Mathilde (1872-1871) was a prima ballerina on the Mariinsky Theatre. She is famous for being the lover of Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (future Tsar Nicholas II). Their relationship lasted from 1890-1894, it ended after Nicholas became engaged to Princess Alix of Hesse and he soon became Emperor. Nicholas swewtly nicknamed her "Little K". Mathilde in later years was a key figure in learning more about Nicholas shortly before he became Emperor, who he was, what he thought, how he acted, etc. After her darling Nicky was married and forever out of her reach, Mathilde had an affair with 2 Grand dukes; Sergei Mikhailovich and his cousin Andrei Vladimirovich. In 1902 Mathilde gave birth to a son, Vladimir (known in the family as Vova). It is unknown exactly which Grand duke fathered Vova, but Andrei later adopted him and married Mathilde. Mathilde converted from Catholicism (her family was of Polish origin) to Orthodoxy, taking the name "Maria". After escaping the Russian Revolution, she moved to Paris, opened a ballet school and happily lived there for 50 years, dying there just 8 months short of her 100th birthday in 1971.
"Give my love to all who remember me" - Grand duchess Olga Nikolaevna. Today 97 years ago we lost this family. The world never again would see or hear from Nicky/Nicholas, Alix/Sunny/Alexandra, the bookworm/Olya/Olishka/Olga, the Governess/Tanya/Tatiana, the Angel/the Amiable Baby/Masha/Maria, the Imp/Shizbik Anya/Nastya/Anastasia, and Baby/Sunbeam/Lyosha/Alexei. They are gone, but they will never be forgotten.❤
During the imprisonment and exile of the Romanov family, they lived in these three places. The first was the Alexander Palace, the beloved home of the family that they left, never to see again. There was a story about the front door, Catherine the Great was with her grandson Alexander as she entered the front door of the palace for the first time that she named after him. It is said that the last of the Romanovs exited the palace from this same door the list symbol of their power and past. The second place the Romanovs lived in during their exile was the Tobolsk Governor's Mansion. When Nicholas II was a Tsarevich, he was traveling around the world and one of his stops was Japan, it is known that there was an attempt on his life, and his parents decided to cut his trip short and have him return to them by going through all of Russia. One of his stops on the way back to his family was Tobolsk, where he spent time in the Governor's Mansion, where he said that he enjoyed the home, little did he know that he would come back, this time as a prisoner and in exile in his own country. The next place the Romanovs lived during their exile and imprisonment, was the last place they ever lived, the Ipatiev House or "House of Special Purpose". It is said that when Nicholas, Alexandra and Maria left Tobolsk, they were supposed to go to Moscow to prepare for a trial against Nicholas, instead the Ural Soviets took over the train and sent it to Ekaterinburg as to ensure proper punishment of Nicholas (they were the region who despised him the most). They refused to give him up and put the family in the Ipatiev House, after kicking out the owner. I've said before that Tsar Michael I was found in the Ipatiev Monastery, and Nicholas II was killed in the Ipatiev House, so the Romanov dynasty was born and died in a place named Ipatiev. The Alexander Palace and Tobolsk Governor's Mansion are museums dedicated to the Romanovs, the Ipatiev House was destroyed in the 1970s. In the place where the Ipatiev House once stood there is a cathedral called "Church on the Blood".
Charlotte (1694-1715) was the wife of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich (1690-1718), and mother of two children Grand duchess Natalia Alexeienva (1714-1728), and Emperor Peter II of Russia (1715-1730) (r.1727-1730). Charlotte was the 2nd daughter of Duke Louis Rudolph of Brunswick-Lunenburg, and his wife Christine Louise. Charlotte grew up in the Polish court of August II, whose consort, Christiane, was a distant relative and Godmother of Charlotte. Growing up in this environment have Charlotte a great education for that time, as well as the opportunity to meet who would be her future husband, Tsarevich Alexei. Politically she was a good match for Alexei, with her sister being married to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. The pair was married on October 25, 1711 making her the first woman to a foreign born Princess, breaking the tradition of Romanovs marrying from the Russian Nobility. Charlotte was the only Romanov consort to keep her own Lutheran religion, though her children had to be raised Orthodox. Charlotte lived quite an isolated love at court, only enjoying the company of her father-in-law. The first years of marriage to Alexei were happy, until his drinking began to strain their relationship, and caused him to openly take a mistress. Still Charlotte gave him two children, Natalia and Peter. Charlotte died only a few days after the birth of her son Peter. After her death, her children were left to fend fir themselves, as their father had no interest in raising, or even caring for them. Some of the places and people were abusive towards the children causing them to only care about one another. Peter later became Emperor of Russia after the death if his step grandmother Empress Catherine I in 1727, he only lived for three more years dying at the age of 14. Natalia was always by her brother's side constantly caring for him until her early death in 1728 leaving her brother alone.
Natalia was the youngest daughter of Peter I (Peter the Great) and his wife Catherine (future Catherine I). Natalia was born during the Great Northern War (Russia's war with Sweden lasted from 1700-1720). Natalia was named after her aunt, Natalia Alexeienva who died in 1918, the sane year as her niece's birth. Only Natalia and her two elder sisters Anna and Elizabeth were alive to see Russia officially become an empire in 1921and be granted the title of Grand duchess. Shortly after her father died in 1725, Natalia fell ill with measles and died shortly after her father. Since her father was not yet buried at the time of her death, she was placed next to her father and buried at the same time. Her death so soon after the death of her father's weighed heavily on her mother who was now Empress, and caused Catherine to have an emotional breakdown. Natalia was only 6 years old when she died, though she lived longer than most of her siblings, the exceptions being her half brother Alexei (1690-1918), and her full sisters Anna (1708-1728) and Elizabeth (1709-1762).
Here we have three of the most famous Russian imposters. The first is unclear exactly who he was, but the widely accepted version is he was the son of a nobleman named Yuri Otrepyev. Yuri pretended to be Dimitri Ivanovich, the youngest son of Tsar Ivan IV (known as Ivan the Terrible) who was assassinated in 1591 at the age of 8. This False Dimitri was able to get enough followers and enough power that he was able to take the Russian throne, making him the only pretender to Reign. He reigned as Dimitri I from 1605-1606 before a revolt broke out in which he was killed in the Kremlin. The next pretender was Yemelyan Pugachev, a Cossack who pretended to be the assassinated Tsar Peter III. He led the famous Pugachev's Rebellion against Catherine the Great, gaining many followers with promises such as the end of serfdom. The rebellion lasted from 1773-1774. It ended with the capture of Pugachev and his execution in 1775. The last famous pretender was Anna Anderson who pretended to be Grand duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. For years many people believed that she was Anastasia, including some members of the Romanov family. Media put out many movies about Anastasia's survival because of her. In 1927, Alexandra's brother Ernest funded a private investigation that showed that Anna Anderson was in fact Franziska Schanzkowska a Polish factory worker. In 1991 after the bodies of Nicholas, Alexandra and 3 daughters were found, DNA evidence showed that Anna Anderson was in fact in no way related to the Romanovs. Anna Anderson died in 1985 of Pnemonia. Even today people still believe her story and in Anastasia's survival.
Self-portraits by Grand duchess Olga Alexandrovna. Olga was an avid artist who as seen here was quite skilled as a painter. All of the Romanov children learned art, and many were talented. The one in the right was painted in 1920, I'm not sure about the left image.