After probing for 100 years into the mystery of the Romanov family and its tragic demise, for those enthralled, Princess Olga: A Wild and Barefoot Romanov provides a rare, highly personal and evocative memoir, inviting the readers into the lives of the surviving Romanovs and members of the Russian Imperial Family. Written by HSH Princess Olga Andreevna Romanoff, the great niece of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the book offers a down-to-earth and frank account of author’s family history and her life until the present day.
Published to coincide with the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Princess Olga recounts the life of her father, Prince Andrei Romanoff. Readers can witness his early privileged years and his upbringing in the Winter Palace, followed later in 1918-19 by his own escape from murder, with his first wife, his immediate family and Her Imperial Majesty Maria Feodorovna (the mother of Tsar Nicholas II and sister of Queen Alexandra of Britain). The story of Prince Andrei’s escape is viewed within the political climate of the time and the role played by King George V in subsequent fate of the family of the Russian Tsar. She also describes Prince Andrei’s own reaction to the murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. In addition to engaging anecdotes about the Romanov men, Prince Andrei’s previously unknown thoughts on Grigori Rasputin and Prince Felix Yusupov, the man who had planned and executed the murder of Rasputin, are also revealed. The author also looks at the life of her mother, Nadine McDougall, the offspring of the influential McDougall clan. This memoir highlights her mother’s fear of the threat of assassination, the role of the Orthodox Church in her marriage to a Romanov, and her fears over her only child.
Most importantly, Princess Olga is also a candid revelation of Princess Olga’s own childhood under her more relaxed father and stricter mother. Her memoir details her unconventional childhood experiences of being taught by governesses, her introduction to high society as a chaperoned debutante, and her own relationship with the British Royal family. Finally, the book narrates about the tensions within author’s family and her own battle to rescue her childhood home, the Provender House, from neglect and falling into disrepair, by devising a restoration plan with the help of architect Ptolemy Dean. Now it is a Grade II* listed 30-room house, some parts of it were built in 15th century, which is open to the public to visit, with Olga Romanoff acting as the guide for visitors and letting them into the fascinating story of her family. The volume is also replete with rare family photographs from the author’s archive, which are published for the first time.
Princess Olga: A Wild and Barefoot Romanov is published by Shepheard-Walwyn.
An evening with HH Princess Olga and launch of her newly published book will take place on 30th October, with further details here.