About us Our Patrons PRINCESS KATYA GALITZINE, PATRON PRINCESS KATYA GALITZINE Princess Katya Galitzine was born in London with a Russian father and an English mother, former Dior Model, Jean Dawnay. George, her father, was three years old when his family escaped from Bolshevik Russia in 1919 and was raised and educated in England. Princess Katya was brought up as an English girl and although she is a direct descendant of Catherine the Great, Katya had little understanding of her rich Russian roots until she went to the USSR at the age of 20. Art has been an integral part of Katya’s life: in London, she attended theatre school and then went on to study sculpture with famous sculptor of USSR Mikhail Anikushin, in what was then Leningrad, learning Russian along the way; whilst earning a living sculpting portrait busts, she hosted a radio show in Russia about alternative music. In 1994, Katya and her mother, Jean, founded the Prince George Galitzine Memorial Library, gathering books about Russia that had been published abroad during Soviet time. It is situated in the house of her Grandmother, Countess Carlow, on the Fontanka Embankment, now part of the State Mayakovsky Library. In 1999, Katya wrote the ground-breaking book “St Petersburg-The Hidden Interiors” telling the history of the city of St Petersburg through the architecture and lesser known buildings and for 25 years leads tours of the city. More recently, Katya has been Chief Executive of the Hermitage Foundation UK and now works freelance researching Russian historical and heritage projects. In 2013 Princess Katya became a patron of the Gift of Life Foundation.