Saturday, June 26, 2010

Princess Maria Day !

Today is the birthday of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanova, nicknamed 'Mashka'. She was the third daughter of the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his wife tsaritsa Alexandra. Her middle name Nikolaevna means daughter of Nicholas. In the julian calender then used in Russia, she was born June 14th. Maria grew up into a pretty, romantic, kindhearted, fun-loving girl. She was artistically talented, and noted for her fine sketches. From an early age, she felt a great interest in the lives of soldiers, and experienced a number of innocent crushes on officers she met at the palace and on family holidays.

Following the 1917 revolution the imperial family were arrested and they ended up at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. At first, she seemed blissfully ignorant of her danger. With her warm disposition she attempted to befriend the guards, many of whom were actually sympathetic to the imperial family (one smuggled in a cake for Maria's nineteenth birthday). She talked with them about their families, showed them photos from her albums, and told of her hopes for a new life in England after her release. On July 17, 1918, the imperial family was massacred, by forces of the Bolshevik secret police, in the cellar room.

Letters of Maria from Exile

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