OLGA ROMANOV AND PAVEL VORONOV – THEIR 1913 ROMANCE
“Monday. 10 June… Did not do anything special, walked around the deck, sat in the cabin with Pavl. Al. … After tea played with Pavl. Al. and [other] friends….. Balalaikas were playing during dinner. After that [I] held watch with Pavl. Al. on deck… ”
“Thursday. 20 June… There were boating exercises. Papa kayaked. Cutter-gig escort (Pavl. Al.)…. After dinner T and I went to the control room. Dear Pavl. Al. was writing in the log journal. We sat together until 10 o’cl. … ”
“Friday. 21 June… [I] read and then sat on the afterdeck with Pavl. Al. for a long while. It was so nice… After tea I read on deck with T. Pavl. Al. came at 7 o’cl, and we sat together until 7 1/2. .. It was very funny to watch A talk to Pavl. Al. through the half port on afterdeck. Until 11 ½ [we] sat there with him… ”
“Saturday. 29 June… [We] went ashore at 2 o’cl. 15 min. as usual. Played 7 sets with Pavl. Al. Won only 1 set, because T and Rodionov played well, but I stank… Vsenoshnaya was held on afterdeck… Dear Pavl. Al. is on watch duty, it was so nice. Papa played kosti. I stared at Pavl. Al. from the half-port. Beautiful evening.”
“Friday. 12 July. Peterhof… Pavl. Al. was on watch duty from 8 o’clock… [I] sat in the control room with Pavl. Al., the sisters, Ippolit and Rodionov until our arrival in Kronshtadt at 3 o’cl. It was awfully sad. I stood with him the entire time the gangway was extended. [We] left the yacht at about 4 o’clock. [It] was so awfully hard to part with the beloved Standart, the officers and the beloved [Pavel? – last word is crossed out, probably by Olga]. May the Lord keep him… So sad to be without them… ”
“Thursday. 12 December… We played dobchinsky-bobchinsky and ‘suitcase’ with T., Zborovsky and S. [Voronov was now “S.”. Written in code : “I love him terribly much, and it was so hard, I was angry and almost did not speak to him”]… ”
“Wednesday. 18 December… Lonesome without all the friends, the yacht, and of course S. … “
“Tsarskoe Selo. Thursday. 19 December… I am not as lonesome but still want to see S. at times.”
“Friday. 20 December… My S. arrived today. May the Lord save him and help him.”
“Saturday. 21 December… I found out that S. [Written in code: “My S. is marrying Olga Kleinmichel. May the Lord send him happiness, to my beloved S. So hard. So sad. May he be happy”].”
Many years later, in immigration, Voronov’s wife, whose name was also Olga, wrote her memoirs of the Russian court. For those who are interested in Pavel’s more detailed life, the book Upheaval is available here online for free.
You can also read about Grand Duchess Olga’s last love: Dmitri Shakh-Bagov here.
Grand Duchess Olga’s 1913 diary excerpts are from the book:
Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar