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Emanuel was sent to Lancing and St Paul's, the school fees often being settled by the provision of family paintings (brought out from Russia) in lieu of cash.

After leaving school, Emanuel Galitzine worked briefly at Prudential.

Some years later Galitzine was returning from a sales tour of the Far East via Moscow, where President Khrushchev had agreed to meet him; in the event, the Soviet leader failed to turn up, but he did send a gift, a cigarette case.

He was in Calcutta when he encountered Boris Lissanevich, a Russian who was running the 300 Club, where gin rummy games attracted the King of Nepal and a glittering array of Indian princes.

One day he had just landed passengers in Delhi when he was asked to fly to Bombay a passenger whom he described as "a dirty little man, who sat playing with his toenails, and four policemen".

In the event, the family (including Emanuel's two younger brothers) managed to embark on a Royal Navy ship in the Crimea, which took them to Constantinople.

They made their way by train to Paris, home to many White Russian exiles.

Emanuel's father, Prince Vladimir Galitzine, preferred to settle in England, however, thinking that his sons would benefit from a public school education.

Accordingly, they went to London, where Prince Vladimir opened a shop in Berkeley Square selling Russian objets d'art; Queen Mary was a regular customer.

He then formed Curzon Films with a friend, Sasha, Count de Lasta, and soon became known for throwing glamorous parties.

At one party - held on the banks of the Thames - Galitzine dived into the river and swam across, though dressed in white tie and tails.

When Dickson was posted to Italy, Galitzine accompanied him, adding Italian to his already impressive list of languages.

He then obtained a posting to No 72, a Spitfire squadron in No 324 Wing commanded by Group Captain Wilfrid Duncan Smith, father of the present Conservative Party leader.

A great-grandson of Emperor Paul I (a son of Catherine the Great), Prince Emanuel Vladimirovich Galitzine was born on May 28 1918 at Kislvodsk, a spa town in the Caucasus.

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