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Last Glimpses: Nicholas II and the Romanovs in Exile

On the night of July 16-17, 1918, Nicholas Romanov, the former Czar of Russia and ruler of the world's biggest empire, helpless and miserable, was murdered together with his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and children, Grand Duchesses Maria, Olga, Tatiana, and Anastacia,  the hemopheliac Grand Duke Alexei Nicolaevitch, and a number of servants. They suffered death in the most inhumane manner: shot, bayoneted and clubbed until they died again and again.

Various factors triggered the February Revolution of 1917, which led to the abdication of Czar Nicholas II. He also abdicated on behalf of his son but his younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, refused to accept the throne unless the people decided to retain the monarchy. However,  protesters demanded for a republic, and so, the house of Romanov, which ruled Russia for over three centuries was abolished. 
Nicholas and his family were held under house arrest in Alexander Palace until August 1917, when the Kerensky government deci…
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11 Chilling Facts about the Murder of the Romanovs

1. The Romanovs (Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, and their children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei), together with their three servants and family physician, spent their final days at “The House of Special Purpose”,a heavily guarded merchant building in Yekaterinburg previously owned by military engineer Nikolai Nikolayevich Ipatiev. The house was concealed from the streets by a 14-foot palisade, the windows covered with newspapers and eventually whitewashed. They only had one source of ventilation—a fortochka located in the bedroom of the grand duchesses; peeking through which was forbidden.
2. Grand Duchess Maria allegedly fell in love and planned an escape with one of their guards, Ivan Skorokhodov. The latter, however, was removed from his duty after he was caught smuggling a birthday cake inside the compound during Maria’s 19th birthday.
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The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara: From St. Petersburg to London

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Pictured above are Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, the original owner  of the famous Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara; Queen Mary, who purchased the tiara in 1953; and Queen Elizabeth II, who inherited the piece from from her grand mother in 1953.

It was 1917. World War I was nearing its end, and so the Romanov dynasty, which had ruled over Russia for over three centuries. Before the year came to a close, Nicholas II was overthrown from power and the Czar, his families and several of his relatives were murdered. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, famous as St. Petersburg’s society queen and known for her fascinating jewelry collection refused to believe that the world around her was crumbling apart.
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Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and the Vladimir Tiara

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On March 28, 1874, twenty-year-old Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin tied the knot with Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovitch of Russia, the imposing and bear-like third son of Czar Alexander II. The princess was transformed into an elegant Russian grandduchess who took the name Maria Pavlovna, a tribute to her Russian heritage (her great-grandmother was Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia).
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