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Queen Olga

olgaQueen Olga was born Olga Konstantinovna of Russia, in Pavlovsk, on 3rd September 1851. Her father was the Grand Duke Constantine Nikolayevich, son of Tsar Nicholas I and her mother the Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifevna, Princess of Sax-Oldenburg.

In 1867, she married King George of the Hellenes in Saint Petersburg. She was greeted in Athens with profound enthusiasm and soon became dear to the entire population. Her popularity was further boosted when she gave birth to a son, Constantine.

From the onset, Queen Olga became the Mother figure of the entire nation, during the arduous years of the Greek-Turkish war. She visited the wounded with disregard to her own safety and secured the full welfare for the families of the soldiers fighting in Crete, via donations from her relatives and from wealthy Greek living abroad. This marked the beginning of a multifaceted charitable undertaking which led to the creation of a number of foundations: the 'Filekpedeftiki Eteria' (schooling institution), 'Ameleion Orfanage for girls', the 'School for Nurses' the 'Athenian Poorhouse' the 'Russian Hospital' and the 'Evangelismos Hospital' to name a few. Finally, in an effort to invigorate the nation's faith, Queen Olga ordered the translation of the Bible into Modern Greek.

During the Balkan wars, she was once again in charge of the medical care given to Greek soldiers and was at their side at the front. Queen Olga was in Saint Petersburg at the outburst of the First World War and managed to return to Greecec with great difficulty, after the Communist Revolution in 1917. Upon her arrival in Athens, in November 1920 she was appointed Regent until the referendum and the return of King Constantine.

Upon her son's reinstatement, she went to stay with Prince Christopher in Rome until her death, in 1926. She was initially interred in the crypt of the Russian Church in Rome, with King Constantine; in 1936 her body was transferred to Athens and was buried in Tatoi.