I was honored to take care of this marvelous lady for almost 11 years.
When I was told about the job I wondered what I would have in common with a lady who danced in the ballet.
At my interview I liked her right away and knew before I left the house that I would get the job. We shared a birthday and she asked me if I could cook, never mind my nursing abilities she wanted something beside frozen meals. I told her that she would never ever get a frozen meal from me and I love to cook. She looked at me and said " when can you start?".
What a learning experience! So many things I never knew and she wanted to share. She spoke Russian- where she was born in 1900 and would read Russian newspapers well into her late 90's. She was an avid reader but made sure to get french books, because she loved the french language. She also spoke German fluently and some Spanish.
Her husband passed before I met her and he was a famous clothes designer in NYC . He designed clothes for Helen Keller, Henry Fonda's wife,the Sulzberger's and many others that I've forgotten. She was his "Barbi" . He would design new clothing and they would go out and she would be his model.
She loved dogs and when they lived in the city ( their townhouse was next to Governor Rockefeller) she owned Borzois. Her husband bought a borzoi from a breeder in Germany. Nicki wasn't a puppy, but was young and all commands were taught to him were in German. They brought the dog back on the boat with them to their home in the city.The dog shared their cabin. This was during WWll. She would walk Nicki on the streets of NY and commands were in German. People would stop and stare at her. She was a tiny lady, about 5'3'' and maybe 115 pounds. Here she was, walking a huge dog, speaking German and not a care in the world. Gotta love it.
She lived close to Central Park and took another borzoi -Sasha for a walk. As they walked Sasha just stopped. She would not move an inch. Princess noticed a man with a raincoat walking towards them and Sasha would not take her eyes off of him. As he got closer every single hair on Sasha stood on end. At the time the guy opened his raincoat and flashed her. You know what she did? She laughed. She told the guy she needed a good laugh and walked on with Sasha.
Her Husband was part of the royal Romanov family. He played with Anastasia and she told me stories about his family. What a job! A history lesson everyday. Her husband was titled, any member of the royal family was called prince or princess. He was always addressed as prince. When we met I asked her what she would like me to call her. I have never been comfortable calling an older person by their first name and Mrs. Romanov was way to formal and princess was the perfect fit.
She would of loved that her photo is on the web for all to see.
So here's to you Princess- You would of been 113 today. Everyday I thank God for bringing you in my life.
She was around 95 when I took this photo. The sun NEVER touched her skin and you can see that she did not look her age. Gregory was about 12 and gave her balloons which she tied to her walker .