Prince Serge Obolensky

“The best presents were around the tree in the huge Youssoupoff palace on the Moika. They were given by my Aunt Zeneide, the mother of my cousins Nicholas and Felix Youssoupoff. Felix was the one who later shot Rasputin. Aunt Zeneide bought her gifts in Paris, and they were bright and colorful, strange and foreign, useful and highly prized.-things like a pocket-knife, or a watch, or something equally wonderful and useful. Aunt Zeneide was another startlingly beautiful woman, greatly sought after, widely traveled, famous throughout Europe in her own right, famous also for the charming portrait that the painter Seroff made of her fragile loveliness.”-Prince Serge Obolensky, One Man in his Time

“The excitement kept on growing, and before long more mobs formed in St. Petersburg and again approached the Winter Palace-threatening mobs this time. An order came through to see it to that Morskaya was to be cleared. Morskaya ran from the Winter Palace through the great Morskaya archway and past the Nevsky Prospect to the Cathedral of St. Isaac, the center of the city. If the soldiers moved against the mob, it was certain that there would be a bloodier riot than the preceding one. My uncle Youssoupoff, Felix’s father, was in command of the Chevalier Guards. He was extraordinarily calm and level-headed man. Instead of ordering the troops to advance, he took his trumpeter with him and rode slowly through Morskaya to the cathedral and back. he was in full uniform and the trumpeter was unarmed. It took a lot of courage to ride through with the mob on both sides. He returned and reported diplomatically that the street was calm; because it was possible to traverse it without interference.” Prince Serge Obolensky, One Man in His Time