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From Zurich, in August 1917, Maria Alexandrovna, the Duchess of Coburg, in her despair about the fate of the Russian Imperial family, was looking for help from the British Royal Family, writing a few letters to George V and to the Dowager Queen Alexandra. Here is an extract from the correspondence to her eldest daughter:

This morning I read the description of how those unfortunate Nicki and Alix with their children were bundled off in the middle of the night to some unknown destination! May God have mercy on them! … In my despair about the Russian family I wrote a long letter to Aunt Alix, especially pointed out Aunt Minny’s hopeless position and asking point blank if the English government cannot really interfere to save them and let at least Aunt Minny to go to Denmark. I also wrote to George to ask him to keep me to get back my money on the base of my marriage contract, which many people think possible. But how can one really discuss with such a government as in Russia?

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