The Russian imperial family, 1913. Left to right: Grand Duchess Maria, Tsarina Alexandra, Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana, Tsar Nicholas II, and Grand Duchess Anastasia. Tsarevich Alexei sits in front of his parents.
The Russian imperial family, 1913. Left to right: Grand Duchess Maria, Tsarina Alexandra, Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana, Tsar Nicholas II, and Grand Duchess Anastasia. Tsarevich Alexei sits in front of his parents.
The Romanov Children

Nicholas and Alexandra had five children:
  • Olga (b. 1895)
  • Tatiana (b. 1897)
  • Maria (b. 1899)
  • Anastasia (b. 1901)
  • Alexei (b. 1904)
All children were executed on the same day, July 17th, 1918.

Olga:
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  • During World War I, Olga nursed wounded soldiers in a military hospital until her own nerves gave out and, thereafter, oversaw administrative duties at the hospital.
  • Olga was most often paired with her sister Tatiana. The two girls shared a room, dressed alike, and were known as "The Big Pair."
  • From her earliest years she was known for her compassionate heart and desire to help others, but also for her temper, blunt honesty and moodiness.
  • She had good reasoning powers as well as initiative, a very independent manner, and a gift for swift and entertaining repartee. She enjoyed reading about politics and read newspapers. Olga also reportedly enjoyed choosing from her mother's book selection.
  • She, like her siblings, enjoyed games of tennis and swimming with her father during their summer holidays and often confided in him when she went with him on long walk
  • As an adolescent, Olga received frequent reminders from her mother to be an example for the other children and to be patient with her younger sisters.
  • Inspired by her religious upbringing, Olga took control of a portion of her sizable fortune when she was twenty and began to respond independently to requests for charity.

Tatiana:
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  • She was better known than her three sisters during her lifetime and headed Red Cross committees during World War I.
  • She was considered the most beautiful of the four grand duchesses by many courtiers.
  • Tatiana was practical and had a natural talent for leadership.[1[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duchess_Tatiana_Nikolaevna_of_Russia#cite_note-Massie133-0|]]] Her sisters gave her the nickname "The Governess" and sent her as their group representative when they wanted their parents to grant a favor.
  • Tatiana, like her mother, was deeply religious and read her Bible frequently.
  • During the month of separation from their parents and sister, Tatiana, Olga, Anastasia, and ladies in waiting busied themselves sewing precious stones and jewelry into their clothing, hoping to hide them from their captors

Maria:
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  • Also a red cross nurse during WWI
  • The flirtatious Maria had a number of innocent crushes on the young men she met, beginning in early childhood. She hoped to marry and have a large family.
  • She was the daughter who hardly got into trouble, and was slightly envied by her siblings.
  • Maria and her younger sister Anastasia were known within the family as "The Little Pair." The two girls shared a room, often wore variations of the same dress, and spent much of their time together.
  • Maria had simple tastes and was so kind-hearted that she was sometimes taken advantage of by her sisters, who nicknamed her "fat little bow-wow."
  • She could be stubborn and occasionally lazy.
  • Also likely to have been a carrier of the hemophilia gene like her mother.
  • It was rumored for 90 years that she escaped from the murder plot of her family.

Anastasia:
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  • When Anastasia was born, her parents and extended family were disappointed to have a fourth daughter, because they wanted a son who would be heir to the throne.
  • While often described as gifted and bright, she was never interested in the restrictions of the school room. She was described as lively, mischievous and an entertaining child.
  • She got in trouble the most out of the children; she was also commonly pulling pranks on household staff and tutors.
  • Too young to become a nurse during WWI, but she entertained the wounded soldiers by playing games and bringing reading materials.
  • Performed household plays for her family while they were held captive.
  • Many believed she too escaped execution and was still living.
  • Sadly, the 1997 Disney Film was not very historically accurate in depicting Anastasia Romanov and the family's story. But, nonetheless, it did bring the intrigue of the possibly living heir to a new generation.



Alexei:
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  • He had inherited hemophilia from his mother Alexandra, a condition that could be traced back to her maternal grandmother Queen Victoria. His hemophilia led to controversy, as it led to gossip that his mother was having an affair with the Russian starets, Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin claimed to be able to "heal" Alexei when he was on the brink of death after spells of hemophilia-related complications. There are various explanations for Rasputin's ability, such as that Rasputin hypnotized Alexei, administered herbs to him, or that his advice to the Tsarina not to let the doctors bother Alexei too much aided the boy's healing. Others believe he truly possessed a supernatural healing ability or that his prayers to God saved the boy . Alexei was well aware that he might not live to adulthood.
  • He was a simple, affectionate, and silly child, but was spoiled by almost everyone around him.
  • Though intelligent and affectionate, his education was frequently interrupted by bouts of haemophilia and he was spoiled because his parents couldn't bear to discipline him. His parents appointed two sailors from the Imperial Navy, Nagorny and Derevenko, to serve as nannies and to follow him about so he would not hurt himself. He was prohibited from riding a bicycle or playing too roughly. Because his blood didn't clot properly, any bump or bruise could cause a bleeding episode. Despite the restrictions on his activity, Alexei was by nature active and mischievous.
  • One of the 1st boy scouts in Russia
  • After the family was imprisoned, he injured himself during a sledding accident and was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.