A Guarded Secret: Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra and Tsarevich Alexei’s Hemophilia by Julia P. Gelardi
Her mother died when Alix was 6 years old. The youngest of many children, she was taken to the house of her grandmother, Queen Victoria, ruler of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Petersburg, Russian Empire in Nicholas, the heir of the throne, was 16 and immediately fell in love. Alix of Hesse is standing to the left. Princesses Maria and Anastasia sitting were the youngest and most amicable daughters.
He inherited the throne when his father, Alexander III, died in Although he believed in autocracy, he was eventually forced to create an elected legislature. Bolsheviks executed him and his family on the night of July , , in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Photo: A. Pasetti [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Her misrule while the emperor was commanding the Russian forces during World War I precipitated the collapse of the imperial government in March She proved to be unpopular at court and turned to mysticism for solace. In the tsarevich Alexis was born; Alexandra had previously given birth to four daughters. She came to venerate Rasputin as a saint sent by God to save the throne and as a voice of the common people, who, she believed, remained loyal to the emperor. After Nicholas left for the front in August , she arbitrarily dismissed capable ministers and replaced them with nonentities or dishonest careerists favoured by Rasputin.
Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna
Unpopular at court, she turned to mystic Grigori Rasputin for counsel after her son developed hemophilia. After the October Revolution in , she was imprisoned and shot to death, along with her family, on the night of July , Feodorovna's rule precipitated the collapse of Russia's imperial government. Her mother died when she was six and she spent most of her holidays with her British cousins. She was educated by her grandmother, Queen Victoria , and later studied philosophy at Heidelberg University. Over the years, the acquaintance blossomed into a romance. Further, it was suspected she carried the hereditary disease of hemophilia, considered fatal at the time.
The Emperor and Empress had initially had been opposed to the match. However, Nicholas, who had first met Alix a decade earlier in St. Furthermore, Tsar Alexander's health was beginning to fail. Shortly after arriving in Coburg, Nicholas proposed to Alix. However, Alix, who was a devout Lutheran, rejected Nicholas's proposal, as in order to marry the heir to the throne, she would have to convert to Russian Orthodoxy. At the prompting of the kaiser, Nicholas proposed for the second time, and she accepted. The following day, Alix, who had arrived at Livadia several days earlier in order to receive the dying tsar's blessing, was received into the Russian Orthodox Church as Grand Duchess Alexandra Feodorovna.