Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia

Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia (Maria Nikolayevna Romanova; Russian: Великая Княжна Мария Николаевна, June 14 (O.S.)/June 26 (N.S.), 1899July 17, 1918) was the third daughter of Nicholas II of Russia and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. Her murder following the Russian Revolution of 1917 resulted in her canonization as a passion bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.

During her lifetime, Maria, too young to become a Red Cross nurse like her elder sisters during World War I, was patroness of a hospital and instead visited wounded soldiers. Throughout her lifetime she was noted for interest in the lives of the soldiers. The flirtatious Maria had a number of innocent crushes on the young men she met, beginning in early childhood. She hoped to marry and have a large family.

She was an elder sister of the famous Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, whose escape from the assassination of the imperial family has been rumored for nearly 90 years.[1] In recent years, Maria's own survival has been rumored. Scientists dispute whether Maria or Anastasia is the grand duchess missing from the Romanov grave that was discovered near Yekaterinburg, Russia and exhumed in 1991.[2]


Contemporaries described Maria as a pretty, flirtatious girl, broadly built, with light brown hair and large blue eyes that were known in the family as "Marie's saucers".[3] Her French tutor Pierre Gilliard said Maria was tall and well-built, with rosy cheeks.[4] Tatiana Botkina thought the expression in Maria's eyes was "soft and gentle."[5] As an infant and toddler, her physical appearance was compared to one of Botticelli's angels. Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia nicknamed her "The Amiable Baby" because of her good nature.[6]
Enlarge picture
A formal portrait of (from left to right): Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia Nikolaevna, 1906.
As a toddler, little Maria once escaped from her bath and ran naked up and down the palace corridor while her distracted Irish nurse, Margaretta Eagar, who loved politics, discussed the Dreyfus Affair with a friend. "Fortunately, I arrived just at that moment, picked her up and carried her back to Miss Eagar, who was still talking about Dreyfus," recalled her aunt Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia.[7] Her older sisters objected to including Maria in their games and once referred to Maria as their "stepsister" because she was so good and never got into trouble, recalled Margaretta Eagar in her own memoirs. However, on occasion the sweet-natured Maria could be mischievous. Once, as a little girl, she stole some biscuits from her mother's tea table. As a punishment for her surprising behavior, the governess and Alexandra suggested she be sent to bed; however Nicholas objected, stating, "I was always afraid of the wings growing. I am glad to see she is only a human child." Eagar noted that Maria's love for her father was "marked" and she often tried to escape from the nursery to "go to Papa." When the Tsar was ill with typhoid, the little girl covered a miniature portrait of him with kisses every night.[6]

In addition to Anastasia, Maria's siblings were Grand Duchess Olga of Russia, Grand Duchess Tatiana of Russia, and the haemophiliac Tsarevich Alexei of Russia. Maria's Russian title (Velikaya Knyazna Великая Княжна) is most precisely translated as "Grand Princess", meaning that Maria, as an "Imperial Highness" was higher in rank than other Princesses in Europe who were "Royal Highnesses". "Grand Duchess" is the most widely used English translation of the title.[8] However, in keeping with her parents' desire to raise Maria and her siblings simply, even servants addressed the Grand Duchess by her first name and patronym, Maria Nikolaevna. She was also called by the French version of her name, "Marie," or by the Russian nicknames "Masha" or "Mashka". Maria and her younger sister, Anastasia, were known in the household as the "Little Pair" because they were the younger sisters. Like their older sisters, Olga and Tatiana, the two girls shared a bedroom and spent most of their time together.

Enlarge picture
Grand Duchess Maria in 1906.

Maria and Anastasia were dressed similarly for special occasions, when they wore variations of the same dress.[9] She tended to be dominated by her enthusiastic and energetic younger sister. When Anastasia tripped people who walked by, teased others or caused a scene with her dramatics, Maria always tried to apologize, though she could never stop her younger sister.[10] Maria had simple tastes and was so kind-hearted that she was sometimes taken advantage of by her sisters, who nicknamed her "fat little bow-wow."[4] In 1910, her fourteen-year-old sister Olga persuaded ten-year-old Maria to write their mother a letter asking that Olga be given her own room and be allowed to let down her dresses. Maria tried to persuade her mother that it was her own idea to write the letter.[11] Her mother's friend, Lili Dehn, said that while Maria was not as lively as her three sisters, she knew her own mind.[12] Maria had a talent for drawing and sketched well, always using her left hand,[13] but was generally uninterested in her schoolwork.[4] She was surprisingly strong and sometimes amused herself by demonstrating how she could lift her tutors off the ground.[4] Though usually sweet-natured, Maria could also be stubborn[13] and occasionally lazy.[14] Her mother complained in one letter that Maria was grumpy and "bellowed" at the people who irritated her. Maria's moodiness coincided with her menstrual period, which the Tsarina and her daughters referred to as a visit from "Madame Becker."[15]
House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov

