Natalia Brasova - Royal Mistress

Royal Mistress

Wulfert accepted the Kremlin post, at an enlarged salary, and as Natalia's residence permit was tied to her husband's she also returned to Moscow to live temporarily at a hotel opposite the Kremlin. By November, she was living in an 8-room apartment at 36 Petersburg Road, paid for by Michael, where he visited her about 3 times a month from Orel. Wulfert was still demanding that Natalia return to him, as well as threatening to shoot to her. Against the wishes of Michael and Natalia, Nicholas II insisted that she remain in Moscow, and refused to vary the conditions of her residence permit.

By December 1909, Natalia was pregnant. Fearful that her husband would try to claim the child and take it away from her, her desire for a divorce grew stronger. Eventually, after prolonged negotiations and a hefty pay-off, Wulfert agreed to a divorce on the pretence that he had been unfaithful. Natalia's divorce petition was submitted to the Moscow Ecclesiastical Consistory Court on 19 February 1910, but by July 1910 it had not been granted. When she gave birth to a son on 24 July 1910, the child was legally Wulfert's. The boy was named George in honour of Michael's late brother. It was said that Wulfert was bought off with a bribe of 200,000 roubles, and the date of their divorce was back-dated, so that George was recognised as Natalia's illegitimate son, though inheriting her noble status, rather than the legitimate child of Wulfert's.

In May 1911, Nicholas II granted Natalia the surname "Brasova" and the right to live at Michael's estate at Brasovo, 70 miles (110 km) from his posting at Orel. Michael, Natalia and her two children moved there immediately. By the end of the year, Michael was posted to a command in Saint Petersburg, and they moved to the capital. He officially lived in regimental quarters while paying for a 28-room apartment at 16 Liteyny Prospekt for her. She felt trapped in the apartment, feared that her letters were opened, and was ostracised by society. After a few months, Michael moved her to a villa at 24 Nikolaevskaya, Gatchina, nearer to his base at the Gatchina Palace.

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