The Queen‘s ‘rebellious’ cousin Princess Olga Romanoff has said she would have been ‘a lousy imperial royal’ because she would ‘rather shovel sh** than dress up’.
Princess Olga, 71, is the daughter of Prince Andrew, Tsar Nicholas II’s eldest nephew, who escaped Russia on a British warship in 1919, and the Queen’s cousin.
Speaking to the Telegraph, the Russian royal, who lives alone at Provender, a 30-room 13th century home in Kent, said she rents out what was once the servants’ wing on Airbnb as ‘a necessity’ so that it earns its keep.
Meanwhile she spoke of her admiration for the ‘quite divine’ Prince Philip, saying: ‘I just think he’s wonderful because A, he’s very good-looking. B, he doesn’t take bullsh–. He says it how it is even if he gets into trouble.’
The Queen’s ‘rebellious’ cousin Princess Olga Romanoff, 71, has said she would have been ‘a lousy imperial royal’ because she would ‘rather shovel sh** than dress up’
Olga, who takes the English spelling of her surname as opposed to the Russian ‘Romanov’ – was home-schooled before moving between London, Scotland and Kent and returning to the historic home in 2000.
Her parents fled Russia during the revolution, a year after the Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolsheviks revolutionaries under Yakov Yurovsky in Yekaterinbur on July 1918.
Through her mother Nadine Sylvia Ada McDougall, Ms Romanoff is a descendant of William Paterson, who founded the Bank of England in 1694, and also of Henrik Borgström, who founded the Bank of Finland.
She grew up with the constant presence of a chaperone and had her very own personal ballet teacher.
Olga, who lives alone at her family home of Provender, said she rents out what was once the servants’ wing on Airbnb as ‘a necessity’ so that it earns its keep (pictured at the Eastern Seasons Gala Dinner at One Marylebone on December 5, 2016, London)
Olga resides in Kent at Provender House, which was bought by her grandmother Constance Borgström in 1921 and is laden with portraits of her illustrious Russian relatives.
She said her father, who died at the time her third child was born, didn’t speak much of Russia.
The Romanoff descendant now spends her time restoring her UK family home and rents the servants’ wing on AirBnB in order to make extra money.
She admitted she had to clean up after her guests, doing their dishes and even changing the sheets, something she swore she would never do.
A family tree of Ms Romanoff showing her ancestry date back to Tsar Nicholas II
While she is a blood relative of the royal family, Olga said she wasn’t sure she considered the Windsors ‘cousins’, because she only met them a little as a young girl, and had too many cousins to count.
Speaking of Prince Philip, the royal said she only ever met him once but would have loved to meet him when he was younger, because he had always been one of her personal heroes.
Upon hearing of his death, she said she felt ‘terribly sorry’ for the Queen and the royal family, especially Princess Anne, whom she knew when she was younger.
After her family moved from Russia to the UK, Olga didn’t experience the royal life the Windsor branch of her family did.
Olga, pictured with Alexander Armstrong, said she wasn’t sure she considered the Windsors her cousins, but said she had a lot of admiration for the late Duke of Edinburgh and thought Prince Charles would be a good King
Having been branded the Queen’s ‘rebellious cousin’ due to her forthright manners, Olga said she felt the term didn’t apply to her, because she never did drugs of strayed from conventions when she was younger.
She said she never drank or ‘s***** around,’ as a young woman, but admitted she would have liked to rebel against the establishment.
She joked her life was ‘depressing,’ and that she is now too old to try drugs or alcohol.
When she was younger Olga was named as a potential bride for her third-cousin Charles, now 72, but said the Prince of Wales wasn’t her usual type and that she was only interested in horses and not dating.
Nowadays, she is estranged from her former husband Thomas Mathew, with whom she shares three children, Olga is happy to remain single and jested she is too old for dating apps.
The Russian royal, pictured, whose father was the nephew of Tsar Nicholas II, rents the servants’ wing of her family home in Kent to make ends meet
She said she appreciated Princess Anne’s no-nonsense approach to life, and that Prince Charles would make a good king – though she joked he’d be old by the time he ascended the throne.
She also revealed she liked the Duchess of Cornwall, whom she met in 1969, because she smoked like her and ‘swore like a trooper.’
While Olga had a traditional aristocratic upbringing, her three children, Nicholas, Francis-Alexander and Alexandra attended state school in Scotland where the family lived before she moved back to Provender House.
She had a fourth child, Thomas, who died of a rare heart defect when he was 18 months.
Her daughter Alexandra, who has been staying with her during lockdown, said she was bullied as a child because some people assumed that an aristocratic title always meant a family had money, and that people always assumed she was ‘rich b****.’