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OTMA from left to right, eldest to youngest: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Nikolaevna in 1906.

OTMA was an acronym sometimes used by the four daughters of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his consort, Alexandra Feodorovna, as a group nickname for themselves, built from the first letter of each girl's name in the order of their births:[1]

  • Ольга - Olga Nikolaevna Romanova (15 November 1895 - 17 July 1918) was the eldest daughter. She was often paired with Tatiana and they were known within the family as the "Big Pair". In her lifetime Olga was described to be compassionate and sensitive to others less fortunate then herself. During World War I Olga became a Red Cross nurse.
  • Татьяна - Tatiana Nikolaevna Romanova (10 June 1897 - 17 July 1918) was the second child. Tatiana was described to be the most beautiful of the four daughters. She was very close to her mother and her protective manner towards her younger siblings earned her the nickname "the Governess". Along with Olga, Tatiana became a Red Cross nurse after the outbreak of World War I.
  • Мария - Maria Nikolaevna Romanova (26 June 1899 - 17 July 1918) was the third and middle child. At an early age, Maria was noted to be very sweet and obedient. Maria often daydreamed of marrying a soldier and having many children. She was paired with her younger sister Anastasia and they were known as the "Little Pair". Maria often felt neglected as the middle child and wanted the attention of her elder siblings. Too young to become a nurse, Maria visited the wounded at her own hospital with Anastasia.
  • Анастасия - Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova (18 June 1901 - 17 July 1918) was the fourth and youngest daughter. She was often referred to as the clown of the family and had a knack for telling jokes and acting. Out of all the Romanov children, Anastasia was the most mischievous and held the record for the most punishable deeds in the family. She was close to her younger brother Alexei and elder sister Maria. During World War I, Anastasia and Maria visited soldiers in their own hospital, often telling the patients jokes to cheer them up.

In childhood the grand duchesses came up with ОТМА as a sign of sibling closeness and affection for one another, writing it in their diaries. The girls were great granddaughters of Queen Victoria and, although "thoroughly Russian," grew up speaking both Russian and English fluently among themselves.[1] Whilst the family was in captivity after the Russian Revolution of 1917 they were allowed to send few letters so the sisters often signed this nickname on cards they had written together for loved ones and friends.


  1. ^ a b alexanderpalace.org, The Grand Duchesses - OTMA, retrieved 14 June 2009