Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia

Overview
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia ( – 24 November 1960) was the youngest child of Emperor Alexander III of Russia
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

. Her older brother was Tsar Nicholas II.

She was raised at the Gatchina Palace
Gatchina
Gatchina is a town and the administrative center of Gatchinsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located south of St. Petersburg by the road leading to Pskov...

 outside of Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. Olga's relationship with her mother, Empress Marie, the daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 16 November 1863 to 29 January 1906.Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was originally not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish...

, was strained and distant from childhood. In contrast, she and her father enjoyed their time together and shared intimate secrets.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia'
Start a new discussion about 'Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia ( – 24 November 1960) was the youngest child of Emperor Alexander III of Russia
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

. Her older brother was Tsar Nicholas II.

She was raised at the Gatchina Palace
Gatchina
Gatchina is a town and the administrative center of Gatchinsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located south of St. Petersburg by the road leading to Pskov...

 outside of Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. Olga's relationship with her mother, Empress Marie, the daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 16 November 1863 to 29 January 1906.Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was originally not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish...

, was strained and distant from childhood. In contrast, she and her father enjoyed their time together and shared intimate secrets. He died when she was 12, and her brother Nicholas became emperor.

In 1901, she married Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg
Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg
Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg was the first husband of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, the youngest sister of Tsar Nicholas II.-Early life:...

, who was privately believed by family and friends to be homosexual. The marriage did not last and was annulled in 1916, allowing Olga to marry untitled commoner Nikolai Kulikovsky
Nikolai Kulikovsky
Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky was the second husband of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, the sister of Tsar Nicholas II and daughter of Tsar Alexander III....

, with whom she had fallen in love during her first marriage. After the downfall of the Romanov
Romanov
The House of Romanov was the second and last imperial dynasty to rule over Russia, reigning from 1613 until the February Revolution abolished the crown in 1917...

s in the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, she fled to the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 with her mother, husband, and children, where they were placed under house arrest and lived under the threat of assassination. Her brother and his family, including Olga's niece Grand Duchess Anastasia
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna....

, were shot by revolutionaries
Shooting of the Romanov family
The shooting of the Romanov family, of the Russian Imperial House of Romanov, and those who chose to accompany them into exile, Dr. Eugene Botkin, Anna Demidova, Alexei Trupp, and Ivan Kharitonov, took place in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918 on the orders of Vladimir Lenin, Yakov Sverdlov, and the...

. After her escape from Russia in 1919, Olga was often sought out by Romanov impostors who claimed to be her dead relatives. She met Anna Anderson
Anna Anderson
Anna Anderson was the best known of several impostors who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia...

, the best-known Anastasia impostor, in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 in 1925.

Olga lived in exile in Denmark until 1948 when, feeling threatened by Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's regime, she moved her direct family to a farm in Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Like her father, she preferred to avoid extravagance and sought simplicity. During her lifetime, she painted over 2,000 works of art, which provided income for both her family and the charitable causes she supported. She lived in Canada until her death in a flat in East Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

 at the age of 78. She died seven months after her older sister, Xenia
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia was a daughter of Tsar Alexander III of Russia and the elder of Tsar Nicholas II two sisters. She married her cousin Grand Duke Alexander Mikailovich of Russia, with whom she had seven children....

. At the end of her life and afterwards, Olga was widely labelled the last Grand Duchess of Imperial Russia.

Early life



Olga was the youngest daughter of Tsar Alexander III
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

 and his consort, Marie Feodorovna, formerly Princess Dagmar of Denmark. She was born in the purple
Born in the purple
Traditionally, born in the purple was a term used to describe members of royal families although the term was later expanded to include all children born of prominent or high ranking parents. The parents must be prominent at the time of the child's birth so that the child is always in the spotlight...

, i.e. during her father's reign, on 13 June 1882 in the Peterhof Palace
Peterhof Palace
The Peterhof Palace in Russian, so German is transliterated as "Петергoф" Petergof into Russian) for "Peter's Court") is actually a series of palaces and gardens located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the...

, west of Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. Her birth was announced by a traditional 101-gun salute from the ramparts of the Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740.-History:...

, and similar salutes throughout the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. Her mother, advised by her sister, Alexandra, Princess of Wales
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

, placed Olga in the care of an English nanny, Elizabeth Franklin.

The Russian imperial family was a frequent target for assassins, so for safety reasons the Grand Duchess was raised at the country palace of Gatchina
Gatchina
Gatchina is a town and the administrative center of Gatchinsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located south of St. Petersburg by the road leading to Pskov...

