My favourite Romanov is the Grand Duchess Maria Nicolaievna. Her beauty has always captivated me, and she was simply one of the loveliest little girls that I have ever seen. Aside from her physical characteristics, her sweet character, and her love for children, family, and animals all endear me to her as well. Some may think that she was overly sweet and perfect, but as we know she had another more complex side to her that could be assertive but also sad and lacking confidence. I don't think that she was an overall sad child, she just had episodes of doubt about her parents' love that all children may have from time to time. She had a very happy childhood and her mother did reassure her that she was loved. A final reason that she is my favorite is because she is probably the least well known of the family members. Even amongst her sisters, the oldest had the time to make their personalities known and the youngest children were fairly well known as well - Anastasia due to the claimants associated with her name and Alexei because he was simply the heir and due to his disease much was written about him by his family. But Maria is just there, caught in the middle, known only as a sweet child but not much else. I have always been drawn to characters about whom little is known, to those that are not the most popular or the most well known, and in this case it is Maria.
In second place I think I would pick her mother as a favourite. I think this is because I see much in common with her and my personalities in certain aspects, specifically that she was a shy, quiet, and serious woman who preferred the company of her immediate family to that of anyone else, and with an admirable, everlasting, and great love for her husband and children (I personally don't have children yet but I can appreciate her devotion to them and imagine it will be the same with me when I do). She valued family above all else, despite being judged harshly for devoting herself to them first and neglecting her social duties as Empress. As a shy person myself I can totally relate to her dislike of parties and public events, and to being misunderstood as being proud and haughty when one is just uncomfortable around strangers and not into socializing all that much. But once you are befriended, you are a loyal friend and really open up to the people you trust and love. You are one way in public - quiet and shy - but completely at ease in your own home with your most cherished ones, where you can speak your mind, relax, and even joke around without fear of being judged or rejected. This is the way I feel and from what I have read what she was like as well.
I like several other Romanovs, as in all large families there are just so many interesting people with so many different and distinct personalities. I am interested in Nicholas's mother Marie Feodorovna if only because she was such a complete opposite to Alexandra - very social and outgoing - and was the way that most people would imagine an Empress to be. She had so many happy years entertaining and living a wonderfully luxurious life, and these are the years I prefer to remember her in.
Her daughter Olga I sympathize with greatly. I admire her for being able to adapt to life in Canada so well. She seemed to be a person of humble heart whom we could all have been friends with. Her later years I find so very sad, living with all of those memories. Her time in Russia must have seemed like a dream, a time lived by another person in another life, it seemed so distant and remote. When I think that when she died in 1960 she had not seen her brother and beloved nieces in over 40 years I think it is just so sad. I always remember what she said when asked if she had cried a lot when she remembered her life and her dead family, and she replied with something to the effect that she had not cried, because if she ever did start crying she was afraid she would never be able to stop. How heartbreaking.
Finally, one more person springs to mind which was a Romanov but not part of Nicholas's immediate family circle. This was Alexandra, the daughter of Tsar Nicholas I. I have not read much about her, but I know that this father was devoted to her and when she died tragically young in childbirth he was absolutely devastated and built memorials to her in the Alexander Palace. I would like to know more about this daughter who was so cherished by her parents and who died so tragically.