Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II has been a source of fascination to the world and her real story has been blended with myth and fiction. We attempt to find the truth behind the legend.
For those of you with an interest in history, particularly in the monarchy, there is one royal family that most find especially fascinating.
The world’s fascination with the Romanov dynasty is only exceeded by our fascination with a certain member of that family, Anastasia.
So, we’re going to be looking a bit closer at the, now seemingly mythical, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevana of Russia.
Now, the Grand Duchess is still spoken about to this day, though it is her death that is mentioned the most. Her death was controversial to say the very least.
We’ll look at why it is such a controversial topic a little later on. Her story is sadly a very tragic one, though it is a harsh reminder of how cruel life could be, especially back then and with so much at stake.
Here’s a better look at the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia’s tragic life.
Who Was The Grand Duchess Anastasia?
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia was born on June the 18th 1901. She was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Tsarina Alexandra, his wife. Sadly, Anastasia was captured and executed together with her parents during the Bolshevik Revolution. But why the controversy? Well, because it is believed by some, that she escaped and went into hiding. Over the years, numerous women came forward and claimed to be she.
Anastasia was the fourth and the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra. She was born and raised in what many would consider frugal conditions, despite the status of her family.
Unlike others from families of wealth and ‘blood’, Anastasia and her siblings would do their own chores and would sleep on regular cots and hard beds. Their parents made them clean their own rooms as well to ensure that they remained humble and thankful for the life and their status that “God has allowed us to have”.
Anastasia was considered to be very intelligent and is said to have been a sharp child. She displayed signs of advanced intelligence compared with other children of her age.
Despite being so intelligent, Anastasia was extremely uninterested in schoolwork. She was close to her sister Maria. The two were known as the ‘Little Pair’ because they spent so much time together. Unfortunately, she wasn’t a very healthy child. She suffered from painful bunions and weak back muscles, which made it very difficult for her to walk properly. Her siblings were also plagued with health issues, most well known the issues of her young brother Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich.
In 1917, February, the Russian Revolution took place. This lasted for 8 days and saw intense fighting and rioting. Even members of the Russian Army deserted and joined the revolution.
Over 1500 people died during the protests. Anastasia and her family were captured and arrived in Tobolsk, where they were imprisoned. They were not mistreated by all accounts, though Anastasia grew angry with being imprisoned. She was even shot at by a sentry when she opened a window for some fresh air, which was seen as a potential attempt at escaping.
When Russia collapsed into Civil War, Bolshevik revolutionists took Anastacia’s family into a small room. Here they executed them, along with the other children. The family were shot and died immediately, except for Anastasia, who was wounded and bayoneted to death.
So, why the mystery surrounding her death? Well, years later, conspiracy theories started to circulate about how Anastasia would have been able to escape and go into hiding.
In 1920, twenty women came forward and claimed to be she. The most reputable theory came from a woman known as Anna Anderson. She claimed that a guard, sympathising with the royal family, had rescued the injured Anastasia and set her free.
Eventually, a DNA sample proved, years after her death, that Anna Anderson was not in fact related to the Romanovs at all.