Author Topic: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg  (Read 80898 times)

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Offline MarieCharlotte

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Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« on: June 13, 2006, 06:49:35 AM »
Hallo,

in fact I don't know much about the Emperors of Russia and their families. But yesterday I read in a book about the childhood of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria that Olga, Alexander II.'s sister, should marry Archduke Stephan, eldest son of Palatin Joseph of Hungary. As far as I know Alexander and Joseph were friends, maybe also because Alexander's aunt (?) Alexandra (1783-1801) was Joseph's first wife. In the end, Olga didn't marry Joseph, because Metternich was against it.

Does anybody have more information about Olga? I read that she was one of the most beautiful princesses of that time. Later she marriedKing  Karl von Württemberg who was definitely a homosexual.

Thanks in advance,

Marie
Ich aber breite trauernd aus
die weiten weissen Schwingen,
Und kehr' ins Feenreich nach Haus -
Nichts soll mich wieder bringen.


Elisabeth

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 07:48:29 AM »
Some really good info is available in Romanov Autumn and The Grand Duchesses. Here's what Camera and the Tsars has to say:

'She was a beautiful, gentle girl who lacked the impulsiveness of her elder sister [Marie] and was content to leave her future in her father's hands--though his determination to secure a prestigious match for her almost saw her end without any husband, though there was no shortage of interested young men. In the summer of 1846, the Tsar finally agreed to her marriage to Karl, Hereditary Prince of Wurttemberg. It is usually said that this was an unhappy marriage though, in a memoir of her early years...Queen Olga wrote fondly of her engagement and wedding. Childlessness was her great sorrow; the nearest she would know to a child of her own was her niece [Vera]....who spent long periods with her and married into the Wurttemberg family. Queen Olga spent over four decades of her life in Germany and always craved contact with her own, Russian family. '

The memoir was written for Vera's daughters, Olga (most likely named for her great-Aunt) and Elsa in 1881. The dedication was to the girls, the 'Dear Children!' and stated the hope that when they were 'grown up, you may want to know what your Grandmama's childhood was like'.

GDss George recalled that Olga cared for Vera and 'educated her and loved her as her own daughter'.

She was no doubt pleased when Vera married Prince Wilhelm Eugen of Wurttemberg in 1874 and thus stayed in Stuttgart. Though her husband died young, in 1876 or 1877, Vera remained in Wurttemberg.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 08:50:44 AM »
Direct quotes from The Grand Duchesses:

Olga, like her siblings, was well-educated and by age 5, she could speak French, German and Russian; she was a 'voracious' reader who enjoyed classical music and was a good painter. She was raised in an atmosphere of culture and elegance, an upbringing which would prepare her for her later role.

Her father's first choice of husband was AD Stephan of Austria. Olga was 'more than willing to go along with this' but Metternich wasn't for it and put an end to it on 'religious reasons'. Other possible suiters included CP Max of Bavaria and AD Albrecht of Austria, who proposed in 1841.

Prince Bariatinsky was 'very smitten with her' as was Alexander of Hesse (founder of the Battenbergs). This latter attachment led NI to send him 'out of the way' to the Caucasus. Prince Gortchakov, the Russian Ambassador in Stuttgart, brought up Karl's name. NI proved agreeable to meeting the  prince and suggested a meeting in Venice. This meeting took place in 1845 and he made a good enough impression on the Tsar that they travelled onto Palermo where Karl met Olga. 'Although Karl was shy and awkward...he and Olga quickly had a meeting of the minds' and their engagement was announced the next month. Olga remained in Palermo with her mother and began to prepare for her marriage, meeting with Karl again, this time in Florence.

The two were married in St Petersburg in 1846 at Peterhof. There was a Protestant (Karl's religion) ceremony along with the Orthodox one. (Shades of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh & Marie Alexandrovna almost 30 years later. Like Marie, Olga kept her Orthodox faith and had a special Chapel constructed at her new home.) After a few months, the newlyweds returned to Wurttemberg where Olga made an 'excellent' first impression with her truly royal demeanor. While they had a palace at Stuttgart, both preferred the quieter life at the Villa Berg just outside Stuttgart. They also frequently visited the royal hunting lodge Bebenhausen, a former monastery. They travelled a good deal in the early years both on private vacations and official visits.

