Nicholas II was the Last Tsar of Russia, remembered for the tragic and thoughtless way in which he and his family were murdered. He is responsible for the events that occurred during his reign, such as Bloody Sunday and the 1905 Revolution, yet there is little recognition of the love and devotion he had for his family. It is not discussed about the medical condition of his only son, the talents of his daughters, and the support of his wife. Is it possible that despite the economic downturn that Nicholas put Russia in that he still had a wide range of supporters? In addition to all the lives that were lost during his reign, it is also most tragic the manner in which this family met their end and what little regard there was to them as human beings.
Nicholas II, born in 1868 as Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov, was the son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorvna of Russia, who was the former Princess Damar of Denmark, and was the grandson of royalty from Russia and Denmark on his maternal and paternal sides.1 He married to Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt. Part of the engagement included a stipulation that Alexandra convert her faith from Lutheranism to Russian Orthodox2, a requirement that made her reluctant to accept his proposal at first. However, after granting her an exception that would allow her to convert to Russian Orthodox without having to renounce her Lutheran faith, she accepted and took the name of Alexandra Fedrovna in an attempt to become more acceptable to the Russian people.3
Becoming Tsar of Russia
When Nicholas’s father died at the early age of 49 from liver disease on October 20, 1894, that made him heir to the throne at only 26 years old, a role he was not ready for nor wanted to take on.2 Many had the feeling that Nicholas was not politically or imperially prepared for the duties of the crown and even showed some concerns himself, asking his cousin Alexander, “what is going to happen to me and all of Russia?” 1
Despite the death of his father and his new role as Tsar, later that month he and Alexandra would marry. Following their marriage, they both agreed that they did not like their ‘too modern” of a home in St. Petersburg at the Anichkov Palace and instead chose to live in seclusion in their new residency at Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo.2
The Royal Family
Nicholas was said to be a man of character, gentle and approachable and one forgot that he was face to face with a tsar. He and Alexandra had four daughters- Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia and one son, Alexei.3 Their son, who was to be heir to the throne one day but was born with a genetic condition called hemophilia B, a genetic order that prevents blood from clotting correctly, and the family did not disclose his condition to anyone outside of the royal household.3
The Romanov fortune was quite vast, hundreds of millions, but they had seven palaces to maintain and fifteen...