Princess Olga Romanoff will appear in a new reality TV show next week

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Princess Olga Romanoff has just dropped her phone in the toilet. ‘I pulled on my jeans, got down and that damn thing fell out of my pocket and went down the pan,’ he explains.

Really unworthy experience, but to hear a princess – the queena cousin and descendant of the Russian Imperial Romanovs, no less – it is astonishing to tell such a colorful story.

But Princess Olga, the star of the new ITV the series Keeping Up With The Aristocrats, admits that people are often shocked when they meet her. Builders working on Provender House, her large, second-level Kent home in Kent, recently brought her a box of swear words because they even thought swearing (only a fraction of their frequency is listed here) was too much.

The children were also known to cry – thankfully not because of her language – because they were so disappointed when they met a real princess wearing jeans and no tiara. Not that he doesn’t have a tiara for special occasions and he seems to have a special power against swearing.

Princess Olga, the star of the new ITV series Keeping Up With The Aristocrats, admits that people are often shocked when they meet her.

‘Oh, I behave well in public when I have a tiara. I don’t do effing and blinding then. I am VAIRY polite. All the things my mother taught me come back. ‘

71-year-old Princess Olga is suitably elegant. The paintings on its walls (it has 30 rooms, so many walls) are people you would find in history books. Her father was Prince Andrei Alexandrovich, nephew of Tsar Nicholas II, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 together with his wife and children.

Olga’s father, then 21 years old, fled to Britain to be joined by members of a surviving family who would spend the rest of their lives in exile, dependent on British relatives.

Her grandmother – George V’s first cousin – lived in a series of houses of grace and affection, including the ten-year-old Frogmore Cottage, which was last home to Meghan and Harry and now Princess Eugenie and her family.

The Queen once brought young Prince Charles and Princess Anne to play with Olga, the only child from her father’s second marriage. Years later, Anne would accidentally kick her, she thought (he was the man they were both looking at) at a dance. Now she likes Anne: ‘She did a damn good job. That girl has a big egg. ‘

Olga’s mother was Nadine McDougall from a family of Scottish mills. Her childhood was a horse and a governess. She had no formal education. When she was 18, she had to decide whether to have a debut ball or a pool. She went to a ball at The Dorchester.

She was famously positioned as the future wife of Prince Charles.

‘My mom tried to advertise me for sale. Well, sales is a strong word, but she thought I would be the perfect wife for poor Prince Charles. At least she wanted me to marry the duke, the estate. “

Unfortunately, she was of the wrong faith (Russian Orthodox). ‘I was wrong about everything. She would be a terrible princess of Wales. I was too rebellious.

“I mean, I wasn’t a rebel rebel. I’ve never taken drugs. I didn’t drink. I didn’t fuck around like that. But I was rebellious in terms of what my mother and father expected. ‘

It is also known that children cry - fortunately not because of her language - because they are so disappointed when they meet a real princess wearing jeans and without a tiara

It is also known that children cry – fortunately not because of her language – because they are so disappointed when they meet a real princess wearing jeans and without a tiara

Didn’t you fuck around like that?

‘Oh, by the age of 20 I was terribly innocent! I can’t say too much because my daughter will say “MOM!”, But innocence was very important to my mother because she got me a good husband. ‘

Why is he venturing into the world of reality television? “They paid me, and when you can’t heat the house, you’ll do anything. I would sit down, even though people might pay me not to undress! ‘

After her mother died in 2000, she inherited her childhood home, which had been so ruined by then that woodpeckers had moved into it. Millions have been spent on it since then, and opening to the public for part of the year has literally preserved the roof.

Part of the house also runs as Airbnb. But the pandemic has had a major impact and fuel costs are irritating. This princess seems to be another retiree trying to live in just one room.

Now, it’s always hard when toffs living in huge houses invoke poverty, but she certainly doesn’t seem to live like a princess.

She’s shopping at Sainsbury’s or Tesco and “doesn’t have a measure yet” of Aldi, but that’s because she’s new to the area and can’t figure out where the cat food is.

There is no waitress or housewife. She runs Airbnb herself and does all the sheet washing and lawn mowing. They also rent this tiara only for special events at top jewelers.

Anyone sensible would sell, buy an apartment, and blow up the rest on a cruise, but she wants to keep a home in the family.

