Princess Olga Romanoff is striding around in jeans and a blue gilet, distractedly clutching a phone to her ear. I have just arrived at Provender House, her 13th-century mansion in the Kent countryside, which she opens at regular intervals to the public. “No, you can’t come today,” she is explaining through gritted teeth to a would-be visitor on the other end of the line. “It’s just too cold.”
She cuts the call short. “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.
So begins Princess Olga’s interview with the Sunday Telegraph. This piece was published to promote her forthcoming memoirs, Princess Olga, A Wild and Barefoot Romanov. Just like the book, the interview includes snippets of her interesting life and a glimpse of her “colourful” personality. Below are a couple of these interesting insights as they were given in the interview. To read the full interview visit the Telegraph’s website.
In a recent interview on Channel 4’s Royal House of Windsor, she broke down in tears on camera when discussing how the king himself, rather than prime minister Lloyd George as previously believed, had first offered then rescinded safe passage to the Russian royals, effectively signing their death warrant…
Her mother was a terrible snob, Olga recalls. She once supplied Harpers and Queen with a photograph and a list of her daughter’s accomplishments so that she could feature in a list of European royal princesses suitable as brides for the then bachelor Prince Charles. “She made them up. It said I was a good tennis player. Can’t hit a ball to save my life. It made me so angry.”…
After her father’s death in 1981, her mother had lived on alone at Provender, but in 2000, as she approached her 92nd birthday, Olga came back to care for her. Her childhood playground was in such a state of disrepair that this Grade II*-listed building – “it’s only not Grade I because Mother refused to let the inspectors, who she regarded as tradesmen, over the front door step” – was on the “At Risk” register.
Princess Olga, A Wild and Barefoot Romanov is due for publication in October. Pre-order your copy from our website by clicking on the cover image below.