Monday, May 17, 2010

Nicholas' sisters do the wash

May 17, 1918

Members of the former Russian imperial family are "living in seclusion on a small Crimean estate," and living in penury, according to a Kiev newspaper, which was receied by the New York Times in Amsterda,
The newspaper states that Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaivitch, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, and her two daughters, Grand Duchesses Xenia Alexandrovna and Olga Alexandrovna, and their families, are together, along with fourteen others.
During the February revolution, their residence was "frequently attacked by mobs, which were especially hostile to Grand Duke Nicholas." Empress Marie's farmhouse has been "shelled three times."
Grand Duchesses Xenia and Olga do the family's washing, and Grand Duke Nicholas provides the lessons for the children, "who owing to perpetual fright," have become "nervous wrecks."
The meals are largely "rough soldiers' fare," as meat and sugar are "unattainable luxuries." The prisoners are, however, allowed to garden and read, although it is difficult for the family to obtain books.
Grand Duchess Olga, it is reported, sold a part of her wardrobe to purchase books. "credit being refused."

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