasoned traveler would not leave disappointed.

And may I also suggest that if you are interested in history as I am, there is no more fascinating story than that of the Bourbon prince, Jean Phillipe, the son of the Constable of France and who ended up as Head of the Imperial Army of the Great Moghul, Akbar. His descendants, as I have mentioned before came to Bhopal and  Prince Balthazar I and later his son, Prince Sebastian were both Prime Ministers of Bhopal. So why not write to the current head of the family, Prince Balthazar IV of Bourbon-Bhopal and request an audience and listen to the fascinating first hand account of the adventures of the Indian Bourbons.

imagesH.R.H Prince Balthazar IV of Bourbon-Bhopal with his family.

I highly recommend all my readers that when they next come to India they visit Bhopal. You will not regret it.

Royal India

At the height, the Princely States during the British Raj ruled over one-third of the Asian sub-continent, with a population of  75 million under their suzerain. Famed for their extravagance and frivolity, they were – like most aristocrats, eccentric through and through. But India’s royals were not merely jewels in Queen Victoria’s Imperial crown, they were the descendants of ancient warring dynasties that could trace their blood lines back centuries. And they have throughout, the centuries woven a rich cultural tapestry in their territories and bequeathed India with a unique and dazzling legacy.

At times exotic, at times generous they were also cruel, imperious, ascetic, selfish, quirky, charming, hedonistic, self-indulgent, subtle and refined. They possessed all the human virtues and shortcomings. Potent and supreme wielders of power , their splendor and wealth beguiled and fascinated the British and European public.

44869763The Fabulous Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodphur

Prolific patrons of the arts, the indigenous ruling class were particularly fixated with jewels and trinkets. Indeed, so much Cartier was bought by the Maharaja of Patiala and his circle that the jeweler began to create whole collections catering to this burgeoning new Eastern clientele. The famed Patiala necklace was in fact the largest single commission Cartier ever executed: containing a grand total of 29.300 diamonds!

patiala_neclaceHis Highness Maharaja Yadavinder Singh of Patiala seen wearing the fabled platinum necklace and Maharaja Yadavinder Singh wearing the Patiala necklace in 1946.

There are also other truly stunning examples of excess, some notable if only for their peculiarity. The Maharaja of Gwalior was known to serve his dinner guests using a mobile bar in the form of a silver toy train, while the Maharaja of Kotah hunted tigers in nothing less than a custom made Rolls Royce. The Maharaja of Kapurthala even had a small replica of Versailles constructed as his residence. In fact , collecting the bizarre and the unusual consistently remained the norm rather than the exception. Osman Ali Khan, the last ruling Nizam of Hyderabad, used a 185 carat Jacob diamond as a paperweight, but having found it in his father’s shoe, he was apparently unaware  of its 20 million Pound value! His coffers were practically overflowing with jewels, so perhaps the negligence is forgivable. However, despite being the world’s richest Indian, he had some surprisingly miserable qualities too. Refusing to buy cigarettes, he smoked cigarette butts his entire life!

His prodigious appetite for sex may have accounted for his shrewd money saving schemes. Not only was he said to have the largest pornographic collection in the world, but also 86 mistresses and 100 illegitimate children

127111His Exalted  Highness Nizam Osman Ali Khan of Hyderabad, considered one of the richest in the world of his time.

The Nizam is not the only Indian ruler whose bedroom antics could be described as decadent. The Nawab of Bahawalpur ordered a custom made bed from Christophel in Paris which was ornamented with nude female statuettes. It was decorated with 290 kg of silver and, using ingenious mechanics linked to the mattress, the Nawab was able to set the figures in motion so they simultaneously fanned and winked at him as he lay in repose.

Whether it was cars or clothes, jewels or ornaments, monogrammed crockery, turbans, gold tongue scrapers, the Indian royals ordered the best and most expensive items from around the world. The luxury houses of Paris, London and Milan all enjoyed their custom.

UdaipurHis Highness Arvind Singh, Maharana of Mewar with his daughter Princess Padmaja and son-in-law, Prince Kutch of Santranpur.

So much so that in 1928 public opinion and the British press reflected the view that: “Indian Royals have nothing to do except live in luxury and spend money with a shovel”. This portrayal served the British government well. The pomp and ceremony was encouraged to entertain the rulers in banalities and erode their power.

Rajastani State charriotA Rajastani State Carriage

During the independence process, the rulers were given the choice to merge their states into India, Pakistan or stay independent. This last choice was only taken by the Nizam of Hyderabad to have his nation military annexed by India at a cost of close to 40.000 lives.  Those rulers who were to choose to stay within the new India, were guaranteed in its Constitution not only their historical privileges but also a Privy Purse in accordance to the size and revenues produced by their states. Fearful of the political power that some members of the royal families still possessed in the sixties and early seventies, Indira Ghandi’s government reneged on those promises  made by her father- the first Prime Minister of the independent Republic- and unceremoniously stripped them of their titles and income in 1971  by passing the infamous law of De-recognition of the Princes as it was to be known.

