The Romanov dynasty was a fixture in Asia for hundreds of years, scaling their way to power in Russia. They dictated the country’s political course in peacetime and in war … and eventually, conflict came to their front door. Nicholas II was the Romanov in charge when turbulence in the early 20th century threatened the safety of his family, including one of his daughters, Anastasia. Her family’s story — and hers — would take some very strange twists. What do you know about the missing Princess Anastasia?
Anastasia was the youngest daughter of the great emperor. She was no weak-minded bit of royalty. Instead, she was considered whip-smart, funny, and sometimes downright rough. She loved to be outdoors climbing trees (which sometimes she refused to descend). But during a period of political turmoil, she was sent to confinement … and couldn’t even open a window for fresh air. What do you know about the events that led to the captivity of the Romanovs?
Russia churned with chaos in 1917, but the family still had high hopes for some return to normalcy. However, the power struggles were intense, and the revolutions that burned would not go out anytime soon. Anastasia’s family was subjected to a sudden burst of violence — and the world couldn’t believe what happened. Do you know how the Romanov family met its end?
Rumor had it that Anastasia disappeared completely. What happened to the young duchess? Was she living a new life under an assumed name? Her story captivated the world for decades. Put on your detective hat, take this quiz, and see how much you really know about the disappearance of Princess Anastasia!
She was better known as Princess Anastasia, but her full title was Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. She had a short and tragic life.
Her father, Nicholas II, was Russia’s final tsar. After his rule, the country would undergo massive and sudden changes.
Nicholas II was the last of the Romanov dynasty, which held power in Russia for three centuries. But the dynasty would soon be no more.
Anastasia and her family lived in Tsarskoe Palace during her younger days. It was a sprawling and amazing place for a young girl to roam.
Her mother taught Anastasia the basics. Later, a Swiss tutor began instructing the young student in more advanced subjects.
Anastasia was an intelligent and talented young girl ... and kind of naughty, too. Her family sometimes called her simply "little one."
In 1914, World War I consumed much of Europe, and Russia would be plunged into the chaos. The violence would affect the reign of Nicholas II.
Grigori Rasputin was a peasant and mystic who bonded with Nicholas II’s wife and came to befriend the family. In time, he wielded political power in Russian affairs.
Rasputin was a manipulative man who cozied up to Nicholas’ wife, Alexandra. The two of them made important political decisions while Nicholas was away attending to matters of war. He may have expedited the family's fall from grace.
It’s known that some of the family tended to bleed more heavily than normal. It’s very possible that Anastasia had a form of hemophilia, which caused her to bleed a lot when cut.
Anastasia was the fourth baby girl in a row ... and as such, a disappointment, because it meant Nicholas II had no heir. His wife would later give birth to a son.
In 1917, Russian politics were at a boil, and the Russian Revolution began. Multiple factions fought to replace the old tsarist regime.
In March 1917, Nicholas II realized the political situation was hopeless. He gave up his throne and his family’s rights to power to avoid civil war.
The family was arrested and imprisoned. They were not allowed to wander outside at all.
In 1917, there were two revolutions in Russia. To say that there was a power struggle going on would be a vast understatement. The Romanov dynasty was all but over.
Nicholas II wanted to escape to Britain, and the British agreed ... and then retracted the offer, not wanting to further inflame the tensions of WWI. Instead, the family was imprisoned in the Ural Mountains.
A provisional government put the family up in a lavish mansion. They had very little freedom, but they were extremely comfortable during their confinement.
Vladimir Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks, a revolution-minded socialist who wanted to transform Russia. In October 1917, the Bolsheviks began seizing power as part of the October Revolution.
After the family was transferred, roughly one dozen Bolsheviks appeared. They were executioners who gunned down the family without mercy.
The executioners mutilated the bodies and buried them in the forest. They didn’t even spare the family dog.
Some reports said that some family members hid gems in their clothes that deflected bullets, allowing them to survive. But the Bolsheviks stabbed or clubbed the survivors to death.
After the killings shocked the world, some people began to believe that Anastasia had somehow escaped the murderous carnage ... and that she was still alive and living in secrecy.
Lenin said definitively that Nicholas II was dead ... but his wife and children? He didn’t want to confirm that his men had killed innocent women and kids. So rumors of Anastasia’s survival gained momentum.
The young woman pulled from a Berlin canal didn’t claim she was Anastasia ... but others in a mental hospital did. In a weird turn of events, her supposed identity caught the public’s attention, and suddenly, a Romanov was reborn.
Anastasia’s aunt met the woman in a hospital and immediately recognized her as an imposter. She said it was like looking at a stranger.
In 1979, amateur historians managed to locate the graves of the royal couple and three of their children. But two children were still missing.
In 1991, the USSR collapsed and scientists performed tests on the remains, concluding that they were indeed those of the Romanovs. But there was still the matter of two missing bodies.
In 2007, scientists performed DNA testing on remains found at a second gravesite. They concluded that all family members were accounted for.
Anastasia was the second-youngest child in the family. She was just 17 when she was killed in July 1918.
Conspiracy theorists will always claim otherwise, but no, Anastasia didn’t survive. Science has concluded that all members of the family are dead.