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King Charles ‘had a very good escape’ from marrying reality TV star cousin: ‘Would’ve been awful’

Princess Olga Romanoff wasn’t surprised that her mother wanted to marry her off to the former Prince Charles, her third cousin.

“It didn’t horrify me — I knew what my mother was like,” the 73-year-old told Fox News Digital. “My mother wanted me to marry a man preferably with a title and money because she thought those were the things that would give one pleasure… That’s what ladies did.”

“She wanted me to marry well,” Romanoff shared. “And she thought that perhaps being the duchess of whatever would bring me the happiness that she wanted for me… She thought those were the things that made you happy.”

A close-up of Princess Olga Romanoff in a white gown

Princess Olga Andreevna Romanoff in the U.K., circa 1968. (William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images)

“[Prince Philip] was my idea of a perfect man,” said Romanoff about Charles’ late father. “Tall, blonde, sportsman, took no s–t, told it how it was, shot from the hip… He said it exactly how it was, which is what I like. I can’t bear this new kind of thing, having to be so careful about what you say.”

A portrait of the Romanovs looking serious in formal wear

Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia with her husband, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, and her brother, Tsar Nicholas II, circa 1897.  (Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

Romanoff is the great-niece of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. His British first cousin is King George V, The Telegraph reported. According to the outlet, she’s the only daughter of the tsar’s eldest nephew, Prince Andrei Alexandrovich. The Telegraph noted he later styled himself as Prince Andrew Romanoff when he settled in England. Her mother was Nadine McDougall, a wealthy heiress from a flour-milling family.

Romanoff grew up in Provender House, an English 13th-century country home. She personally conducts many public tours of the property.

A close-up of Princess Olga Romanoff in a white gown surrounded by people

Debutante Princess Olga Andreevna Romanoff at her coming-out ball at the Dorchester Hotel in London, circa 1968. (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“It’s got about 30 rooms,” she explained. “There’s two different types of people that visit — the person that wants to come and look at the princess and see if she’s like what they’ve read, and then there’s the person who just likes architecture and old houses.”

“Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to have a group of people that likes both,” she continued. “But we close at the end of October until the beginning of May because the house is so bloody cold. You could die. I hate the cold — I wear a ski suit and a double thermal vest. But you get used to it. It was all warm when I was a child. There was central heating and people to help.”

Still, Romanoff insists she wouldn’t trade in her seemingly modest arrangements for Buckingham Palace.

Prince Charles being crowned as he kneels in front of Queen Elizabeth

Prince Charles kneels before Queen Elizabeth as she crowns him Prince of Wales at the Investiture at Caernarvon Castle  in Wales on July 1, 1969. (Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

“Absolutely not, I’d hate it,” she said. “I think it would be like being in a goldfish bowl. I love my private life. I appear out in public occasionally, but I can choose when. No, I think ‘good luck to them.’ I take my hat off to them. I think they are brilliant in the way they cope.”


Prince Charles kissing Princess Dianas hand on their wedding day

The Prince and Princess of Wales are seen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day, circa 1981. (Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

In 1981, Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, a shy nursery teacher’s assistant who became the glamorous Princess of Wales. The union was plagued by infidelity, and the couple’s divorce was finalized in 1996. Diana died in 1997 from injuries she sustained in a car crash at age 36.

In 2005, Charles married his longtime love and mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles. She was crowned queen in May of this year.

A close-up of King Charles and Queen Camilla looking at each other as they wear their robes and crowns

King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned in London on May 6, 2023. (P van Katwijk/Getty Images)

“Poor King Charles, he was the longest Prince of Wales, I think, in history,” said Romanoff. “[But] he learned from the best. And I think he has done amazingly. He’s really put his heart into [his role] and he’s given it his all. So has Queen Camilla. I think they’ve been brilliant. I’m very proud.”

Romanoff also sang praises for Prince William, Charles’ eldest son. The father of three is next in line to the throne.

“I think William’s got a different take on how he’s going to do it all,” she explained. “He’s keeping up with the modern era. I think when it comes to their time, he’ll do it really well because he’s studied it. He’s very personable and people like him. He can talk to anyone and make people laugh. And he’s sporty.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton wearing matching shades of blue during an outing

Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Prince William, Prince of Wales, visit Nottingham Trent University to learn about their mental health support system in Nottingham, England, on Oct. 11, 2023. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

“And I think [his wife] the Princess of Wales has been remarkable,” she shared. “There’s never been a whiff of anything scandalous in her past. She’s been great.”


A portrait of Prince Philip in a uniform

Princess Olga Romanoff said Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was her idea of a perfect man. (Donald McKague/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

When asked about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Romanoff replied, “I will not comment, and I do not have any thoughts.”

Over the years, Romanoff has kept busy being a royal rebel. In addition to appearing on several TV shows, where she’s charmed audiences with her sharp wit, she wrote a memoir in 2017 titled “Princess Olga: A Wild and Barefoot Romanov.”

Princess Diana wearing an ivory suit as photographers surround her

Princess Olga Romanoff said she wouldn’t want a royal life, noting that royal wives can’t escape scrutiny. Princess Diana was being chased by photographers at the time of her death in 1997 at age 36. (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

“As a child, you accept everything,” she said. “It didn’t seem odd that my father was a prince and my grandmother was a grand duchess… I met the late queen on quite a few occasions… [But] I’m closer in blood to Prince Philip because both sides go to Prince Philip, the Russian side and the Danish side.”

Queen Elizabeth II wearing a red gown and a crown

Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. (Geoff Pugh – WPA Pool /Getty Images)

“[But] people think because you’ve got a title and live in a big house, you must have money,” Romanoff shared. “Utter rubbish… I work jolly hard and there’s no luxury. People think that just because you’re a princess you’ve got the life of Riley — so not true. It takes money to run a home like this one. And it’s a challenge. Every year, I say to my daughter, ‘Look, darling, I can’t do another year in the cold.’… People don’t think of a princess wearing jeans and smelling of horses. I met some children in Scotland, and I made them cry because they were expecting a fairy princess.”

“Life was different,” she reflected. “I didn’t go to school. I had tutors and a governess. My mother had dinner parties where I had to sit next to old farts from the age of 12. I had to learn how to converse with these boring old farts. I had to learn how to entertain, which I guess has been a useful tool for me.”

Gwyneth Paltrow standing in front of a grass wall

Princess Olga Romanoff channeled Hollywood actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow in “The Big Celebrity Detox.” (Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Daily Front Row)


In April of this year, Romanoff detailed to The Mail on Sunday how she underwent several bizarre treatments for “The Big Celebrity Detox.”

Romanoff said she’s still learning.

“We were steaming the fanny and I kept saying, ‘My God, this is like Gwyneth Paltrow,’” she remarked. “This is her thing, which I found totally unnecessary. But she’s a clever businesswoman. She’s made money out of it.”

Stephanie Nolasco covers entertainment at


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