Olga Nikolaevna

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Ольга Николаевна, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia, Queen Olga of Württemberg, Olga Nikolaevna of Russia
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Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral

Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia (11 September 1822 – 30 October 1892), later Queen Olga of Württemberg, was a member of the Russian imperial family who became Queen consort of Württemberg.

She was the second daughter of Nicholas I of Russia and Charlotte of Prussia. She was thus a sister of Alexander II of Russia. She married Charles I of Württemberg, with whom she had no children.

Early life

Grand Duchess Olga of Russia was born on 11 September 1822 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her father was Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, the son of Emperor Paul I of Russia and Empress Maria of Russia (née Princess Sophia Dorothea of Württemberg). Her mother was Empress Alexandra of Russia (née Princess Charlotte of Prussia), the daughter of King Frederick William III of Prussia and Queen Louise of Prussia (née Princess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz).

Olga grew up as part of a close family of eight sisters and brothers. She had two elder siblings: Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia; and five younger siblings: Grand Duchess Alexandra of Russia, Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia (died in infancy), Grand Duke Constantine of Russia, Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia and Grand Duke Michael of Russia.

Attractive, cultured and intelligent, she was considered to be one of the most eligible princesses in Europe. She spoke several languages, and was fond of music and painting.


Olga met Crown Prince Charles of Württemberg in early 1846 in Palermo, Two Sicilies. Her parents wished that she make a dynastic marriage, especially since her siblings Alexander, Maria and Alexandra had married relatively insignificant royal partners. There had already been several marriages between members of the Russian Imperial Family and members of the Württemberg Royal Family (in addition to the marriage between Olga’s paternal grandparents): Olga’s future father-in-law, King William I of Württemberg, married Olga’s paternal aunt, Grand Duchess Catherine of Russia; Olga’s paternal uncle, Grand Duke Michael of Russia, married William I’s niece, Princess Charlotte of Württemberg.

Olga gave her consent to Charles' proposal of marriage after only a few meetings, on 18 January. The wedding was held in great splendor on 13 July 1846 at the Peterhof Palace, Russia. The couple came back from Russia to Württemberg on 23 September. They lived mostly in the Villa Berg in Stuttgart and in the Kloster Hofen in Friedrichshafen.

The couple had no children, probably because of Charles’ homosexuality. Olga’s husband became the object of scandal several times for his closeness with various men. The most notorious of these was the American Charles Woodcock, a former chamberlain whom Charles elevated to Baron Savage in 1888. The resulting outcry forced Charles to renounce his favourite. In 1863, Olga and Charles adopted Olga's niece, Grand Duchess Vera of Russia, the daughter of Olga’s brother Grand Duke Constantine.

On 25 June 1864, after the death of his father, Charles acceded the throne and became the third king of Württemberg, making Olga the fourth queen of Württemberg. The new king was enthroned on 12 July 1864.

Work and influence

With no children of her own, Olga dedicated her life to social causes. She was especially interested in the education of girls, and also supported wounded veterans and the handicapped. A children's hospital of Stuttgart, the Olgahospital, was named for her in 1849; and an order of Protestant nursing nuns of Stuttgart, the Olgaschwesternschaft, was named for her in 1872. These charitable enterprises made her very popular among her subjects, much more so than her husband.

Olga was fond of agriculture and was keenly interested in all happenings on her farming estate which was located in the German Volhynia colony of Russia. She received detailed reports from her ward Karl Alexander Wieler, a Württemberg orphan, who managed her estate and would rise to prominence in Russia's Imperial government owing to this Imperial association.

Olga was also very interested in natural science and collected minerals systematically. Her collection was left to the Staatliche Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart. As of 2011 part of the collection is still on display. Her name is attached to a geological formation in the Northern Territory, Australia. In 1871, Charles elevated the German-born Australian explorer Ferdinand Mueller to “Baron von Mueller”. He repaid the compliment as follows. A series of massive rock formations was discovered by the British-born Australian explorer Ernest Giles in central Australia in 1872. Mueller was Giles' benefactor. Giles had wanted to name the tallest peak Mt. Mueller, but Mueller prevailed on Giles to name it Mt. Olga, in honour of the queen. The entire geological formation then became known as "The Olgas", before the indigenous name “Kata Tjuta” was officially proclaimed in the 1980s.

