Khans of Russia
- For precisely seven hundred years, from that day in 1220 until 1920, when the Soviets moved in, Genghis Khan's descendants ruled as khans and emirs over the city of Bukhara in one of the longest family dynasties in history.
Prince Felix Felixovich Yusupov, Count Sumarokov-Elston (Russian: Фéликс Фéликсович Юсýпов, граф Сумароков-Эльстон) (variously transliterated from Cyrillic as Yussupov, Yusupov, Yossopov, Iusupov, Youssoupov, Youssoupoff, or as Feliks, Graf Sumarrokow-Elston), was best known for participating in the murder of Grigori Rasputin, the mystic peasant faith healer whom Yusupov and other Russian nobles believed held undue sway over Tsar Nicholas II and especially over the Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna.
Felix Yusupov was born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire. His mother's family, the Yusupovs, were of Tatar origin and very wealthy (there was a time when Felix Yusupov was the richest man in Russia). The Yusupov family acquired their wealth generations earlier through extensive land grants in Siberia, and they owned a string of profitable mines and fur trading posts. In order that the Yusupov name might not die out, the prince's father, Count Felix Felixovich Sumarokov-Elston (October 5, 1856, Saint Petersburg - June 10, 1928, Rome, Italy), General Governor of Moscow (1914-1915) (son of Count Felix Nikolaievich Sumarokov-Elston), took the surname of his wife, Princess Zenaida Nikolaievna Yusupova (September 2, 1861, Saint Petersburg - November 24, 1939, Paris) upon their marriage, on April 4, 1882 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Felix became heir to the immense fortune after his older brother Nikolai Felixovich, Count Sumarokov-Elston (born 1883), was
killed in a duel on June 22, 1908. Consulting with family members about how best to administer the money and property, he decided to devote time and money to charitable works to help the poor.
He also led a flamboyant life, and describes in his candid autobiography often spending time with Gypsy bands and adopting female clothing. In 1909-1912 he studied at University College Oxford in England, where he established the Oxford University Russian Society. He married Princess Irina of Russia, the Tsar's niece, on February 22, 1914 in the Anichkov Palace in Saint Petersburg, and the marriage was extremely well-matched and very happy. They had a daughter, also called Irina born March 21, 1915.
The Yusupovs are a Russian noble family descended from the Khans of the 10th century who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, were renowned for their immense wealth, philanthropy and art collections. Most notably, Prince Felix Yusupov II was famous for his involvement in the murder of Rasputin.
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