Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna was a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II and the daughter of Grand Duke Paul and Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark. Tsar Nicholas II was her first cousin. Her mother died tragically at age 21 after giving birth to Marie's younger brother, Grand Duke Dmitri, who grew up to become one of the murderers of Rasputin. Marie's father was banished from Russia for marrying without the Tsar's permission, which left Marie and her brother to be brought up by her stern uncle, Grand Duke Serge, the military governor of Moscow. Theirs was a lonely childhood, though they became devoted to one another. After Grand Duke Serge was assassinated in 1905, Marie made an arranged marriage with a Swedish prince, but it was an unhappy union that ended quickly. Marie worked as a nurse in the early years of World War I and escaped Russia with her second husband during the Revolution. She later became a successful entrepreneur in the Parisian fashion industry, opening a textile shop called "Kitmir." She wrote her memoirs, which were published in 1930.