Princess Catherine Ivanovna of Russia

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Princess Catherine Ivanovna
Marchesa Farace di Villaforesta
Born(1915-07-12)12 July 1915
Pavlovsk Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died13 March 2007(2007-03-13) (aged 91)
Montevideo, Uruguay
Ruggero Farace, Marchese Farace di Villaforesta
(m. 1937;separated 1945)
  • Nobile Nicoletta Farace, Mrs. Grundland
  • Nobile Fiammetta Farace, Mrs. Zanelli
  • Giovanni Farace, Marchese Farace di Villaforesta
Full name
Yekaterina Ivanovna Romanova
House Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Father Prince John Constantinovich of Russia
Mother Princess Helen of Serbia

Princess Catherine Ivanovna of Russia (Russian : Княжна Екатери́на Иоа́нновна; 12 July 1915 (O.S.) – 13 March 2007 [1] ) was a great-great-granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and a niece of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia. She was the last member of the Imperial Family to be born before the fall of the dynasty. She was also second cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as Catherine's grandfather Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich of Russia was younger brother of Prince Philip's grandmother Olga, Queen of Greece.



Born in Pavlovsk Palace, she was the second child of Prince John Konstantinovich of Russia and Princess Jelena of Serbia. After the Revolution, her father was arrested and deported from the capital and her mother followed her husband into exile. Catherine and her brother, Vsevolod, remained in the care of her grandmother, the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Mavriekievna of Russia. On 18 July 1918, their father, Prince John, was killed, and their mother, Princess Jelena, was arrested and spent several months in Soviet prisons. Grand Duchess Elizabeth was able to take Catherine and her brother to Sweden. Sometime later, they were reunited with their mother.

The family lived in Serbia, then moved to England. There, Catherine received an excellent education, although she never learned the Russian language because her mother, devastated by her husband's death, did not want her children speaking that language in front of her.


From 1937 to 1945, Princess Catherine Ivanovna lived in Italy. During her stay there, she married the Italian diplomat Ruggero Farace, Marchese Farace di Villaforesta (4 August 1909 - 14 September 1970), in Rome on 15 September 1937; on occasion of her wedding, she renounced to her succession rights to the Russian throne.

Farace di Villaforesta family

Marchese Ruggero Farace Farace di Villaforesta (1909-1970) was son of Alfredo, Marchese Farace di Villaforesta (1860-1949), member of an old Sicilian noble family and Greek aristocrat Caterina Fachiri (1882-1968), who was descendant of some of the most prominent Phanariote families of Constantinople, such as Rallis, Vlastos, Mavrocordato and Rodocanachi, making her also related to former ruling families of Wallachia & Moldavia. Through mutual descent from Princes of Mavrocordato Ruggero was distantly related to Queen Natalia of Serbia (1859-1941), Princess Aspasia of Greece and Denmark (1896-1972) and her daughter Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia (1921-1993), who was married to his wife's first cousin King Peter II of Yugoslavia (1922-1970).


They had three children: [2] [3]

In 1945, after the end of the World War II, Princess Catherine separated from her husband (although they never legally divorced) and moved with her children to South America. In later years, she lived in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay, where she died on 13 March 2007. [4]



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  1. "The Death of Her Serene Highness, Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna of Russia". House of Romanov . 15 March 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  2. Ferguson, June (29 March 2007). "Ekaterina Ivanovna, Princess of Russia". Archived from the original on 7 April 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  3. Lundy, Darryl. "Ekaterina Ivanovna Romanova, Princess of Russia". Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  4. "Скончалась Е.С. Княгиня Екатерина Иоанновна" [Death of Princes Catherine Ivanovna]. Epoch Times (in Russian). 4 April 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  5. "Ее Светлость Княжна Императорской Крови Екатерина Иоанновна" [Her Serene Highness The Princess of the Imperial Blood Ekaterina Ivanovna]. Imperial Order of St. Anne (in Russian). 2006. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2018.