Paul I
   Alexander I
   Grand Duke Constantine
   Grand Duchess Alexandra
   Grand Duchess Elena
   Grand Duchess Maria
   Grand Duchess Catherine
   Grand Duchess Olga
   Grand Duchess Anna
   Nicholas I
   Grand Duke Mikhail
Alexander I
   Grand Duchess Maria
   Grand Duchess Elizabeth
Nicholas I
   Alexander II
   Grand Duchess Maria
   Grand Duchess Olga
   Grand Duchess Alexandra
   Grand Duke Konstantine
   Grand Duke Nicholas
   Grand Duke Michael
Alexander II
   Grand Duchess Alexandra
   Grand Duke Nicholas
   Alexander III
   Grand Duke Vladimir
   Grand Duke Alexei
   Grand Duchess Maria
   Grand Duke Sergei
   Grand Duke Paul
Alexander III
   Nicholas II
   Grand Duke Alexander
   Grand Duke George
   Grand Duchess Xenia
   Grand Duke Michael
   Grand Duchess Olga
Nicholas II
   Grand Duchess Olga
   Grand Duchess Tatiana
   Grand Duchess Maria
   Grand Duchess Anastasia
   Tsarevich Alexei
Young Maria enjoyed innocent flirtations with the young soldiers she encountered at the palace and on family holidays. She particularly loved children and, had she not been a Grand Duchess, would have loved nothing more than to marry a Russian soldier and raise a large family.[16] Maria was fond of soldiers from a very early age, according to Margaretta Eagar:
Insert the text of the quote here, without quotation marks.

Alexandra's letters reveal that Maria, the middle child of the family, sometimes felt insecure and left out by her older sisters and feared she wasn't loved as much as the other children. Alexandra reassured her that she was as dearly loved as her siblings. At age eleven, Maria apparently developed a painful crush on one of the young men she had met. "Try not to let your thoughts dwell too much on him, that's what our Friend said," Alexandra wrote to her on December 6, 1910. Alexandra advised her third daughter to keep her feelings hidden because others might say unkind things to her about her crush. "One must not let others see what one feels inside, when one knows it's considered not proper. I know he likes you as a little sister and would like to help you not to care too much, because he knows you, a little Grand Duchess, must not care for him so."[17]

Association with Grigori Rasputin

Maria, like all her family, doted on the long-awaited heir Tsarevich Alexei, or "Baby," who suffered frequent complications of haemophilia and nearly died several times. Her mother relied on the counsel of Grigori Rasputin, a Russian peasant and wandering starets or "holy man" and credited his prayers with saving the ailing Tsarevich on numerous occasions. Maria and her siblings were also taught to view Rasputin as "Our Friend" and to share confidences with him. In the autumn of 1907, Maria's aunt Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia was escorted to the nursery by the Tsar to meet Rasputin. Maria, her sisters and brother Alexei were all wearing their long white nightgowns. "All the children seemed to like him," Olga Alexandrovna recalled. "They were completely at ease with him."[18]

Rasputin's friendship with the imperial children was evident in the messages he sent to them. "My Dear Pearl M!" Rasputin wrote the nine-year-old Maria in one telegram in 1908. "Tell me how you talked with the sea, with nature! I miss your simple soul. We will see each other soon! A big kiss." In a second telegram, Rasputin told the child, "My Dear M! My Little Friend! May the Lord help you to carry your cross with wisdom and joy in Christ. This world is like the day, look it's already evening. So it is with the cares of the world."[19] In February 1909, Rasputin sent all of the imperial children a telegram, advising them to "Love the whole of God's nature, the whole of His creation in particular this earth. The Mother of God was always occupied with flowers and needlework."[20]

One of the girls' governesses, Sofia Ivanovna Tyutcheva, was horrified in 1910 because Rasputin was permitted access to the nursery when the four girls were in their nightgowns. Tyutcheva wanted Rasputin barred from the nurseries. In response to Tyutcheva's complaints, Nicholas did ask Rasputin to end his nursery visits. "I am so afr(aid) that S.I. can speak ... about our friend something bad," Maria's twelve-year-old sister Tatiana wrote to her mother on March 8, 1910, after begging Alexandra to forgive her for doing something she didn't like. "I hope our nurse will be nice to our friend now."[21] Alexandra eventually had Tyutcheva fired.[22]

Tyutcheva took her story to other members of the family, who were scandalized by the reports, though Rasputin's contacts with the children were by all accounts completely innocent.[23] Nicholas's sister Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia was horrified by Tyutcheva's story. She wrote on March 15, 1910 that she couldn't understand "...the attitude of Alix and the children to that sinister Grigory (whom they consider to be almost a saint, when in fact he's only a khlyst!) He's always there, goes into the nursery, visits Olga and Tatiana while they are getting ready for bed, sits there talking to them and caressing them. They are careful to hide him from Sofia Ivanovna, and the children don't dare talk to her about him. It's all quite unbelievable and beyond understanding."[24]

Enlarge picture
Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna in 1910.