The Queen once brought young Prince Charles and Princess Anne to play with Olga, the only child from her father’s second marriage.  Years later, Anne would accidentally kick her, she thought (he was the man they were both looking at) at a dance

The Queen once brought young Prince Charles and Princess Anne to play with Olga, the only child from her father’s second marriage. Years later, Anne would accidentally kick her, she thought (he was the man they were both looking at) at a dance

The show also features her daughter Alex, who is the funniest, while trying to convince Olga, who has been single since the wedding ended in 1989, to try dating online. Alex set her profile accordingly. On which side? ‘Oh, Christ knows. He was not one of the top. They tried to get me on a date and I said “no. She didn’t even use my name for the profile. She really couldn’t put the damn princess Olga Romanoff in, could she?”

Well, no, no, if you want to avoid the gold diggers. “Gold, unfortunately, is not to be excavated, but I made a mistake when I said in the program that I would very much like a man who was a former soldier, a trained assassin. When it goes off, all the psychos in England will contact me, right? ‘

She has quite a few requirements for her future husband. He would be a ‘hunting’, shooting, fishing type, but he is also attractive. Not even a toy boy.

“Unfortunately, my chances of finding a man in his seventies who could sit on a horse, take a gun and look good are small.”

Her dream man was Prince Philip, whom she met at a Serbian funeral. Like you. He had it all – a steel spine, a good sense of humor, there was no sport he couldn’t handle. He said it the way it was, even if people were upset. ‘

Wouldn’t it upset the apple cart, I say, to marry Prince Charles, but secretly long for his father? ‘In those days one would not go that far. These are very modern thoughts, Jenny, ”she said.

For all its frankness, some topics are banned – namely Prince Andrew and Sussexesi “I do not agree with the public announcement of dirty laundry,” he says.

She chooses the royal members she can be positive about. Prince Charles will do a great job as king, I think. Camilla is her type of girl (‘yes, we really have similar qualities and people say we are similar’).

The Duchess of Cambridge gets a thumbs up. ‘She will be a good queen’. why ‘Because it’s grounded and looks good’. But the queen rises above all. ‘An extraordinary woman. She raised those four children and they still bring her those red boxes every day. “

But the convention is not for Olga. At some point I ask if I would ever marry a poor man. ‘I am! That’s why I’m sitting here without a housewife and it’s freezing. ‘

Whether she married out of love or to anger her mother is not clear. Thomas Mathew was a master craftsman, not a duke, but they lived in an apartment in Eaton Square for a while, which doesn’t sound so bad (‘Hired!’ He says. ‘And rent for pepper. One-time.’).

Her good friend Clarissa Dickson Wright, one of the two fat ladies, lived with them for a while and slept on the couch. She was an alcoholic and one night she was so desperate for a drink that she drank a bottle of Princess Olga’s perfume. ‘I was angry. It was also perfume, not eau de toilette. ‘

She actually spent most of her married life in Scotland, in the small town of Banchory.

Was practical motherhood a challenge? “I took myself like a duck for water,” she says, suddenly worried. “My husband was from a big family and I remember he showed me how to change a diaper. I liked it. I’m sorry I didn’t realize how much at the time. It’s so fleeting. ‘

Then there’s Tom, her fourth child. He was born with a heart defect and died at the age of 18 months, in 1989. Did she fall apart? ‘I’m not the kind of person who would go to pieces because of my background. One cries obviously at home, but …’

Immediately afterwards, she made a hardened upper lip, but in the narration of this it unfolds somewhat.

‘Tom died on my daughter Alex’s eighth birthday. He was at the intensive care unit in Edinburgh and we stayed with him, but the night before I went home to prepare things for her birthday and the next day I got a phone call at 10am to say, “He died”.

‘We decided to tell Alex about her birthday to be mean, so we kept celebrating. She’s still upset, we didn’t tell her right away.’

What an absolute steel it must require to inflate balloons and keep smiling in this situation. She remembers her last moments with Tom and cries. “He was very excited about Michael Jackson. The last time I sat with him, I played Michael Jackson for him. I don’t remember any song. It would have been something that seemed awful to me, but he loved it. He shook my hand. He was such a happy boy. ‘

Tom is buried in Banchory Church Cemetery. It has a simple tombstone, pink granite and a beautiful view. ‘If you have to have a grave, you could be there too.’

During our interview, she cites some references to family graves, which may be inevitable in her family history. Now she is also a grandmother herself, she has only been to Russia a few times, but she would like to return to the funeral, which she missed for a long time.

The remains of two of Romanov’s murdered children, Maria and Alexei – the father’s first cousins ​​- are still unburied, more than a hundred years later. “They’re in Tupperware boxes,” he says. Although this may not be literally true, their burial was blocked by the Russian Orthodox Church, so their bones remain in storage. “Which is frankly s ** t,” he says.

n Keeping Up With The Aristocrats starts at 9pm on Monday, January 17, on ITV and ITVHub.

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