, about 50 miles (80 km) west of Saint Petersburg. Olga and her siblings, however, were not accustomed to a lavish early lifestyle. Conditions in the nursery were modest, even Spartan. They slept on hard camp beds, rose at dawn, washed in cold water, and ate a simple porridge for breakfast.

Olga left Gatchina for the first time in the early fall of 1888 when the imperial family visited the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

. On 29 October, their return train approached the small town of Borki at speed. Olga's parents and their four older children were eating lunch in the dining-car when the train lurched violently and came off the rails. The carriage was torn open; the heavy iron roof caved in, and the wheels and floor of the car were sliced off. The Tsar crawled out from beneath the crushed roof, and held it up with "a Herculean effort" so that the others could escape. There were 21 fatalities. Empress Marie helped tend the wounded, and made makeshift bandages from her own clothes. An official investigation found that the crash
Borki train disaster
The Borki train disaster occurred on near Borki station in the former Kharkov Governorate of the Russian Empire , 295 kilometers south of Kursk, when the imperial train carrying Tsar Alexander III of Russia and his family from Crimea to Saint Petersburg derailed at high speed...

 was an accident, but it was widely assumed that two bombs had been planted on the line.

The Grand Duchess and her siblings were taught at home by private tutors. Subjects included history, geography, Russian, English and French, as well as drawing and dancing. Physical activities such as equestrianism
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 were taught at an early age, and they became expert riders. The family was deeply religious. Although Christmas and Easter were times of celebration and extravagance, Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

 was strictly observed—meat, dairy products and any form of entertainment were avoided. Family holidays were taken in the summer at Peterhof and with Olga's grandparents in Denmark.

Empress Marie was reserved and formal with Olga as a child, and their relationship remained a difficult one. However, Olga, her father, and the youngest of her brothers, Michael
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia was the youngest son of Emperor Alexander III of Russia.At the time of his birth, his paternal grandfather was still the reigning Emperor of All the Russias. Michael was fourth-in-line to the throne following his father and elder brothers Nicholas and...

, had a close relationship. Together, the three frequently went on hikes within the Gatchina forests, where the Tsar taught Olga and Michael woodsmanship. Olga said of her father:
During 1894 Olga's father became increasingly ill, and the annual trip to Denmark was cancelled. On 13 November 1894, he died at the age of 49. The emotional impact on Olga, aged only 12, was traumatic, and her eldest brother, the new Tsar Nicholas II, was propelled into a role for which in Olga's later opinion he was ill-prepared.

Tsarskoye Selo


Olga was due to enter society in the summer of 1899, but after the death of her brother George
Grand Duke George Alexandrovich of Russia
Grand Duke George Alexandrovich of Russia, , was the third son of Alexander III and Empress Marie of Russia. He was named George after his mother's younger brother, King George I of Greece...

 at the age of 27, her first official public appearance was delayed by a year until 1900. She hated the experience, and later told her official biographer Ian Vorres, "I felt as though I were an animal in a cage—exhibited to the public for the first time." From 1901, Olga was appointed honorary Commander-in-Chief of the 12th Akhtyrsky Hussar Regiment of the Imperial Russian Army
Imperial Russian Army
The Imperial Russian Army was the land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the early 1850s, the Russian army consisted of around 938,731 regular soldiers and 245,850 irregulars . Until the time of military reform of Dmitry Milyutin in...

. The Akhtyrsky Hussars were famous for their victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Kulm
Battle of Kulm
The Battle of Kulm was a battle near the town Kulm and the village Přestanov in northern Bohemia. It was fought on 29–30 August 1813, during the War of the Sixth Coalition...

 in 1813, and wore a distinctive brown dolman
Dolman
A Dolman Originally, the term referred to a long and loose garment with narrow sleeves and an opening in the front. It was worn generally by the Turks, and is not unlike a cassock in shape.-Military dolman:...

.

At the age of 19, on 9 August 1901, she married 33-year-old Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg
Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg
Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg was the first husband of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, the youngest sister of Tsar Nicholas II.-Early life:...

, a member of the Russian branch of the House of Oldenburg
House of Oldenburg
The House of Oldenburg is a North German dynasty and one of Europe's most influential Royal Houses with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Russia, Greece, Norway, Schleswig, Holstein, Oldenburg and Sweden...

, and the couple moved into a 200-room palace on Sergievskaya street in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. The marriage, announced in May, was not expected by many, as Peter had shown no prior interest in women, and members of society assumed he was homosexual. His proposal even came as a surprise to Olga, who later explained, "I was so taken aback that all I could say was 'thank you'". Their marriage remained unconsummated, and Olga suspected that Peter was pushed into proposing by his ambitious mother. Biographer Patricia Phenix thought Olga may have accepted his proposal to gain independence from her own mother, the Dowager Empress Marie, or avoid marriage into a foreign court.

Near the Oldenburg's estate, Ramon
Ramon, Russia
Ramon is an urban locality and the administrative center of Ramonsky District of Voronezh Oblast, Russia. Population: It was first mentioned in 1615. It was granted urban-type settlement status in 1938....

 in Voronezh province
Voronezh Oblast
Voronezh Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It was established on June 13, 1934.-Main rivers:*Don*Voronezh*Bityug*Khopyor-Economy:...

, Olga had her own villa, called "Olgino" after the local town. She subsidized the village school out of her own pocket, and established a hospital. Her daughter-in-law later wrote, "She tried to help every needy person as far as her strengths and means would permit." At the hospital, she learned basic medical treatment and proper care from the local doctor. She exemplified her strong Orthodox
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 faith by creating religious icons, which she distributed to the charitable endeavours she supported.

In 1903, she was introduced to a Blue Cuirassier
Cuirassier
Cuirassiers were mounted cavalry soldiers equipped with armour and firearms, first appearing in late 15th-century Europe. They were the successors of the medieval armoured knights...

 Guards officer Nikolai Kulikovsky
Nikolai Kulikovsky
Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky was the second husband of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, the sister of Tsar Nicholas II and daughter of Tsar Alexander III....

 by her brother Michael during a royal military review at Pavlovsk Palace
Pavlovsk Palace
Pavlovsk Palace is an 18th-century Russian Imperial residence built by Paul I of Russia near Saint Petersburg. After his death, it became the home of his widow, Maria Feodorovna...

. Olga and Kulikovsky began to see each other, and exchanged letters regularly. The same year, at the age of 22, she confronted her husband and asked for a divorce, which he refused with the qualification that he might reconsider after seven years. Nevertheless, Oldenburg appointed Kulikovsky as an aide-de-camp
Aide-de-camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

, and allowed him to live in the same residence as Oldenburg and the Grand Duchess on Sergievskaya street. The relationship between Kulikovsky and the Grand Duchess was not public, but gossip about their romance spread through society.

From 1904 to 1906, Duke Peter was appointed to a military post in Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo is the town containing a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located south from the center of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.-History:In...

, a complex of palaces just south of Saint Petersburg. In Tsarskoye Selo, the Grand Duchess grew close to her brother Nicholas and his family, who lived at the Alexander Palace
Alexander Palace
The Alexander Palace is a former imperial residence at Tsarskoye Selo, on a plateau around 30 minutes by train from St Petersburg. It is known as the favourite residence of the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, and his family and their initial place of imprisonment after the revolution that...

 near her own residence. Olga prized her connection to the Tsar's four daughters. From 1906 to 1914, Olga took her nieces to parties and engagements in Saint Petersburg, without their parents, every weekend throughout the winter. She especially took a liking to the youngest of Nicholas's daughters, her god-daughter Anastasia, whom she called Shvipsik ("little one"). Through her brother and sister-in-law, Olga met Rasputin, a self-styled holy man who purported to have healing powers. Although she made no public criticisms of Rasputin's association with the imperial family, she was unconvinced of his supposed powers and privately disliked him. As Olga grew close to her brother's family, her relationship with her other surviving brother, Michael, deteriorated. To her and Nicholas's horror, Michael eloped with his mistress, a twice-divorced commoner, and communication between Michael and the rest of the family was essentially cut off.

Public unrest over the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 and demands for political reform increased in the early years of the twentieth century. At Epiphany 1905, a band of revolutionaries fired live rounds at the Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

 from the Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740.-History:...

. Olga and the Dowager Empress were showered with glass splinters from a smashed window, but were unharmed. Three weeks later, on "Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1905)
Bloody Sunday was a massacre on in St. Petersburg, Russia, where unarmed, peaceful demonstrators marching to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II were gunned down by the Imperial Guard while approaching the city center and the Winter Palace from several gathering points. The shooting did not...

", at least 92 people were killed by Cossack
Cossack
Cossacks are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in what is today Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the...

 troops during a demonstration, and a month later Olga's uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia was a son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia...

, was assassinated. Uprisings occurred throughout the country, and parts of the navy mutinied. Olga supported the appointment of the liberal Pyotr Stolypin
Pyotr Stolypin
Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin served as the leader of the 3rd DUMA—from 1906 to 1911. His tenure was marked by efforts to repress revolutionary groups, as well as for the institution of noteworthy agrarian reforms. Stolypin hoped, through his reforms, to stem peasant unrest by creating a class of...

 as prime minister, and he embarked on a programme of gradual reform
Stolypin reform
The Stolypin agrarian reforms were a series of changes to Imperial Russia's agricultural sector instituted during the tenure of Pyotr Stolypin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers...

