Prince Andrew Romanoff might have become Russia's tsar had fate, in the form of the Bolshevik Revolution, not intervened. Andrew is the grandnephew of Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, who was murdered along with his family in 1918. Andrew grew up not in Russia but in England, where his family found refuge. Andrew was born on January 21, 1923 in London and spent his childhood at Frogmore Cottage, the 23-room "cottage" on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Growing up, Andrew always spoke Russian, and was expected to behave, well, like a prince. His mother made him practice walking with a stick under his arms so that he would stand up straight, like royalty. Andrew's grandmother never stopped believing that someday the Romaoffs would return to Russian and rule the country once more, as they had since 1613.
Instead, Andrew enlisted with the British Navy and served in World War II. After the war ended, Andrew worked as a farmer in Kent before moving to California. In Palo Alto, he successfully tried his hand at many different ventures: the import-export business, acting as a timekeeper for a shipping company, running a head shop, carpentry, and art. In 1974, Andrew Romanoff and artist Inez Storer met and eventually married. At their home in Inverness, Andrew drew and painted on his preferred medium of Shrinky Dinks. Andrew's unique, utterly original artwork is firmly rooted in the traditions of Folk Art. In 2006, Gallery 16 published the book The Boy Who Would Be Tsar which told the story of Andrew's childhood illustrated by the artist. Andrew Romanoff passed away in November, 2021 at the age of 98.