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Prince Nicholas Vladimirovitch Galitzine `..)

(A distant relation to the Khilkoffs through Alexei Andreevich Golitzyn's (1632-1694) marriage to Pr.Irina Fedorovna Khilkova (d.1698)

Prince Nicholas Galitzine

PRINCE 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.

In 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 Columbia.

Prince 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.

His 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 III’s 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.   Nisholas’s 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.

After 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.

Initially, 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".

In 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.

When 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.

In 1940, Galitzine's mother was killed during a daylight bombing raid while she was on her way to workfor the censorship bureau in Holborn.

Later, 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.

In 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.

He 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 Galitzine’s company, the 300-mile drive from Victoria to Sointula always took a long time; the Prince seemed to know everyone en route.

Nicholas 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.

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