Anastasia Romanov was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia. Learn about her life, family, tragic death, and the mystery surrounding her fate in this biography.
Fame, fortune, and glamour, what's more, fascinating than the world of royalty? These biographies present the lives of popular queens and princesses. Pictures and first-hand quotations bring you closer than ever to the women behind the crown.
The truth of the enduring mystery of Anastasia's fate and the life of her most convincing impostor The passage of more than ninety years and the publication of hundreds of books in dozens of languages has not extinguished an enduring interest in the mysteries surrounding the 1918 execution the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
The Resurrection of the Romanovs draws on a wealth of new information from previously unpublished materials and unexplored sources to probe the most enduring Romanov mystery of all: the fate of Tsar Nicholas's youngest daughter, Anastasia, whose remains were not buried with those of her family, and her identification with Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be the missing Grand Duchess.
Who Was Anastasia Romanov?
Anastasia Romanov was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia. She was born on June 18, 1901, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Anastasia and her family were executed by Bolshevik revolutionaries on July 17, 1918. Anastasia was only 17 years old when she died. The mystery surrounding her fate and the possibility of her survival have captivated people around the world for over a century.
Anastasia was known for her lively personality and sense of humor. She was close to her siblings and enjoyed spending time with them. Anastasia and her family were placed under house arrest during the Russian Revolution, and eventually, they were moved to a house in Siberia. It was there that they were executed.
After the execution, rumors circulated that Anastasia had survived the massacre. Many imposters came forward claiming to be the lost princess, but none were able to prove their identity. The most famous of these imposters was Anna Anderson, who claimed to be Anastasia for many years.
In recent years, DNA testing has confirmed the fate of Anastasia and her family. Their remains were found in a mass grave in 1991 and were identified through DNA testing in 1998. Despite the confirmation of her death, the story of Anastasia Romanov and the mystery surrounding her fate continues to fascinate people around the world.
Biography: Anastasia Romanov
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. ---Wikipedia
- Born: June 18, 1901, Peterhof, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Death date: July 16, 1918
- Death City: Yekaterinburg
- Death Country: Russia
- Assassinated: July 17, 1918, Ipatiev House, Russia
- Siblings: Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia
- Grandparents: Maria Feodorovna, Alexander III of Russia
- Books: Anastasia Romanov: The Tsar's Youngest Daughter Speaks Through Her Writings (1907 - 1918)
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There are many books written by various writers with various titles on Anastasia Romanov. You may check it out on Amazon.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Princess Anastasia
During the Bolshevik Revolution, the Romanov dynasty was killed after over a hundred-year reign in Russia. The bodies of the parents and all five children were laid on the ground. But when the corpses were later moved and given a proper burial, the bodies of the son, Alexei, and Princess Anastasia were missing.
This gave the Russian people hope that at least two of these innocent children managed to play dead long enough to escape. Several years later, a young woman was admitted to a mental hospital in Germany. There were scars all over her body, and she clearly suffered some traumatic event, but her mind had blocked out the painful memories.
She couldn’t even remember her own name. The only clue about where she came from was the fact that she spoke with a Russian accent. Months later, a Russian patient was admitted to that same hospital, and she immediately began to kneel in front of this young girl. She claimed that she recognized her as the missing Princess Anastasia.
But who was this young woman? Was she really the long-lost princess, or would this go down as one of the biggest frauds in history?
The Young Life of Anastasia
Anastasia Romanov was born in 1901 to Tsar Nicholas II, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. Her proper title was “Grand Duchess”, but no one ever addressed the young girl with this proper title in her daily life. She had three older sisters- Olga, Maria, and Tatiana. Her younger brother, Alexei, was meant to ascend the throne someday.
The Romanov children were the first royals to have such an extensive collection of family photographs. There are hundreds of pictures and videos of their family vacations, and playing games on the palace grounds. It was easy to see that they lived a carefree life. Their pictures were publicized all over Russia, and they became the darlings of the country.
Anastasia's Mischievous Personality
Anastasia was an extremely energetic toddler who had a bubbly personality. She was very intelligent, so she grew bored with her tutor’s lessons very quickly. She was a tomboy, and she enjoyed playing outside far more than doing lady-like activities with her sisters. She was described as clumsy, and she was always climbing on something or running around. She seemed to have an endless amount of energy.
According to some of her cousins and ladies-in-waiting, Anastasia’s boredom manifested in some terrible ways. She would entertain herself by playing pranks on people, and her cousins called her “evil”, and one of the servants called her a “terrorist”. She tripped her servants in the hallway, climbed up trees and refused to come down, and hid rocks inside of snowballs. She would often cheat during games, and she lied a lot to get herself out of trouble.
