Monday, February 27, 2012

A Shy and Sensitive Soul

Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna of Russia, the future Queen of  Württemberg, wrote her memoirs about her childhood and her relationship with her family. In the following excerpt, she reminisce about her sisters Maria and Alexandra ("Adina" or "Adini"), and her struggle to overcome her childhood shyness. 

"By age I was between the two: three years younger than Mary, three years older than Adina - and often felt a little lonely. I have already started moving away from the little world of games played by Adina, while she could not even go to the adult world, in which Mary now belongs because of her being fourteen. My sisters were cheerful and high-spirited, while I'm serious and reserved. Compliant by nature, I try to please everybody, and this often subjected me to Mary's ridicule and reproach. I was unable to defend myself. I felt foolish and rustic, crying on my pillow at night, and began thinking that I'm not my parents' real daughter, replaced by a nurse. General Merder was able to encourage me and inspire me, saying that with my mind and my shyness does not mean that I'm incapable, but point to the quality of a deep nature, which needs time to develop. Sasha [her brother Alexander II) and I have the same nature; he was extremely sensitive, that is why we were very close to each other."

Further Reading:
Königin Olga von Württemberg - Traum der Jugend goldener Stern (translated as "The Golden Dream of My Youth")

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