During the summer of 1914, Grand Duchess Marie and her two daughters, Nina and Xenia, left Russia for England. Xenia had been ill, and on their doctor’s advice, they left for Harrogate for the ‘bracing air,’ with the intention of staying three weeks. The outbreak of war prevented the family from returning home safely, and they settled in London and Harrogate. Grand Duchess Marie “decided to organize a small hospital [in Harrogate] for twelve beds to be of some small use to the country we were stranded in” (Grand Duchess George, A Romanov Diary: The Autobiography of H.I. & R.H. Grand Duchess George, G.N. Tantzos and M.A. Eilers, ed., New York, 1988, p. 159). With the assistance of the mayor and other members of the community, she established hospitals which cared for wounded soldiers over the course of the next five years. In recognition for her service, Grand Duchess Marie was awarded the Royal Red Cross by King George V (1865-1936) in 1915. The present two lots, a gold purse and silver-mounted parasol, were given to her by the local community she served.