Russian princess is still a star 92 years after death

Russian princess
Russian princess

IN SEPTEMBER, the story of a Russian princess buried in a Shoreham graveyard was uncovered and St Nicolas’ Church put on a presentation about her life.

Due to popular demand and new information, there will be another presentation about the life of Lydia Yavorska.

Also known as Princess Bariatinsky, Lydia died in Hove 92 years ago and was buried at St Nicolas’.

She was an actress, who stormed the English stage, a fashion icon and a suffragette.

Her life was endlessly dramatic and full of intrigue.

Her unusual gravestone stirred a lot of interest in Shoreham, so much so that John Simpson, website manager for St Nicolas’, Old Shoreham, decided to uncover the mystery.

He said: “Princess Bariatinsky lived through turbulent times, including the Russian Revolution, and I soon realised that her life story, which is more exciting than the plot of Dr Zhivago, deserved more than a paragraph on the church website.

“The presentation generated an enormous amount of interest, both at the time and since. What intrigued many people was discovering that last year’s film of Anna Karenina, the latest in a long line of films and plays of Tolstoy’s novel, owes everything to Lydia Yavorska.

“She introduced the play to the English stage one hundred years ago.”

John has amassed a collection of original postcards, some of which are autographed by the princess herself.

He added: “Many of Keira Knightley’s costumes in last year’s Anna Karenina film bore a striking resemblance to outfits worn by Lydia in the stage play.

“I wonder whether the English actress realised that she was treading in the footsteps of a Russian princess.”

The presentation will take place on Saturday, November 9, at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £3.

To reserve tickets, email or call 01273 454006.