Author Topic: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals  (Read 247026 times)

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Offline Sarushka

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #345 on: April 29, 2009, 06:48:58 AM »
Where did you find this? Olga said that she wanted to marry someone Russian once, so I would assume she meant Orthodox.

I believe what she said was "I'm Russian and I want to remain Russian". I also think she said it to Gilliard - before she went to Romania to meet Carol. I'm not 100% sure though.

That's correct. The incident is in Chapter VIII of Gilliard's memoirs. Here's a fuller bit of context:

One day at the beginning of June when I was alone with me a question with that confident and disingenuous frankness which was all her own and the legacy of the relations which had been established between us when she was quite a little girl:

"Tell me the truth, monsieur: do you know why we are going to Rumania? "

In some confusion I replied:

"I believe it's a courtesy visit. The Tsar is going to return the visit the King of Rumania paid him some time back."

"Oh, that's the official reason . . . but what's the real reason ? I know you are not supposed to know, but I'm sure everyone is talking about it and that you know it . . . ...

As I nodded in assent, she added:

"All right! But if I don't wish it, it won't happen. Papa has promised not to make me . . . and I don't want to leave Russia."

"But you could come back as often as you like."

"I should still be a foreigner in my own country. I'm a Russian, and mean to remain a Russian!"
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Offline nena

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #346 on: April 29, 2009, 01:58:27 PM »
Does the book have pictures or is it just text? It's true there were ideas
Yes, many photos included in it. Anyway, I have read, Olga's wedding was prepared to be in February of 1914, but I believe it is rumor. (Russian site). Dmitri and Olga wedding was supposed be in 1912.
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Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #347 on: April 29, 2009, 07:16:54 PM »
Does the book have pictures or is it just text? It's true there were ideas
Yes, many photos included in it. Anyway, I have read, Olga's wedding was prepared to be in February of 1914, but I believe it is rumor. (Russian site). Dmitri and Olga wedding was supposed be in 1912.

Sounds like a great book, I wish I read Russian, it just seems so complex to learn. Is this the book from which you quote a little earlier in this thread, about Olga writing in her diary about Alexander? I'd love to know where that's from. Thanks for answering all my questions. I like to know even about non English books even though I only read English, just to know about them.

Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #348 on: April 29, 2009, 11:06:39 PM »
Where did you find this? Olga said that she wanted to marry someone Russian once, so I would assume she meant Orthodox.

I believe what she said was "I'm Russian and I want to remain Russian". I also think she said it to Gilliard - before she went to Romania to meet Carol. I'm not 100% sure though.

That's correct. The incident is in Chapter VIII of Gilliard's memoirs. Here's a fuller bit of context:

One day at the beginning of June when I was alone with me a question with that confident and disingenuous frankness which was all her own and the legacy of the relations which had been established between us when she was quite a little girl:

"Tell me the truth, monsieur: do you know why we are going to Rumania? "

In some confusion I replied:

"I believe it's a courtesy visit. The Tsar is going to return the visit the King of Rumania paid him some time back."

"Oh, that's the official reason . . . but what's the real reason ? I know you are not supposed to know, but I'm sure everyone is talking about it and that you know it . . . ...

As I nodded in assent, she added:

"All right! But if I don't wish it, it won't happen. Papa has promised not to make me . . . and I don't want to leave Russia."

"But you could come back as often as you like."

"I should still be a foreigner in my own country. I'm a Russian, and mean to remain a Russian!"


I haven't read this in Gilliard's memoirs in APTM site. Is this from a book he's written?
Alexander should have passed Olga’s standards if they knew each other for a long time. Alexander was born on 1888 (anyone can correct me if I’m wrong). Olga likes men who are several years older than her, right?

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Offline nena

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #349 on: April 30, 2009, 06:55:49 AM »
Yes, Alexander was born in 1888. I think it is from book 'Thirteen Years at the Russian Court'.

About Olga's marriages, and about her life in general in Russian here.  (Olga's diary entry).  ;-)
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #350 on: April 30, 2009, 07:21:18 AM »
I haven't read this in Gilliard's memoirs in APTM site. Is this from a book he's written?

There must be a glitch in the site. My electronic version of Gilliard's memoirs was cut and pasted directly from the APTM's online text a few years ago, but when I looked online yesterday, it appeared this part of the text (and more) from Chapter VIII was indeed missing. Maybe it got cut off somehow when Bob redesigned the site a year or so ago...?
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Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #351 on: May 02, 2009, 03:17:16 AM »
I’m such a hapless being to meet the Romanovs long after the website settings had been changed. :- (
Did she overhear someone in the palace that made her have a suspicion about Carol being fixed to her? Does Carol also know Olga was planned to be his fiancée?


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Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #352 on: May 02, 2009, 09:22:37 AM »
I’m such a hapless being to meet the Romanovs long after the website settings had been changed. :- (
Did she overhear someone in the palace that made her have a suspicion about Carol being fixed to her? Does Carol also know Olga was planned to be his fiancée?



It really wasn't like that at all. By 1914, Crown Princess Marie of Romania (who was the granddaughter of the Tsar Liberator) and her husband were well aware of their son, Carol's character and were frankly interested in finding an Orthodox bride for their son, who could help him be a better man. Of course the Crown Princess would look to her own Russian family first for such a bride, and so the visit was arranged.

However, both sets of parents were not inclined to force the issue, or more importantly, force an engagement. The visit was much more of a look and see kind of visit for both families. It turned out that Olga had no interest in Carol and that her lack of interest was more than reciprocated by the prospective groom.

Although it is speculation, I think it's likely that the families took care to let each of the young people know what was going on beforehand. Alexandra was a loving mother and was in agreement with her husband that Olga could veto prospective mates who did not suit her, so why not be honest with her? Marie of Romania suffered tremendously with her own mother's lack of candor when Marie first met Ferdinand, so hopefully she took her son into her confidence. We do know that the royal mothers involved had several candid conversations about this, so I think it's likely they wanted to do what they could to support their children's choices.

Offline TampaBay

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #353 on: May 02, 2009, 06:39:01 PM »
Lisa Davidson,

I know I read somewhere that when Olga stated outright that she was not interested and refused Carol II for whatever reason,  Carol II decided to talked to the Tsar about a marriage arrangement with GD Marie.

Accordingly, Carol II had an in depth conversation with Tsar Nicolas II about a marriage alliance with Grand Duchess Marie but Tsar Nicholas II flatly explained to Carol II that Marie was too young to even begin to discuss marriage.

Do you have any other info on this subject.

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« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 06:50:20 PM by TampaBay »
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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #354 on: May 02, 2009, 06:47:52 PM »
Lisa Davidson,

I know I read somewhere that when Olga was not interested and refused Carol II outright that Carol talked to the Tsar about an arrangement with GD Marie.

Accordingly, Carol II had a conversation with Tsar Nicolas II about a marriage alliance with Grand Duchess Marie but the Tsar Nicholas II flatly explined to Carol II  that Marie was too young to even begin to discuss marriage.

Yes, that's true. I think Marie was about 16 at that time. And Nicholas rebuffed the marriage proposal and told Carol Marie was just a schoolgirl.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #355 on: May 02, 2009, 08:48:21 PM »
Lisa Davidson,

I know I read somewhere that when Olga stated outright that she was not interested and refused Carol II for whatever reason,  Carol II decided to talked to the Tsar about a marriage arrangement with GD Marie.

Accordingly, Carol II had an in depth conversation with Tsar Nicolas II about a marriage alliance with Grand Duchess Marie but Tsar Nicholas II flatly explained to Carol II that Marie was too young to even begin to discuss marriage.

Do you have any other info on this subject.

TampaBay

Carol expressed his interest in Marie I believe during the war, but indeed she was still in the schoolroom. His interest was not expressed during the 1914 visit.

