What a beautiful blog. I find russian history (through the eyes of monarchy) fascinating as well. But are you only interested in russian monarchy or also from the rest of the world????? (leaving behind blood connections)
Thank you so much! It’s always great to find other people to share my fascinations with, really.
Hum… I think I’ve been so focused on Russian Royalty that I forgot the rest of the world for a while, but when I began to do some research on royals connected to the Romanovs I unexpectedly ended up feeling very interested in monarchs from England, Bavaria,Austria, Spain and so on.
I’ve posted on my other blogs a couple things about the Imperial House of Japan but for now I’m not into non-European monarchies.
From Alexander´s (III) diary I trust…. before his engagement to Maria Feodorovna.
Я чувствую, что могу и даже очень полюбить милую Минни, тем более что она так нам дорога. Даст Бог, чтобы все устроилось, как я желаю. Решительно не знаю, что скажет на все это милая Минни; я не знаю её чувства ко мне, и это меня очень мучает. Я уверен, что мы можем быть так счастливы вместе. Я усердно молюсь Богу, чтобы Он благословил меня и устроил мое счастье.
My very rough translation (my Russian is VERY poor): I feel, that I can fall in love with darling Minnie very deeply, especially as she is so dear to us. God will give, so that everything would be arranged, as I desire. I do not decisively know what darling Minnie will say to this, I do not know her feelings for me, and this torments me greatly. I believe, that we can be so happy together. I zealously pray for God to bless me and arranged my happiness.
Early on the morning of 17 July 1918, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his wife Alexandra, their son, Alexei, and their four daughters – Tatiana, Olga, Maria and Anastasia – were gathered in the basement of Ipatiev House in the city of Ekaterinburg, in the Ural mountains, along with the family doctor, a footman, a housemaid and a cook. They had been imprisoned, in different locations, after the February revolution of 1917 and Nicholas’s subsequent abdication. In Ekaterinburg, the local Bolsheviks, led by Yakov Yurovsky, feared that the family might be liberated by advancing monarchist forces.
Yurovsky entered the room where the family were waiting and announced: “Nicholas Aleksandrovich, by the order of the Regional Soviet of the Urals, you are to be shot, along with all your family.” The family and their servants were then shot, bayoneted, their bodies hacked to pieces, set alight, doused with acid, and the remains thrown into a mine shaft. It was the end of the Romanov dynasty.
There are too many bad books, terrible films and TV mini-series about the Romanovs, and too many crackpot sentimentalists and conspiracy theorists. The family have became the stuff not so much of legend as of lurid fantasy.
Reliable and readable recent English-language histories of the last days of the Romanovs include Greg King and Penny Wilson’s The Fate of the Romanovs and Helen Rappaport’s Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs.
What is so interesting about the Romanovs to you? I'm obsessed with them too but I can't really put a finger on why... ps I LOVE YOUR BLOG
As I said before, this whole obsession began when I was just a kid and my parents gave me the movie Anastasia ( I’m so old that I still have the videocassette!). Needless to say, I was never the same person again. As I grew up and started using the Internet, I began to to learn more about the lives of the Romanovs and I enjoyed that feeling I had of almost being like a detective, trying to find out all sort of small details and tracking down objects their owned and stuff like that (stalker much?). Your question is a really great one and I absolutely feel the same way as you do. I don’t really know why the Romanovs are so particularly appealing to me, but I guess Sarah Miller is right when she says (quote) ’ Think about the things that fascinate the public: celebrity, royalty, beauty, youth, power, wealth — and, of course, tragedy. One or two items on that list are enough to grab most people. The Romanovs can boast all seven.
I suspect it also has a lot to do with the extreme contrasts in the story. There’s the riches-to-rags aspect, and also the incongruity between the irresistible appeal of Nicholas II’s personality and his ineptitude as a ruler. With the possible exception of the empress, the whole family was so guileless and personable that you can hardly help liking them even as they hurtle themselves toward their own destruction. Even their jailors were taken aback by the sympathy they developed for the Romanovs after observing them in person.
There’s just something enthralling about a senseless tragedy.
When I first saw the picture, I thought it was Maria too, but sources I found claim that all the children had gaps except Tatiana. There's so photos where you can see them too. So, my best guess is that the photo is indeed Tatiana for she is seen gapless. Then again, I don't know how reliable my explanation is :P
You are absolutely right, and you can see a pretty big gap in many of Maria’s photos (e.g. here and here). Bottom line, although it may seem Maria, only Tatiana had those teeth and ears.
Do you have a "favorite" Romanov? Obviously they're all lovable but is one particularly fascinating?
Hum… I think I had different ‘favorites’ over the course of the last 4 or 5 years, but right now I’m slight more inclined towards both Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (Nicholas’ sister) and Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna (Nicholas’ daughter).
i'll let you know when i find it, but i saw a full version (full as in, it includes the album page) where it is labeled as tatiana. unfortunatley i didnt have the head to think to save it and now im looking for it again, which is even harder now, because the site i found it on was in russian. another point is that her fingers and what is visible of her legs is too thin to be maria.
Maria was very thing around 1907 (see this pic), but I still think that this whole thing is just too confusing for me right now. All I know is that, as you said, this photo is labeled as Tatiana in Sablin’s book ‘Ten Years on board of the imperial yacht Standart’. Since he was the officer assigned to take care of Tatiana I have to assume the caption is right.
Do you believe there's even a chance Anastasia or another Romanov child escaped the night of their murder? The idea gives me chills...
The idea that one or more of them escaped is completely out of question. I obviously had that sort of romantic perspective in the beginning, when I was a kid and saw the animated movie ‘Anastasia’ almost every day, but as I grew up I started to understand that the movie’s plot couldn’t be any further from the truth.
In 1991, nine sets of remains were found and then authenticated using DNA tests, which confirmed that they belonged to Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, three Grand Duchesses, and the servants that were also killed alongside the Romanovs. However, the remains of Alexei and one of his sisters were still missing. Of course, people started thinking that Anastasia (or Maria) managed to escape after all and bla bla bla, but in 2007 a group of amateur archaeologists discovered another collection of remains from a second grave, located approximately 70 meters away from the first one. New DNA tests were done and it’s now official: the seven members of the royal family and their staff were definitely killed on the nigh of July 16-17, 1918.
sorry to keep bothering you, but the baby in alexandra's lap is tatiana, not olga.
Please, do bother me. I’m extremely perfectionist and I totally freak out when I tag someone with the wrong name. About that pic, I knew something was wrong because Olga had a big head and a chubby face when she was a little baby, but I forgot to change the tag. Thanks again.
I love your blog. I have been obsessed with the Romanovs ever since I had to study them for a genetics class in 9th grade (I'm 21 now). Keep up the good work. I've never seen a lot of these photos and I love that they really do "live on" through them :)
nope, it is tatiana. if the face isnt obvious, maria's hair is fuller and longer, and the style of the sailor suit is too early for the one's maria wears and those officers look much younger than they do for maria at that age.
I think you’re right but I also agree with many of the things mentioned here.
Urghhh, this is just sooo confusing. It looks like Maria but she had a gap between her teeth and she wasn’t as skinny as Tatiana. On the other hand, Tatiana’s smiles don’t look at all similar to that particular one and, as someone said, when smiling, she had small eyebags under her eyes. Anyway, I could stay up all night trying to solve this mystery but I think that the gap says it all.