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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Prince Felix, Crossdresser at the Tzar's Court

A contemporary portrait of Prince Felix Yusupov.


Prince Felix Yusupov was a nobleman at the Russian court in the last, tumultuous years before the revolution, and he was a crossdresser.

He was born in St. Petersburg in 1887, in very rich aristocratic family. After death of his elder brother he become the heir to the family title and fortune. He was a golden boy. And not only in terms of money, but his looks. Felix Yusupov was so good-looking that his contemporaries called him an angelic face: thin features, soft full lips, large dark eyes languishing.

Felix was married to Pricess Irina and they had a daughter. Despite this, there were precistent rumors that he had male lovers, in particular Grand Duke Dmitry. Because of this, some historians theorize he was bisexual. He was also a crossdresser. He wrote in his diary about an experience with his cousin as an adolecent:

“One evening, when my father and mother were not home, we decided to take a stroll, dressed in women's clothes. In my mother's closet, we found everything you need. We are exhausted, flushed, pinned jewelry, wrapped in velvet coats, we were not on the rise, came down on the far stairs, waking my mother's hairdresser, demanded wigs, said “this is for the masquerade”. As such, we have come to the city.”

Felix was fascinated by music, theater, ballet. He often spent time in company of gypsy bands. And many times he performed en femme as singer in cabarets, not only in Russia, but when he was a student at Oxford and after the revolution when he and his family lived in exile Germany and France.

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