Friday, February 13, 2004

Paul Ilyinsky descended from Russia's Romanovs

Emery link took him to Cincinnati

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Paul Romanov Ilyinsky, great-grandson of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and a cousin of the last ruling tsar, Nicholas II, died in his sleep Monday at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. The former Cincinnati resident was 75.

Born in 1928 at the U.S. Embassy in London, Mr. Ilyinsky was the son of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov and Cincinnati heiress Audrey Emery.

Pavlovich was banished by his cousin, the tsar, to an Army unit in Persia after helping plan the assassination of Grigory Rasputin in 1916. It turned out to be a fortuitous punishment. Most of the Romanov family - including Pavlovich's father and half-brother - were assassinated by the Bolsheviks during the Russian civil war.

Pavlovich ended up in Paris, where he married Emery in 1918.

Their son - Mr. Ilyinsky, who was a U.S. citizen - attended Woodberry Forest School in Virginia and the British Military Institute in Sandhurst, England, before joining the U.S. Marine Corps.

He served with distinction in the Korean War and retired a lieutenant colonel.

He lived in Cincinnati for about 20 years, serving on the board of Emery Industries and working as an author and photographer. In 1980, he returned to Palm Beach, where he had lived before moving to Cincinnati. He served on the Palm Beach City Council for 10 years and was mayor for three terms. He resigned for health reasons in 1999.

Recently, Mr. Ilyinsky was named the first Distinguished Citizen of Palm Beach for his outstanding service to the Boy Scouts of America of Palm Beach County. While in Cincinnati, he received the Silver Beaver Award - the Boy Scouts' highest honor.

After the Soviet Union broke apart in the early 1990s, Leningrad reverted to its original name of St. Petersburg. A delegation visited Mr. Ilyinsky while he served on Palm Beach City Council to ask him to return to Russia to claim the throne as tsar.

Mr. Ilyinsky said, "Gentlemen, I could not be more pleased and flattered at your invitation, but I must tell you that I am entirely satisfied with my present occupation."

He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Makena Anna Comisar, in 2002.

Survivors include his wife, Angelica Kauffmann Ilyinsky; three sons, Dmitri Ilyinsky of Litchfield, Conn., Michael Ilyinsky of Indian Hill and George Locke; two daughters, Paula Comisar of Mount Lookout and Anne Glossinger of Indian Hill; and nine grandchildren.

The funeral is 2 p.m. Monday at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, 141 S. County Road in Palm Beach.


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