Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna dancing with an officer aboard imperial yacht.
Grand Duchess Olga Romanov dancing with an officer aboard imperial yacht.

From the diary of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna:

“[We] had tea and then ran around, played and danced to the phonograph until 6 o’clock.”

“After the polonaise, [I] walked with Count Sievers. After that, the dancing started. I danced a lot – it was such fun…I danced a quadrille with Zinoviev,  mazurka – with Oleg K., and other dances with lots of officers. My first ball.”

“…[T]here was dancing, first to an accordion, then musicians played…  The crew had a lot fun and danced a lot… Then we returned to the old spot and danced again. We danced with the officers…  The last dance was the polonaise to the ‘Old Ranger’ march. I danced with Pavl. Al…”

“We were going to leave, but then stayed for some reason and started dancing in the green dining room. First they played mazurka on the deck, then Shepotiev played the piano. It was such fun. I danced with my beloved S. a lot.”


“Suddenly everyone started dancing on starboard quarter-deck. It was such fun. Then [we] went on the cape, rode all around it in a wagon. When we returned, we resumed dancing – I danced a lot with the dearest S.”

The Romanov family dancing aboard "The Polar Star". Photo credit: ГА РФ, ф. 640 оп. 3 д. 25 л. 19 об. фото 269
Olga Romanov dancing aboard “The Polar Star”. Photo credit: ГА РФ, ф. 640 оп. 3 д. 25 л. 19 об. фото 269

“I danced 1 quadrille with Prince Trubetskoy. He was also the conductor. The 2nd dance, which was the cotillion, I danced with Volodi Gantskau, the waltz – with N.P. and with dear Shurik, who was very jolly in his dark jacket. Saw my S. once – he passed in the quadrille.”

“…We 2 and Papa went to the new infantry barracks for a ball. Such fun! Danced 1 quadrille with the regimental commander Viranovsky, and 2 – with dear Shurik. What darling, in my favorite jacket. Everything was very cozy. All the dances [were] in one hall. Prince Trubetskoi led the 2nd quadrille, Viranovsky led the 1st.”


Above excerpts are from the book Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar 


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