, but in 1911 he was assassinated. The public unrest, Michael's elopement, and Olga's sham marriage placed her under strain, and in 1912, while visiting England with her mother, she suffered a nervous breakdown. Tsarina Alexandra was also unwell with fatigue, concerned by the poor health of her hemophiliac son, Alexei
Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia
Alexei Nikolaevich of the House of Romanov, was the Tsesarevich and heir apparent to the throne of the Russian Empire. In English, his title is usually given as Tsarevich, a title that has a separate meaning in Russia. Alexei was the youngest child and only son of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress...

. Olga stood in for the Tsarina at public events, and accompanied her brother on a tour of the interior, while the Tsarina remained at home.

On 1 August 1914, just before the start of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Olga's regiment, the Akhtyrsky Hussars, appeared at an Imperial Review before her and the Tsar at Krasnoe Selo. Kulikovsky volunteered for service with the Hussars, who were stationed on the frontlines in Southwestern Russia. With the Grand Duchess's prior medical knowledge from the village of Olgino, she started work as a nurse at an under-staffed Red Cross hospital in Rovno, near to where her own regiment was stationed. During the war, she came under heavy Austrian fire while attending the regiment at the front. Nurses rarely worked so close to the frontlines and consequently she was awarded the Order of St. George
Order of St. George
The Military Order of the Holy Great-Martyr and the Triumphant George The Military Order of the Holy Great-Martyr and the Triumphant George The Military Order of the Holy Great-Martyr and the Triumphant George (also known as Order of St. George the Triumphant, Russian: Военный орден Св...

 by General Mannerheim
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was the military leader of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War, Commander-in-Chief of Finland's Defence Forces during World War II, Marshal of Finland, and a Finnish statesman. He was Regent of Finland and the sixth President of Finland...

, who later became President of Finland
President of Finland
The President of the Republic of Finland is the nation's head of state. Under the Finnish constitution, executive power is vested in the President and the government, with the President possessing extensive powers. The President is elected directly by the people of Finland for a term of six years....

. As the Russians lost ground to the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

, Olga's hospital was moved eastwards to Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, and Michael returned to Russia from exile abroad.

Fall of the House of Romanov


In 1916, Tsar Nicholas II officially annulled the marriage between Duke Peter Alexandrovich and the Grand Duchess, allowing her to marry Colonel Kulikovsky. The service was performed on 16 November 1916 in the Kievo-Vasilievskaya Church on Triokhsviatitelskaya (Three Saints Street) in Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

. The only guests were the Dowager Empress Marie, Olga's brother-in-law Grand Duke Alexander
Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia
Grand Duke Alexander Mihailovich of Russia, Александр Михайлович Aleksandr Mihailovits was a dynast of the Russian Empire, a naval officer, an author, explorer, the brother-in-law of Emperor Nicholas II, and an advisor of the said Emperor.-Biography: Alexander was born the son of Grand Duke...

, four officers of the Akhtyrsky Regiment, and two of Olga's fellow nurses from the hospital in Kiev.

During the war, internal tensions and economic deprivation in Russia continued to mount and revolutionary sympathies grew. After Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in early 1917, many members of the Romanov dynasty, including Nicholas and his immediate family, were detained under house arrest. In search of safety, the Dowager Empress, Grand Duke Alexander, and Grand Duchess Olga travelled to the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 by special train, where they were joined by Olga's sister Grand Duchess Xenia
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia was a daughter of Tsar Alexander III of Russia and the elder of Tsar Nicholas II two sisters. She married her cousin Grand Duke Alexander Mikailovich of Russia, with whom she had seven children....

. They lived at Alexander's estate, Ay-Todor, about 12 miles (19 km) from Yalta
Yalta
Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea.The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black...

, where they were placed under house arrest by the local forces. On 12 August 1917, her first child and son, Tikhon Nikolaevich was born during their virtual imprisonment. He was named after Tikhon of Zadonsk
Tikhon of Zadonsk
Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk was a Russian Orthodox bishop and spiritual writer who has been glorified a saint of the Orthodox Church....

, the Saint venerated near the Grand Duchess's estate at Olgino. Although Tikhon was the grandson of an emperor and the nephew of another, neither he nor his younger brother Guri received any title as his father was a commoner.

