Today is the birthday of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanova. She was the eldest daughter of the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and tsaritsa Alexandra. Her middle name Nikolaevna means daughter of Nicholas. In the julian calender then used in Russia, she was born November 3rd. Her name day was July 11th.
She grew up in a tender family. In striking contrast to many other royal couples, Nicholas and Alexandra were devoted spouses and affectionate parents. Olga was especially close to her sister Tatiana. Like the rest of the family, Olga also doted on her little brother, Alexis, tragically afflicted with hemophilia. Olga was an intelligent, thoughtful, strong-willed and forthright girl. From her early childhood, she was known for her kindness, but also for her hot temper. She enjoyed reading about politics and read newspapers. Olga adored her father. Her relationship with her mother was more difficult., Olga blossomed into a gentle, generous young woman. She took her religious faith very seriously and put it into practice through charity work. Despite the fact that her mother and at least two of her three sisters were celebrated beauties, she considered her own looks modest. There were rumors of several possible matches, but her parents did not want to force her into marriage, since they were married out of love themselves.
Olga & Tatiana
During the first world war, Alexandra, Olga and Tatiana worked as nurses, caring for wounded and dying soldiers. Olga was very dedicated and caring, but the tragedy took a heavy toll on her mental state. Suffering nervous strain and emotional exhaustion, she was obliged to give up nursing. Meanwhile, Olga seems to have realized Russia was heading towards disaster. "She was by nature a thinker," Gleb Botkin, the son of the family's physician, Yevgeny Botkin, later recalled, "and as it... seemed to me, understood the general situation better than any member of her family, including even her parents. At least I had the impression that she had little illusions in regard to what the future held in store for them, and in consequence was often sad and worried." She was only 22 when she was murdered, along with her family, by the Bolsheviks, following the Russian revolution in Juli 1918.