At one point, a monk named Grigori Rasputin became the spiritual advisor of the Romanov family. Tsarina Alexandra wholeheartedly believed that he had magical powers that healed her son, Alexei, who was suffering from hemophilia. Rasputin was able to heal him on the brink of death. Because of this, she listened to his advice and gave him free rein in the royal palace.
The fate of Anastasia is still a mystery, but her life and personality have captured the imagination of people around the world. Her mischievous nature and adventurous spirit make her a beloved figure, even if we may never know for sure what happened to her after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Anastasia's Family and the Problem with Drugs
Anastasia may or may not have realized it, but her father, Nicholas, had a problem with drugs. In one of his diary entries, he wrote about waking up with a stuffy nose and planning to fix it by snorting cocaine. Back then, cocaine was actually prescribed by doctors as a medication, so it didn’t hold the stigma that it does today.
While she did not take recreational drugs, Tsarina Alexandra was described as being anxious and high-strung. Anastasia commented that her mother barely ever indulged in coffee or wine, because she had a bad stomach. She was also incredibly spiritual and often went to mystics to help her make decisions about her day-to-day life.
Rasputin's Access to the Romanov Children
Rasputin was also known for using morphine, cocaine, and opium on a regular basis. Some historians believe that the closer he got to the Tsar and Tsarina, the more the couple became dependent on drugs and guidance through the fanatical religion that Rasputin was introducing them to. After witnessing the terrible things that drugs did to the adults in her life, Anastasia became obsessed with clean eating and natural remedies.
She spoke against drug use and became a vegetarian. Every time she was sick, she would throw a fit, refusing to take any medicine, because she didn’t want to be like Rasputin and her father.
Servants noted that Rasputin was given a little too much access to the children. In 1910, one of the nannies, a woman named Sofia Ivanovna Tyutcheva, was particularly disturbed about the fact that the monk often witnessed the four girls when they were in their nightgowns. He had the freedom to enter the children’s nursery whenever he wanted.
That same year, one of the other governesses, Maria Ivanovna Vishnyakova, claimed that Rasputin raped her. She tried to tell the Tsarina. Sadly, she was so brainwashed by Rasputin, that she refused to believe the governess. The girls were growing older- the eldest daughters were already teenagers, and Anastasia was 9 years old. Tyutcheva knew of Rasputin’s reputation, and she believed Vishnyakova’s story about the rape. Their parents were far too preoccupied with their own issues, so this nanny tried to keep Rasputin away from the children.
The girls were very naive and did not see any issue with him coming to visit them at night. They called him a “friend”, and when they told Tsarina Alexandra that the nanny was trying to keep him out of the nursery at night, she was fired. According to the children, Rasputin was simply visiting to tell them bedtime stories and help them say their prayers.
Back in his hometown, Rasputin actually did have children of his own. So it’s always possible that he was acting on fatherly instinct, but his reputation as a sexual deviant would be enough for anyone to be worried. After Tyutcheva was fired, she told everyone she knew about the story. This sparked a rumor that Rasputin had free reign to visit the princesses at night- in a sexual way.
The drug use and inappropriate behavior of Anastasia's family and Rasputin shed light on the dysfunction and chaos present in the Romanov household. It's clear that Anastasia was aware of these issues, and she chose to live her life in a different way, free from drugs and with a focus on natural remedies. The access that Rasputin had to the Romanov children is a concerning aspect of their story, and it's possible that it contributed to their tragic fate during the Bolshevik Revolution.
Anastasia's Life and Tragic End
There is no evidence that Rasputin ever actually abused the Romanov children- but, of course, we will never really know what went on behind closed doors. However, it was around this time that Tsar Nicholas ordered Rasputin to leave St. Petersburg. When World War I first began, Anastasia was only 13 years old.
Anastasia's Love for Comedy and Making People Laugh
Her mother and sisters were old enough to volunteer as nurses for The Red Cross. She did her duty by playing pool and chess with the soldiers and entertaining people with her wild energy and laughter. As a teenager, Anastasia used her acting talents for good. What seemed like mean-spirited pranks she played in her childhood actually ended up being a love for comedy.
Her family and members of the staff would often put on their own plays and performances. According to witnesses, Anastasia was naturally hilarious and had everyone laughing so hard, they had tears in their eyes. Sometimes, she would bust out funny faces when the camera was trying to capture a candid moment of her and her sisters.
