October 15th, 1932.
I open my eyes and look at my right. He is not here, like always. Am I asking too much if I want a husband who, every morning, when I look at my right, will be in bed? In my case, yes, it is.
I'm a notorious lazy. So I just call Nataliya half an hour after I wake up. Nataliya Gromenko is my Russian maid.
- Good morning, grand duchess- she said. Nataliya is a shy and quiet 25 year old girl. My special protected on a world with lots of bad people. My puppy, specifically talking.
- Good morning, Nataliya- I said. Nataliya just addresses me as "grand duchess". Because she is Russian, and for the Russians, I will always be the grand duchess, the eldest daughter of the tsar. The eldest daughter of the Tsar. This phrase was in my first carte de visite. Now, the phrase under my photo said: Her Majesty, the Queen of Rumania.
Yes. So, I think you know who I am now. Queen Olga of Rumania, enchanté.
Nataliya gives me a glass with water and I drink delighted. I go to the bathroom, take a hot shower (it's autumn- 62 Fahrenheit)- I would never imagine this luxury in my early years in Russia! - and dress the clothes Nataliya choose for me. A long blue dress stopping in my calf and slippers. Nataliya just help me to make waves with the curling tongs when I get out of Cotroceni. In home, I usually just let my (now) short hair untied.
After getting dressed, I go downstairs and met my girlies. Yes, now I have children!
My first was born in April 1917- In that times, Carol usually let me busy. Her Royal Highness princess Marie Alexandra of Rumania is a tall and slender 15 year old girl. She had caramel hair and blue-grey-green eyes (I can't explain you the exactly color- It's a mix of all that colors). She is, unfortunately for me, very sociable, loving parties and has innocent "flirtations" with Romanian noble guys. We just call her Molly.
My second was born in March 1919. She is- I must recognize!- my favorite. Her Royal Highness princess Elisabetha of Rumania is quiet and very, very shy. She had dark chestnut hair and deep blue eyes (TRULY blue eyes, not as the beautiful but undefined Molly's eyes). She has, now, 13 years old. She loves read and the others forms of art, and is very political, usually reading newspapers and studying history.
Molly, as a 1st class fashionista, was with her hair in perfect waves and a smooth pink dress with little black balls, in her calf. And with a hat in one hand. Lisa, as we call Elisabetha, was with a very more simple green dress (on her calf too) and, as she had an extreme straight hair, just with a little loop. I smile and we three goes to the little dining room, made especially for family meals. Carol is here, joking with little Nicky.
Nicky is a handsome, charming and shy 12 year old boy. He had blue-grey eyes and black hair. I think he is the favorite grandson of my father, because he is very look alike with him. He is just like Lisa: very political (a fervent liberal) and loves read. He likes to fix things, clocks, automatons, and so on.
- Hello, darling!- I said, kissing his cheeks. He seats on his chair and I sit on mine.
- So, how did you passed the night?- I ask to Carol.
- Well- he simply said.
Carol and I are a best as a pair than as a couple. We two love politics and we want the best for Rumania. In different ways, but we want. We eat our breakfast and talk.
- So, and Nicolae? He is okay in Royal Navy?- I ask to my mother-in-law Marie. The Dowager Queen kept the signs of her well know beauty of some years ago. The stunning blue eyes, the same of 17 years ago, when I met her. Carol is unfaithful and we all know that, but all his brother and sisters and mother were all in my side. Yes, and my mother-in-law was unfaithful too, but poor woman. Married aged 17 (or 18, I don't remember) with a 10 year old man in love with a lady-in-waiting of the queen!
- He is okay… But I don't receive a letter of Mignon at least 1 week- she said. Darling Mignon, now Duchess Philipp Albrecht of Wurttemberg, is busy since the last week with some charitable organization in her new country (she will be Queen of Wurttemberg someday!).
After the breakfast, I go upstairs to my wonderful library. There, in a comfortable armchair, I write my letters: for Papa, for Mama, for Tanya, for Mashka, for Nastya, for Mignon, for Kostia, for Volodya, and so on. Kostia and Volodya (officially prince Constantine Constantinovich and Grand Duke Vladimir Pavlovich) are my personal friends. They are, certainly, more intellectual than my husband and I have more interests in common with they then Carol.
