The Last Four Grand Duchesses of Russia
Everyone in the nursery eventually knew that each Grand Duchess was meant to be married off, and that hopefully at least of two of them would be married into the head of other Ruling Families. The thought of being apart from each other horrified the sisters, for each felt a strong bond and a sense of duty to their homeland and to each other. The girls were closer to each other than many other imperial and royal sisters. When they were very young, they proclaimed their unity by inventing a single signature to represent all four girls, OTMA, using the first initial of their names. They shared everything: their hopes, dreams, thoughts, and fears, as well as clothing and jewelry.
For security reasons, the Imperial family was surrounded by guards and police. It was next to impossible for anyone to get near them without being cleared by the police. The unlucky soul who ran into the Grand Duchesses by accident would be immediately interrogated by the police to find out their identity, why they had spoken to the girls, and the nature of the conversation.
Press reporters and society gossips kept the family under intense surveillance. Obviously, this was one of many reasons that made meeting new people difficult for the girls. As the result, the girls became sheltered and inexperienced when it comes to socializing, mainly because of their mother’s intense desire to protect them. Being so sheltered from the Aristocratic Society that ruled St. Petersburg, of which their mother greatly disliked, they depended on each other for friendship, comfort, support, and trust.