Vera Vladimirovna Komstadius, daughter of Vladimir Malama and wife of Nikolay Nikolaevich Komstadius, a Major General in the Imperial Army. She’s related to Yakov Malama, commander of Caucasus, and his son, Dimitri, who was the crush of Tatiana Nikolaevna, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II
She had five children: Sophia, Vera, Maria, Nikolay and Vladimir. In 1920, she and her children left Russia, and settled down in Greece as a part of Grand Duchess Vladimir’s daughter Elena Vladimirovna’s retinue. In 1923, the family moved to France.
My precious and good Papa Darling! We just finished dinner. So I am sending you my nice picture. I am sure that you will be very happy. Today I sat with our soldier and helped him read, and it was so pleasant for me. He learned to read and write with us. Two more died yesterday, we even sat with them earlier. This evening Mama is leaving to Pskov with Olga, Tatiana, Olya and Anya. Today it was five degrees of warmth, but there was snow mixed with rain and rather strong wind, but not a gale. Right now Ortipo is running after Tatiana around the room. Mama is expecting Maklakov at 9'oclock and Malama is coming too, this is very nice. I took this picture in the mirror and it was hard because my hands shook. How is Nikolai Pavlovich? Well, I made a stain [on the letter] because Olga butted in. I had seven lessons today, and tomorrow [will have] four or five. Just came in, ending the little governor. It was very pleasant. Yes sirree! I have not written to Aunt Olga for a long time. Olga is hitting Marie, and Marie is screeching, like a foolish Dragoon, such a big fool. Well Malama just got here, is sitting in a chair with the sisters. Olga asked me to send one more big kiss to you. I already washed up and now it’s time to go to bed. Tomorrow I will finish writing to you. Mama asked me to tell you she spoke with Maklakov and that he has set everything up and that all is well. She sends you a very big kiss and is sorry she cannot write because she has no time. Tatiana sends a big kiss.
Maria and Anastasia: The Youngest Romanov Grand Duchesses In Their Own Words - Helen Azar
Were any of the older Romanov sisters being "courted" by any boys before they died?
Hello ! Olga being the eldest was more concerned by marriage matters than her sisters, one of her first suitor was the twenty-three-year-old Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark he fell under the charm of Olga while visiting his sister Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna, His sister´s lady-in-waiting wrote :
“ He told me, that he greatly admired the Grand Duchess Olga…and asked me if I thought he had any chance. To me this was nothing very new, as I was accustomed to his short-lived enthusiasms, but this time I decided it would be a very good idea. After endless discussion, we decided to speak to his sister, the Grand Duchess George, and she suggested, ‘Why not try?’ So, having been given a stiff whisky and soda, he started for Livadia that afternoon. Whilst he was away, we three, the Grand Duchess, Zoia [the Baroness’s daughter] and I, walked about aimlessly. We worked ourselves into a perfect fever of excitement. When we heard the wheels of the car returning we nearly broke our necks trying to get to the door. I slid down the staircase in my haste but neither I nor anyone else took the least notice of that. He looked pale but dignified. We imagined he would have returned triumphant with a ring on his finger. Pushing him into the small writing room, we yelled at him, ‘Well?’ He slumped into a chair, and with a bewildered expression said, ‘I don’t know.’ ‘What do you mean, you fool, you don’t know?’ ‘Well, I don’t.’ Then, when we had ceased insulting him, he told us that the Emperor had been most kind but said firmly, ‘Olga is too young to think of such a thing as marriage yet.”
An union between Carol of Romania and Olga was considered more carefully, but it didn’t work out because clearly Olga wasn’t attracted to him, Carol also didn’t fell anything for her, at that time she said to Pierre Gilliard ‘ I don’t want to leave Russia. I’m a Russian and I mean to remain a Russian.’ However Carol was charmed by Maria, and asked her hand but Nicholas refused upon the fact she was too young. It was for the best Carol wasn’t a gift and they knew it, the girls purposely sunburned their faces during the voyage to Romania so that Carol finds them ugly. Here is the opinion of his mother Queen Marie :
” When the idea of a marriage between our son, Carol, and Olga, the eldest daughter of the Czar, was proposed, I was more against than for it, because I feared that uncanny illness—hæmophilia—which the women of certain families are supposed to give to their sons. I knew that poor Alix had given this illness to her heir, and I dared not face such a risk for our family. Gladly would I have welcomed one of Nicky’s daughters, had it not been for this, as, besides the ties of affection, it was a most flattering proposal, especially as it had been brought forward by the Russian side.”
