THE House of Romonov was once a powerful dynasty that ruled over Russia.
Following Tsar Nicholas II’s abdication in 1917, he and his family were brutally executed by the Bolsheviks. Here we take a look at the tragedy and the fall of the Russian monarchy.
Who were the Russian royal family?
The House of Romonov was the second dynasty to rule over Russia, following the House of Rurik.
Tsar Nicholas II was crowned in 1896 and reigned until his abdication in 1917.
In early 1917, the Bolsheviks – led by Vladimir Lenin – overthrew the government.
Eighteen members of the Romonov dynasty were killed by the Bolsheviks, and the remaining 47 went into exile abroad.
When was Tsar Nicholas II and his family executed?
On the night of July 17, 1918, Tsar Nicholas II and his family were roused from their sleep and were told they were being taken to a more secure location.
Bolshevik authorities led them to an out house across the courtyard from where they were staying.
The family were left alone for several minutes, before armed men entered the room, led by Yakov Yurovsky.
Yukovsky read an announcement which stated the Tsar and his family must be killed immediately.
The Tsar, his wife Alexandra and his children, Alexei, 12, Tatiana, 21, Olga, 22 and Maria, 19 were all shot dead in the room where they were held captive.
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Did Anastasia Romonov escape?
There has always been an element of mystery surrounding the youngest of the Tsar’s daughters, in that the body of the Grand Duchess Anastasia was not found with the rest of her family’s.
Following the execution of the Romonovs, rumours circulated that the 17-year-old had managed to escape.
One of the best known impostors was Anna Anderson, who claimed she was the Grand Duchess, but she was later institutionalised in 1920 after a suicide attempt.
DNA analysis of the bodies found in an unmarked grave in Yakaterinberg, 1100 miles from Moscow, showed that all five members of the Romanov family were buried there, dispelling rumours of Anastasia’s escape once and for all.
The story of Anastasia Romonov has been widely told in both literature and film – most notably the animated movie released in 1997.
Prince Philip’s DNA was used to identify the bodies of Russia’s royal family in 1993, 75 years after they were murdered.