distant relation to the Khilkoffs through Alexei Andreevich Golitzyn's
(1632-1694) marriage to Pr.Irina Fedorovna Khilkova (d.1698)
NICHOLAS VLADIMIROVITCH GALITZINE, started life at the Russian
Imperial court and ended it happily presiding over "Ocean Bliss",
a bed and breakfast establishment on Sointula Island off the north
east coast of Canada's Vancouver Island.
between, the Prince enjoyed a notably varied career. He was at RADA
with Vivian Leigh,had spells in the oil industry in Britain and
Canada,sold Volkswagons in Ottawa; and elocution and poise in British
Nicholas Vladimirovitch Galitzine was born in Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's
Village) on January 2 1914, the eldest son of Prince Vladimir Galitzine
and his wife, Countess Catherine von Carlow.
eldest mother was the eldest daughter of the morganatic marriage
of Natalie Wonlarsky to Duke Georg Alexander of Mecklenburg-Strelitz,
a maternal grandson of Emperor Paul I of Russia. Through his
mother, Prince Nicholas was also fifth in decent from Princess
Augusta of Great Britain, King George IIIs sister and thus
a sixth cousin once removed of the present Queen.
The Galitzine family estate included what is now the Russian Museum
in St Petersburg, and Oranienbaum Palace, which had once belonged
to Catherine the Great; the mother of Emperor Paul I. Young
Prince Nicholas spent much of his early childhood in the Caucasus,
where is father was ADC to the Grand Duke Nicholas.
In 1917, with the Bolsheviks fast approaching, the family fled,
But as they prepared to board their appointed train to the Crimea,
Prince Nicholas's mother discovered she had lost her wedding ring
- the last link with her husband who was by that time fighting in
the civil war.She refused to contemplate travelling after such a
bad omen. When the next day she found her wedding ring,which had
fallen into one of the wicker laundry baskets in which they packed
their belongings, she chided herself for wasting their valuable
train tickets. Just as she was doing so a newsboy informed her
that the train they had missed had been hijacked by Bolsheviks and
every last passenger had been shot.
The Galitzines eventually reached Yalta, where they met up with
Prince Vladimir. Nisholass great-aunt, Princess Helen
of Saxe-Alten a cousin of the British Royal Family, had arranged
for them to be taken on board the British destroyer Grafton
which carried them to safety. They Were accompaiend by the destroyer
Marlborough, in which the Tsar's sister Grand Duchess Xenia and
her children, and the empress Dowager Maria Feodorovna (king George
V's aunt) were embarked.
switching ships in Constantinople, they sailed on to Naples,where
they caught a train to London- Prince Vladimir deciding Paris had
its Quota of Russian exiles.
the Galitines settled at Coulsden, Surrey and at Nevern Square in
London. Prince Nicholas set up shop in Berkeley Street which sold
Russian objets d'art. One of his most dedicated customers was Queen
Mary, who had a permanent order for anything interesting to be sent
round to her at Buckingham Palace. Sometimes she would cross out
"On approval to Her Majesty" and write "Kept".
1921 the family leased Chessington Hall, near Kingston, where they
farmed chickens and Turkeys. The boys were sent to prep school and
on to Lancing. Nicholas spoke fluent Russian ,French, English and
German. He also had a great talent for mimicry and acting, and in
1934 won a Leverhulme scholarship to RADA, where, besides Vivian
Leigh, his fellow students included Rachel Kempson.
he left, he appeared in a number of West End plays and films,
and also taught Russian to Anthony Nutting, later- one of Anthony
Eden's proteges, while staying with the Nuttings at Quenby Hall;
Leicestershire. Resolving not to pursue a career on the stage, Galitzine
joined Dominion Petroleum, at Nottingham, in 1937. Two years. later,
on the outbreak of war, he joined the 5th Battalion, the Scots Guards.
He was sent to France to improve his skiing, and hoped to be sent
to join his younger brother Prince Emmanuel in Finland, where Emanuel
was serving in the Finnish Air Force.
1940, Galitzine's mother was killed during a daylight bombing raid
while she was on her way to workfor the censorship bureau in Holborn.
Galitzine transferred to the Royal Navy. He served in the destroyer
'Eskimo' during the battle of the Atlantic, and was part of the
convoy that sank the 'Bismark'. He served in the same flotilla as
Prince Phillip. In 1942 Galitzine was appointed Flad Lieutenant
to Commander in Chief South Atlantic Vice Admiral Tate, in Cape
Town. He was demobilised in December 1945.
1946 he joined Shell International as an export officer, and in
1953 emigrated to Canada, continuing to work for Shell. Subsequently
he became Volkswagons representative in Ottawa.
retired from business in 1967 and moved to British Columbia, where
he worked with the provinces education authority - teaching elocution
and poise. In 1980 he bought a property on Sointula Island, overlooking
the sound between the island and the mainland There he and
his second wife opened "Ocean Bliss". I Galitzines
company, the 300-mile drive from Victoria to Sointula always took
a long time; the Prince seemed to know everyone en route.
Galitzine married first, in 1946 (dissolved 1951), Elizabeth Branch
they had a son. He married secondly, in 1956, Anita Frisch, who
had escape from Riga in 1943 and emigrated to Canada in 1954 they
had two sons and daughter.
Email me for