Grand Duchess Olga Nicolaievna


Olga, the eldest of the five children, was born on 3 November 1895 (OS) at Tsarskoe Selo. Her parents were not the least bit disappointed at the birth of a daughter. They were young and had much time for sons. Olga was huge, weighing in at 10 lbs. Queen Victoria proclaimed her to be most beautiful, with a very large head.
As she grew, Olga showed herself to be sensitive, spiritual and very serious for one so small. Her French tutor, Pierre Gilliard, described her as ''very fair and with sparkling, mischievous [blue-gray] eyes and a slightly retrousse nose." Olga was kind and modest, using her small allowance to donate anonymously to charities. She was the most serious of the four girls and spent much time reading novels such as [ironically] Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Olga, along with her mother and sister, Tatiana, served as a nurse during WWI. Olga was the only one of the Grand Duchess' to been recorded in an oil on canvas dancing at an Imperial Ball before her brutal murder in Ekaterinburg. In 1914, she and her family paid a formal visit to Rumania and the Crown Prince Carol. Having suspected that this may be a match-making visit, she told her tutor, Gilliard, "I don't want to leave Russia. I am a Russian and I mean to remain a Russian." However, with the outbreak of WWI, her parents never proceeded in finding a suitable match for her. There was even mention of a match with Edward, the Prince of Wales, who later abdicated in the 1930's to marry a American divorcee. Nicholas and Alexandra were extremely sensitive to their daughter's feelings about marriage and would not force any of their daughters into a marriage they did not want.

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