Before Russia invaded Ukraine, which sometimes seems like a lifetime ago, I began a quest to discover my great Aunt Ella’s correct birth year. Since then I have poured over the documents in my possession and read over pieces of information sent to me by my friend in St Petersburg.
Was I named after Empress Alexandra (pictured above), wife of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia? It is a question I have been asked time and time again. It was not something I ever discussed with my mother. How do parents decide on names for their children? I had a few
The war in Ukraine has turned my thoughts to my grandmother. Her father’s estates were situated in western Russia, not far from the current border with Ukraine. I remember her telling me how beautiful Kyiv was, so she must have visited it at least once. Recently I again sorted through
On February 14, 1914, my maternal grandparents, Paul and Olga Woronoff (neé Countess Kleinmichel) were married in the Feodorovsky Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo – I have written about their wedding here and talked about it here on YouTube. So 108 years ago they would have been on their honeymoon. I
Grand Duchess Olga Nikolayevna as a nurse in WWI – postcard from the author’s personal collection
Rasputin, friend to Empress Alexandra of Russia and enemy of so many more, was murdered on 30 December 1916 – (17 December in the old calendar). As a follow up to my post a couple of weeks ago, here is how the Empress expressed her fears in a letter, the
- Knowing your place: the boundaries around relationships in pre-Revolutionary Russia
- Searching for an April birth month and finding more questions
- Ella – elegant, enchanting and somewhat elusive – was she also evasive?
- What’s in a Name? Was I named in memory of the Empress?
- The Tsar is buried… the Emperor is no more…