The Romanovs isolated in the Crimea knew little of the fate of the Tsar and his family. Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children, were originally held at their official residence, the Alexander Palace, but the Provisional government under Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917.Kerensky served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October Revolution...

 relocated them to Tobolsk
Tobolsk
Tobolsk is a town in Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Tobol and Irtysh Rivers. It is a historic capital of Siberia. Population: -History:...

, Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

. In February 1918, most of the imperial family at Ay-Todor was moved to another estate at Djulber, where Grand Dukes Nicholas and Peter were already under house arrest. Olga and her husband were left at Ay-Todor. The entire Romanov family in the Crimea was condemned to death by the Yalta
Yalta
Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea.The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black...

 revolutionary council, but the executions were delayed by political rivalry between the Yalta and Sevastopol
Sevastopol
Sevastopol is a city on rights of administrative division of Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 . Sevastopol is the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa....

 Soviets. By March 1918, the Central Power
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 had advanced on the Crimea, and the revolutionary guards were replaced by German ones. In November 1918, the German forces were informed that their nation had lost the war, and they evacuated homewards. Allied
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 forces took over the Crimean ports, in support of the loyalist White Army, which temporarily allowed the surviving members of the Romanov family time to escape abroad. The Dowager Empress Marie and, at her insistence, most of her family and friends were evacuated by the British warship HMS Marlborough
HMS Marlborough (1912)
HMS Marlborough was an Iron Duke-class battleship of the Royal Navy, named in honour of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and launched in 1912. In World War I she served in the 1st Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow...

. Nicholas II, however, had already been assassinated and the family assumed, correctly, that his wife and children had also been killed
Shooting of the Romanov family
The shooting of the Romanov family, of the Russian Imperial House of Romanov, and those who chose to accompany them into exile, Dr. Eugene Botkin, Anna Demidova, Alexei Trupp, and Ivan Kharitonov, took place in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918 on the orders of Vladimir Lenin, Yakov Sverdlov, and the...

. Unknown to her, Olga's childhood confidant and brother Michael
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia was the youngest son of Emperor Alexander III of Russia.At the time of his birth, his paternal grandfather was still the reigning Emperor of All the Russias. Michael was fourth-in-line to the throne following his father and elder brothers Nicholas and...

, the emperor's supposed successor, had been assassinated near Perm
Perm
Perm is a city and the administrative center of Perm Krai, Russia, located on the banks of the Kama River, in the European part of Russia near the Ural Mountains. From 1940 to 1957 it was named Molotov ....

 on 13 June 1918.

Olga and her husband refused to leave Russia, and decided to move to the Caucasus, which the White Army had cleared of revolutionary Bolsheviks. An imperial bodyguard, Timofei Yatchik, guided them to his hometown, the large Cossack
Cossack
Cossacks are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in what is today Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the...

 village of Novominskaya. In a rented five-roomed farmhouse there, Olga gave birth to her second son, Guri Nikolaevich, on 23 April 1919. He was named after a friend of hers, Guri Panayev, who was killed while serving in the Akhtyrsky Regiment during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. In November 1919, the family set out on what would be their last journey through Russia. Just ahead of revolutionary troops, they escaped to Novorossiysk
Novorossiysk
Novorossiysk is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. It is the country's main port on the Black Sea and the leading Russian port for importing grain. It is one of the few cities honored with the title of the Hero City. Population: -History:...

, and took refuge in the residence of the Danish consul, Thomas Schytte, who informed them of the Dowager Empress's safe arrival in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. After a brief stay with the consul, the family were shipped to a refugee camp on the island of Büyükada
Büyükada
Büyükada is the largest of the nine so-called Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul, with an area of about two square miles...

 in the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
The Dardanelles , formerly known as the Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately...

 Strait near Istanbul, Turkey, where Olga, her husband and children shared three rooms with eleven other adults. After two weeks, they were evacuated to Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes where she was visited by Regent Alexander Karageorgevich, later King Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Alexander I , also known as Alexander the Unifier was the first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well as the last king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes .-Childhood:...

. Alexander offered the Grand Duchess and her family a permanent home, but Olga was summoned to Denmark by her mother. On Good Friday 1920, Olga and her family arrived in Copenhagen. They lived with the Dowager Empress Marie, at first at the Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard ; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's...

 and then at the royal estate of Hvidøre, where Olga acted as her mother's secretary and companion.

Anna Anderson



In 1925, Olga and Colonel Kulikovsky travelled to Berlin to meet Anna Anderson
Anna Anderson
Anna Anderson was the best known of several impostors who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia...

, who claimed to be Olga's niece, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna....

