romanov family


Grand Duchess Olga

Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, with Grand Duchess Olga Nicholaievna, Pasetti, 1896. Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014. ‘Tsarskoe Selo A day I will remember for ever, during which I suffered a very very great deal. At about 2 o’ clock, dear Mama arrived from Gatchina; she, Ella and I were with Alix the whole time. At exactly 9 o’ clock a baby’s cry was heard and we all breathed a sigh of relief! With a prayer we named the daughter sent to us by God ‘Olga’! When all the anxiety was over, and the terrors […]


Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses

On 17 July 1918, four young women walked down twenty-three steps into the cellar of a house in Ekaterinburg. The eldest was twenty-two, the youngest only seventeen. Together with their parents and their thirteen-year-old brother, they were all brutally murdered. Their crime: to be the daughters of the last Tsar and Tsaritsa of All the Russias. Much has been written about Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their tragic fate, as it has about the Russian Revolutions of 1917, but little attention has been paid to the Romanov princesses, who – perhaps inevitably – have been seen as minor players […]


Looking forward to 2014

Christ Church, Spitalfields. Photo: Melanie Clegg. Following on from yesterday’s highlights of 2013, I thought it’d be fun or interesting or whatever to have a look at the ten things that I am most STOKED about for 2014. Ready? Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, after Hans Holbein the Younger, early 17th century. Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London. 1. Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies at the RSC. It seems like eons ago that I bought my tickets for this and I can’t believe that it is now just mere weeks until I trek up to Stratford upon Avon for […]


The end of the Romanovs

The Imperial Family, murdered on this day, 17th July 1918. ************* ‘Alexei took his first bath since Tobolsk; his knee is getting better, but he still cannot straighten it completely. The weather is warm and pleasant. We have absolutely no news from the outside.’ Final entry in the journal of Nicholas II, Ekaterinburg, 13th July 1918. Empress Alexandra and her son, Alexei, who was known within the family as ‘Baby’. ************* ‘Grey morning, later lovely sunshine. Baby has a slight cold. All went out 1/2 hour in the morning, Olga & I arranged our medicines. Tatiana read spiritual reading. They […]


Grand Duchess Maria

The Imperial Family with the infant Grand Duchess Maria, 1899. ‘Peterhof, A happy day: the Lord has sent us a third daughter – Maria, who was safely born at 12.10! Alix hardly slept all night, and towards morning the pains got stronger. Thank God it was all over quite quickly! My darling felt well all day and fed the baby herself. Mama arrived from Gatchina at 4 o’clock. The immediate family gathered in church for a Te Deum. Had tea with Mama; wrote telegrams and went through the unbearable papers. I only managed to get out into the fresh air […]


Grand Duchess Anastasia

Tsarina Alexandra and baby Anastasia, 1901. ‘Peterhof, At about 3 o’clock in the morning,Alix started to have strong pains. At 4 o’clock I got up, went to my room and dressed. At exactly 6 o’clock in the morning a little daughter – Anastasia – was born. Everything went off splendidly, quite quickly and thank God without any complications! Thanks to the fact that it all began and ended while everyone was still asleep, we both had a feeling of calm and solitude! After that I sat down to write telegrams to relatives and friends in various parts of the world. […]