Gayatri DeviHer Highness Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur. She was arrested during the Emergency rule of Indira Ghandi due to political vendetta on false accusation of violating tax laws, and served 5 months!

It was the end of a long and opulent era, but it has not necessarily resulted in the complete demise of royal involvement in the country, Although some rulers became penniless and destitute, many others  were reborn  as entrepreneurs, conservationists, diplomats, sportsmen or politicians. Their palaces have since become hotels and museums and they contribute to the economic and commercial regeneration of the modern Republic in many other ways too.

srikantadatta-odeyar-Dec-10-2013-007

His Highness The Late Maharaja of Mysore sitting on his throne in the late eighties.

Historic ties have remained- albeit in a different guise- and many families continue to feel a sense of obligation to their former population, founding institutes and charitable organizations in lieu of royal patronage. The creation of the Bourbon-Bhopal Welfare Society by  Prince Balthazar IV of Bourbon-Bhopal is but one example of this. The Maharaja of Jodphur has also put his capital on the global  map as a sporting and cultural center. Maharana Arvind Singh Mewar has done a magnificent job in Udaipur through the Maharana of Mewar Charitable foundation which even received an award at the United Nations in New York in 2012. Other former monarchs have played an integral role  in the preservation of India’s  royal heritage. Princess Siddhi of Bikaner who set up the Priachina Museum is one such custodian.

imagesH.R.H. Prince Balthazar IV of Bourbon-Bhopal, Count of Clermont and his family

And, where funds have allowed, the modern day descendants of the Kings and Queens of India, continue  to lead lavish and luxurious lifestyles. Weddings and birthdays present the perfect opportunity to hark back to ancient privileges but also herald the wealth and promise of a new generation. Monarchy no longer exists in India but, whether the political classes like it or not, still does and will continue to do so.

Kapurthala princesKapurthala Princes

Gestapo Lodge

 

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I remember it was during the Christmas holidays of 1992 that I was alone with my father in Costa Rica and he revealed to me after a series of circumstances that I now know was causality or synchronicity, that he had been a member of the British Intelligence MI6. Since those days and until his death in 2001, I urged him to write his memoirs that seemed fascinating to me.  After his death and while I was going through his papers, I found a manuscript full of notes in which he had also ventured to write passages of his early memories. It was the skeleton of what would have been his autobiography, had he lived a bit longer. So I was compelled as a tribute to his life to take over and finsih what he had started.

Borrowing from his notes, writings and tales and the recollections of his first wife, Phryne Alabaster, I was able to picture a time past and construct the backbone of the story, but the material had too many gaps to be a biography; so instead, I decided to write a novel. This would allow me the freedom to change the names of certain characters in order to protect the identity of their descendants, to fictionalize some of the different incidents and to fill the gaps to the narrative’s convenience.

IMG_1504My father in 1936 at the Royal Navy Academy in Dartmouth before the accident that would change the course of his life.

As Gestapo Lodge is a work of fiction based on my father’s exciting life, I have made the creative choice of writing it as if the narrator was my father’s consciousness remebering his life.

Amazon says about the book:

“The real-life world of espionage can, it appears, be every bit as glamorous, perilous, duplicitous and erotically charged as the most sensational fiction. Elaborating his father’s unfinished memoirs, Carlos Mundy had crafted an unforgettable account of a career in MI6 during the most dangerous period of recent European history: the years of the Second World War and its aftermath.

After escaping from a Gestapo internment camp in France and illegally entering Spain, Rodney Mundy found himself imprisoned again. But the British Embassy secured his release and recruited him as a spy for MI6. Entering high society Madrid, Mundy soon met prominent Fascists, Nazis, agents and double agents, film stars and exotic dancers as well as the nobility and royal families of much of Europe. What followed was a series of thrilling adventures that took him to Cairo and Jerusalem, eventually leading to a violent showdown in Costa Rica.

IMG_1505Rodney Mundy during the Second World War in Madrid. He had been recruited by British intelligence.

With his good looks making him irresistible to all, Mundy seems to have had more dangerous liaisons than even James Bond. To protect the innocent and bridge the gaps in his father’s writings, Carlos Mundy has blurred the line between fact and fiction, presenting the story as a novel. But in a world where deception is the name of the deadly game, nothing could be stranger than the truth.”

The experience of writing this novel has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life. To place myself in my father’s shoes and try to live his life to be able to narrate it has been exhilirating.

The result I think has been very satisfactory and I have recieved very good critics which is always something that is appreciated after over four years of very hard work. I hope that my father wherever he is does not feel dissapointed. I do feel that he can be proud.

I trust you will all enjoy reading the novel as much as I did writing it.