. Anderson had attempted suicide in Berlin in 1920, which Olga later called "probably the only indisputable fact in the whole story". Anderson claimed that with the help of a man named Tchaikovsky she had escaped from revolutionary Russia via Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, where she had given birth to his child. Olga thought the story "palpably false", since Anderson made no attempt to approach Queen Marie of Romania
Marie of Romania
Marie of Romania was Queen consort of Romania from 1914 to 1927, as the wife of Ferdinand I of Romania.-Early life:...

, during her entire alleged time in Bucharest. Olga said:
Anderson stated she was in Berlin to inform Princess Irene of Prussia
Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine
Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine was the third child and third daughter of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. Her maternal grandparents were Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert...

 (sister of Tsarina Alexandra and cousin of Tsar Nicholas II) of her survival. Olga commented, "[Princess Irene] was one of the most straightlaced women in her generation. My niece would have known that her condition would have indeed have shocked [her]."

Olga met Anderson, who was being treated for tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, at a nursing home. Of the visit Olga later said:
In addition, Olga said she was dismayed that Anderson spoke only German and showed no sign of knowing either English or Russian, while Anastasia spoke both those languages fluently and was ignorant of German. Nevertheless, Olga remained sympathetic towards Anderson, perhaps because she thought that she was ill rather than deliberately deceitful. Olga later explained:
Conceivably, Olga was initially either open to the possibility that Anderson was Anastasia or unable to make up her mind. Anderson's biographer and supporter Peter Kurth claimed that Olga wrote to the Danish ambassador, Herluf Zahle
Herluf Zahle
Herluf Zahle was a Danish barrister with the Supreme Court, a career diplomat and the President of the League of Nations from 1928 to 1929.- References :* at Dansk Biografisk Haandleksikon...

, at the end of October 1925: "My feeling is that she is not the one she believes—but one can't say she is not as a fact". However, within a month she had made up her mind. She wrote to a friend, "There is no resemblance, and she is undoubtedly not A." Olga sent Anderson a scarf and five letters, which were used by Anderson's supporters to claim that Olga recognized Anderson as Anastasia. Olga later said she sent the gift and letters "out of pity", and called the claims "a complete fabrication". When Olga refused to recognize Anderson as Anastasia publicly and published a statement denying any resemblance in a Danish newspaper, Anderson's supporters, Harriet von Rathlef
Harriet von Rathlef
Harriet Ellen Siderowna von Rathlef-Keilmann, , was a Latvian-born sculptor and writer of children's books who escaped to Germany from the Baltic provinces following the Russian Revolution of 1917....

 and Gleb Botkin
Gleb Botkin
Gleb Evgenievich Botkin was the son of Dr. Eugene Botkin, the court physician who was murdered at Ekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks with Tsar Nicholas II and his family on July 17, 1918....

, claimed that Olga was acting on instructions received from her sister Xenia by telegram, which Olga denied in private letters and sworn testimony. She told her official biographer, "I never received any such telegram." The supposed telegram was never produced by Anderson's supporters, and it has never been found among any of the papers relating to the case. Xenia said,

Danish residency and exodus


The Dowager Empress died on 13 October 1928 at Hvidøre. Her estate was sold and Olga purchased Knudsminde, a farm in Ballerup
Ballerup
Ballerup Kommune is a municipality in Region Hovedstaden on the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark. Approx. 15 km. From central Copenhagen. The municipality covers an area of 34 km², and has a total population of 47,116 . It is also the name of the municipal seat,...

 about 15 miles (24 km) from Copenhagen, with her portion of the proceeds. Her farm-estate became a centre for the Russian monarchist community in Denmark and many Russian emigrants
White Emigre
A white émigré was a Russian who emigrated from Russia in the wake of the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War, and who was in opposition to the contemporary Russian political climate....

 visited. She maintained a high level of correspondence with the Russian émigré community and former members of the Russian imperial army. In the 1930s, the family took annual holidays at Sofiero Castle, Sweden, with Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden
Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Gustaf VI Adolf - Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf - was King of Sweden from October 29, 1950 until his death. His official title was King of Sweden, of the Goths and of the Wends. He was the eldest son of King Gustaf V and his wife Victoria of Baden...

 and his wife, Louise
Louise Mountbatten
Louise Alexandra Marie Irene Mountbatten became Queen consort of Sweden in 1950 and served as such until her death in 1965...

. Olga began to sell her own paintings of Russian and Danish scenes, with exhibition auctions in Copenhagen, London, Paris, and Berlin. Some of the proceeds were donated to the charities she supported.

