Set against the backdrop of revolutionary turmoil, featuring an opportunistic mystic and hinging on an incurable bleeding disease, their tale had all the melodramatic elements of a sensational opera. (Indeed, it has inspired at least two.) The granddaughter of England’s Queen Victoria, Alix Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice—later known as Alexandra Feodorovna Romanov—rejected an arranged marriage to her first cousin, Prince Albert Victor, after falling in love with Nicholas, heir to the Russian throne, as a teenager in 1889. Equally smitten, her lover convinced his reluctant, ailing father to agree to the union, and the pair wed in November 1894, just several weeks after the czar’s death and Nicholas’ coronation.

Though forged amid great sadness, the marriage was a happy and passionate one, producing four daughters and a son, Alexei. From his father the young czarevitch inherited the claim to the Russian throne, but his mother bequeathed him a more burdensome legacy: the mutant gene for the clotting disorder hemophilia, of which both Alexandra and her grandmother Victoria were carriers. Terrified of losing Alexei, his parents became increasingly reliant on the controversial “mad monk” Grigori Rasputin, whose hypnosis treatments seemed to slow the boy’s hemorrhages. Rasputin’s political influence over the czar and czarina undermined the Russian public’s confidence in the Romanov dynasty and contributed to its overthrow during the February Revolution in 1917. Nicholas, Alexandra and their children were executed on July 16, 1918, on orders from Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. Indirectly, at least, the royal couple’s romance had opened a new and bloody chapter in Russia’s history.

  1. flashakaviolet reblogged this from history-and-shit
  2. batmanaintapeasant reblogged this from history-and-shit
  3. meetmeinarainyday reblogged this from history-and-shit
  4. imperatorisamoderzhets reblogged this from history-and-shit
  5. aconsummationdevoutlytobewished reblogged this from history-and-shit
  6. podsolnechnik reblogged this from history-and-shit
  7. iamandalwayswillbeme reblogged this from history-and-shit
  8. firebella reblogged this from wtfhistory
  9. i-dont-got-it reblogged this from history-and-shit
  10. humanitiesandshit reblogged this from history-and-shit
  11. thebluetundra reblogged this from kaitou-xi
  12. kaitou-xi reblogged this from wtfhistory
  13. winter-queenofmyheart reblogged this from wtfhistory
  14. jcostume reblogged this from history-and-shit
  15. illy--girl reblogged this from history-and-shit
  16. ssugrimgirl reblogged this from history-and-shit
  17. lillybutton reblogged this from 0rdinarymadness
  18. lostinxanadu reblogged this from rae-of-moonlight
  19. taikaze reblogged this from 4-eye
  20. queersailorscout reblogged this from wtfhistory
  21. 4-eye reblogged this from wtfhistory
  22. theshakespearegiraffe reblogged this from wtfhistory
  23. vertivangogh reblogged this from wtfhistory