Later life

Olga was noted for her dignity and queenly demeanor. On a visit by the royal couple to Austria in July, 1873, a lady-in-waiting to Empress Elisabeth of Austria noted, "He is most insignificant. She makes a most imposing appearance ... the only one who is a queen ..."

In 1881, Olga wrote a memoir called Traum der Jugend goldener Stern (translated as The Golden Dream of My Youth) which described her childhood in the Russian court, her grief at the loss of her sister Alexandra, and her early adult life, ending with her wedding to Charles. It is dedicated to her nieces Grand Duchess Olga of Russia and Grand Duchess Vera of Russia.

When her husband died on 6 October 1891, Olga became Queen Dowager of Württemberg. She died one year later, on 30 October 1892 in Friedrichshafen, at 70. She was buried in the crypt of the Old Castle in Stuttgart.

Titles and styles

  • 11 September 1822 – 13 July 1846: Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia
  • 13 July 1846 – 25 June 1864: Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Württemberg, Grand Duchess of Russia
  • 25 June 1864 – 6 October 1891: Her Majesty The Queen of Württemberg
  • 6 October 1891 – 30 October 1892: Her Majesty The Queen Dowager of Württemberg

Source: wikipedia.org

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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Nicholas I of RussiaNicholas I of RussiaFather06.07.179618.02.1855
        2Александра ФёдоровнаАлександра ФёдоровнаMother13.07.179801.11.1860
        3Дмитрий Константинович РомановДмитрий Константинович РомановBrother01.06.186030.01.1919
        4Николай СтаршийНиколай СтаршийBrother27.07.183113.04.1891
        5Николай КонстантиновичНиколай КонстантиновичBrother14.02.185027.01.1918
        6Konstantin NikolayevichKonstantin NikolayevichBrother21.09.182725.01.1892
        7Alexander IIAlexander IIBrother29.04.181813.03.1881
        8Михаил НиколаевичМихаил НиколаевичBrother25.10.183218.12.1909
        9Константин КонстантиновичКонстантин КонстантиновичBrother10.08.185802.06.1915
        10Grand Duchess Maria  Nikolaevna of RussiaGrand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of RussiaSister18.08.181921.02.1876
        11Olga  Constantinovna of RussiaOlga Constantinovna of RussiaSister03.09.185118.06.1926
        12Alexander I of RussiaAlexander I of RussiaUncle12.12.177719.11.1825
        13Alexander  Württemberg, DukeAlexander Württemberg, DukeUncle09.09.180404.07.1885
        14Михаил ПавловичМихаил ПавловичUncle08.02.179828.08.1849
        15Константин ПавловичКонстантин ПавловичUncle27.04.177915.06.1831
        16Olga  FeodorovnaOlga FeodorovnaAunt20.09.183912.04.1891
        17Maria  PavlovnaMaria PavlovnaAunt04.02.178611.06.1859
        18Anna PavlovnaAnna PavlovnaAunt18.01.179501.03.1865
        19Duchess Maria DorotheaDuchess Maria DorotheaAunt01.11.179730.03.1855
        20Елена  ПавловнаЕлена ПавловнаAunt17.12.178424.09.1803
        21Екатерина ПавловнаЕкатерина ПавловнаAunt10.05.178809.01.1819
        22Мориц Саксен-АльтенбургскийМориц Саксен-АльтенбургскийNephew24.10.182913.05.1907
        23Nicholas  MikhailovichNicholas MikhailovichNephew14.04.185930.01.1919
        24Великий Князь Георгий МихайловичВеликий Князь Георгий МихайловичNephew23.08.186330.01.1919
        25Prince Andrew of  Greece and DenmarkPrince Andrew of Greece and DenmarkNephew02.02.188203.12.1944
        26Alexander IIIAlexander IIINephew10.03.184501.11.1894
        27Prince Ioann  Konstantinovich of RussiaPrince Ioann Konstantinovich of RussiaNephew05.07.188618.07.1918
