How This Grand Duchess Escaped The Bolsheviks

The Romanovs ruled Russia for nearly three centuries until 1917 (via History). The last Czar would be Nicholas II (standing, above), who, according to another report by History, did not want the role. Nonetheless, he took over the throne after his father's death in 1894 (per The Vintage News). Nicholas was the oldest of five children, with his youngest sister being Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (center front, above). She would not meet the same cruel fate as her brother and his family would.

According to Biography, when revolution broke out, Nicholas was forced to abdicate. The Bolsheviks took over and Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their five children were sent to live under house arrest. They were eventually executed by firing squad in 1918, subsequently ending the Romanov dynasty.

During this time, Olga was working as a nurse as World War I raged on. A far cry from her lavish beginnings, she had followed her second husband, Nikolai Kulikovsky, to the front lines, as he was a soldier (via Royal Historian). Because she was married to a commoner, Olga was not immediately arrested. However, when she and Nikolai tried to make a run of it, they were discovered and put under house arrest.

They escaped execution out of sheer luck. A miscommunication between two communist groups caused confusion as to who would do the killing. Before it could be resolved, Olga and Nikolai were able to flee Russia and settle in Denmark (per The Canadian Encyclopedia).

From royalty to farm girl

According to the Royal Historian, the couple (above) lived peacefully in Denmark until World War II. Soviet troops made their way into country, unsettling both Olga and Nikolai. Thus, the whole family, including their sons, daughter-in-laws and grandchildren, immigrated to Canada. The family purchased a large farm and settled in (Via The Vintage News).

Per The Canadian Encyclopedia, Olga's first impression of her new country was that it reminded her of Russia. Likewise, even though Olga was born into a family with a massive amount of wealth and power, she enjoyed her newfound life. She tended to the animals and painted in her spare time. There was even an exhibit of her art work in Toronto in 1951.

When Olga and Nikolai got older, they moved into a smaller home where they hosted many of Olga's royal relatives. In 1958, Nikolai died. Olga followed in 1960 at the age of 78. She spent her last few months in Toronto at the home of another Russian immigrant family she had befriended.