NIKOLAI KULIKOVSKY AND GRAND DUCHESS OLGA ALEXANDROVNA: THEIR LIFE AND MARRIAGE
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.
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.
Nikolai Kulikovsky was a common, albeit subtle, presence in Olga Alexandrovna’s life for many years before they were finally allowed to marry.
Olga’s two eldest nieces, Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Tatiana, often recorded his name in their diaries. Below are some examples.
From the 1913 diary of Olga Romanov:
“Sunday. 20 January… Went to [see] Grandmama at Anichkov and then went with Aunt Olga to her [house]. At 4 o’cl. dear N.P., P.A. Voronov, S.S. Klyucharev, N.N. Rodionov, V.V. Kvoshinsky., A. Shangin – a cuirassier and N.A. Kulikovsky arrived. Aunt Olga was there…”
“Sunday. 10 February… [We] went to Petersburg to [see] Grandmama at Anichkov. After 3 o’cl. Aunt Olga took us to her [house]… Shangin came over there too. At about 3 ½ M.L. Tzigern-Shternberg and AKSHV came over there too and then – Skvortsov, Irina, Zoya, G. of Leuchtenberg with Sasha and Nadya, N.N. Rodionov, V.V. Khvoshinsky, S.S. Klyucharev and N.A. Kulikovsky. [We] had tea, and then played in the large sitting room: cat and mouse, turkey, the ring, and also hide-and-seek downstairs in the dark… After that we went to the circus. Aunt Olga, K. Gagarin, Nadya, Klyucharev, Kulikovsky and 3 Cossacks.”
“Wednesday. 17 April… At 3 o’cl. went to Aunt Olga’s with her… We sat cozily, did not talk much… At 4 o’cl. Rodionov, Klyucharev, N.P., Sasha with his mother, Irina and Fedor [all] arrived. Uncle Petya [Olga’s first husband] and Kulikovsky were there too…”
From the 1913 diary of Tatiana Romanov:
“10th February . Sunday… A.[unts] Olga and Ksenia were sitting there. [We] went with A.[unt] Olga to her [house]. The cavalry officers arrived there … Sasha with his mother and sister, Nadya, Zoya, Irina, Aunt Ksenia, and N.A. Kulikovsky… Later everyone had dinner at two tables, [we] sat this way: A. [unt] Olga on the right, Olga, Shvedov, Anastasia, [illeg.], Marie, Skvortzov and Rodionov, the rest [sat] at another table. Later we, with Aunt, three Cossacks, Papa, N.A. Kulikovsky and Klucharev went to the circus…”
After the outbreak of the First World War, Tsar Nicholas II finally permitted Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna to divorce her husband, and she married Kulikovsky quietly at Kiev on 16 November, 1916.
The Kulikovskys reportedly had a happy marriage which produced two sons: Tikhon and Guri.
The family escaped the Russian revolution to live abroad, eventually on a farm in Canada, where Nikolai Kulikovsky died in 1958.
From the books:
Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar
Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913–1918
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