Not too long into the marriage 'the first cracks were already beginning to appear'. Karl's parents weren't happy together and 'he was not the type...who should have married at all; his strong homosexual tendencies came increasingly to the fore. He could be very moody, rude and uncaring, and Olga felt slighted and neglected.' Karl was grateful towards his wife for her many skills (which rebounded to him) but his nature wasn't one that would be comfortable with expressing this fact. Adding to her unhappiness was the lack of children, at least until her 9-yr-old niece Vera arrived in 1863. She was regarded as a problem child, very nervous and excitable, and AII himself made the request to Olga. (It's now thought Vera's condition could've been the result of something like St Vitius's, possibly even epilepsy.) Karl was also 'a devoted foster father' and the 2 would eventually 'formally' adopt Vera.

The couple would come to the throne in 1864. In addition to her excellent showing at official engagements, Olga devoted herself to charitable affairs. She had not only the position to make a difference but also her own independent (and considerable) wealth. The education of girls was a particular interest and she personally established many schools and training institutions. She also had a particular sympathy for the blind, mentally retarded, orphans and 'other organisations concerned with the disadvantaged'. Olga was even thanked several times by parliament. Keeping in tune with the atmosphere in which she was raised, Olga was also very concerned with the cultural interests of her adopted country. (She was later to despair of AIII's court where she felt all culture had been abandoned in favor of practical jokes.) In this, at least, she and her husband were in sync. Many items currently in museums and galleries in Stuttgart were purchased by Olga.

The couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 1871. To mark this, they created the German-born Australian explorer Ferdinand Mueller a Baron. In return, he gave them a long-lasting honor. A series of massive rock formations was discovered by Mueller's protege, explorer Ernest Giles in central Australia in 1872. Giles had wanted to name the tallest peak Mt Mueller, but Mueller prevailed on him to name it Mt Olga. The entire geological formation became known as "The Olgas", before the indigenous name Kata Tjuta was proclaimed in the 1980s.  Nonetheless, the marriage continued to deteriorate and was at a 'low point' by the early 1880s. Karl had begun to withdraw from public life, allowing his heir to carry out many of his duties. He also spent more time away from his wife. A scandal was raised by his relationship with a young American, Charles Woodcock. Karl travelled with him and gave him a number of gifts & money. He would even raise him to the title of Baron von Savage. Woodcock would eventually blackmail him and it cost Karl considerably to 'extricate' himself. Nonetheless, his silver Jubilee was widely celebrated in 1889. Karl died two years later.

--After this, Olga withdrew to the family castle of Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance and died a year after her husband, in 1892. She laid in state at her Russian Chapel, where 1000s paid their respects. Wilhelm II himself attended her funeral--his great-aunt was Olga's mother. She was laid to rest beside her husband.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2006, 08:54:33 AM »
Just to clarify the above, the information comes from a variety of printed & online sources but the direct quotes are from The Grand Duchesses section on Olga.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 07:29:22 AM by Svetabel »
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline MarieCharlotte

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2006, 01:43:50 PM »
Thank you so much for all this information.  :)
Ich aber breite trauernd aus
die weiten weissen Schwingen,
Und kehr' ins Feenreich nach Haus -
Nichts soll mich wieder bringen.


Elisabeth

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2006, 04:23:57 AM »
Quote
[img]Archduke Stephan who should marry Olga.

And after the failure with Olga Stephan was considered for a short time a possible match for Grand Duchess Ekaterina Mikhailovna, niece of Emperor Nikolay I. The Emperor itself did not want such a husband for his niece, it was GDss Elena Pavlovna, Ekaterina's mother, who tried to settle daughter.

Offline MarieCharlotte

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2006, 05:02:35 AM »
And after the failure with Olga Stephan was considered for a short time a possible match for Grand Duchess Ekaterina Mikhailovna, niece of Emperor Nikolay I. The Emperor itself did not want such a husband for his niece, it was GDss Elena Pavlovna, Ekaterina's mother, who tried to settle daughter.

... and in the end Stephan didn't marry at all.  ;D
Ich aber breite trauernd aus
die weiten weissen Schwingen,
Und kehr' ins Feenreich nach Haus -
Nichts soll mich wieder bringen.


Elisabeth

Offline berno

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 11:20:25 AM »
I think perhaps that the painting above is not King Karl of Wurttemberg but King Wihelm ll von Wurttemberg.
Here is one of (definite) King Karl von Wurttemberg, husband of Olga.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 11:36:22 AM by berno »

Offline Vladimir_V.

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2006, 01:20:17 AM »
Would you help me with this question. Have you ever heard anything of French sculptor TRUDU I am not sure that my translation of his name from Cyrillic is right. He is working in XIX century. He made a sculptural portrait of Olga Nicholaevna (the daughter of the Russian Emperor Nicholas I and the wife of the King Karl I of Wurttemberg).
Thank you.

