Get Paid To Promote, Get Paid To Popup, Get Paid Display Banner

The Legend of Anastasia: Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia (1901-1918)

Anastasia was the youngest daughter of the last Tsar. 
Grand Duchess Anastasia was born on 18 June 1901, at Alexandria Dacha, in Peterhof, Russian Empire. She was the daughter of Alexandra, Empress Consort of Russia (6 June 1872 - 17 July 1918) and Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia (18 May 1868 - 17 July 1918). Her siblings were: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna (15 November 1895 - 17 July 1918), Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna (10 June 1897 - 17 July 1918), Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna (26 June 1899 - 17 July 1918), and Grand Duke Tsarevich Alexei (12 August 1904 - 17 July 1918).

They named her Anastasia, meaning "one who will rise again". She was occasionally called Anastasie, or "Nastya," "Nastas," or "Nastenka." For her Aunt Olga she was "malenkaya," or "Little One", while her family also called her "shvizbik," or "imp". With Anastasia the rivalry between the girls stopped and the two older girls became known as "The Big Pair" and the two younger girls as "The Little Pair". Anastasia had blue eyes, thick brown-auburn hair, a long straight nose, thin lips and a sharp chin. As a child, she had an accident that left a scar on her forehead.

Anastasia had a close relationship with her brother, Alexei. When he was sick she refused to leave him. Both was very musical and could play the balalaika, guitar and piano. They shared a secret language called, "Tarabar". Anastasia was a talented actress and an enthusiastic photographer. She could speak Russian, French, and English fluently.

Grand Duchess Anastasia

In 1915, her father Nicholas became Commander-In-Chief and left his wife and children in Tsarskoe Selo. 

There were strikes on 8 March 1917, in St. Petersburg. Nicholas went on 13 March 1917, to Pskov when he could not get through to Tsarskoe Selo. At the end of the February Revolution on 15 March 1917, Nicholas II was forced to abdicate. He firstly abdicated in favour of Tsarevich Alexei, but swiftly changed his mind after advice from doctors that the heir would not live long apart from his parents who would be forced into exile. Nicholas drew up a new manifesto naming his brother, Grand Duke Michael, as the next Emperor of all the Russias.

 Under pressure from the Committee the Grand Duke refused the throne on 16 March 1917. Her family was placed under house arrest on 20 March 1917, at the Alexander Palace. On 16 April 1918, her parents, Maria, Doctor Evgeny Botkin, and three servants were moved to the Ipatiev house in Ekaterinburg. While Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and Alexei stayed behind in Tobolsk, because Alexei, who had suffered another attack of haemophilia, could not be moved. During the month of separation from their parents and sister, Tatiana, Olga, Anastasia, and ladies in waiting busied themselves sewing precious stones and jewelry into their clothing, hoping to hide them from their captors. 

On 23 May 1918, Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and Alexei arrived in Ekaterinburg. Grand Duke Mikhail was killed on 13 June 1918. On 14 July 1918, local priests at Yekaterinburg conducted a private church service for the family and reported that Anastasia and her family, contrary to custom, fell on their knees during the prayer for the dead. Anastasia, her siblings, her parents, along with Anna Demidova, the footman Trupp, the cook Kharitonov, and Dr. Botkin were shot dead on the night of 17 July 1918, in a small room on the ground floor of Ipatiev House, Yekaterinburg, Russia. After the family had been murdered the executioners tried to burn the bodies. 

When it became apparent that getting rid of the bodies would not work with fire, the executioners buried the bodies in a mass grave. In 1981, Anastasia and her family were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad as Holy Martyrs. In 1991, remains later identified through DNA testing as the Romanovs and their servants were discovered in the woods outside Yekaterinburg. The bodies of one of the Romanov daughters and Alexei were missing from the gravesite.

Anastasia with her Sisters.

 The bodies of Tsarina Alexandra, Tsar Nicholas II, and three of their daughters were interred eighty years after they were murdered on 17 July 1998, at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. The family was canonized as passion bearers by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.
"Good bye. Don't forget me. Many kisses from us all to you my darling."

