This year marks the 165th anniversary of the birth of Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna, future Queen Olga of the Hellenes.
Situated on the slope of a wooded hill not far from Athens, stands Tatoi Palace, a copy of the Farm Palace, located in the Alexandria Park at Peterhof, and the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Chania, Crete similar to the Church of Saint Olga at Mikhailovka, near Peterhof. The reason behind these Greek reproductions was based on the love of Peterhof by Queen Olga of the Hellenes, Russian Grand Duchess, the daughter of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, niece of Emperor Alexander II, and granddaughter of Emperor Nicholas I.
Greece in the 19th century was plagued by war and revolution. The nation gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire with the help of Russia, England, France. With their participation they helped put the 17-year-old Prince William of Denmark (future King George I) on the Greek throne in 1863. A wife for the young king was carefully selected, with the choice falling on a Russian bride. The Greek throne - the key to the Balkans - was instrumental in the politics in the region at the time, because this union was considered a great diplomatic success for both Russia, and for Greece. Royal history has shown that few royals every married for love, however, the union of King George I and Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna (Queen Olga of the Hellenes) was one of the happiest of examples in the history of dynastic diplomacy.
"Love your new country, twice that of the native" - he admonished his Russian bride. Olga, Queen of the Hellenes - that was her official title - received the love and respect of the Greek people, she took a deep interest in Greek history and culture, and took part in a broad range of charitable activities. The forty years of the reign of George I (1863 - 1913), supported by his wife and children, was the most peaceful in the new history of Greece.
The story and destiny of Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna, who ascended the Greek throne, and her early years growing up in Peterhof, the summer residence of members of the Russian Imperial family is presented in a unique exhibition in Peterhof. The outdoor photo exhibition opened on 19 August, featuring exhibits from the collections of the Peterhof State Museum Preserve and the Russian State Historical Archive (RSHA). The exhibition records the link between Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna with the Farm Palace, located in Alexandria Park at Peterhof, a place with which Olga recalled many fond memories of her home and happy times spent with family and relatives.
The outdoor photo exhibition runs from 19 August, 2016 to 9 January, 2017 on the Marine Park Alley, located in Alexandria Park at Peterhof.
Click on the link below to watch a documentary (in Russian) on Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna:
Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna Documentary Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 hour, 56 minutes. Topic: Olga Konstantinovna GD
On March 15th of 2010, I posted an article in Royal Russia News about a documentary being made about the Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna. The complete two-hour documentary is now available for viewing.