Skip to main content

Last Glimpses: Nicholas II and the Romanovs in Exile

The Russian Imperial Family, c1913-1914. Image: Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons. 

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 decided Tsarskoye Selo was no longer safe for the Romanovs. They were sent to Tobolsk in the Urals. It was initially planned that they stay there until winter before they would be sent abroad in the spring of 1918 via Japan. That never happened. At the start, life was quiet, idyllic, and comfortable, although not luxurious, until things turned from bad to worse. Pictures below show the life of the Nicholas and his family in Tsarskoye Selo and Tubolsk. 

Nicholas II is photographed here with his daughter Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, Prince Vasily Dolgorukov, Franz Juravsky, Tchemodurov and two other male servants in a forest in Tsarkoye Selo. Behind them are piles of chopped woods. Image source: Royal Collection Trust/ Wikimedia Commons.

On the far right of the photograph, beside Nicholas II, is a bald Grand Duchess Anastasia, who had her hair shaven after her bout with mumps. Image source: Royal Collection Trust/ Wikimedia Commons.

Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolayevich and Emperor Nicholas II at Tsarskoye Selo. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Grand Duke Alexei and his sister, Grand Duchess Tatiana, with their guards in the park at Tsarskoe Selo. Despite being held at Alexander Palace, the royals still had some sort of freedom to go around. Image: Pierre Gilliard, Underwood and  Underwood, N.Y.

With nothing left to do, Czar Nicholas II busies himself in the kitchen garden at Tsarskoe Selo.

Grand Duchess Tatiana carries a litter of dirt as the entire imperial family works on their vegetable garden behind the Alexander Palace. Nicholas stands with spade in hand. Helping her carry the dirt is her lady-in-waiting, Anastasia Hendrikova. Image: Getty

The former Empress Alexandra works on her embroidery while seated on a rolling chair, while the rest of her family does the garden at Tsarkoe Selo. Image: Library of Congress.

Grand Duchesses Maria, Olga, Anastasia and Tatiana Nikolaevna outdoors in Tsarskoe Selo. Anastasia is with her King Charles Spaniel named Jimmy while Tatiana has her French Bulldog called Ortino. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Governor's Mansion in Tobolsk is where the Romanov family was held in captivity from August 1917 until April 1918. At the start, the Romanovs were allowed to go out and enjoy the community, living life in retirement. Situations later turned for the worst. Source:

The former czar and his children sit in front of a fence and a greenhouse during their captivity in Tobolsk. Joining them is a little boy of a servant. Source: Alexander Palace Times.

Nicholas II and his children. Source: Romanov Collection, General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. 

Wintertime in Tobolsk and Tsarevich Alexei helps his father saw wood. Source: Romanov Collection, General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

The former czar and his daughters Olga, Anastasia, and Tatiana in the winter of 1917. Source: Romanov Collection, General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

On April 30, 1918, the Romanovs were transferred to their final destination: the town of Yekaterinburg, where they were kept in the two-storey Ipatiev House. It was once the home of military engineer Nikolay Nikolayevich Ipatiev, who called it the "house of special purpose." Indeed, it would be home to special, ill-fated guests. Here,  Nicholas II and his family suffered a brutal death. Read the 11 Chilling Facts about the Murder of the Romanovs.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth about “Princess Qajar,” the Royal Lady with the Mustache

A Persian princess viral news websites baptized as Princess Qajar has lately become a stuff of legends. She was presented as a royal lady with a facial hair that made her so attracted that 13 men claimed their own lives because she couldn’t love them. The truth is, there was no “Princess Qajar,” only the Qajar dynasty  that ruled over Persia for more than a century.

The only fact about this historical meme is that at that time, it was fashionable for Persian women to wear mustache. “Many Persian-language sources, as well as photographs, from the nineteenth century confirm that Qajar women sported a thin mustache, or more accurately a soft down, as a sign of beauty,” explained Dr. Afsaneh Najmabadi.
The memes and fake stories circulating online refer not to a single princess, but actually to two female dynasts: Princess Fatemah Khanum"'Esmat al-Dowleh" and her half-sister, Princess Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh. Their father, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, ruled Persia from 1…

Queen Victoria and Her Conflict with Lord Palmerston

Moving on with our Queen Victoria series, today we will discuss about Queen Victoria’s “cold” treatment of one of her ministers, Lord Palmerston. We shall see how this long-running conflict began.
The defeat of the Tories in the 1846 General Elections saw the dismissal of Sir Robert Peel from the office. With the Whigs on the helm of the government, Henry John Temple, the Viscount Palmerston was appointed Minister of the Foreign Office. His ascension to that post ushered in the greatest struggle between the crown and its ministers since the day when George III had dismissed the coalition government of Fox and North.
Lord Palmerston’s long tenure in public office made up almost untouchable Palmerston’s appointment to the Foreign Office came shortly after he celebrated his 60th birthday, a time when he could proudly look back on his achievements and career in the government that began in 1809, ten years before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were born. Always confident in his wit and dip…

The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara

When Princess Eugenie of York married Mr. Jack Brooksbank, it was not only the first time that she wore a tiara in public, it was also the first instance when one of the British Royal Family’s most precious tiaras surfaced after being locked up in the royal vault for over seven decades. Contrary to popular speculation that Princess Eugenie would wear her mother’s York Diamond Tiara, the bride, instead, borrowed The Queen’s Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara.
The tiara was originally created by Boucheron for to society hostess The Hon. Mrs. Herman Greville in 1919. According to the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, Mrs. Greville “was a social climber,” “a snob” and gossipy lady. Cecil Beaton also describes her as a “galumphing, greedy, snobbish old toad who watered her chops at the sight of royalty and the Prince of Wales’s set, and did nothing for anybody except the rich."  
The tiara was designed in the kokoshnik style, which was popularized by the members of the Russian Imperi…