After write that thousands of letters I catch one book (actually I am reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf) and start reading for 1 or 2 hours. So, I wake up every day at 7:30, have breakfast at 8:15, stays a hour writing letters and read for 1 hour. It ends at 10:15. Meanwhile, my children start studying. I am their literature teacher. So, at 11:00 o' clock, I go downstairs (again) for teach their about marvelous books and movements.
- Who here ever heard of the Count of Monte Cristo?
Booth Nicky and Lisa almost talk. Molly was quiet in her own. So, I said:
- Molly, who is the Count of Monte Cristo?
She, a little shamed, says:
- I don't know, mum.
- Well… So, Molly, imagine that you're a man. A mariner. And that you're engaged to one of the most beautiful girls of all Rumania. And that you have very good friends, like your old friend Mondego. But you don't know that your friend Mondego wants your fiancée. He is totally crazy for her. And he accuses you of a crime you didn't did. And you goes to prison for a lot of years…
I suddenly stopped. It's a very good strategy. It always work when Molly didn't know the book that Nicky and Lisa read and re-readed that.
- So… - she said. She wanted me to tell the end of the story.
- So… If you read the book, you will know. I hope you're more well prepared for the play this night…
I like to do this. Write a play or adapt a book and make my children and their friends play the major roles. They learn and the adults have fun. My mother-in-law helps me a lot.
Tonight they will play Vanity Fair by Thackeray, adapted by me, my mother-in-law and dear Volodya. Molly will be Becky Sharp and Lisa will be Amelia Sedley.
We stopped at 12:30 PM to the lunch. Carol generally doesn't eat with us. After the lunch, the children were free to do anything they want to do. Molly usually walks around the palace or read that American "fanzines", Lisa usually reads and Nicky fix the things he like or read like Lisa. But some days we just go to the cinema or to a museum like any Bucharest noble or bourgeois family. Molly loves cinema and acting, and is always talking with me about her favorite stars. People like that ugly (but charming) Clark Gable (who has her unconditional devotion) and the beautiful girl of The Finger Points (someone called Fay Wray). She screamed for long 30 seconds when she saw the poster of a movie with Gable and an actress named Carole Lombard ("They made a perfect couple!").
But, 5 days a week, I follow Carol in the reunion with the prime minister. The one now is that Iuliu Maniu who doesn't like Carol. The problem now is Moldova. We want to take that little country. I sincerely don't know why. It's just a poor country, and Rumania doesn't need more territory. Rumania need alliances with his neighborhoods: Russia, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. It will be easy. My two sisters are now in these two thrones. And I am a close friend to Alexander and Boris. And, sure, we have Papa. We need a Little Entent. The name will be Slavic Entente. Simply.
Yes, you can accuse me of pan-slavism (one of the causes, I believe, of that horrible war 18 years ago), but we need protection. If not a military alliance, an economic alliance. We can make some economic alliances, too. Maniu heard my ideas and is reluctant. But we can show him something like "they doesn't attack us but don't have the obligation of fight for us".
Stupid, I know. But he agreed and will speak with the Serbian, Bulgarian and Russian ambassadors for that alliance. He told me to speak with my father, for he convinces the Duma for agree with the Slavic Entente.
After the reunion, I go upstairs (AGAIN!) and take a hot shower. I dress what Nataliya prepared for me for the play tonight. Here, I take care of my beauty: make waves in my hair and dress an mid-length dress (a little below the knee) white in the chemise with little buttons and red in the skirt. The long sleeves are red.
I go downstairs (AGAIN!) and receive the guests. Just some really close friends, indeed. Their children are here for hours.
So, at 20:30 PM, the play starts. It's very nice; Vanity Fair is one of my favorites books. The children, surprisingly, act very well. Especially Molly (she is a great admirer of cousin Natalie Paley too).
The play ends at 21:30 PM. It's certainly time for the children sleep, and guests go to their homes (not before thanking me for the organization of the play).
When we don't have plays (plays just at Thursdays and Fridays) I read some book for them. Tomorrow I will start The Count of Monte Cristo for Molly. Or we play cards. Or they do nothing and I write (dear Ella made some books of mine be published in London- and they sell very well!)
But, now, we need to work. Molly, Lisa, Nicky and I dissemble the "circus". We just end 1 hour later, and the children are destroyed.
So, I go upstairs (you know…AGAIN) and run to my bed, my sweet and darling bed. Carol is here, finally.
I would never imagine that my life would be like this 16 years ago, in the morning I married at the Winter Palace.