Her Birth and Life

She was born June 18 (O.S. June 5) 1901. Her birth disappointed her father and mother; after three daughters, they were longing for a male heir. Nonetheless, Nicholas and Alexandra were loving parents and reconciled themselves to the arrival of a fourth girl. She received her name ("Breaker of Chains" or "Prisoner Opener") because, in honor of her birth, the Tsar pardoned a number of students who had been imprisoned for rioting in St. Petersburg and Moscow in 1900. "Anastasia" also means "Resurrection," resonating with the widespread (but now disproved) rumors of her survival of the brutal murder of her family in 1918.

Anastasia was a lively, witty child. She was short and plump, with blue eyes and strawberry-blonde hair. She was winsome, gifted and bright, but disliked schoolwork. She was a talented actress. Although all the Romanov sisters were good-hearted girls, devoted to their parents, to each other (despite normal sibling rivalries), and to their little brother Alexis, Anastasia was also very mischievous. She enjoyed pranks, teasing tutors, tripping servants, climbing trees and refusing to come down. On one occasion, during a snowball fight, Anastasia even rolled a rock into a snowball and threw it at her older sister Tatiana, knocking her down. According to Gleb Botkin, son of the court physician: "She undoubtedly held the record for punishable deeds in her family, for in naughtiness she was a true genius."

When World War I broke out, Anastasia was only 13. Too young to serve as Red Cross nurses (like the Tsarina and the eldest Grand Duchesses, Olga and Tatiana), Anastasia and her sister Maria visited wounded soldiers. They played checkers and billiards with the suffering men and tried to raise their spirits. One patient recalled: "(Anastasia) had a laugh like a squirrel...(and walked quickly) as though she tripped along."

The February Revolution of 1917 forced Tsar Nicholas to abdicate. The imperial family were placed under house arrest in Tsarskoe Selo. Alexander Kerensky of the provisional government later transferred them to Tobolsk, in Siberia. After the Bolshevik seizure of power, Anastasia and her family were sent to the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg. The girls sewed their jewels into their clothes to hide them from their captors (later, during the massacre of the family, the gems would serve as armor, protecting several girls from the initial round of gunfire). Imprisonment took a heavy toll on Anastasia's spirits. Nonetheless, she still found ways to have fun. With other members of the household, she put on plays, causing everyone to roar with laughter. One guard remembered her as a "very charming devil," and noted: "She was mischievous and, I think, rarely tired. She was lively, and was fond of performing comic mimes with the dogs, as though they were performing in a circus."

With her mother
Yet, on July 14, 1918, local priests who conducted a religious service for the family observed the girls' unusually deep despondency. In striking contrast to previous occasions, they were too depressed even to sing the replies in the service. The priests also noted that the family, contrary to custom, fell on their knees during the prayer for the dead. (Strangely haunting, as they were soon to join these dead). Only a few days later, during the night of July 16-17, forces of the Bolshevik secret police murdered the last Tsar, his wife and children in the cellar of the Ipatiev House. Anastasia was only 17.

Rumors of Anastasia's survival flourished for decades. Similar stories circulated about other Romanovs, but Anastasia, more than any other, seemed to capture people's imaginations. The multiple Anastasia claimants (most infamously, Anna Anderson) and the lingering hopes and doubts concerning the fate of the youngest Grand Duchess made her the most publicized of the Tsar's daughters. The legend of her survival has inspired books, plays and films. During the Soviet era, her burial place was unknown, fueling the rumors. Furthermore, when the mass grave at Ekaterinburg holding the remains of Tsar Nicholas, Empress Alexandra, and three of the Grand Duchesses was finally discovered in 1991, the bodies of Tsarevich Alexis and one of his sisters (Anastasia or Maria) were missing.

Nonetheless, in the last few years, the rumors of Anastasia's survival have been proved false. In 2008, Russian scientists reported that the charred remains of a young boy and a young woman found near Ekaterinburg in 2007 were probably those of Alexis and one of his sisters. On April 30, 2008, Russian forensic specialists announced that DNA tests proved that the remains belonged to the Tsarevich and to one of the Grand Duchesses. Meanwhile, American scientists reportedly tested DNA independently from the skeletons found in 2007 and confirmed that they belonged to the Romanov children. In March 2009, the results on the DNA and forensic testing of the remains were published, definitively establishing that every member of the family, including Anastasia, died in 1918.