- NAME: Anastasia
- OCCUPATION: Duchess
- BIRTH DATE: June 18, 1901
- DEATH DATE: c. July 16, 1918
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Petrodvorets, Russia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Yekaterinburg, Russia
- AKA: Anastasiya Nikolayevna
- AKA: Anastasia Nikolaevna
- AKA: Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
- AKA: Grand Duchess Anastasia
- Full Name: Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova
- AKA: Anastasia Nikolayevna Romanova
Best Known For
Anastasia was the daughter of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. After she and her family were executed, rumors claimed that she might have survived.
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Anastasia was born on June 18, 1901, in Petrodvorets, Russia. On July 16, 1918, she and her family were executed in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Speculation arose as to whether she and her brother, Alexei Nikolaevich, might have survived. In 1991, a forensic study identified the bodies of her family members and servants, but not hers or Alexei's. A 2007 DNA test of a second grave identified her and her brother's bodies.
Anastasia was born Anastasia Nikolaevna (or Anastasiya Nikolayevna) in Petrodvorets, Russia—a town near St. Petersburg formerly called Peterhof—on June 18, 1901. Anastasia's mother was Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt, also known as Alexandra Feodorovna, who became known as Empress Alexandra after her marriage. Her father, Nicholas II, was Russia's final tsar, and part of the Romanov dynasty that had ruled the country for three centuries. Anastasia's parents married in late 1894, shortly after her grandfather, Tsar Alexander III, died of kidney disease and her father inherited the throne.
Anastasia had four siblings: three older sisters named Olga, Tatiana and Maria, and a younger brother named Alexei, who was heir to the throne.
In her younger years, Anastasia received her education from her mother, who taught the girl spelling and prayers. As she grew older, Anastasia was assigned a Swiss tutor. Anastasia and Maria were looked after by a governess, while their older sisters were cared for by their mother's lady-in-waiting.
The tight-knit Romanov family lived peacefully at Tsarskoe Palace until Nicholas II generated increasing public hostility during World War I. In March of 1917 as soldiers launched a mutiny and began seizing royal property, Nicholas II agreed to abdicate the throne in hopes of preventing a Russian civil war. Anastasia and her family were then exiled to the Ural Mountains and placed under house arrest.
Unfortunately, a civil war could not be prevented. On July 16, 1918, as Bolsheviks led by Vladmir Lenin fought to replace imperial rule with a new Communist regime, the Romanov family was awoken in the middle of the night and told to get dressed. On orders of the Supreme Soviet council of Russia, Yakov Yurovsky, commandant of the Special House of Purpose, led Anastasia and her family down to a basement under the pretext that they were being protected from the impending chaos of advancing counterrevolutionaries. The family was met by a group of executioners, who opened fired on Anastasia, her parents and siblings, a few of the family's remaining servants and Anastasia's pet dog. The Romanov legacy seemed to have been silenced forever in that cold basement in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
In the years following the Romanovs' murders, speculation arose as to whether Anastasia and her brother might have survived the execution. Rumors circulated that they were shielded from the bullets by family jewels that had been sewn into their clothing for safekeeping.
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