The Execution of the Romanov Family
In every difficult situation, Anastasia was always the one trying to fix it, and make everyone around her smile. After the war, Russia was suffering a terrible depression. People were starving. Men had died during the war, and people desperately needed help. Many people viewed the royal family as part of the problem. Their reputation for bad decision-making with Rasputin didn’t help, either. It was time for Communism to take hold.
By the time Anastasia turned 16, the Romanov Family was placed under house arrest by the Bolsheviks. They were moved from place to place, and their last residence was at a place called Ipatiev House. Even in these dark moments, Anastasia was still trying to make everyone laugh and smile. It was noted that she adjusted the best to their new life in captivity.
One of the guards told a story of Anastasia trying to open a window for some fresh air, and they shot at her, to stop her from trying to escape. She turned to the guard and stuck her tongue out, slammed the window shut, and walked away. Even in this awful situation, she was fearless.
At first, Lenin wrote that the family was in captivity, and promised that they were still alive. However, he soon realized that as long as the royal bloodline still existed, there would always be a chance that soldiers loyal to the Romonovs would try to overthrow him. He decided that the only way for Communism to exist was to execute the entire family.
The family was made to walk down to a basement, where a group of men was ordered to shoot at them. During the execution, the gunmen realized that the daughters were still alive, even after being shot multiple times in the chest. It turns out that they were all wearing corsets that had been lined with royal gemstones, and this acted like a bulletproof vest.
After this, each of the family members received a shot to the head to ensure that they actually did die. However, some believe that these gem-lined corsets would have been enough for the gunmen to hesitate to kill the two youngest members of the family, Alexei, and Anastasia.
Anastasia's life was full of laughter and love for comedy, but it ended in tragedy. Her fearless spirit and ability to make others smile even in the darkest of times is a testament to her strength and resilience. The execution of the Romanov family was a brutal and senseless act, and the mystery surrounding the fate of Anastasia and her brother Alexei only adds to the tragedy. Their story serves as a reminder of the dangers of extremism and the importance of valuing human life.
The Mystery of Anastasia's Survival
At this point, all of the older daughters were full-grown women, but Anastasia and Alexei were only 13 and 16 years old. They were innocent children, and they didn’t deserve to die. Many hoped that the guards would have taken pity on them.
Rudolf Lacher's Confession and the Rumors of Anastasia's Escape
One of the men in the firing squad, Rudolf Lacher, was originally from Austria, and he was staying in Russia as a prisoner of war. As a foreigner, he had no loyalty to the imperial family and was ordered to serve the Bolsheviks. He claimed that he pulled over the truck when it got stuck in the mud. He could hear a rustling in the back, and when he went to check on the bodies, he discovered that Anastasia was still alive, and he helped her escape. However, there were other quotes from Lacher that indicated the total opposite was true.
He was once quoted saying that he didn’t care about killing the Romanov family. They weren’t relatives of his, and he was doing his duty for the Bolsheviks. But this confession was enough to spark the rumors that Anastasia had actually escaped.
Miss Unknown and the Claim of Anastasia's Survival
In 1920, a young woman in Berlin, Germany attempted to jump off a bridge to commit suicide. Nearby police officers saved her life and brought her to a mental hospital for treatment. She was beautiful and spoke with a thick Russian accent. When the doctors asked her who she was, she replied that she didn’t know.
There were scars all over her body, including a triangle-shaped indentation on her foot, and deep lacerations on her back. It was clear that she had survived some sort of horrific trauma, and her brain had shut down. Every night, she would wake up screaming at her nightmares. The memories were too painful for her to recall when she was awake.
The doctors gave her the nickname “Miss Unknown.” Two years later, Miss Unknown was still living in a mental hospital in Germany, when a Russian woman was admitted as a patient. The woman was shocked and immediately kneeled in front of the young woman. She said that this was the missing Princess Anastasia.
Miss Unknown didn’t confirm or deny this statement. She had no idea who she actually was, and becoming a princess sounded just fine to the doctors, this actually made a lot of sense. Miss Unknown had clearly endured something horrific, and it was the answer to a mystery they had long been trying to solve.
Comparing photos of both Miss Unknown and Anastasia next to one another, it is easy to see why so many people believed this to be true. They have the same ears, nose, and eyes. Miss Unknown was also the same age. In 1922, newspapers began to claim that the princess had been found, and her photo was published.
The woman who claimed to be Anastasia, later known as Anna Anderson, spent years trying to prove her identity. She had supporters who believed her story and others who dismissed her as a fraud.
Anderson's story was full of inconsistencies and contradictions, and many of the Romanov family members who survived the execution did not recognize her as Anastasia. Despite this, Anderson continued to fight for her identity until her death in 1984.
