The Romanov Dynasty, which was also known as the House of Romanov, was the second imperial dynasty to rule Russia, with the first being the Rurik dynasty. The Romanov dynasty ended up lasting for 300 years until the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917.
The Romanov Rise to Fame
The Romanov family rose to fame and riches when Anatasia Zakharyina married Ivan IV of Muscovy in 1547, because when her husband assumed the title of tsar, she was then crowned the very first tsaritsa. While their marriage was a happy one, Anastasia suffered a mysterious death in 1560, and because the tsar suspected the boyars of poisoning his beloved wife, he quickly started a reign of terror against them.
The Romanov Fortunes Change Again
When the Godunov dynasty fell in 1606, the Romanov fortunes changed once again. Since Filaret Romanov was the former leader of an anti-Godunov party, he was valued by several imposters. However, with everything that went on, the Romanovs were still loved by the general public and were viewed as innocent martyrs of Godunov’s death.
In 1904, the hemophilia gene was discovered within the Romanov family, when Empress Alexandra Fedorovna discovered that she was a carrier, after she gave birth to her son Alexei, the heir to the Russian throne. This little boy was doted on by his family, and his hemophilia remained a closely kept secret by the Romanovs. However, when he was just eight years old, he came close to death on a holiday in Poland, to the point where all of the imperial doctors had just about given up on him. But, after a personal phone call from Rasputin, Alexei slowly recovered and became the spiritual advisor to the Romanov family. However, Alexei’s medical condition caused the Tsar and Tsarina to basically isolate themselves in Tsarkoe Selo, as they were trying to keep their son’s condition a complete secret, even from extended family members, but, this seclusion was one of the factors that soon led to their downfall.
The Downfall of the Romanov Dynasty
The Romanov dynasty was doing so well in the early 1900’s, and no one would have guessed that their downfall was soon to come. However, several different factors came into play, some of which were influenced by rumours during World War I, and these ended up spiraling out of control. On July 17th 1918, a Bolshevik execution squad ended up shooting, bludgeoning and bayoneting the entire Romanov family to death.
Many believe that if more people had known about Alexei’s hemophilia, they would have then been able to understand why the Romanov family were so connected to Rasputin, and may have actually been quite sympathetic about this. The complex story of the House of Romanov is one that continues to fascinate scholars and historians, as it contains everything from romance to disease to death. With the bodies not being discovered for more than half a century, several conspiracy theories arose, and, even after their remains were discovered in Ekaterinburg, these conspiracy theories continued on, and are still debated today.