Grand Duchess Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia (zoom & colouring from GARF)
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia on the balcony of the Alexander Palace. (x)
The Romanovs and their palaces. Ливадийский дворец | Livadia Palace | Russia | Crimea | a few miles west of Yalta.
“We cannot find any words to express our joy and pleasure to have such a house, built exactly as we wanted. The architect Krasnov is an amazing fine fellow" - wrote Nicholas II to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna on September 20th, 1911, after his first visit to Livadia.
Livadia was originally built in 1911 as a summer palace for Nicholas II. The palace was designed by the Russian architect Nikolay Petrovich Krasnov in the Italian Renaissance style with some features of Byzantine, Arabian and Gothic architecture in addition. N.P. Krasnov managed to successfully inscribe the palace into the surrounding landscape and situate the building in such a way that all its sides were absolutely open for the sun. The palace contains 116 rooms, with interiors furnished in different styles. There are 5 grand rooms in the palace: Vestibule, the majestic Dining room (so-called “White Hall”), an English billiard-room, Rest room and a Tsar’s study of maple wood. This palace was the site of the historic Yalta Conference of 1945, when Joseph Stalin hosted the British prime minister, Winston Churchill, and the U.S. president, Franklin Roosevelt, as these three world leaders decided the fate of eastern Europe after World War II. Today the palace is a museum.
Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara
Owned by Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (aka Grand Duchess Vladimir) until her death in 1920, the tiara was sold by her daughter Princess Nicholas of Greece to Queen Mary. Mary wore it for several portraits before dying in 1953 and passing it onto Queen Elizabeth II.
The tiara has three settings: Emeralds, Pearls, or none at all. Elizabeth has worn all three settings on many occasions in her long reign.
The Grand Duchesses were charming – the picture of freshness and health. It would have been difficult to find four sisters with characters more dissimilar and yet so perfectly blended in an affection which did not exclude personal independence, and, in spite of contrasting temperaments, kept them a most united family. With the initials of their Christian names they had formed a composite Christian name, OTMA, and under this common signature they frequently gave their presents or sent letters written by one of them on behalf of all.
– Pierre Gilliard, Thirteen Years at the Russian Court (1921)
Grand Duchess Victoria Melita with her daughters Princesses Maria and Kira and Princesses Maria and Kira with their grandmother Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna at a picnic: 1913.
Anastasia was witty, vivacious, hopelessly stubborn, delightfully impertinent and in general a perfect enfant terrible…she undoubtedly held the record for punishable deeds in her family, for in naughtiness she was a true genius.
The last diary of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and the last recorded entry
July 16. Tuesday. Irina’s 23rd birthday. 11 am. Gray morning,later lovely sunshine. Baby has a slight cold. All went out 1/2 hour in the morning. Olga and I arranged our medicines. [jewels] Tatiana read, 3 pm religious readings. They went out. Tatiana stayed with me and we read the books by prophets Amos and pr.Avdiy. Talked. Every morning the superint. [Yurovsky] comes to our rooms, at last after a week brought eggs again for Baby. 8. Suddenly, Lewka Sedniev [the kitchen boy] was fetched to go and see his uncle and flew off. Wonder wether it’s true and we shall see the boy back again. Played bezique with N [Nicky]. 10 1/2 to bed. 15 degrees.
Sadly, she never got the chance to complete her next diary entry.