In 1991, the remains of the Romanov family were found and identified through DNA testing. It was confirmed that Anastasia and her brother Alexei were indeed killed in the execution. While the mystery of Anastasia's survival may have captured the world's imagination, the truth is that she did not survive the brutal end of the Romanov family.
The Debate Over Anna Anderson's Identity as Anastasia Romanov
Friends and family of the Romanovs came from all over the world to visit her. They would ask her questions that only Anastasia would know, and yet somehow, this woman knew many of the answers.
Friends and Family's Opinions on Anna Anderson's Claim
The opinion of friends and family was divided 50/50. While her case was under investigation, she was invited to stay in castles with Romanov cousins, and several people sent her money to help pay for her expenses. Anastasia’s tutor, Sydney Gibbes, was one of the most outspoken critics. He vividly remembered his student’s personalities. No matter how much they looked the same, this woman lacked Anastasia’s wit and sense of humor.
Another tutor, Pierre Guillard, agreed that they found the true princess, at first. However, once he spent more time around this woman, he agreed that they were not the same person. She was soft-spoken and ladylike. For relatives who only saw her when she was on her best behavior, it was easier to imagine that she could be Anastasia. But for people who knew what she was really like, this was an entirely different person.
The surviving members of the royal family met up to discuss whether or not this woman deserved to receive the inheritance of the Romanov family.
In the end, they came to a vote and decided that there was not enough evidence to prove that she was the real Anastasia. Her supporters were shocked because they felt that she was clearly the true princess. Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, sister of Tsar Nicholas II and Anastasia’s aunt, wrote that she was outraged by this decision and that the remaining family was just greedy.
The friends and family who believed her felt very sorry for this disowned princess and wanted to do whatever they could to help her. She lived a life of luxury, and she was given anything she would ever want. She eventually moved to New York with a woman named Annie Burr Jennings, where she was able to live in a gorgeous penthouse.
She changed her name to Anna Anderson. She met a man named Jack Manahan, who was a history teacher in Virginia. They lived a very happy life together in the United States. Ms. Anderson went to her grave claiming that she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia. DNA Evidence.
DNA Evidence and the Final Confirmation of Anastasia's Fate
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, historians searched for the bodies of the Romanov family. After confirming their identities through DNA tests with surviving relatives, they were given a proper burial at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg and canonized as saints in 1998. However, the bodies of Alexei and Anastasia were missing. This was enough to fuel the fire of the debate. Was Anna Anderson actually Anastasia, after all? This inspired several movies and plays, including the 1997 animated movie Anastasia.
In 2007, the bones of two human bodies were found buried in the middle of the woods of Siberia. One was a male, and the other was female. The bones showed signs of being doused with acid and burned by fire, as well. It was finally confirmed through DNA testing that these were the missing bodies of Anastasia and Alexei.
Ms. Anderson went to her grave claiming that she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia, but the DNA evidence proved otherwise.
The debate over Anna Anderson's identity as Anastasia Romanov continues to fascinate people to this day. While many believed that she was the true princess, the evidence ultimately proved that she was not. The surviving members of the Romanov family made the difficult decision to deny her claim to the family inheritance, causing a rift between those who believed her and those who did not.
Despite this, Anna Anderson was given a life of luxury and was able to live out her days in comfort. She even found love with a history teacher named Jack Manahan and lived a happy life in the United States.
The final confirmation of Anastasia's fate through DNA testing in 2007 put an end to the debate once and for all. The missing bodies of Anastasia and Alexei were finally found, and they were given a proper burial alongside the rest of their family.
The story of Anastasia Romanov and the mystery surrounding her survival has captured the world's imagination for over a century. While the truth may not be as romantic as the rumors and legends, it serves as a reminder of the dangers of extremism and the importance of valuing human life.
The Cause of the Romanovs' Deaths and Anna Anderson's Identity
According to records and forensic evidence, scientists and historians now believe that the men who killed the Romanovs attempted to burn the bodies, but started off with the two smallest- Alexi and Anastasia.
The Details of the Romanovs' Deaths and Separation of Bodies
They covered the bones in sulfuric acid and then set them on fire. When they discovered that this did not completely destroy the evidence, they decided to move along and bury the rest of the bodies elsewhere. This is why the two children had been separated from the rest of their families.
Anna Anderson's Life and Legacy
As for Anna Anderson, she was dead years before the truth of her identity was revealed. It turns out that she was a Polish factory worker. She was married and worked together with her husband. One day, a grenade was tossed into the factory and exploded. She had to witness the love of her life and several co-workers dying around her, before receiving a serious head injury.
