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By Olga Alexandrovna

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This villa had been purchased by the Dowager Empress and her sister Queen Alexandra of England after the death of their father Christian IX in 1906 and became their official home in Denmark. It was here at Hvidøre that Tihon and Guri spent their childhood years. This period was neither easy for them nor for their parents. Olga was again living under her mother’s thumb, running errands for her, receiving her guests and bearing her never-ending criticism. Xenia Yakovlevna Moshaeva became Tihon’s and Guri’s nanny.

We children were very fond of being there, but Gatchina was the ‘home of my heart’. One summer’s day I had an experience which made quite a strong impression on my childish mind. There was a Danish naval visit in Peterhof and a group of young cadets paid my parents a visit. Out in the park there was a high mast, which was encircled by a very strong net of the same type as is used in a circus when the acrobats perform. It was fun for us children to climb up the mast and jump down from the height which suited our ages and courage, and so we gradually had quite some practice.

We are infinitely grateful for all the kindnesses with which we were met. And it didn’t stop on the great day itself. In the days following our Silver Wedding, congratulations kept on arriving from known and unknown friends. Among the many greetings there was also one from a man in South Jutland, whom we had never met. He wrote that he had fought in the last World War and that he had been taken prisoner on the Russian front in April 1916 – the same year we were married. He went on to say that he had been confined in a Russian prison camp.

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