The letter handwritten on mourning stationery in Russian to Sergey Botkin, inquiring on behalf of Count Boris Alekseevich Perovskii, contained in a folded blue cardboard envelope with a tipped in label identifying the correspondent in Russian pre-Revolutionary orthography. Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna (1853-1920) was the only surviving daughter of Emperor Alexander II and Empress Maria Alexandrovna. She married Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1874. She became Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1893. Physician Sergey Botkin (1832-1889) was born into a wealthy Moscow merchant family. He finished his medical education shortly before the outbreak of the Crimean War, where his training under Nikolai Pirogov, a pioneer of field surgery, had a great influence on the younger man's career. Botkin was ultimately responsible for introducing triage, pathological anatomy, and post-mortem analysis to regular Russian medical practice. He opened his own research laboratory in 1860 and his innovations won him a position as an Advising Member of the Imperial Ministry of Internal Affair's Medical Board. He was a court Physician to both Emperor Alexander II and Alexander III and was named Head Surgeon to the Emperor in 1873. His father had a total of 25 children from his two marriages and many members of Botkin's family were equally prominent. His brothers included the writer Vasily Botkin (1812-1869) and the painter and art collector Mikhail Botkin (1839-1914); his sister Maria married the writer Afanasii Fet (1820-1892). Botkin himself was married twice, first to Anastasia Krylova (1835-1875) and second to Princess Ekaterina Obolenskaya (1850-1929). His son Eugene Botkin (1865-1918) was Court Physician to Nicholas II and perished with the Imperial family in 1918.