Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. The snippet this week comes right after last week’s, as Grand Duke Mikhail, the Regent, asserts his authority over a footman attempting to ruin an arranged meeting with the two oldest Grand Duchesses and their potential suitors. The footman has gotten bolder in his disrespect for Mikhail, creating a very uncomfortable situation for Princes Konstantin and Vladimir.

Prince Vladimir, the product of a morganatic marriage, is Tatyana’s intended.


“This footman will be collecting his belongings under armed guard and vacating the palace immediately following a thorough interrogation.  His employ is terminated effective immediately, and his final salary will be sent to the temporary address he should alert us to as soon as he’s procured new lodgings, provided the interrogation doesn’t turn up any evidence of something like revolutionary associations.”

The footman clenched his teeth and stormed off to his quarters, flanked by several guards.

“What an uppity servant,” Vladímir said. “He really didn’t know his place.  If you really want to know, I don’t condemn you for having married a commoner.  My own mother is a commoner, and she and I were only created a princess and prince after a long time of existing in that morganatic state.  To be honest, I feel like more of a commoner than a prince.”


Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, 28 December 1896–18 July 1918, was a grandson of Aleksandr II and a very gifted writer and poet. He was also excellent with languages, art, and music. Vladimir was born when his mother was still legally married to her first husband. Though he was a Romanov, he wasn’t allowed to use his rightful family name because his parents’ marriage was morganatic. In 1915, he and his mother were created Prince and Princess Paley.

Volodya could’ve been spared the fate of his other Imperial relatives if he’d obeyed Bolshevik orders to deny his father, but he bravely refused. He’d by and large lived the life of a commoner, but he wouldn’t hear of denouncing his belovèd father.

12 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Employ terminated

  1. OK good, now I’m satisfied about the uppity footman and thanks for the background details! I ever knew how much I did NOT know about this time period and the extended family, so thank you for sharing. Enjoyed the excerpt (take THAT, you snooty servant!).


  2. SO glad they are dealing with that footman! How noble that the real Vladimir chose death rather than deny his true father. I think he would be a fitting husband for Princess Tatyana. Great 8!


  3. It’s such an interesting dichotomy between the attitude of a common servant who believes his master shouldn’t have married a commoner and a common-born noble who has no problem with nobility marrying commoners, but believes servants shouldn’t know their place.

    I mean, I know it’s realistic, but it’s still weird, right?


  4. Your writing makes history so approachable. You remember the most interesting details, but you have a great story to go along with them. And the details of Prince Vladimir’s real life are fascinating. Good work!


  5. Snobbish servants always crack me up. But I did wonder about this guy, and it’s wise to have him checked out for potential revolutionary connections. I love the historical tidbits you include with your snippets every week!


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