        28Gabriel RomanovGabriel RomanovNephew15.07.188728.02.1955
        29Prince Christopher  of Greece and DenmarkPrince Christopher of Greece and DenmarkNephew10.08.188821.01.1940
        30Constantine I of GreeceConstantine I of GreeceNephew02.08.186811.01.1923
        31Paul  AlexandrovichPaul AlexandrovichNephew03.10.186030.01.1919
        32Ростислав АлександровичРостислав АлександровичNephew24.11.190231.07.1978
        33Сергей АлександровичСергей АлександровичNephew11.05.185717.02.1905
        34Oleg  KonstantinovichOleg KonstantinovichNephew15.11.189229.09.1914
        35Владимир АлександровичВладимир АлександровичNephew10.04.184704.02.1909
        36Князь Дмитрий АлександровичКнязь Дмитрий АлександровичNephew15.08.190107.07.1980
        37Igor  ConstantinovichIgor ConstantinovichNephew29.05.189418.07.1918
        38Georgy  KonstantinovichGeorgy KonstantinovichNephew23.04.190307.11.1938
        39Князь Андрей АлександровичКнязь Андрей АлександровичNephew24.01.189708.05.1981
        40Георгий Мекленбург-СтрелицкийГеоргий Мекленбург-СтрелицкийNephew25.05.185905.12.1909
        41Vladimir  PaleyVladimir PaleyNephew09.01.189718.07.1918
        42Prince Vasili AlexandrovichPrince Vasili AlexandrovichNephew07.07.190724.06.1989
        43Князь Никита АлександровичКнязь Никита АлександровичNephew16.01.190012.09.1974
        44Сергей  РомановСергей РомановNephew11.05.185717.02.1905
        45князь Георгий Максимилианович Романовскийкнязь Георгий Максимилианович РомановскийNephew29.02.185203.05.1912
        46Принц Николай ПетровичПринц Николай ПетровичNephew09.05.184020.01.1886
        47Nikolajs II RomanovsNikolajs II RomanovsNephew19.05.186817.07.1918
        48Александр ИскандерАлександр ИскандерNephew15.11.188726.01.1957
        49Prince Nicholas of  Greece and DenmarkPrince Nicholas of Greece and DenmarkNephew22.01.187208.02.1938
        50Grand Duke Nicholas  Nikolaevich of RussiaGrand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of RussiaNephew18.11.185605.01.1929
        51Великий князь Пётр НиколаевичВеликий князь Пётр НиколаевичNephew10.01.186417.06.1931
        52Maria AlexandrovnaMaria AlexandrovnaNiece17.10.185324.10.1920
        53Juliana of the NetherlandsJuliana of the NetherlandsNiece30.04.190920.03.2004
        54Вера КонстантиновнаВера КонстантиновнаNiece24.04.190611.01.2001
        55Anastasia de TorbyAnastasia de TorbyNiece09.09.189207.12.1977
        56Ольга  РомановаОльга РомановаNiece13.06.188224.11.1960
        57Natalia PaleyNatalia PaleyNiece05.12.190527.12.1981
        58Cecilie  Mecklenburg Schwerin, DuchessCecilie Mecklenburg Schwerin, DuchessNiece20.09.188606.05.1954
        59Nadejda MountbattenNadejda MountbattenNiece28.03.189622.01.1963
        60Irina Alexandrovna of RussiaIrina Alexandrovna of RussiaNiece03.07.189526.02.1970
        61Alexandrine  of Mecklenburg-SchwerinAlexandrine of Mecklenburg-SchwerinNiece24.12.187912.12.1952
        62Princess Nina GeorgievnaPrincess Nina GeorgievnaNiece20.06.190127.02.1974
        63Alexandra  GeorgievnaAlexandra GeorgievnaNiece30.08.187024.09.1891
        64Princess Maria of Greece and DenmarkPrincess Maria of Greece and DenmarkNiece03.03.187614.12.1940
        65Princess Xenia  Georgievna of RussiaPrincess Xenia Georgievna of RussiaNiece22.08.190317.09.1965
        66Maria  AlexandrovnaMaria AlexandrovnaSister in-law08.08.182403.06.1880
        67Catherine  DolgorukovCatherine DolgorukovSister in-law14.11.184715.02.1922
