GRAND DUCHESS ANASTASIA NIKOLAEVNA: 18 JUNE, 1901 – 17 JULY, 1918

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GRAND DUCHESS ANASTASIA NIKOLAEVNA: 18 JUNE, 1901 – 17 JULY, 1918

By Christine Romanoff
*Sketch of Anastasia Nikolaevna, Grand Duchess of Russia. Charcoal on Canvas, used with the kind permission of the artist, Igor Babailov.

The “witty, vivacious, hopelessly stubborn, delightfully impertinent, and in general a perfect enfant terrible, the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna was born on June 18, 1901 in Peterhof.

Empress Alexandra Feodorovna with her infant fourth daughter, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This comedic characterization of Anastasia was firmly stated by Gleb Botkin, son of Romanov physician, Dr. Evgeny Botkin.  Gleb was to also add that “she undoubtedly held the record for punishable deeds in her family, for in naughtiness she was a true genius!”

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ROMANOV FAMILY AND QUEEN VICTORIA OF ENGLAND

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ROMANOV FAMILY AND QUEEN VICTORIA OF ENGLAND

Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra and baby Grand Duchess Olga with Queen Victoria in England.
Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra and baby Grand Duchess Olga with Queen Victoria of England.

January 22  is the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s death in 1901.   In the nineteenth century, many members of the European royal families were closely related to each other.  Queen Victoria was referred to as “the grandmother of Europe” because her progeny were dispersed throughout the continent through the marriages of her numerous children.

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ROMANOV FAMILY: “UNCLE MIMI” – GRAND DUKE MICHAEL ALEXANDROVICH

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ROMANOV FAMILY: “UNCLE MIMI” – GRAND DUKE MICHAEL ALEXANDROVICH

Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich: youngest brother of Tsar Nicholas II and favorite uncle of the Romanov children. His nieces often mentioned him in their diaries, especially during wartime when he was allowed to return to Russia (he lived abroad after his unpopular morganatic marriage to Natalie Wolfert).

Romanov family with Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich.
One of rare photographs of the Romanov family with Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich -“Uncle Mimi”. Left to right: Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, Grand Duke Michael, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Olga. Grand Duchess Anastasia and Grand Duchess Maria are a the front.

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ILEANA OF ROMANIA: WOULD BE TSARINA OF RUSSIA?

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PRINCESS ILEANA OF ROMANIA: WOULD BE TSARINA OF RUSSIA?

Ileana of Romania and Tsarevich Alexei of Russia
Princess Ileana of Romania and Tsarevich Alexei of Russia on the imperial yacht
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Princess Ileana with her mother, Queen Marie of Romania

Born on January 5, 1909 in Bucharest – Romania’s capital,  Princess Ileana was the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand I and Princess Marie of Edinburgh, who was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England and first cousin to Empress Alexandra of Russia.

As a young child Princess Ileana met and befriended the children of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who were her 2nd cousins. The little girl became especially fond of Tsarevich Alexei, Heir to the throne of Russia. In fact, both sets of parents did not exclude the possibility of marriage between their children some time in future; Alexei’s eldest sister – Grand Duchess Olga – was also thought to have been a good dynastic match for Ileana’s big brother Carol, heir to the Romanian throne. Of course the possibility of any Russian marriages ended with the brutal murder of the entire Romanov family in 1918.

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NIKOLAI KULIKOVSKY AND GRAND DUCHESS OLGA ALEXANDROVNA: THEIR LIFE AND MARRIAGE

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NIKOLAI KULIKOVSKY AND GRAND DUCHESS OLGA ALEXANDROVNA: THEIR LIFE AND MARRIAGE

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna with her new husband, Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky.
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna with her new husband, Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky.

Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky (5 November 1881- 11 August 1958) was a Russian nobleman and military man. Educated at the Gurevich School in St. Petersburg and later at the Nicholas Cavalry School (1900-1902),  Kulikovsky joined Her Majesty’s Own Life-Guards Cuirassiers Regiment upon graduation.

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna with her new husband, Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky.
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna with her new husband, Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky.

In 1903, Kulikovsky met Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna at a military parade, and from then on, the couple drew closer, despite the fact that Grand Duchess Olga was already (unhappily) married to her cousin Duke Peter of Oldenburg.

In 1906, Kulikovsky was appointed the Duke of Oldenburg’s aide, and their relationship became a decorous open secret.

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ANASTASIA ROMANOV: “THE SHVYBZIK”

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ANASTASIA ROMANOV: “THE SHVYBZIK”

Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov
Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov

Grand Duchess Anastasia or “Nastasia”, was also known as “Shvybzik” or “Shvybz” – the nickname which referred to her quick and naughty nature.

Anastasia Romanov was said to be made of mercury instead of flesh and blood.

She was the family comedian who excelled at mimicking those around her, was rather witty and loved to play practical jokes – to the chagrin of her siblings, governesses, tutors and friends.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov
Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov

 

 

 

Looking at the many photos, and reading the many letters of Anastasia Romanov, one can easily see and feel her sparkling personality come through.

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