Anastasia de Torby
Countess Anastasia Mikhailovna de Torby CBE, Lady Zia Wernher, (September 9, 1892 – December 7, 1977) was the elder daughter of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia, a grandson of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, by Countess Sophie of Merenberg.
Like her mother, Anastasia was born of a morganatic marriage, and was ineligible to bear her father's title or rank. Following her parents' elopement to San Remo in 1891 and consequent banishment from Russia, Sophia was made Countess de Torby by Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, which title extended to all three of the couple's children. Through her mother, she descended from the renowned Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, as well as from his ancestor Abram Petrovich Gannibal, Peter the Great's African protégé.
On July 20, 1917 Countess Anastasia de Torby married British Major-General Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Bt (1893–1973) (son of wealthy financier, Sir Julius Wernher, Bt, who had made his fortune in South African diamonds). In the following September, she was accorded the style and precedence of the daughter of an earl by Royal Warrant of George V, and discontinued use of her comital title. Henceforth she was known as Lady Zia Wernher.
The couple had one son and two daughters. At the beginning of the 21st century Zia's grandchildren included sisters who were the Duchesses, respectively, of Abercorn and Westminster, and another pair of sisters, the Countess of Dalhousie (née Maralyn Butter), and Princess Alexander Galitzine (née Rohays Butter).
Zia's younger sister was Countess Nadejda de Torby, wife of George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, a descendant of Queen Victoria and maternal uncle to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
- Alexander, Grand Duke of Russia, Once a Grand Duke, Cassell, London, 1932.
- Chavchavadze, David, The Grand Dukes, Atlantic, 1989, ISBN 0938311115
- Crawford Rosemary and Donald, Michael and Natasha, Phoenix, 1998. ISBN 0380731916
- Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (editor), Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, Burke's Peerage, London, 1973, ISBN 0220662223
- ↑ "Burke's Guide to the Royal Family": edited by Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, p. 221
- REDIRECT Template:Europe-royal-stub
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