OLGA AND ANASTASIA ROMANOV: ELDEST AND YOUNGEST GRAND DUCHESSES

Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov
Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov on the imperial yacht.

 

Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia: the eldest and youngest imperial sisters. At first glance it may seem that the two did not have much in common and did not interact that much, at least not as much as “The Big Pair” did with each other. But that’s not really the case. The two sisters were actually pretty close to each other, and mention each other in their diaries and letters quite often and independently of the other sisters. There are also plenty of photos of just the two sisters together, from which we can see that they were close and spent a lot of time together. They also seemed to do a lot of things with their beloved “Papa”, Nicholas II, without the other sisters – just the two of them, especially they seemed to share the love of skiing and boating, and other physical things.

Grand Duchess Olga riding her bike and Grand Duchess Anastasia next to her on foot.
Grand Duchess Olga riding her bike and Grand Duchess Anastasia next to her on foot.

From the 1913 diary of Olga Romanov:

“In the afternoon Nastaska , Papa and I went for a walk, slid down the hill and skated at the rink.”  “We walked around the park and then in Bablovo . After that we walked around the big pond. [I] constantly fought with Anastasia.. ”  “Nastasia, Papa and I went for a walk. ” “Anastasia’s leg hurts and she was lying down.”  “In the afternoon rode with Anastasia…” “In the afternoon Nastasia, Papa and I skied down the hill.” “Skied down the hill with Nastaska.” “Anastasia has a sore throat, temperature 37.1, and stayed home.” “Nastaska’s temperature [was] 38.2 in the evening, her tonsils are swollen.” “Nastasia is still in bed, but her temperature is normal.”  “Waited for Nastasia for a long time.” “In the afternoon Nastasia, Papa and I went to the consecration of Russia’s Warriors. After that [we] rode our bicycles and then double boats…” “Nastasia and I sailed in a double boat… ”

Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov playing in the snow in Tsarskoe Selo.
Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov playing in the snow in Tsarskoe Selo.

From the letters of Anastasia Romanov to her father Nicholas II:

“Olga just got a telegram from you …  Today we worked at Olga’s warehouse…” “Well, I made a stain [on the letter] because Olga butted in… Olga asked to send one more big kiss to you…” “Olga is playing the piano…”  “. Olga had charities and then went to Yelagin for tea at Grandmama’s.”  “Olga received a long letter from Mordvinov.” “Olga is resting now…” “. Olga and I did not go to the [snow] tower, but Tatiana and Maria went and tell us that it’s really nice now…” “Maria and I are now playing, she on the piano, and I on the balalaika, and it’s turning out rather well, but it’s even better with Olga.” “In the evenings Olga and I fly around our rooms on bicycles, full speed ahead. Olga chases me or I her, very pleasant. Sometimes we fall, but are still alive for now!” “Right now Olga’s cat is running around here, I think she grew and is rather cute.” “You already know well about our trip to Novgorod as I think Olga wrote a lot about it.” “We need to go downstairs for dinner and Olga will stay with the little one.”

Grand Duchess Olga reading on deck of the imperial yacht The Standart, with Grand Duchess Anastasia standing next to her.
Grand Duchess Olga reading on deck of the imperial yacht The Standart, with Grand Duchess Anastasia sitting next to her.

 

Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia looking at the Romanov family photo album.
Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia looking at the Romanov family photo album.
Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia playing with local children in Mogilev while visiting Nicholas II at Stavka
Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia playing with local children in Mogilev while visiting Nicholas II at Stavka
Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia in exile in Tobolsk
Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Anastasia in exile in Tobolsk

From the books Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar and MARIA and ANASTASIA: The Youngest Romanov Grand Duchesses In Their Own Words: Letters, Diaries, Postcards.

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