grand duchess dress

25 Favorite Photographs of Grand Duchess Olga {8/25}

Grand Duchess Olga, dressed in a Red Cross uniform, with her younger sister Maria (slightly out of the picture) during World War I. In the summer of 1914, Russia had joined “The War to End All Wars.” Whatever her flaws, Alexandra had never been one to stand by in a crisis. Now she had a new cause, and within a short time she, her friend Anna Vyrubova, and Olga and Tatiana had enrolled in a nurses’ training course. 

While Alexandra demonstrated a talent for nursing, and Tatiana-as always-showed herself to be highly proficient, the sensibilities of the oldest grand duchess could not cope with the grisly horrors of the operating theater. Within a short time, Olga was relieved of her operating room duties and given administrative work instead.

When not at the small hospital at Tsarskoe Selo, Olga and Tatiana kept busy with their various war effort committees. Olga had been unable to deal with the most gruesome aspects of hospital work, but she continued to work tirelessly in other capacities and was not above being contemptuous of those who had time on their hands.

[Grand Duchess] Elena wore dresses by the best Parisian designers and her parents always indulged her, bought her unique dolls when she was a little girl and jewellery, as she grew older. She was used to living in luxury, surrounded by splendid masterpieces. Elena Vladimirovna therefore grew up very conscious of her role and position in society; in spite of her dedication to many charitable causes, she never allowed anyone to forget that she was a Russian Grand Duchess. This, in later life, was to be the source of much discomfort to others around her, like her cousin King George V of Great Britain, who cared deeply for Elena Vladimirovna, not so much for her demands concerning precedence and rank. … One of the Grand Duchess´ favourite places was Tsarskoe Selo. Here, in her parents´ palace on Sadovaya Street, she was born and spent her childhood and youth. Elena participated in her brothers´ games, although on occasion they were indeed not harmless. She was very attached to Kirill, Boris and Andrey; together forming a close-knit “club” that wouls last a long time, even in exile.

G. Korneva & T. Cheboksarova: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna