This is very much a human interest story, told with humour by a down to earth woman struggling to make ends meet in the 21st century. The upkeep of her historical childhood home, Provender House, in the depths of the English countryside, is indeed a constant daily battle for this modern-day princess. Princess Olga Romanoff, is the daughter of the eldest nephew of Tsar Nicholas II, murdered with his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918.
She is the youngest child of the late Prince Andrei Alexandrovich of Russia, who was born in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg in 1897. He fled Russia in 1918 with his pregnant (first) wife and his father, Grand Duke Alexander Michaelovich, while his mother, Grand Duchess Xenia, and his grandmother, Her Imperial Highness Maria Feodorovna, followed a few months later.
The fabled Romanov jewels that they were able to smuggle out had to be sold and the exiled family were accommodated for some time by the British Royal Family at various grace-and-favour homes at Windsor Castle and Hampton Court.
In her memoirs we are taken on a journey from now and back to then, to an Imperial Russia that no longer exists, to the horror of the revolution and the fate of those who had to flee and start a new life elsewhere, all the way to the life of Princess Olga Romanoff today. She has written bitingly funny memoir and the vibrant history of her family is the seed of this book. Her memoirs is richly illustrated with photos and rights are sold to a wide range of countries.
This is the first book of memoirs by a Romanov family descendant in many years.
A selection of reviews
“Rasputin’s murder, sexual misconduct and the Loch Ness monster; the newly released memoirs of Princess Olga Romanoff make for quite an extraordinary read … A richly entertaining book has emerged which will defy many expectations.” Jonathan Whiley, Mayfair Times
“Colourful, definitely. Entertaining, without question..” The Sunday Telegraph
“She has written a bitingly funny memoir and history of her family, in which she is also more forthcoming about our own royals.” Emma Wells, The Sunday Times
“A very readable autobiography…some fascinating anecdotes.” The New Royalty World
“The princess has the jewel box that the Dowager Empress hid under her voluminous skirts when the Bolsheviks searched the house.” Extract from a feature in Majesty Magazine
“An enthralling book.” Michele Magwood, Johannesburg Sunday Times
“Could Prince Charles have ever married a Russian? That was the match once planned for Princess Olga Romanoff, great-niece of the last Tsar. “It was a delusional dream of my mother, who was a huge snob,” says Olga, 67, at the launch in Kensington of her memoirs of life in the Russian imperial family.” Sunday Express
“My grandfather, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia, used this etching pen to write my father’s name and the time and date of his birth in 1897 on the window of the WInter Palace in St Petersburg. I’m not sure why – perhaps simply because he could!” Emotional ties feature, Mail on Sunday
“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.” Russian Art and Culture
“The reader does have to remember these are second hand stories from father to daughter in a book of memoirs and not a history text book … I have very much enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in how the Romanov family continued their lives in exile in the 20th century.”
Sue Woolmans, Romanov News
“ ‘You have to be so polite,’ she sighs, shaking her head. It is not the first adjective I would use to describe her. Colourful, definitely. Entertaining, without question.” Peter Stanford, The Telegraph
“As intriguing, eccentric, and funny as her ancestors, Princess Olga: a true Romanov.” Kristina Moskalenko, Russian Roulette magazine
“Olga Romanoff’s book is an enjoyable read. She writes fluidly and includes a wealth of amusing anecdotes. One of the traits of a good autobiography is the feeling that, by the end of the book, the reader has the impression that he knows the author. ” Russian legitimist