Neutral Denmark was invaded by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 on 9 April 1940, and was occupied for the remainder of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Food shortages, communication restrictions, and transportation closures followed. As Olga's sons, Tikhon and Guri, served as officers in the Danish Army, they were interned as prisoners of war, but their imprisonment in a Copenhagen hotel lasted less than two months. Tikhon was imprisoned for a further month in 1943 after being arrested on charges of espionage. Other Russian émigrés, keen to fight against the Soviets, enlisted in the German forces. Despite her sons' internment and her mother's Danish origins, Olga was implicated in her compatriots' collusion with German forces, as she continued to meet and extend help to Russian émigrés fighting against communism. On 4 May 1945, German forces in Denmark surrendered to the British. When economic and social conditions for Russian exiles failed to improve, General Pyotr Krasnov
Pyotr Krasnov
Pyotr Nikolayevich Krasnov , 1869 – January 17, 1947), sometimes referred to in English as Peter Krasnov, was Lieutenant General of the Russian army when the revolution broke out in 1917, and one of the leaders of the counterrevolutionary White movement afterward.- Russian Army :Pyotr Krasnov...

 wrote to the Grand Duchess, detailing the wretched conditions affecting Russian immigrants in Denmark. She in turn asked Prince Axel of Denmark
Prince Axel of Denmark
Axel Christian Georg, Prince of Denmark and Iceland was a Danish and Icelandic prince.Prince Axel was the second son of Prince Valdemar of Denmark and his wife, Princess Marie d'Orléans....

 to help them, but her request was refused.

The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 wrote to the Danish government accusing Olga and a Danish Catholic bishop of conspiracy against the Soviet government. With the end of World War II, Soviet troops came close to the Danish border, and the surviving Romanovs in Denmark grew fearful of an assassination or kidnap attempt. Olga decided to move her family across the Atlantic to the relative safety of rural Canada.

Emigration to Canada and death


In May 1948, the Kulikovskys travelled to London by Danish troopship
Troopship
A troopship is a ship used to carry soldiers, either in peacetime or wartime...

. They were housed in a grace and favour
Grace and favour
A grace and favour home is a residential property owned by a monarch by virtue of their position as head of state and leased rent-free to persons as part of an employment package or in gratitude for past services rendered....

 apartment at Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

 while arrangements were made for their journey to Canada as agricultural immigrants. On 2 June 1948, Olga, Kulikovsky, Tikhon and his Danish-born wife Agnete, Guli and his Danish-born wife Ruth, Guli and Ruth's two children, Xenia and Leonid, and Olga's devoted companion and former maid Emilia Tenso ("Mimka") departed Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 on board the Empress of Canada. After a rough crossing, the ship docked at Halifax, Nova Scotia
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...

. The family proceeded to Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, where they lived until they purchased a 200 acre (0.809372 km²) farm in Halton County, Ontario
Halton County, Ontario
Halton County is a historic county in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is also one of the oldest counties in Canada.-History:Halton County is named after Major William Mathew Halton who was appointed in 1805 as Secretary to the Upper Canada provincial Lieutenant-Governor Sir Francis...

, near Campbellville
Campbellville, Ontario
Campbellville, Ontario, Canada is a community in the geographic township of Nassagaweya in the Town of Milton, Halton Region on the Niagara Escarpment and is a tourist destination for residents of the Greater Toronto Area...

.

By 1952, the farm had become a burden to Olga and her husband. They were both elderly; their sons had moved away; labour was hard to come by; the Colonel suffered increasing ill-health, and some of Olga's remaining jewellery was stolen. The farm was sold, and Olga, her husband and her former maid, Mimka, moved to a smaller 5-room house at 2130 Camilla Road, Cooksville, Ontario
Cooksville, Ontario
Cooksville is a neighbourhood in the city of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It is located at the intersection of Dundas Street and Hurontario Street.-History:...

, a suburb of Toronto now amalgamated into the city of Mississauga. Mimka suffered a stroke that left her an invalid, and Olga nursed her until Mimka's death on 24 January 1954.

Neighbours and visitors to the region, including foreign and royal dignitaries, took interest in Olga, and visited her small home, which was also a magnet for Romanov impostors whom Olga and her family considered a menace. Welcome visitors included Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, née Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark was a member of the British Royal Family; the wife of Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck....

, in 1954, and Louis Mountbatten
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS , was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 and his wife Edwina
Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma,, GBE, DCVO, CI, DStJ was an English heiress, socialite, relief-worker, wife of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and last Vicereine of India.- Lineage and wealth :Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma...

, in August 1959. In June 1959, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

 visited Toronto and invited the Grand Duchess for lunch onboard the Royal Yacht
Royal Yacht
A royal yacht is a ship used by a monarch or a royal family. If the monarch is an emperor the proper term is imperial yacht. Most of them are financed by the government of the country of which the monarch is head...

