Alexander II succeeded to the throne upon the death of his father in 1855. The first year of his reign was devoted to the prosecution of the Crimean War and, after the fall of Sevastopol, to negotiations for peace led by his trusted counsellor Prince Alexander Gorchakov. The country had been exhausted and humiliated by the war. Bribe-taking, theft and corruption were everywhere.Encouraged by public opinion he began a period of radical reforms, including an attempt to not depend on a landed aristocracy controlling the poor, a move to developing Russia's natural resources and to reform all branches of the administration.

On ,14.10.1894,wedding of Russian Emperor Nicholas II (1868-1918) and Grand Princess Alexandra Fedorovna (1872-1918) at the Grand Church of the Winter Palace.

The wedding of Nicholas II of Russia to Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse) occurred on November 14/26, 1894 at the Grand Church of the Winter Palace.On 19 April 1894, Tsarevich Nicholas was at the wedding of Ernst Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse to their mutual cousin, Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Nicholas had also obtained permission from his parents, Tsar Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna to propose to Ernst's younger sister, Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt, one of the favorite granddaughters of Queen Victoria. The Emperor and Empress had initially had been opposed to the match. However, Nicholas, who had first met Alix a decade earlier in St. Petersburg when Alix's sister, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse-Darmstadt married Nicholas's uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, was not to be dissuaded. Furthermore, Tsar Alexander's health was beginning to fail.One week prior the royal wedding of Nicholas and Alexandra, Emperor Alexander III, Nicholas's father, died. The Imperial Family all assembled at St. Petersburg to meet the funeral train, and Princess Alix's first entrance into her future capital was in a weary funeral procession.Princess Alix was dressed for her wedding in the Malachite drawing-room of the Winter Palace. Her hair was done in the traditional long side curls, in front of the famous gold mirror of the Empress Anna Ioannovna, before which every Russian Grand Duchess dresses on her wedding day. The chief dressers of the ladies of the Imperial Family assisted, and handed the crown jewels, which lay on red velvet cushions. She wore numerous splendid diamond ornaments and her dress was a heavy Russian Court dress of real silver tissue, with an immensely long train edged with ermine. The train was so heavy that, when it was not carried by the chamberlains, she was almost pinned to the ground by its weight.The Emperor's marriage had been arranged so suddenly that no preparations had been made for the young couple. No festivities of any kind followed the marriage ceremony. It took place in the morning, and immediately afterwards the young Imperial couple drove to the Anichkov Palace, enthusiastically cheered by the huge crowds which lined their route.

The last Imperial family of Russia in 1913.Tsar Nicholas II and family,his wife Alexandra, daughters Maria, Olga, Tatiana and Anastasia, and son Alexei.y ,a man with a childlike view of the world, who would see his children lined up for execution alongside him. 

Nicholas II was the last tsar of Russia. He was deposed during the Russian Revolution and executed by the Bolsheviks.Nicholas was born in the Alexander Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, the eldest son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia (formerly Princess Dagmar of Denmark). He had five younger siblings: Alexander (1869–1870), George (1871–1899), Xenia (1875–1960), Michael (1878–1918) and Olga (1882–1960). Nicholas often referred to his father nostalgically in letters after Alexander's death in 1894. He was also very close to his mother, as revealed in their published letters to each other.His paternal grandparents were Emperor Alexander II and Empress Maria Alexandrovna (born Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine). His maternal grandparents were King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark. Nicholas was of primarily German and Danish descent, his last ethnically Russian ancestor being Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia (1708-1728), daughter of Peter the Great.Emperor Nicholas II of Russia with his physically similar cousin, King George V of the United Kingdom (right), in German military uniforms in Berlin before the war; 1913.Nicholas was related to several monarchs in Europe. His mother's siblings included Kings Frederik VIII of Denmark and George I of Greece, as well as the United Kingdom's Queen Alexandra (consort of King Edward VII). Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and Wilhelm II, German Emperor were all first cousins of King George V of the United Kingdom. Nicholas was also a first cousin of both Haakon VII of Norway and Maud of Wales, as well as King Constantine I of Greece. Nicholas and Wilhelm II were in turn second cousins-once-removed, as each descended from King Frederick William III of Prussia, as well as third cousins, as they were both great-great-grandsons of Tsar Paul I of Russia. In addition to being second cousins through descent from Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse and his wife Princess Wilhelmine of Baden, Nicholas and Alexandra were also third cousins-once-removed, as they were both descendants of King Frederick William II of Prussia.Tsar Nicholas II was the first cousin-once-removed of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich. To distinguish between them the Grand Duke was often known within the Imperial family as "Nikolasha" and "Nicholas the Tall", while the Tsar was "Nicholas the Short".n his childhood, Nicholas, his parents and siblings made annual visits to the Danish royal palaces of Fredensborg and Bernstorff to visit his grandparents, the king and queen. The visits also served as family reunions, as his mother's siblings would also come from the United Kingdom, Germany and Greece with their respective families. It was there in 1883, that he had a flirtation with one of his English first cousins, Princess Victoria. In 1873, Nicholas also accompanied his parents and younger brother, two-year-old George, on a two-month, semi-official visit to England.In London, Nicholas and his family stayed at Marlborough House, as guests of his "Uncle Bertie" and "Aunt Alix," the Prince and Princess of Wales, where he was spoiled by his uncle.Determined that Russia should not be left out in the scramble for colonial possessions, Nicholas encouraged Russian expansion in Manchuria. This provoked war with Japan in 1904. The resulting Russian defeat led to strikes and riots. In January 1905, on 'Bloody Sunday', the army in St Petersburg shot at a crowd demanding radical reforms. Opposition to the tsar grew and Nicholas was forced to grant a constitution and establish a parliament, the Duma.Nicholas's concessions were only limited. Changes were made in the voting laws to prevent the election of radicals and the secret police continued to crush opposition. However, the Duma did give many more people, especially the middle classes, a voice in government.The outbreak of World War One in 1914 temporarily strengthened the monarchy, with Russia allied to France and Britain against Austria-Hungary and Germany. In mid-1915 Nicholas made the disastrous decision to take direct command of the Russian armies. From then on, every military failure was directly associated with him.

