Margaretta Alexandra Eagar, also known as Margaret Eagar, (August 12, 1863 - 1936), was a nanny for the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra, known collectively as OTMA: The Grand Duchesses Olga (November 15, 1895 - July 17, 1918); Tatiana (June 10, 1897 - July 17, 1918); Maria (June 26, 1899 - July 17, 1918); and Anastasia (June 18, 1901 - July 17, 1918).
Eagar wrote a 1906 memoir entitled Six Years at the Russian Court about her time with the Romanovs. Eagar was born in Limerick, Ireland, one of ten children born to a Protestant couple, Francis McGillycuddy Eagar and Frances Margaret Holden. She was trained as a medical nurse in Belfast and worked at one point as matron of an orphanage.
Eagar was appointed nurse to the daughters of Nicholas II in 1898 and remained with them until 1904. An aunt of the grand duchesses later recalled Eagar's great love of politics. As a toddler, Maria once escaped from her bath and ran naked up and down the palace corridor while Eagar discussed the Dreyfus Affair with a friend. "Fortunately, I arrived just at that moment, picked her up and carried her back to Miss Eagar, who was still talking about Dreyfus," recalled Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia.
The four Grand Duchessess began learning English from Miss Eagar and, by 1904 -at which time Miss Eagar left the Imperial Russian Court - had developed an Irish accent in their pronunciation. In 1908, English tutor Charles Sydney Gibbes was brought in to "correct" this..
Eagar, who grew fond of all four grand duchesses, wrote in her book that she left the Russian Court for personal reasons. However, it was possible that she was dismissed due to the tense political situation surrounding the Russo-Japanese War as Great Britain largely sided with Japan.
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