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When mentioning the history of Montenegro, one always thinks of Njegos, Marko Miljanov, Prince Nikola, chivalry and heroism, only at the end of the ladder, somewhere in the corner, are the characters of the four daughters of Prince Nikola Petrovic Njegos. The four of them, Milica, Anastasia, Zorka and Jelena, contributed more to the glory of this small kingdom and dynasty in Europe than all its famous male representatives. The four daughters of Prince Nikola occupied the Serbian, Russian and Italian courts and left their mark on them for all time. Many are inclined to claim that they have decisively influenced the history of Europe.
Their fame and value did not fit the image of a Montenegrin woman locked in a house behind the stove. Their characters belonged to the modern world and fit perfectly into the image of a free woman who chooses her own path.
When asked by a foreign diplomat - "what can you export from this poor country" - Montenegrin King Nikola Petrovic answered - "You underestimate my daughters". It turned out that the ruler was right, since the four princesses became "tenants" of the Serbian, Russian and Italian court, thanks to which their father received the nickname "Europe's father-in-law".
The ladies, who are remembered as "the most powerful weapon in their father's diplomacy", were ahead of their time, which often provoked the indignation of the patriarchal environment. Although there is a belief that the prince and the later king planned to build a monastery on the lonely island of Vranjina on Skadar Lake, so that his daughters could live as nuns, he soon gave up the idea and sent Zorka, Milica, Stana, Marija and Jelena to high school. Smolny in Russia. In the elite school, European blue-blooded ladies acquired knowledge from various sciences and etiquette, but a significant part of their education was also lessons on how to make a man propose to them, and at the same time he thinks that it is his initiative.
The knowledge gained in Smoljno made the descendants of the king become refined ladies for whom the crowned heads on the Old Continent sighed. According to the testimony of contemporaries, the ruler was worried about how to find a groom in his homeland for proud daughters who dressed in the latest Italian and Russian fashion, and he feared that they would remain settlers who would be a huge burden to the state. he spoke), but he was relieved when marriage offers from different parts of Europe began to arrive in Cetinje.
At the age of 18, the eldest daughter of King Nikola, Zorka, met the 39-year-old heir of the Karadjordjevic dynasty, Petar, who, like the Montenegrin princess, was in love with France, where he received his education. Pediatric biographers noted that the prince was enchanted by Zorka's beauty and soon asked for her hand. Although he knew that this move would worsen relations with Obrenović's Serbia, and thus with Austria-Hungary, the Montenegrin ruler decided to grant the beggar's wish and the wedding took place in August 1885 in the church of the Cetinje Monastery. Although she was much younger than her husband, Zorka had great ambitions and dreamed of the day when she would become the Serbian queen. Desiring to leave as many descendants as possible to her mother Milena, who gave birth to twelve children, she gave birth to Jelena, Milena, George, Alexander and Andrew, but she died after the last birth, on March 16, 1890. Zorka's husband ascended the throne at the age of 16 later, after the May coup in which King Aleksandar Obrenović and Queen Draga were killed.
Zorka's death is still an enigma, considering that some historians claim that she fell down the stairs after an argument with her husband, due to which the birth occurred prematurely. It is interesting that fans of her character and work claim that it served as inspiration for several scenes of the Hollywood classic "Gone with the Wind", because allegedly director Victor Fleming heard the story of the unfortunate princess while traveling in Europe and weaved it into a story of defiant and enchanting Scarlett O'Hary.
Milica and Anastasia - Stana Romanov
Although Duchess Milena traveled with her daughters to European capitals and presented them to blue-blooded grooms, there were no announcements that Milica would become the wife of the uncle's brother of Emperor Alexander III. Montenegro was in a delirium of happiness. For days, shots were fired and celebrated in all directions, as if some important battle had been won in the war.
Telegrams with congratulations from Franz Joseph, Queen Victoria, the Russian imperial couple and other crowned heads arrived at the court in Cetinje. On the other hand, it was rumored in European court salons that Milica enchanted her future husband with witchcraft.
In August 1899, there was a wedding in the presence of numerous crowned heads. Just a day before the wedding, another incredible piece of news was published - Princess Anastasia-Stana, who got engaged to Prince Georgij Maksimilijanovic of Leichtenberg Romanovski. This engagement in Montenegro was also celebrated as a won battle in which thousands of Turks lost their heads.
Grand Duchess Milica and Duchess Anastasia-Stana, daughters of King Nikola Petrovic, marked the life of the Russian court until the October Revolution, and their names are associated with numerous mystical and occult acts and "accused" of bringing one of Russia's most controversial personalities to the royal family. history - Raspucina.
Milica and Anastasia escaped the revenge of the Bolsheviks by fleeing to the West. They first resided in the Crimea and then fled to Paris. For a time, the sisters lived with their families in Egypt and Paris. Milica had three children, a son Roman and daughters Marina and Nadežda. Her husband, Grand Duke Peter, died at Cap D'Antibes. Grand Duchess Milica died in 1951 in Alexandria and took the secret of Grigory Rasputin with her to the grave.
Although all the daughters of King Nikola were perceived as fatal women, Jelena, who already in her youth showed a rebellious spirit by frequently running away from classes, was remembered as the princess who raised the most dust in her homeland. Thanks to her charm and intelligence, she managed to realize her dream of marrying Italian Prince Victor Emanuel of Savoy. Marrying the future king meant converting to the Roman Catholic faith, which some compatriots never forgave. On the other hand, Jelena said that God is one and that "it doesn't matter whether he is baptized from left to right or vice versa." She gave birth to four daughters and a son, and after Victor Emanuel ascended the throne on July 29, 1900, she tried to help the poor with charity work, which made her a favorite among the people. However, one of the biggest mysteries is the relationship of the royal couple with the fascist government of Benito Mussolini, because it is believed that the infamous duke greatly influenced the decisions of the court.
After the collapse of fascism, Jelena's husband abdicated in favor of his son Umberto II, hoping that the Italians would support the rest of the monarchy in a referendum, which did not happen and the couple soon left the country. Victor Emmanuel of Savoy died in Alexandria in 1947, and Jelena outlived him by five years. Her funeral in Montpellier was attended by 5,000 French people who fell in love with her because of the charity she did after leaving Italy.