The Romanovs: The True Story

The Romanovs: The True Story



Welcome! This is a page dedicated to the memory of the Imperial Russian Family, the Romanovs. If you liked the movie "Anastasia", you simply have to find out about the REAL Romanovs!


The story begins in 1868. The year that Nicholas II, heir to the Russian throne, is born. His parents were Tsarevich Alexander and Grand Duchess Marie Feodorovna, (born Princess Dagmar of Denmark). Nicholas Alexandrovich, as it was the Russian custom to give the child the middle name of the father, with vich, (for a boy) or ovna or evna (for a girl), would always have to live in the shadow of his huge, powerful father.



BACK: Marie, Nicholas, Xenia. FRONT: Michael, Alexander, Olga, and George


Nicholas was not an only child, by any means! He had 3 brothers, Alexander Alexandrovich (1869-1870), George Alexandrovich "Georgie" (1871-1899), Michael Alexandrovich "Misha" (1878-1918); and 2 sisters, Xenia Alexandrovna (1875-1960), and the baby, Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960).


In the year 1881, Nicholas had the traumatic experience of seeing his beloved grandfather, Alexander II asassinated before his very eyes! His grandfather was killed by revolutionaries. Alexander III became the Tsar. Frightened by his father's murder, Alexander became a hard, stern Tsar, the exact opposite of his liberal father. The Romanov children led a simple life growing up. They slept on hard camp beds, took cold baths every morning, and ate simple meals. Nicholas was a shy, gentle, yet kind and humorous child.


When Nicholas was sixteen, he met the love of his life: Princess Alix of Hesse-Dharmdst, who was 12. They met at the wedding of her elder sister Ella to his uncle Sergei. For the rest of their lives, Nicky and Alix would love each other most passionately. When Nicholas was 23, his father died. The very next day, Alix converted to Russian Orthodox, taking the name Alexandra Feodorovna. They were married soon after.


Unlike Nicholas, Alix led a very sad childhood. Her mother died of diptheria when Alix was only seven years old; soon after Alix's baby sister, May, age 4 died of the same illness. Her older brother Freddie died when Alix was only a baby. Freddie was only two, and was a hemophilliac. He fell from a two story window, and hemorhaged to death. Their mother, Princess Alice, the daughter of Queen Victoria of England, became very depressed. Alix grew up in a home of funerals and morning.



Alix's family


After her mother's death, Alix went to live with her grandmother, Victoria, for most of her life. Victoria loved her granddaughter dearly, nicknaming her "Sunny", which is what her future husband would call her later on. Victoria brought the beautiful young princess up to be modest, polite, well educated, and self reliant. Alix rarely relied on servants to do things for her, and she later taught her children these traits.


Alix and Nicky met in 1884, at the wedding of her elder sister, Ella, and his uncle, Sergei. Alix was only twelve, and Nicky, a handsome young man of sixteen. It was love at first sight, and neither of them forgot the other.


But both Queen Victoria and the Tsar were opposed to the match. It wasn't until 1894, ten years later, that Alexander finally relented: he was dying.


Nicholas had refused all other potential wives, and Alexander, knowing that his quiet, gentle son would soon be Tsar, gave in. Alix and Nicky were formally engaged in 1894. Alix was at first very reluctant to give up her Lutheran faith, and convert to Russian Orthodox. But she finally gave in. A friend recalls Alix running into her room that day, throwing her arms around her friend's neck, and crying, "I'm going to marry Nicky!"


Nicholas and Alexandra were to enjoy many years of marital and family bliss. The birth of four lovely daughters, Olga Nicholaievna, Tatiana Nicholaievna, Marie Nicholaievna, and Anastasia Nicholaievna. But Nicky and Alix longed for the birth of son, an heir to the Russian throne. Their prayers were finally answered in 1904 with the birth of the Tsarevich, Alexsei Nicholaievich Romanov. But alas, tragedy was soon to strike.


Alexsei soon began to suffer from uncontrollable bleeding at the navel. Nicky and Alix had to face the terrible truth: Alexsei was a hemophilliac. His life would forever be in peril. Thus, the dark clouds descended over the House of Romanov.


Over the years, Alix became increasingly fanatical about her religion, and about Alexsei. This ultimately lead her to seek help from the peasant Gregory Efivich Rasputin. To the Tsar and his family, Rasputin was a hero, a holy man and their savior. He was the only one who could calm Alexsei's bleeding, by having a soothing effect on the boy. But to the rest of Russia, Rasputin showed his true nature. He drank, slept around, and caused terrible dissent and disruption. As the first World War carried on, Nicholas went to the front. Alix began to seek Rasputin's advice to appoint ministers to the Duma. This ultimately proved her undoing.



Soon, there was a plot to kill Rasputin, by Prince Felix Yussoupouv, the husband of Alix's and Nicky's niece Irina, and their cousin, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavelovich. After Rasputin's death, Alix fell into despair. She continued to choose ministers for Nicholas, and ultimately, this lead to a revolution.


On March 7th, 1917, Nicholas was forced to abdicate in favor of his brother, Michael Romanov. It was hoped that little Alexsei would become Tsar, but Nicholas, not wanting to be separated from his frail son, had no choice. Shortly afterwords, the family was moved from house arrest in Tsarskoe Selo to Tolbolsk in Siberia. Their exile was not entirely unpleasant, for the Provisional Government, under Alexander Kerensky, was still in charge, and hoped that the family would soon be able to escape to England. But this was not to be. King George V, Nicholas's and Alexandra's own first cousin, who was practically a twin to Nicky, refused the Romanov family refuge. On route to Moscow, Alix, Nicky, and their daughter, Marie, were captured by the Soviet Bolsheviks, who hijacked their train. The rest of the family, along with Dr. Eugene Bodtkin, the family physician; Anna Demidova, a maid; and several others were sent to the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg. There, in the wee hours of the morning of July 16, 1918, the Romanovs and their servants were executed by the Ekaterinburg Soviets. They were buried in the woods near an old mine.


Years later, the bodies were found in the 70's, and exhumed in 1991. Only nine bodies out of eleven were found. Those missing are believed to be the Tsarevich Alexsei and either Grand Duchess Marie or Anastasia. However, DNA testing proved that Anna Anderson, long believed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia, was not related to the Romanovs. Anna Anderson's claims were fought over by the royals of Europe throughout the 20th century. When she died, she was cremated, but samples of tissue were in possesion of a hospital where Ms. Anderson was operated on. Also found were locks of her hair after her husband, John Manahan passed away. Tests done comparing the DNA from Anna's tissue to the Romanov tissue found no match. Tests were also done on Prince Philip of Edinburgh, a relative of Alexandra, to verify the Romanov remains.


On July 17, 1998, Nicholas, Alexandra, and three of their children were finally laid to rest. A funeral was held for them, and the some branches of the Russian Orthodox Church has recognized the Romanovs as saints. Whether they were or not is not important. What is important is that despite a not so great record as rulers, Nicky and Alix were deeply religious, loving and devoted parents, not to mention deeply in love with one another. They were a typical family, who loved each other devotedly. Let us hope that they rest in peace.


My Romanov Family Album


OTMA and Baby: the Romanov Children


Links to other Romanov sites



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