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Joanna Grudzińska.

Joanna Grudzińska (May 17, 1795, Poznań - November 17, 1831, Tsarskoye Selo) was a Polish noble, a Princess of Łowicz and the second wife of Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia, the de facto viceroy of the Kingdom of Poland. This marriage cost Constantine the crown of Russia.

Biography

One of three daughters of Antoni Grudziński, the last owner of the town of Chodzież, Grudzińska was known for her beauty. From 1815, she had a relationship with Grand duke Constantin. On May 27, 1820, she married Grand Duke Constantine. Marriage required Constantine to formally divorce with Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, his estranged wife (who separated and fled to Coburg back in 1801). Prior to approval of this marriage, Tsar Alexander I forced Constantine, then heir presumptive, to forfeit his rights to the throne of Russia in favor of Nicholas I. Secrecy of this decision, known to a very close circle in Saint Petersburg, contributed to the Decembrist revolt of 1825 that followed Alexander's death.

After the marriage (July 8, 1820), Alexander styled Joanna Princess of Lovich. A Russian Imperial Navy frigate, named in her honour (Knyaginya Lovich, Княгиня Лович) was launched in 1828 and served in Mediterranean Sea fleet during Greek War of Independence and Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829).

By some considered a traitor, Joanna remained faithful to her husband even after the November Uprising in which he fought against his Polish subjects. Interestingly, her twin sister Maria was married to Gen. Dezydery Chłapowski, one of the most notable Polish commanders during the Uprising; another sister married an officer of Russian tsar's retinue.

In June, 1831, Constantine died of cholera in Vitebsk, shortly before their planned evacuation to Saint Petersburg. Joanna delivered his body to Saint Petersburg, and died the same year. She was buried in Tsarskoye Selo; in 1929 her remnants were exhumed and reburied in the grave of her sister and Gen. Chłapowski in Rąbin near Leszno.

References

  • Essays by Joanna Grudzinska in French and Russian [1]
  • Władysław Bortnowski, Wielki Książę Konstanty i Joanna Grudzińska, Wyd. Łódzkie 1981.
  • Jan Czyński, Cesarzewicz Konstanty i Joanna Grudzińska czyli Jakubini polscy, Warszawa 1956.
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