Coronation of Maria Feodorovna and Alexander III in 1896,at the Uspensky Sobor of the Moscow Kremlin. On the left of the dais can be seen his young son and heir, the Tsesarevich Nicholas, and behind Nicholas can be seen a young Grand Duke George.Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich was born on 10 March 1845 at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, the second son and third child of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and his first wife Marie of Hesse.

In March 1917, the Russian Tsar Nicholas II Romanov abdicated. A year and a half later his life and the lives of his family were cut short at the hands of the Bolsheviks. The details of the execution of the Romanovs may have remained in shadow forever had it not been for the investigative work carried out by Nikolai Sokolov, whose papers later formed the basis for a further probe by the Russian authorities after the collapse of the Soviet Union.Following the February Revolution, the Romanov family and their loyal servants were imprisoned in the Alexander Palace before being moved to Tobolsk and then Ekaterinburg, where they were killed by the Ural Regional Soviet, allegedly at the express command of Vladimir Lenin. Despite being informed that "the entire family suffered the same fate as its head", the Bolsheviks only announced Nicholas's death,[with the official press release that "Nicholas Romanov's wife and son have been sent to a secure place." For over eight years,the Soviet leadership maintained a systematic web of disinformation as to the fate of the family, from claiming in September 1919 that they were murdered by left-wing revolutionaries to denying outright in April 1922 that they were dead. They acknowledged the murders in 1926 following the publication of an investigation by a White émigré, but maintained that the bodies were destroyed and that Lenin's Cabinet was not responsible. The emergence of Romanov impostors drew media attention away from Soviet Russia, and discussion regarding the fate of the family was suppressed by Joseph Stalin from 1938.The burial site was discovered in 1979 by an amateur sleuth but the existence of the remains was not made public until 1989, during the glasnost period. The identity of the remains was confirmed by forensic and DNA investigation. They were reburied in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg in 1998, 80 years after they were killed, in a funeral that was not attended by key members of the Russian Orthodox Church, who disputed the authenticity of the remains. A second, smaller grave containing the remains of two Romanov children missing from the larger grave was discovered by amateur archaeologists in 2007.However, their remains are kept in a state repository pending further DNA tests.In 2008, after considerable and protracted legal wrangling, the Russian Prosecutor General's office rehabilitated the Romanov family as "victims of political repressions".A criminal case was opened by the post-Soviet government in 1993, but nobody was prosecuted on the basis that the perpetrators were dead.

The tsar Nicholas II, -tsarina Alexandra, their five children, and their four remaining servants, including the loyal family doctor, Eugene Botkin were awoken by their Bolshevik captors and told they must dress and gather their belongings for a swift nocturnal departure. The White armies, which supported the tsar, were approaching; the prisoners could already hear the boom of the big guns. They gathered in the cellar of the mansion, standing together almost as if they were posing for a family portrait. Alexandra, who was sick, asked for a chair, and Nicholas asked for another one for his only son, 13-year-old Alexei. Two were brought down. They waited there until, suddenly, 11 or 12 heavily armed men filed ominously into the room.What happened next the slaughter of the family and servants—was one of the seminal events of the 20th century, a wanton massacre that shocked the world.

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