Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia - Emigration To Canada

Emigration To Canada

In May 1948, the Kulikovskys traveled to London by Danish troopship. They were housed in a grace and favour apartment at Hampton Court Palace while arrangements were made for their journey to Canada as agricultural immigrants. On 2 June 1948, Olga, Kulikovsky, Tikhon and his Danish-born wife Agnete, Guli and his Danish-born wife Ruth, Guli and Ruth's two children, Xenia and Leonid, and Olga's devoted companion and former maid Emilia Tenso ("Mimka") departed Liverpool on board the Empress of Canada. After a rough crossing, the ship docked at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The family proceeded to Toronto, where they lived until they purchased a 200-acre (0.81 km2) farm in Halton County, Ontario, near Campbellville.

By 1952, the farm had become a burden to Olga and her husband. They were both elderly; their sons had moved away; labor was hard to come by; the Colonel suffered increasing ill-health, and some of Olga's remaining jewelry was stolen. The farm was sold, and Olga, her husband and her former maid, Mimka, moved to a smaller 5-room house at 2130 Camilla Road, Cooksville, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto now amalgamated into the city of Mississauga. Mimka suffered a stroke that left her an invalid, and Olga nursed her until Mimka's death on 24 January 1954.

Neighbors and visitors to the region, including foreign and royal dignitaries, took interest in Olga, and visited her small home, which was also a magnet for Romanov impostors whom Olga and her family considered a menace. Welcome visitors included Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, in 1954, and Louis Mountbatten and his wife Edwina, in August 1959. In June 1959, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Toronto and invited the Grand Duchess for lunch on board the Royal Yacht, Britannia.

By 1958, Olga's husband was virtually paralyzed, and Olga sold some of her remaining jewelry in an attempt to raise funds. Following her husband's death in 1958, she became increasingly infirm until hospitalized in April 1960 at Toronto General Hospital. She was not informed or was not aware that her elder sister, Xenia, died in London that month. Unable to care for herself, Olga went to stay with Russian émigré friends, Konstantin and Sinaida Martemianoff, in an apartment above a barbershop in Gerrard Street East, Toronto. On 21 November 1960, she slipped into a coma, and she died on 24 November, at the age of 78.

She was interred next to her husband in York Cemetery, Toronto, on 30 November 1960, after a funeral service at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Toronto. Officers of the Akhtyrsky Hussars and the Blue Cuirassiers stood guard in the small Russian church, which overflowed with mourners. Although she lived simply, bought cheap clothes, and did her own shopping and gardening, her estate was valued at more than 200,000 Canadian dollars (about 1.5 million Canadian dollars as of 2010) and was mostly held as stock and bonds. Her material possessions were appraised at 350 Canadian dollars in total, which biographer Patricia Phenix considered an underestimate.

Read more about this topic:  Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Of Russia

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