Igor Kuragin,[1] Prince Kuragin, is a Russian refugee who fled his homeland to England following the Russian Revolution.


He and Violet Crawley have met before, when she was a guest at a ball at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg in 1874. From her giddy reaction to his presence, and Mary's teasing, it's clear the pair share a romantic past. Violet later reveals to Isobel they fell madly in love and attempted to elope. They planned to leave on his yacht, but were intercepted by Kuragin's wife, who had discovered their romance. She pulled Violet out and sent her back to her own husband.

Kuragin has been separated from his wife for many years, so Violet asks Lord Flintshire to look into it. He once owned a large amount of land and palaces, but has been reduced to a small house in Yorkshire. Kuragin later approaches Violet and asks her to be his lover, expressing his desire to spend his final years with her. She objects as he does not know the fate of his wife, but he persists. When meeting Atticus Aldridge, he is more cordial compared to Count Rostov. Rostov angrily says Atticus and his ancestors were never Russian (because of their Jewish faith). Prince Kuragin tries to keep the peace, and he apologizes for Rostov's words, showing he doesn't share his fellow refugee's antisemitic views. Later, his wife his found, and they reunite at Violet's house. She is wearing one of Violet's dresses, while he has borrowed a set of tails. They later move to Paris, where other Russian refugees have settled. Violet turns him away for good.

Behind the scenes

  • Prince Vasili Kuragin is the name of a character in Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace (Count Rostov is similarly named after a War and Peace character). In the novel, Prince Vasili is a manipulative, artificial and untrustworthy Russian nobleman, and a special friend of Anna Pavlovna. Vasili continually tries to maneuver his children into lucrative marriages, and consistently attempts to swindle Pierre Bezukhov. Prince Vasili's youngest son is Prince Anatole Kuragin, a charming, handsome but very irresponsible young officer. At one point, during Natasha's secret engagement to Andrei Bolkonski, Anatole, who is himself already married, seduces Natasha and convinces her to elope with him. (Due to interference by Natasha's relatives, the elopement is unsuccessful.)


Appearances and Mentions
Series 5 Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Christmas Special
Series 6 Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7 Episode 8 Christmas Special

Notes and references

  1. Granny's Past and a Baby Bates? Downton Abbey Season 5 Scoop: By TV Guide Posted Jul. 23, 2014 @ 12:05 am, Page 1.
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