Nicholas II and Alexandra have gone down in history as the last royal couple of Russia. With them the Romanov dynasty, which had ruled the country for 300 years, came to an end. Rarely has a personal narrative been so interwoven with the dynasty of a nation. The love of Nicholas (1868-1918) for his wife Alexandra (1872-1918) and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and the Tsarevich Alexei distracted his attention from his tasks as ruler. After a turbulent reign he was finally forced to abdicate and was transported with his family to Ekaterinenburg. Half a year later, in 1918, the Bolsheviks murdered him and his family. The Romanovs had become the symbol of the old regime in Russia. In this publication curators of the State Museum the Hermitage in St Petersburg review the life of Nicholas and Alexandra, including their marriage, their coronation, their court and the misfortunes of Tsarevich Alexei. A picture is also given of political conditions in Russia during the reign of the last Romanovs. The story is illustrated with the magnificent coronation costumes and regalia designed by Faberge, personal objects relating to the family lives of Nicholas and Alexandra, and icons and religious objects demonstrating the role of Church and State during this period.
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