Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia
1882 – 1960
Who was Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia?
She was raised at the Gatchina Palace outside Saint Petersburg. Olga's relationship with her mother, Empress Marie, the daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark, was strained and distant from childhood. In contrast, she and her father were close. He died when she was 12, and her brother Nicholas became emperor.
In 1901, she married Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg, who was privately believed by family and friends to be homosexual. Their marriage of 15 years remained unconsummated, and Peter at first refused Olga's request for a divorce. The couple led separate lives and their marriage was eventually annulled by the Emperor in October 1916. The following month Olga married cavalry officer Nikolai Kulikovsky, with whom she had fallen in love several years before. During the First World War, the Grand Duchess served as an army nurse at the front and was awarded a medal for personal gallantry. At the downfall of the Romanovs in the Russian Revolution of 1917, she fled to the Crimea with her husband and children, where they lived under the threat of assassination. Her brother and his family were shot by revolutionaries.
- 'My father was everything to me. Immersed in work as he was, he always spared that daily half-hour. … once my father showed me a very old album full of most exciting pen and ink sketches of an imaginary city called Mopsopolis, inhabited by Mopses. He showed it to me in secret, and I was thrilled to have him share his own childhood secrets with me.'
- 'If Mrs. Anderson had indeed been Anastasia, Queen Marie would have recognized her on the spot. ... Marie would never have been shocked at anything, and a niece of mine would have known it. ... There is not one tittle of genuine evidence in the story. The woman keeps away from the one relative who would have been the first to recognize her, understand her desperate plight, and symphathize with her.'
- 'My beloved Anastasia was fifteen when I saw her for the last time in the summer of 1916. She would have been twenty-four in 1925. I thought Mrs. Anderson looked much older than that. Of course, one had to make allowances for a very long illness ... All the same, my niece's features could not possibly have altered out of all recognition. The nose, the mouth, the eyes were all different. ... As soon as I sat down by that bed in the Mommsen Nursing Home, I knew I was looking at a stranger. … I had left Denmark with something of a hope in my heart. I left Berlin with all hope extinguished.'
- 'Even during my geography and arithmetic lessons, I was allowed to sit with a pencil in my hand. I could listen much better when I was drawing corn or wild flowers.'
- 'Yet I am sure that deep in her heart my mother had steeled herself to accept the truth some years before her death.'
- 'Fortunately, I arrived just at that moment, picked her up and carried her back to Miss Eagar, who was still talking about Dreyfus.'
- 'A moment later I remembered that the young woman having spent five years in Germany, would naturally have learnt the language, but then I heard that when she was rescued from that canal in 1920, she spoke nothing but German – when she spoke at all- which was not often. I readily admit that a ghastly horror experienced in one’s youth can work havoc with one’s memory but I have never heard of any ghastly experience endowing anyone with a knowledge they had not had before it happened. My nieces knew no German at all. Mrs Anderson did not seem to understand a word of Russian or English, the two languages all the four sisters had spoken since babyhood. French came a little later, but German was never spoken in the family.'
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- Jun 13, 1882
- Russians in Canada
- Nov 24, 1960
- Resting place
- York Cemetery, Toronto
on July 23, 2013
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"Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 28 May 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/grand_duchess_olga_alexandrovna_of_russia>.