Close up of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Romanov's grave located in York cemetery in Toronto.
Close up of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Romanov’s grave located in York cemetery in Toronto, Ontario.

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Romanov was the youngest sister of Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia and the youngest daughter of Czar Alexander III and Maria Fyodorvna. A lot has been written or created about the fall of the Romanovs; however, most people are unaware that not all of the Romanov family died. Olga and her husband escaped Russia in 1917 and eventually settled in Toronto, Ontario; she is buried in York cemetery within Toronto city limits. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, Olga fled Russia with her husband to Denmark, where she lived until 1948. After WWII, Stalin accused her of conspiring against Russia with Germany during the war. This led to a new round of threats to her life, leading her and her husband to flee Denmark for Canada. In 1958, Olga’s husband died, and she moved to a small house in Mississauga, where she lived until her death in 1960. 

This piece of history matters because people often accept portions of history as the whole story and forget there is a lot beyond the most well-known bits of an event. The tragic death of the Romanovs is the only version of events most people are aware of, but in reality, there is more to this piece of history. Olga Romanov’s life reminds us to question the popular narratives we take as fact. It also reminds us that learning about history requires investigation, questioning, and looking beyond the voices of the most prominent figures. 

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