IMG_1506Rodney Mundy in the mid nineties.

The Twilight of the Fourth World Facebook page

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My sister Charis and I have started a Facebook page for the novel

https://www.facebook.com/twilight.fourth.world

The intention of the page is to create a THINK TANK for our readers to contribute with ideas on how we can all help to make this world a better place for all of us to live in. A world that we will feel happy  that future generations live in.

The Twilight of the Fourth World is inspired by the teachings of His Holiness The Dalai Lama who is an enlightened being that preaches a message of peace and harmony for all. IT is also inspired by the prophecies of the Indian Hopis. When we started writing we were oblivious to the connection between Tibet and the Hopis. In fact the character that is inspired on His Holiness, the Rainbow Warrior  is closely connected to the Hopi traditions and that is real synchronicity.

Hopi_Indian_Storytelling

The truth is that many of the things that we have narrated in our novel are happening as the Hopis predicted. It is not a coincidence that our democracies and personal freedoms at risk as we have found out thanks to Wikileaks. Wikileaks has released 17 different documents relating to the so-called ‘secret’ negotiations for a massive global trade deal known as the Trade in Services Agreement, a lesser known cousin of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that US President Barack Obama has been campaigning heavily for in Washington. The leak has been timed to coincide with a meeting of leaders for the Trade in Services Agreement in Paris. TiSA is one of three trade treaties that global political leaders have been trying to agree on, alongside TTP and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Negotiations for the deals have been conducted in private. While this is standard procedure, it has raised suspicions about the content of the talks. One UK MEP wrote an op-ed on the fact that she’d seen the ‘undemocratic’ TTIP deal, but wasn’t at liberty to reveal any of its contents. Another study said even EU representatives in Brussels thought their European Commission colleagues were making deals behind closed doors.

Supporter of Wikileaks said the negotiating texts were ‘the largest leak of secret trade negotiations in history’. “The secrecy charade has collapsed,” said Deborah James of the Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network, a group of activists committed to fighting against corporate globalisation.  Wikileaks published a draft financial services annex of the TISA negotiations a year ago, containing plans to deregulate the financial sector. It said the new document confirms these plans, while also revealing new information about air traffic, maritime, professional services, e-commerce and domestic regulation.

This is one of the many topics the novel narrates and thus we invite all our readers to become proactive by clicking LIKE on the Facebook page and entering into any discussion of their choice related to topics that we bring up in the novel.

We look forward to your participation. Thanks!

King TibetHis Majesty King Lhagyari Trichen Wangchuk on the day of his coronation with His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Both are important characters in The Twilight of the Fourth World.

The Lost Romanov Icon & The Enigma of Anastasia

iconCover of the novel. Though historical fiction the main story is based on historical facts.

The Lost Romanov Icon and the Enigma of Anastasia is a historical novel whose characters  are entangled in an amazing series of events brilliantly tied together to unveil  facts and documents never before revealed about the true fate of Anastasia and her family in 1918.
The plot brings to the attention two mysteries together: The real fate of the youngest daughter of the last Russian Czar, still considered  one of the most talked about mysteries of all times, (despite of the identification by the Russian government of  some bones unburied in Ekaterinburg  1991, and the still “unbelievable” results of DNA tests performed in England in 1994), as well as  the whereabouts of an invaluable holy icon that belonged to the Romanov family, since the times of Catherine the Great, and was given to Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan in 1946, as a lifetime loan, when she became the godmother of the only male heir  of  the  Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, two prominent and respected members of a German ducal  family.
Both I and Marie Stravlo, have been fascinated since a young age by the fate of the Russian Imperial Family and I can now say that we have a deep knowledge of the Anastasia saga, and we hope that in this book we present a fluid narrative that captures the attention of readers  by taking them to several countries (Spain, England, Morocco, Costa Rica, The Vatican, Russia, Italy, Germany and Poland) where hidden information and documents related to the fate of the last Russian Imperial Family have been kept during more than sixty years, 
Rodney Mundy, the main character, not only was my father, but also an MI6 agent in his real life.  According to the plot, after being retired in Spain for several years, and  due to strange circumstances  occurring around  him,  Rodney chooses to investigate the story of Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan, the woman  that surfaced in Berlin  in 1920, claiming to be the youngest daughter of  the Tsar that had  survived  the massacre of  her family in July 1918. He discovers that an orthodox icon, apparently containing a hidden document with explosive information about the fate of the Romanovs, disappeared in 1984 from the Manahan’s home in Charlottesville, Virginia, by the time of the death of Anastasia.
34Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, who gave the Icon to Anastasia and was stolen from her home when she died in Charlottesville.