        68Elisabeth  of Saxe-AltenburgElisabeth of Saxe-AltenburgSister in-law25.01.186524.03.1927
        69Александра ИосифовнаАлександра ИосифовнаSister in-law08.07.183006.07.1911
        70Duchess Alexandra  Petrovna of OldenburgDuchess Alexandra Petrovna of OldenburgSister in-law02.06.183825.04.1900
        71Дарья  ЧасовитинаДарья ЧасовитинаSister in-law00.00.188000.00.1956
        72Надежда  ИскандерНадежда ИскандерSister in-law00.00.186100.00.1929
        73Maximilian de  BeauharnaisMaximilian de BeauharnaisBrother in-law02.10.181701.11.1852
        74George IGeorge IBrother in-law24.12.184518.03.1913
        75Paul IPaul IGrandfather01.10.175423.03.1801
        76Louis Württemberg, DukeLouis Württemberg, DukeGrandfather30.08.175620.09.1817
        77Leopold BadenLeopold BadenGrandfather29.08.179024.04.1852
        78Maria FeodorovnaMaria FeodorovnaGrandmother14.10.175924.10.1828
        79Henriette  Nassau-Weilburg, PrincessHenriette Nassau-Weilburg, PrincessGrandmother22.04.178002.01.1857
        80Peter IIIPeter IIIGreat grandfather21.02.172817.07.1762
        81Frederick II Eugene Württemberg, DukeFrederick II Eugene Württemberg, DukeGreat grandfather21.01.173223.12.1797
        82Stanisław PoniatowskiStanisław PoniatowskiGreat grandfather17.01.173212.02.1798
        83Karl Friedrich  BadenKarl Friedrich BadenGreat grandfather22.11.172810.06.1811
        84Catherine the  GreatCatherine the GreatGreat grandmother02.05.172917.11.1796
        85Carolina Orange-Nassau, PrincessCarolina Orange-Nassau, PrincessGreat grandmother28.02.174306.05.1787
        86Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander Teck, DukeFrancis Paul Charles Louis Alexander Teck, DukeCousin28.08.183721.01.1900
        87Duke Peter  Georgievich of OldenburgDuke Peter Georgievich of OldenburgCousin26.08.181214.05.1881
        88Gustaw EhrenbergGustaw EhrenbergCousin14.02.181828.09.1895
        89Sophie Of the NetherlandsSophie Of the NetherlandsCousin08.04.182423.03.1897
        90Marie Luise Augusta KatharineMarie Luise Augusta KatharineCousin30.09.181107.01.1890
        91Михаил Михайлович, Великий князьМихаил Михайлович, Великий князьCousin16.10.186126.04.1929
        92Великий князь Сергей МихайловичВеликий князь Сергей МихайловичCousin07.10.186918.07.1918
        Paul Alexander Karl Constantin Frederick AugustCousin25.09.180510.04.1806
        94Princess LouisePrincess LouiseCousin03.12.183823.04.1923
        95Wilhelmina Queen of the NetherlandsWilhelmina Queen of the NetherlandsCousin31.08.188028.11.1962
        96Карл Шведский, герцог ВестергётландскийКарл Шведский, герцог ВестергётландскийCousin27.02.186124.10.1951
        97Marie Luise AlexandrineMarie Luise AlexandrineCousin03.02.180818.01.1877
        98Duke Constantine  Petrovich of OldenburgDuke Constantine Petrovich of OldenburgCousin09.05.185018.03.1906
        99Алексей МихайловичАлексей МихайловичCousin28.12.187502.03.1895
        100Karl Alexander August JohannKarl Alexander August JohannCousin24.06.181805.01.1901
        101Анастасия МихайловнаАнастасия МихайловнаCousin28.07.186011.03.1922
        102Тереза ОльденбургскаяТереза ОльденбургскаяCousin30.03.185219.04.1883
        103Grand Duke Alexander MikhailovichGrand Duke Alexander MikhailovichCousin13.04.186626.02.1933
        104Принц Александр  ОльденбургскийПринц Александр ОльденбургскийCousin02.06.184406.09.1932
        105Екатерина МихайловнаЕкатерина МихайловнаCousin16.08.182730.04.1894
        106William IIIWilliam IIICousin19.02.181723.11.1890

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