Offline synnadene

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2007, 05:36:54 AM »
Olga Nicolaievna, Queen of Württemberg



« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 03:03:11 AM by Svetabel »

Offline synnadene

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2007, 12:53:09 PM »

and again Olga


Offline pouvoir aux canard

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2007, 03:21:36 PM »
Curiously, the question of the wedding of Olga became a VERY difficult problem for Nicolas 1 and his diplomacy. Problems of religion were closely mixed with political questions until it became a hudge diplomatic difficulty. Maria felt in love with Eugene von Leuchtenberg and, even if it was not the first choice of Nicolas,  he agreed: the Leuchtenberg-Romanov family will live in Russia and Eugène (as said Nicolas ) "will become a good russian". Alexandra felt in love with a prince rather convenient for the third girl of an emperor. But the wedding of Olga, (also for a question of prestige) had to be a plainly royal one. Nicolas tried with Austria (but the question of slavism in the austro-hungarian empire became an impedimenta ), Bavaria, and with the Kingdom of Napoli without any success. He went in Austria and Napoli not only to meet his wife in Sicily but mainly to resolve the problem. There are diplomatic documents were Nicolas said to have been HUMILIATED on this question by Austrian court and by the "damned king of Napoli"... During the same period Olga became rather nervous and the health of the empress even worse. So, when Nicolas saw a real possibility of a wedding for Olga he did it, praying Olga to accept the Wurtemberg fiancé "as his last possibility"... we know how frustrating the life of Olga has been and we can observe on the paintings and photographies of the poor Grande Duchesse his transformation into a sad and unhappy woman (with a strong sense of duty). At less Maria Nicolaevna (with a minor sense of duty) lived plainly his own life with a lot of childs and two husbands…

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Offline pouvoir aux canard

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2007, 08:26:52 AM »
One thing are the paintings, another are the eyes and the mind of contemporaries ... some memories from french diplomats, hight ranked travellers , etc , describe GD Olga Nicolaevna as a girl "with the look and the manners of a blond fairy". GD Maria Nicolaevna, on contrary,  is described as high-handed and ... not so pretty ("a long face very similar to the one of her father") and also as a princess VERY skilled on the cultural and artistic matters. GD Alexandra Nicolaevna is ignored in these chronicles but we have to consider that she married rather young, died after 8 monthes and not had a long social life... when GD Maria had one in Russia from 1839 to 1860 and GD Olga from 1840 to 1846...

To be noted that the first choice of Nicolas AND of OLGA , for a fiancé, was certainly Archduke Stephan Franz Victor of Austria,

but Metternich remained absolutely opposed.  At this time he was governor (civil governor) of Bohemia and in 1847 became Palatin of  Ungheria (civil and military governor). (once upon a time, in Hungary, someone said to me that, as writes Eric Lowe in courteous manner,  Stefan played on the other team as well). (t.b.n. that AD Stefan Franz Viktor never married). AD Stefan's father first wife was GD Alexandra Pawlovna.





Anyway, after the european revolutionaries riots of 1848, AD Stefan had an austrian military carreer, then retired and died in south of France (Menton) in 1867.



Returning now in Russia 1840.... many young princes were in love with Olga , as Prince Baryatinsky and also Alexander of Hesse (brother of Imperatrice Maria - the wife of Alexander 2), etc, etc... (the russian ones, generally Nicolas gently sended them to Finland or Caucase or farest...)

Later on (1851) Alexander of Hesse married a lady-in-waiting of his sister (hudge scandal !!) Julia Von Hauke (from this wedding, the Battenberg-Mountbatten, etc). The father of Julia, anyway, was considered a hero as he died in Poland in 1830 to protect GD Konstantin Pavlovitch from the rioters but Julia was not in the Almanach du Gotha as a fiancée for a royal wedding...

Why did Nicolas 1 desagreed Alexander for marrying Olga ? He was a third son and had few possibilities to regn! But Nicolas 1 considered Alexandre a possible groom for one of his nieces... so one can immagine how much this morganatic marriage deceived the Emperor ....
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 03:21:17 AM by Svetabel »

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2007, 09:08:18 PM »
Yes...Alexander was offered Elena Pretovna's ugly daughter Katherina Michailovna as consolation prize for not getting Olga. He turn The Tsar down flat and instead eloped with Countess Julie. What a man !  :)

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, Queen of Wuerttemberg
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2007, 12:22:10 AM »
Yes...Alexander was offered Elena Pretovna's ugly daughter Katherina Michailovna as consolation prize for not getting Olga.

Ekaterina Mikhailovna was not ugly or a perfect fright, she just was plain in features. And her mother's name was Elena Pavlovna.