Vintage Photos of Beautiful 1930s Muse Princess Natalia Paley

Princess Natalia Pavlovna Paley, Countess de Hohenfelsen was a member of the Romanov family. A daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia, she was the first cousin of the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II. Natalia’s half-brother, Grand Duke Dmitri had helped murder Grigory Rasputin in 1916; and her full brother, Prince Vladimir Paley, was killed by the Bolsheviks in July 1918.

After the Russian revolution she emigrated first to France and later to the United States.

At age 21 she met her first husband, Lucien Lelong. A prominent French couturier, he offered her a job in his fashion house. Natalia was an asset for Lelong’s business, with her aristocratic background and delicate features. With deep-set gray eyes and pale blond hair, she became a sought after model establishing an image for herself in the Parisian elite becoming a well known socialite. As a model, she appeared in many magazines including Vogue. She was a favorite model for the great photographers of her time: Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, Andre Durst and George Hoyningen-Huene.

After her marriage to Lelong had fallen apart she began to pursue a film career. She is known for L’homme des Folies Bergère (1935), Les hommes nouveaux (1936) and L’épervier (1933).

She died on December 27, 1981 in Manhattan, New York City. In the last two decades of her life she had lived as a reclusive surrounded by her pets. After developing diabetes she had progressively lost her vision, which isolated her further.

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Natalie Paley, in 1930

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Natalie Paley

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Natalie Paley

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Natalie Paley by Edward Steichen

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Natalie Paley

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Maurice Chevalier and Nathalie Paley  “L’Homme des Folies-Bergère” 1935

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