By Olga Alexandrovna
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Extra info for 25 Chapters of My Life
When you sat in the Venus Pavilion it was almost like being on a ship. From the windows you could see the entire length of the lake, and how the pale anecdotes from the imperial court birches and dark fir trees growing on its shores were reflected in its clear water. There were several islands in the lake and numerous small, delicate bridges which connected them with the shore and with each other. It was a whole network of islands and bridges – a magic kingdom for Misha and me. We each had our own canoe and as soon as the weather was warm enough we would spend a major part of our leisure time paddling around in the lake, and playing hide-and-seek among its islands and under the many delicate bridges.
I was the youngest of us brothers and sisters. My late brother Nicholas was 14 when I was born, George was 12, my sister Xenia 7 and Michael 3½. I grew up with ‘Misha’ without playmates of my own age, but we did not miss them, since the sailors and soldiers, who served at the Palace, were always ready to play with us. Many of them had fought in the war against Turkey, and they would talk away about their experiences, which were exciting and colourful – perhaps even a little too exciting and colourful for a young and impressionable child’s soul.
A. for Olga Alexandrovna lay at the foot of the coffin. On November 30th, 1960, more than five hundred mourners filled the Cathedral. The Requiem Mass was followed by a short memorial sermon by Bishop Athenagoras, head of the Greek Church in Canada. Representatives of Orthodox communities took part in the service. After the last homage had been paid, the coffin was closed. It was covered with the Imperial standard and the old regimental colours that had been brought over to Canada by a Hussar not long after the Revolution.
25 Chapters of My Life by Olga Alexandrovna