Alexander of Serbia exchanged letters with Tatiana, it is said he was quite smitten by the second daughter of the Tsar.
The English side, Prince Arthur son of Prince Arthur Duke of Connaught, visited Russia in 1911, the British ambassador’s daughter noticed that his visit was ’ secretly to look at the Emperor’s daughter. ’ We know nothing about this meeting, or the impression for both of them.
Their cousin Louis Mountbatten fell in love with Maria and kept her photograph on his bedside all his life, who knows what would have happened if the Revolution didn’t broke out ? He was quite loved by his cousins, but I don’t think Maria had the same level of love than Dickie.
Of course Edward, the Prince of Wales who was 1 year older than Olga was mentioned but nothing serious came out.
The Russian side Prince Ioann Konstantinovich had a soft spot for Olga, he was very sad when he realised that he couldn’t marry her. But he had a happy marriage with Helena of Serbia, short but happy.
Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich was once considered as a prospective husband for Olga but his behaviour made him fall from the grace of Alexandra.
Alexandra was horrified when Maria Pavlovna proposed her second son, Boris, as a possible future husband for Olga, she wrote :
’ to give over a well used half worn out, blasé young man to a pure, fresh girl, 18 years his junior, & to live in a house in which many a woman has ‘shared his life’… An inexperienced girl would suffer terribly, to have her husband 4th, 5th hand or more.’
Boris of Bulgaria, Adalbert of Germany, Peter of Montenegro were also names which were circulated at that time.
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We know that the three eldest developed strong attachment over few officers. Olga nursed an innocent passion for a junior officer on the Standard, Pavel Voronov, it seems he shared her feelings, but it was doomed from the beginning and he married Olga Kleinmikhel. Olga wrote in code in her diary : ‘T. was there with my S [Voronov]. In the end he is S. to me, for the bride [has] the rest of him, but for me [he is] S.’ Here is a young and older Olga with Voronov
Then she grew, as a nurse, an attachment to Dmitri ‘Mitya’ Shakh-Bagov, she often wrote about ‘Mitya’ in her diary and I. Belyaev wrote :
’ The Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna had her very own ‘protégé’ : the sick young ensign from Yerevan - Shakh-Bagov, very sweet and shy like a girl. It was obvious that he was utterly in love with his nurse. His cheeks burned with a bright flame whenever he looked at Olga Nikolaevna.’
Meanwhile Tatiana had fallen for Dmitri Malama a Kuban Cossack, Alexandra had a special affection for him and she wrote
‘My little Malama came for an hour yesterday evening…Looks flourishing more of a man now, an adorable boy still. I must say a perfect son in law he w(ou)ld have been – why are foreign P(rin)ces not as nice?”. Tatiana also had another suitor Boris Ravtopulo he was hooked by her but never had the courage to tell her his feelings. ‘
He fought for the White Army after the Revolution broke out and was killed in 1919. It seems that she had another love interest in Vladimir Kiknadze. Here she is with Malama :
As for Maria she felt affection for Nicholas Demenkov, she openly talked of her crush to her father, she’d even sign her letters ‘Mrs. Kolya Demenkov.’, Alexandra called him ‘Marie’s fat fellow’.
At leas they lived the early stage of love. Nicholas and Alexandra wanted to take things slowly, World War I put a brake to any marriage prospects. Moreover they were so close that I think they cherished the fact that they could ‘keep’ their daughters with them. In my opinion they would have never push their daughters into a loveless marriage nor a dynastic marriage that could have been unhappy, maybe I’ve an utopian view on the subject but despite many people think Alexandra wasn’t a snob and cold hearted..
Malama gave the Grand Duchess a French Bulldog puppy that she named Ortipo. The dog, which the family very much enjoyed, is mentioned frequently in the family diaries and letters. Ultimately, Ortipo would follow Grand Duchess Tatiana as far as Tobolsk, where she is last recorded in Grand Duchess Tatiana’s arms as she tried to balance both the dog and her suitcase as the family was forced to walk in the mud from the train station to the Governor’s house. Another account mentions the bayoneting of “Anastasia’s lapdog,” at Ekaterinburg, and this may, in fact, have been Ortipo, the only dog in Ekaterinburg small enough to be so described. (The others being Joy and Jemmy, spaniels belonging to the Tsesarevich Aleksei and Grand Duchess Anastasia.)
Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913–1918