Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna was born on 10 June 1897, in Peterhof, Russian Empire. She was the daughter of Alexandra, Empress Consort of Russia (6 June 1872 - 17 July 1918) and Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia (18 May 1868 - 17 July 1918). Her maternal grandparents were Princess Alice of England (25 April 1843 - 14 December 1878) and Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine (12 September 1837 - 13 March 1892). Her paternal grandparents were Maria Feodorovna, Empress Consort of Russia (26 November 1847 - 13 October 1928) and Alexander III, Emperor of Russia (10 March 1845 - 1 November 1894). Her maternal great-grandparents were Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Empress of India (24 May 1819 - 22 January 1901) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (26 August 1819 - 14 December 1861). Her paternal great-grandparents were Princess Elisabeth of Prussia (18 June 1815 - 21 March 1885) and Prince Karl of Hesse and by Rhine (23 April 1809 - 20 March 1877). Tatiana's parents were married on 1 November 1894. Her siblings were: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna (15 November 1895 - 17 July 1918), Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna (26 June 1899 - 17 July 1918), Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna (18 June 1901 - 17 July 1918) and Grand Duke Tsarevich Alexei (12 August 1904 - 17 July 1918). Nicknamed "Tanya," "Tatya," "Tatianochka," or "Tanushka", she was devoted to her sister Olga. They shared room, toys and dressed alike. Her sister, Maria Nikolaevna was born on 26 June 1899, at Alexandria Dacha, in Peterhof. Her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, at Osbourne, Isle of Wight. She was interred in Frogmore Mausoleum, at Windsor Great Park. Her sister, Anastasia Nikolaevna was born on 18 June 1901, at Peterhof. Tatiana and Olga became known as "The Big Pair" while Maria and Anastasia were "The Little Pair". In the winter of 1903, her parents hosted the 17th Century Imperial ball, at the Winter Palace. Their cousin, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine died of typhoid fever in November 1903, while on a visit to the Romanovs, at their Polish estate. She was buried in Rosenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany. According to Six Years at the Russian Court by Margaretta Alexandra Eagar, "My children talked much of cousin Ella and how God had taken her spirit, and they understood that later God would take her body also to heaven." Her brother, Aleksei Nikoliaevich was born on 12 August 1904. In November 1905, her parents met Rasputin. Tatiana was tall, slim, had dark auburn hair and dark blue eyes. She was beautiful, loved fashion and always made sure to appear elegant. Her favourite perfume was, Jasmin de Corse. Tatiana was practical and had a natural talent for leadership, her sisters gave her the nickname "The Governess". Tatiana was given the rank of honorary colonel for the Vosnesensky Hussars. She wrote to her mother on 20 April 1911, "I would like so much to go the review of the second division as I am also the second daughter and Olga was at the first so now it is my turn. ...Yes, Mama, and at the second division I will see whom I must see... you know whom..." Her sister, Olga's 16th birthday festivities was held in November 1911, at Livadia. In 1913, the house of Romanov celebrated 300 years as Russian rulers. Tatiana contracted Typhoid after drinking water during a stay in 1913, at the Winter Palace, in St. Petersburg. In 1914, World War I started and Germany declared war on Russia. Her mother felt that it was her duty to serve as Red Cross Nurse with her eldest daughters. In September 1914, Dmitri Malama gave Tatiana a French bulldog she named "Ortino". She wrote to her mother on 30 September 1914, "Forgive me about the little dog. To say the truth, when he asked should I like to have it if he gave it to me, I at once said yes. You remember, I always wanted to have one, and only afterwards when we came home I thought that suddenly you might not like me having one. But I really was so pleased at the idea that I forgot about everything." Sadly Ortino died. In 1915, her father, Nicholas II became Commander-In-Chief and left his wife and children in Tsarskoe Selo. Rasputin was murdered on 17 December 1916. Tatiana attended his funeral on 21 December 1916. He was buried with an icon signed on its reverse side by Alexandra and her daughters. Nicholas II was forced to abdicate on 15 March 1917. He firstly abdicated in favour of Tsarevich Alexei, but changed his mind after advice from doctors that the heir would not live long apart from his parents who would be forced into exile. Nicholas II drew up a new manifesto naming his brother, Grand Duke Michael, as the next Emperor of all the Russias. Under pressure from the Committee the Grand Duke refused the throne on 16 March 1917. The family was placed under house arrest on 20 March 1917, at the Alexander Palace.