Felix Yusupov Haiku

How to kill perv priest?

Lure him into murder trap

With fit wife and cake.

Today’s subject for Crossdresser Week is Felix Yusupov, because damnit, it’s been way too long since we’ve had a Russian on here. His main claim to fame has nothing to do with dressing up as a (reportedly very pretty) woman, but for assassinating that horny ol’ mystic, Rasputin.

Felix Yusupov was born as rich as all hell in Saint Petersburg in 1887. Like, ‘richer than the ruling Romanovs’ rich. ‘Seven palaces and 37 estates’ rich. ‘That doesn’t count all the factories, mines, oil fields, etc’ rich. The ridiculous wealth actually came from his mother’s side, she being the last of the line. Felix’s father took her name upon their marriage as a consequence of that last bit.

If you’re a young Russian prince with that much money to burn, chances are that you’re going to use it to have a lot of fun. And that’s exactly what Felix did! He dallied with men and women alike, kept what was pretty much a menagerie, dressed up his dogs (yep, one of THOSE weirdos), smoked hashish, and just generally enjoyed the fine staff in everything. He also had an affair with a ballerina, as I’m pretty sure that was a requirement for male Russian nobility.

And yes, the fun included crossdressing as well and was apparently very good at it. (How good? Rumor had it that while dressed up, he caught the eye of Edward VII, who vocally expressed his desire to get with that fine young lady.) While doing so, he liked making jaunts to the opera and moonlighting as a cabaret singer. His parents found out about this and tried to put a stop to it, but there was only so much they could do, given that they had spoiled the shit out of him when he was growing up and their only other son managed to get himself killed in a duel.

The other way he enjoyed spending his cash: donating hefty sums of it to the poor / charitable works. In fact, he had to be reigned in from giving ALL of it away by mumsy. (He really admired past haiku subject, Elizabeth Feodorovna, sister of the Tsarina and a nun, and wanted to be like her. To an extent.)

Then in 1914, wonder of wonders, he got married! To the Tsar’s lovely niece, Irina! Irina’s parents had heard allll about Felix’s fun life and were against the match as consequence. Irina had heard all about it too, because Felix had sat her down and told her. She wasn’t put off by it at all, probably because she was grateful that he had some more interesting things going on than just another damned ballerina affair.

And guess what? Their marriage worked swimmingly. Then the Great War happened, they had a daughter together and foisted her off on Felix’s folks, he opened a hospital for soldiers in one of his palaces while managing to avoid becoming a soldier himself, and so on and so forth.

But something was bothering Felix and that ‘something’ was the same thing that was bothering a lot of Russians: Rasputin. Felix decided Rasputin had to be done away with and concocted a scheme with his ex-lover and former rival for Irina’s hand, Dmitri Pavlovich. One evening, he lured the mystic over to his house with the promise of meeting the hot AF Irina. (She was in the Crimea at the time, shh.) Felix, Dmitri, and their buds then proceeded to poison the shit out of Rasputin via wine and cake and when that seemingly didn’t work, shot him, stabbed him, and clubbed him before finally throwing him in the river.

Once Rasputin’s body was found, it took the police about two seconds to find out who the perps were. The Tsarina, Rasputin’s number one fan, wanted them shot up. She backed down and Tsar Nicholas II sent Dmitri to the front and exiled Felix to Crimea instead.

Lucky break for the Yusupovs, as this put them in a great spot to scamper come the revolution with a bunch of their cash.

They established themselves in France and kept themselves busy with a couture house, spending all their cash on nice things and philanthropy, and the occasional lawsuit. Ever wonder why, for movies and novels, you always see the disclaimer disavowing any similarities with people living or dead? That’s because Felix was pissed that a movie character based on Irina was portrayed as having been seduced by Rasputin. I mean, come on. She had better taste than that. (Rasputin’s daughter tried to sue Felix for the murder, but the French courts were like, “We’re not touching this one.”)

Felix died in 1967. Irina never really recovered from that and died in 1970.

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