Home » People & Society » What Happened to the Romanovs?

What Happened to the Romanovs?

The year 1918 saw the end of a 300-year rule of one dynasty over Russia. The end of the Romanov family was bloody and gruesome, but their children’s suffering was extended, thanks to their bulletproof clothing.

The Romanov family was massacred in 1918. Their children survived the hail of bullets because their clothes were lined with diamonds, protecting them like bulletproof vests. They were stabbed to death afterward.

The Romanov Execution

On the night of July 16, 1918, Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandria, five children, and four servants were ordered by their captors to dress quickly and proceed to the cellar of the house they were relocated to. The house was in Yekaterinburg, a city on the Eastern side of the Ural Mountains. It was owned by merchant Ipatiev, where the imperial family was put under house arrest after they departed from Siberia.

They were then arranged in two rows for a photograph. As explained to them, the photo was to be used to deter the rumor that the family had fled. Suddenly a group of armed men, who were members of Bolshevik troops, broke into the room, gunning down the imperial family.

They were executed by firing squad. Some of the Romanov children survived the hail of bullets from the troops, and this was because they were in effect wearing bulletproof vests. Diamonds lined their clothes which somehow dampened the impact of the bullets. Unfortunately, they were stabbed to death. (Source: History)

The Massacre ended the three-hundred-year reign of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. 

Events that led to the Massacre of the Romanovs

In his time, the people under the rule of Nicholas II sought a change in how the country was ruled. Nicholas II, the last Romanov emperor, ruled from 1894 until his forced abdication in 1917. His countrymen widely saw Nicholas as a weak political leader and as an indecisive leader, was not equipped to take on such a huge role his father, Czar Alexander III, left him.

This led Russians to have him replaced. The situation further escalated when Nicholas poorly handled the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and Bloody Sunday, the Russian workers’ uprising in 1905. Nicholas’ wife, Alexandra, also had close ties with a religious charlatan and Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin, which added to the Russian people’s dislike of the family.

Soon a radical socialist group called Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, seized power in Russia from a provisional government. They established the first communist state. They soon sought to eradicate Czar Nicholas II, ordering the prevention of local authorities of Yekaterinburg Soviet to rescue the imperial family. (Source: History)

What Happened to the Family’s Remains?

The remains of the last imperial family were discovered in 1979 by amateur historians in a mass grave up in the Ural mountains. But their discovery was not confirmed and was also kept secret by the Soviet leaders. And when the Soviet Union collapsed, the graves were reopened. DNA testing confirmed the corpses of Nicholas, Alexandra, and three of their daughters.

Their remains were reburied in St. Petersburg, in the family crypt. The ceremony was attended by then-president Boris Yeltsin and fifty or some Romanov relatives. Then in 2007, the remains of the two Romanov children, Alexei and Maria, were discovered.

The children, however, were not reburied alongside their relatives in St. Petersburg, as the Russian Orthodox church wanted to conduct further examination of the remains to confirm it was the Romanov children. The remains were stored in a state archive and were handed over to the church for more testing in 2015. (Source: Town & Country)

Leave a Comment