Her body was scarred from the shrapnel of the explosion. After recovering from her wounds, she had no family or friends to help her home. She somehow made her way to Germany, which is where the police found her, and the rest is history.
After revealing the truth of her identity, many people began to call Anna Anderson a “fraud” and a liar. Since she was able to live a life of luxury, many consider her to be a skilled con woman.
However, it’s very possible that in her mental state, she may have actually believed she really was Anastasia. Before she was discovered in the mental hospital, she was a young woman who had nothing left to live for. She was ready to take her own life. But becoming Anastasia gave her an identity, a purpose, and a family who loved her.
For the people who desperately needed to regain their faith in humanity, they needed to believe the innocent children had survived the slaughter. In her own way, Anna Anderson gave them a reason to believe in miracles.
From what we know about the real Anastasia, she lived to make people smile. If she knew that her memory and even the mere possibility of her being alive brought so much hope and joy to so many people, she would surely be proud.
Despite the controversy surrounding Anna Anderson's claim, her story and the mystery surrounding Anastasia Romanov's fate continue to captivate people around the world. The tragic end of the Romanov family serves as a reminder of the dangers of extremism and the importance of valuing human life.
While the truth may not be as romantic as the rumors and legends, the legacy of Anastasia and the hope that she may have survived live on. The story of Anna Anderson and her claim to be Anastasia Romanov reminds us of the power of identity and the human need for connection and belonging.
Books, Movies, and Adaptations
Anastasia's story has been told and retold in various forms of media, including books, movies, and adaptations. Here are some notable examples:
- "Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie: This best-selling biography tells the story of the last Tsar and his family, including Anastasia.
- "Anastasia: The Lost Princess" by James Blair Lovell: This book explores the various theories and claims surrounding Anastasia's alleged survival.
- 'Anastasia" (1997): This animated film by 20th Century Fox tells a fictionalized account of Anastasia's life after the Russian Revolution. It has since become a beloved classic.
- "Anastasia" (1956): Directed by Anatole Litvak, this film stars Ingrid Bergman as Anastasia and explores the possibility of her survival.
- "Anastasia" (Broadway Musical): This musical adaptation of the animated film premiered on Broadway in 2017. It has received critical acclaim and has been praised for its memorable songs and stunning visuals.
- "Anastasia" (Netflix Series): This animated series, released in 2019, follows the adventures of a young Anastasia as she explores her identity and unravels the mystery of her family's disappearance.
These books, movies, and adaptations have helped keep Anastasia's story alive in popular culture, ensuring that her legacy continues to inspire and intrigue audiences around the world.
Anastasia: 10 Best Quotes
1) “There was a time, not very long ago, when we lived in an enchanted world of elegant palaces and grand parties. The year was 1916, and my son, Nicholas, was the czar of Imperial Russia.” - Dowager Empress Marie
2) “Oh! An unspoken attraction!” - Vladimir
“Attraction?! To that skinny little brat? Have you lost your mind?” - Dimitri
“I was only asking a simple question…” - Vladimir
3) “So many lives were destroyed that night. What had always been was now gone forever. And my Anastasia, my beloved grandchild - I never saw her again.” - Dowager Empress Marie
4) “I am calm. I am heartless. I have no fear whatsoever.” - Rasputin
5) “We have found the heir to the Russian throne. And you…” - Vladimir
“Will walk out of her life forever.” - Dimitri
“But…” - Vladimir
“Princesses don't marry kitchen boys.” - Dimitri
6) “You know, you really should watch your blood pressure. My nephew Izzy just keeled over mid-mango. Stress, it's a killer, sir. And he was a fruit bat. No meat. No blood even.” - Bartok
7) “You dare to banish the great Rasputin? By the unholy powers vested in me, I banish you, with a curse! Mark my words: you and your family will die within a fortnight! I will not rest until I see the end of the Romanov line forever!” - Rasputin
8) “Isn’t it romantic? It’s a perfect ending.” - Sophie
“No. It’s a perfect beginning.” - Dowager Empress Marie
9) “In the dark of the night, I was tossing and turning, and the nightmare I had was as bad as can be. It scared me out of my wits; a corpse falling to bits. Then I opened my eyes, and the nightmare was me.” - Rasputin
10) “You were the boy, weren't you - the servant boy who got us out? You saved her life and mine, and you restored her to me. Yet you want no reward.” - Dowager Empress Marie
“Not anymore.” - Dimitri
“Why the change of mind?” - Dowager Empress Marie
“It was more a change of heart. I must go.” - Dimitri