The secret lives of the Romanovs

These photographs display the Romanov’s home life without pomp and ceremony.
Anna Vyrubova (right) was Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna Romanova’s lady-in-waiting, best friend, and memoirist. / Tsarskoye Selo, Alexandra Fyodorovna and Anna Vyrubova.
In January 1904, Anna Vyrubova was appointed lady-in-waiting whose duties it was to preside at balls and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna’s outings. After becoming the Empress’ close friend, she spent many years close to the royal family, accompanied them on many trips, and was present at family functions. In addition, she spent many years as the Romanov’s photographer. Her camera captured both celebrations and regular life in the royal family. Several photo albums have survived to our days that tell us about the royal family’s life. / Nikolai II in the children’s wing of Alexandrovsky Palace
These photographs display the Romanov’s home life without pomp or ceremony.  The children are playing badminton, the Empress is reading aloud to Crown Princess Anastasia... / Crown Prince Alexei with a hurt leg, Alexandrovsky Palace, children’s wing
Nikolai II and Alexandra Fyodorovna has four daughters—Tatiana, Olga, Anastasia, Maria—and one son, Alexei. / Grand Duchess Tatiana, Emperor Nikolai II’s daughter, on the palace balcony.
Alexandra Fyodorovna, the Emperor’s wife, in the uniform of Her Majesty’s Ulan Regiment: from 1884 to 1917, the Empress was the regiment’s head.
The Emperor’s only son inherited hemophilia, a disease that makes it hard for the body to control blood clotting, which is why every scratch causes grave consequences. / The Empress at the time of Crown Prince Alexei’s affliction by the disease
Princesses Maria and Anastasia (left) were the youngest and most amicable daughters. Encouraged by Anastasia, Maria started to play tennis, which had recently become popular at the time. The girls would also get carried away with their jokes, knocking paintings and other valuable items from the palace walls.
Olga was the oldest in the family. Anna Vyrubova recalled of her: “Olga Nikolaevna was noticeably intelligent and capable, and studies were a joke for her because she was sometimes lazy. She had a strong will, unassailable honesty, and straightforwardness, and in this way resembled her Mother.”/ Princess Olga (right) and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Alexandra Fyodorovna at Grand Duchess Tatiana’s bedside. Tatiana Nikolaevna is sick with typhus and lies in the children’s wing of Alexandrovsky Palace. Winter 1913.
Olga (3d from the left), Alexander III’s youngest daughter and the sister of Nicolai II, was one of few Romanovs who could escape from with her family from the Bolsheviks. She lived in the Crimea with her mother, husband, and children in conditions resembling house arrest. / Nikolai II with his daughters and sister, Olga, an officer, and a lady-in-waiting with skis.
Sledding around Bastion on the near the White Tower, the western side of Alexandrovsky Palace. The park is near the town of Pushkin, 680 kilometers from Moscow, 25 kilometers from Saint Petersburg. It is also known as Tsarskoye Selo.
Nikolai II and his family spent most of their time at Alexandrovsky Palace (Tsarskoye Selo) or Peterhof. In the summer, they vacations on the Crimea in Livadia Palace. Every year, the tsar also vacationed on the yacht “Standard”, sailing for two weeks at a time along the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. / Father and son, Emperor Nikolai and Alexei, in Cossack Lifeguard Regiment uniforms. Balcony at Alexandrovsky Palace.
Princess Anastasia was shot along with the rest of the Romanov family in 1919. After her death, 30 women declared themselves to be Princess Anastasia who, by some miracle, was saved from death’s clutches. They were all exposed as frauds. / Anastasia in her parents’ bedroom. Tsarskoye Selo, Alexandrovsky Palace.
The children, four daughters and one son, were raised and educated together in the Imperial Palace. / Princess Olga (left) reads to Anastasia.
The Romanov children.  The Empress’ Lilac Office in Alexandrovsky Palace.
Nicholas II ruled from 1 November 1894 until his enforced abdication on 2 March 1917. Nikolai II's reign was marked by Russia's economic development and a simultaneous growth in its socio-political contradictions, revolutionary movements that ignited the 1905-1907 revolution and the 1917 revolution. It also caused the Russo-Japanese war and Russia's participation in World War I. / Romanov “family” portrait in the park

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