Concept

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia

Summary
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia (О́льга Алекса́ндровна; – 24 November 1960) was the youngest child of Emperor Alexander III of Russia and younger sister of Emperor Nicholas II. Olga 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, at 19, 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, Olga served as an army nurse and was awarded a medal for personal gallantry. At the downfall of the Romanovs in the Russian Revolution of 1917, she fled with her husband and children to Crimea, where they lived under the threat of assassination. Her brother Nicholas and his family were shot and bayoneted to death by revolutionaries. Olga escaped revolutionary Russia with her second husband and their two sons in February 1920. They joined her mother, the Dowager Empress, in Denmark. In exile, Olga acted as companion and secretary to her mother and was often sought out by Romanov impostors who claimed to be her dead relatives. She met Anna Anderson, the best-known impostor, in Berlin in 1925. After the Dowager Empress's death in 1928, Olga and her husband purchased a dairy farm in Ballerup, near Copenhagen. She led a simple life: raising her two sons, working on the farm and painting. During her lifetime, she painted over 2,000 works of art, which provided extra income for both her family and the charitable causes she supported.
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