, Britannia
HMY Britannia
Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia is the former Royal Yacht of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the 83rd such vessel since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. She is the second Royal yacht to bear the name, the first being the famous racing cutter built for The Prince of Wales...

.

By 1958, Olga's husband was virtually paralyzed, and Olga sold some of her remaining jewellery in an attempt to raise funds. Following her husband's death in 1958, she became increasingly infirm until hospitalized in April 1960 at Toronto General Hospital
Toronto General Hospital
The Toronto General Hospital , is a part of the University Health Network, and a major teaching hospital in downtown Toronto, Ontario. It is located in the Discovery District, directly north of the Hospital for Sick Children, across Gerrard Street West, and east of Princess Margaret Hospital and...

. She was not informed or was not aware that her elder sister, Xenia
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia was a daughter of Tsar Alexander III of Russia and the elder of Tsar Nicholas II two sisters. She married her cousin Grand Duke Alexander Mikailovich of Russia, with whom she had seven children....

, died in London that month. Unable to care for herself, Olga went to stay with Russian émigré friends, Konstantin and Sinaida Martemianoff, in an apartment above a beauty salon in Gerrard Street East, Toronto. On 21 November 1960, she slipped into a coma, and she died on 24 November, at the age of 78.

She was interred next to her husband in York Cemetery, Toronto
York Cemetery, Toronto
York Cemetery is a cemetery located in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The property of York Cemetery was originally farmed by Joseph Shepard who bought the property in 1805. The brick farm house on the property was constructed by Joseph's son, Michael in 1837...

, on 30 November 1960, after a funeral service at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Toronto. Officers of the Akhtyrsky Hussars and the Blue Cuirassiers stood guard in the small Russian church, which overflowed with mourners. Although she lived simply, bought cheap clothes, and did her own shopping and gardening, her estate was valued at more than 200,000 Canadian dollars (about 1.5 million Canadian dollars as of 2010) and was mostly held as stock and bonds. Her material possessions were appraised at 350 Canadian dollars in total, which biographer Patricia Phenix considered an underestimate.

Legacy



Olga began drawing and painting at a young age. She told her official biographer Ian Vorres:

She painted throughout her life, on paper, canvas and ceramic, and her output is estimated at over 2,000 pieces. Her usual medium was scenery and landscape, but she also painted portraits and still lifes. Vorres wrote,

Her daughter-in-law wrote,
Her paintings were a profitable source of income. According to her daughter-in-law, Olga preferred to exhibit in Denmark to avoid the commercialism of the North American market. The Russian Relief Programme, which was founded by Tikhon and his third wife Olga in honour of the Grand Duchess, exhibited a selection of her work at the residence of the Russian ambassador in Washington in 2001, in Moscow in 2002, in Ekaterinburg in 2004, in Saint Petersburg and Moscow in 2005, in Tyumen
Tyumen
Tyumen is the largest city and the administrative center of Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located on the Tura River east of Moscow. Population: Tyumen is the oldest Russian settlement in Siberia. Founded in 16th century to support Russia's eastward expansion, the city has remained one of the most...

 and Surgut
Surgut
Surgut is a city in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Russia, located on the Ob River near its junction with the Irtysh River, the largest in the autonomous okrug and the second largest in Tyumen Oblast. Population:...

 in 2006, and at the Tretyakov Gallery
Tretyakov Gallery
The State Tretyakov Gallery is an art gallery in Moscow, Russia, the foremost depository of Russian fine art in the world.The gallery's history starts in 1856 when the Moscow merchant Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov acquired works by Russian artists of his day with the aim of creating a collection,...

 in Moscow and Saint Michael's Castle
Saint Michael's Castle
St. Michael's Castle , also called the Mikhailovsky Castle or the Engineers Castle , is a former royal residence in the historic centre of Saint Petersburg, Russia. St. Michael's Castle was built as a residence for Emperor Paul I by architects Vincenzo Brenna and Vasili Bazhenov in 1797-1801...

 in Saint Petersburg in 2007. Pieces by Olga are included in the collections of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, King Harald of Norway
Harald V of Norway
Harald V is the king of Norway. He succeeded to the throne of Norway upon the death of his father Olav V on 17 January 1991...

, and private collections in North America and Europe. Ballerup
Ballerup
Ballerup Kommune is a municipality in Region Hovedstaden on the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark. Approx. 15 km. From central Copenhagen. The municipality covers an area of 34 km², and has a total population of 47,116 . It is also the name of the municipal seat,...

 Museum in Pederstrup, Denmark, has around 100 of her works.

Ancestry





External links