Olga did not turn down Carol, there was no proposal for her to turn down. It was evident during the 1914 visit that there was no interest on either side. This was a very preliminary visit and was not intended for anyone to propose (or to turn down) a prospective marriage.

I believe due to the finite number of Orthodox royals that both families realized that a marriage between their families' children would be likely just as it was likely that there would be alliances with Greece, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria. Nicholas and Alexandra's children were devout enough that a marriage to a non Orthodox person would have been difficult for any of them.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #356 on: June 05, 2009, 11:03:32 PM »
According to Chapter XVIIII of volume 2 of Spiridovitch:

Olga Nicholaiovna would not be separated from her family.  "I shall never leave Russia," she said to one of those near to her.  "I shall never marry anyone who is not Orthodox," she declared that summer to one of the Officers of the Standardt.

There were not just mere phrases.  One needed only look here in the face to see that she breathed sincerity, look in her clear and pure eyes to understand that as she pronounced these words, that the was saying them with the most intimate and sincere conviction, that her decision in these things was most firm.


[Translation courtesy of and copyright by Rob Moshein]
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Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #357 on: June 06, 2009, 12:57:18 AM »
According to Chapter XVIIII of volume 2 of Spiridovitch:

Olga Nicholaiovna would not be separated from her family.  "I shall never leave Russia," she said to one of those near to her.  "I shall never marry anyone who is not Orthodox," she declared that summer to one of the Officers of the Standardt.

There were not just mere phrases.  One needed only look here in the face to see that she breathed sincerity, look in her clear and pure eyes to understand that as she pronounced these words, that the was saying them with the most intimate and sincere conviction, that her decision in these things was most firm.


[Translation courtesy of and copyright by Rob Moshein]

I am reasonably sure that Olga remained firm in her conviction about marrying an Orthodox Christian.

I am equally sure that while she may have meant what she said about not leaving Russia, it is not out of the ordinary for any young adult to make such statements that may not be realistic for a lifetime. Olga would probably have wanted to marry at some point, and if she was going to remain in her faith, she would have had to marry a royal from another Orthodox family.

Offline jehan

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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #358 on: June 07, 2009, 10:26:33 AM »
According to Chapter XVIIII of volume 2 of Spiridovitch:

Olga Nicholaiovna would not be separated from her family.  "I shall never leave Russia," she said to one of those near to her.  "I shall never marry anyone who is not Orthodox," she declared that summer to one of the Officers of the Standardt.

There were not just mere phrases.  One needed only look here in the face to see that she breathed sincerity, look in her clear and pure eyes to understand that as she pronounced these words, that the was saying them with the most intimate and sincere conviction, that her decision in these things was most firm.


[Translation courtesy of and copyright by Rob Moshein]

I am reasonably sure that Olga remained firm in her conviction about marrying an Orthodox Christian.

I am equally sure that while she may have meant what she said about not leaving Russia, it is not out of the ordinary for any young adult to make such statements that may not be realistic for a lifetime. Olga would probably have wanted to marry at some point, and if she was going to remain in her faith, she would have had to marry a royal from another Orthodox family.

I agree with you.  At 18, I said I was never going to marry at all (and meant it at the time!).  At 18, Alix of Hesse would never have given up her Lutheran faith (or even at 21) to marry anyone.  People make a lot of statements that at the time are very sincere, and if they never get a chance to prove it otherwise, it becomes gospel and one looks for the things that would confirm these statements and interpret the past to reinforce them.

I think Olga wanted to marry eventually, and I think she might have struggled with things, but she would have eventually compromised on matters of country and/or faith had the young man been foreign or of another religion. Whether she would have actually converted to another faith is something we will never know, but I think it is less likely than her leaving Russia.
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Re: Olga's official suitors, marriage prospects, and proposals
« Reply #359 on: June 08, 2009, 11:39:26 AM »
... she would have had to marry a royal from another Orthodox family.

Actually... wouldn't it be possible for her to marry a Russian soldier or colonel or so, just like Olga Alexandrovna did (after she divorced Peter of Oldenburg, of course) ? ...