 

He decides to  go back to his previous life as a spy with  the help of former colleagues in secret services and some members of a spiritual Secret Society, trying to find the icon and the truth. Rodney embarks in a dangerous mission and during his journey he receives numerous  revelations  about  historical facts  that have been hidden to  cover up one of the greatest secret service operations  in history, and  finds not only the proof that Anna Anderson was Anastasia, but also the documents that may attest that other members of the Imperial Family survived and lived under false identities in different countries around the world, with the protection and complicity of several governments, royal houses and The Vatican.

Critics say we have wisely and carefully handpicked the other characters, and infused them with specific emotions, personalities, feelings, motives and secret agendas, since they play important roles that represent the past, the  present and will subtly suggest the future of the saga.
It has been our aim that with a balanced mix of facts and fiction, to manage to develop a thrilling sequence of events taking place in 1994, the unforgettable year when several people got involved in a legal battle in Charlottesville, Virginia, to gain access to a tissue sample of Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan, kept at the Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia, to be tested to obtain her DNA. Finally, the sample was taken  to London for the DNA analysis, and the results announced on October 5th, 1994 discredited  her claim of being the historical Anastasia. But despite the scientific results, still today, thousands of Anna Anderson’s supporters all over the world believe in her authenticity.  Many questions about the true fate of the last ruling family of Russia remain unanswered, including why the Russian Orthodox Church does not recognize the bones exhumed in 1991 as those of Nicholas II‘s family.
11 Letter of Prince Michael Benedict to Robert Crouch about Icon in  1991
Letter of Prince Michael Benedict to Robert Crouch about Icon in 1991

The lost Romanov Icon contains a detailed description of several events of the life of Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan that were never mentioned before.  I do think that it is definitely an intriguing novel that combines history with legend, facts with fiction, and suggests royal and state secrets kept since 1918 by powerful people around the world, that probably will result in a new controversy around one of the bloodiest episodes of history: the fate of the last Imperial Family of Russia.
No doubt this novel will add more mystery to an almost 100 year’s enigma that will outlive all of us while we wait for the definitive work of Marie Stravlo that will shock all those that keep insisting that the official version is the only version.
9Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicolaievna Romanov, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II in Lugano, 1926

 

Watch the trailer    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skAgF3mxPco

I invite you all to read it and to post comments either here or on my author Facebook page. Enjoy!

 

The Twilight of the Fourth World: My latest novel co-written with my sister Charis

I am delighted to announce the publication, as an ebook of our latest novel, The Twilight of the Fourth World.

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This novel has taken over 4  years to write and we consider it an achievement. Our aim is to enlighten our readers to situations that are already affecting our lives and though book 2 is set in the year 2038 we are certain our readers will be surprised as to wear we are heading to unless we make changes to prevent this grim future.

“The Twilight of the Fourth World,” with book one, The Rainbow Warrior and book two, The Return of Queen Malik, form a complete literary work — a mandala, where, one might say, one book is the image of the other projected on a mirror, and which together form a whole, that happening simultaneously, lets us penetrate through allegory and imagination into the human psyche. A dance of lights and shadows where love and fear confront each other. Two parallel worlds that seek to stimulate the imagination of the reader and, blurring the boundaries of time and space, raise questions about reality, the observer and the observed. We dedicate this book to the Native American People and to the resilient people of Tibet and their spiritual leader His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama. Both these cultures are in real danger of extinction. Both these cultures are rich in spiritual knowledge and wisdom, which are much needed in the perilous times that humanity as a whole is living in.

The fist part of the Twilight of the Fourth World, Book 1: The Rainbow Warrior narrates a dream and like dreams, it is woven with threads of two worlds: the real and imaginary one. It is a choral and visual composition. A caricature and a kaleidoscope of human emotions, painted with light and thick strokes of a brush, in a simple language. The teachings of several great masters enlighten us throughout. The alter ego of planet Earth, Plutonio, came into being through an act of faith and will. Life in Plutonio was idyllic, and the nations of the planet lived in peace and harmony until they came in touch with two humans and chaos was installed. The spiritual teachings are inspired by the Dalai Lama, Osho, Deepak Chopra, Talbot Mundy, Joseph Campbell, Enrique Barrios, Lao Tse and other enlightened masters. As for Book 2, The return of Queen Malik, the events take place in the year 2039 as the planet is heading to provoked and controlled disaster manipulated to achieve the dictatorship of the Council of Corporations. The parallelisms to many events that are already happening, gives the reader food for thought. We have been inspired by the prophecies of the American Hopi Indians. The novel has been endorsed by Deepak Chopra, His Majesty the King of Tibet, Melissa Rossi, Marisa Berenson and Grandfather Lee Standing Bear Moore, Keeper of Manataka and for this we are greatly honoured and thankful.

For all of you that are following my blog, I urge you to help us get the message out by reading the book and recommending it to friends and friends of friends. Both Charis and I will be eternally grateful for your help with this.

https://my.bookbaby.com/book/the-twilight-of-the-fourth-world