Another of the nursery governesses claimed in the spring of 1910 that she was raped by Rasputin. Maria Ivanovna Vishnyakova had at first been a devotee of Rasputin, but later was disillusioned by him. The empress refused to believe Vishnyakova "and said that everything Rasputin does is holy." Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna was told that Vishnyakova's claim had been immediately investigated, but "they caught the young woman in bed with a Cossack of the Imperial Guard." Vishnyakova was dismissed from her post in 1913.[25]

It was whispered in society that Rasputin had seduced not only the Tsarina but also the four grand duchesses.[26] Rasputin had released ardent letters written to him by the Tsarina and the four grand duchesses. The letters circulated throughout society, fueling the rumors. Pornographic cartoons also circulated that depicted Rasputin having sexual relations with the empress, with her four daughters and Anna Vyrubova nude in the background.[27] Nicholas ordered Rasputin to leave St. Petersburg for a time, much to Alexandra's displeasure, and Rasputin went on a pilgrimage to Palestine.[28] Despite the scandal, the imperial family's association with Rasputin continued until Rasputin was murdered on December 17, 1916. "Our Friend is so contented with our girlies, says they have gone through heavy 'courses' for their age and their souls have much developed," Alexandra wrote to Nicholas on December 6, 1916.[29] In his memoirs, A. A. Mordvinov reported that the four grand duchesses appeared "cold and visibly terribly upset" by Rasputin's death and sat "huddled up closely together" on a sofa in one of their bedrooms on the night they received the news. Mordvinov reported that the young women were in a gloomy mood and seemed to sense the political upheaval that was about to be unleashed.[30] Rasputin was buried with an icon signed on its reverse side by Maria, her sisters, and mother. Maria attended Rasputin's funeral on December 21, 1916 and her family planned to build a church over his grave site.[31]

Haemophilia in the British family tree

Enlarge picture
This diagram depicts the inheritance of haemophilia in the family tree of Maria's mother Tsarina Alexandra. Her aunt Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna believed Maria was a carrier like her mother.
Maria and her three sisters, like their mother, were potentially carriers of the haemophilia gene. One of Alexandra's brothers and two of her nephews, as well as one of her maternal uncles and two children of one of her first cousins were all haemophiliacs, as was Maria's brother Alexei.

Maria herself reportedly hemorrhaged in December 1914 during an operation to remove her tonsils, according to her paternal aunt Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, who was interviewed later in her life. The doctor performing the operation was so unnerved that he had to be ordered to continue by Maria's mother, Tsarina Alexandra. Olga Alexandrovna said she believed all four of her nieces bled more than was normal and believed they were carriers of the haemophilia gene like their mother.[32] Symptomatic carriers of the gene, while not haemophiliacs themselves, can have symptoms of haemophilia including a lower than normal blood clotting factor that can lead to heavy bleeding.[33]

Life during World War One

Enlarge picture
Grand Duchesses Maria, left, and Anastasia Nikolaevna roughhouse with their cousin Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, ca. 1915.
Like her younger sister Anastasia, Maria visited wounded soldiers at a private hospital on the grounds of the palace at Tsarskoye Selo during World War I. The two teenagers, who were too young to become nurses like their mother and elder sisters, played games of checkers and billiards with the soldiers and attempted to uplift their spirits. A wounded soldier named Dmitri signed Maria's commonplace book and addressed her by one of her nicknames: "the famous Mandrifolie".[34]

During the war, Maria and Anastasia also paid a visit to a nurses' school and helped to tend to the children. She wrote her father that she thought of him when she was feeding the children and cleaned the gruel running down their chins with a spoon.[35] For a break during the war, Maria, her sisters and mother sometimes visited the Tsar and Tsarevich Alexei at the war headquarters in Mogilev. During these visits, Maria developed an attraction to Nikolai Dmitrievich Demenkov, an officer of the day at the Tsar's Headquarters. When the women returned to Tsarskoye Selo, Maria often asked her father to give her regards to Demenkov and sometimes jokingly signed her letters to the Tsar "Mrs. Demenkov."[36]

Revolution and captivity

Enlarge picture
From left to right, Grand Duchesses Maria, Olga, Anastasia, and Tatiana Nikolaevna in captivity at Tsarskoe Selo in the spring of 1917.

Revolution broke out in St. Petersburg in the spring of 1917. At the height of the chaos, Maria and her siblings were stricken with measles. The Tsarina was reluctant to move the children to the safety of the imperial residence at Gatchina, even though she was advised to do so. Maria was the last of the five to fall ill and, while she was still healthy, was a major source of support to her mother. Maria went outside with her mother on the night of March 13 1917 to plead with the soldiers to remain loyal to the imperial family. Shortly afterwards, the seventeen-year-old fell ill with measles and virulent pneumonia and nearly died. She was not told that her father had abdicated the throne until after she began to recover.[4]

The family was arrested and imprisoned, first in their home at Tsarskoye Selo and later at residences in Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg in Siberia. Maria attempted to befriend her guards both at Tsarskoye Selo and Tobolsk and soon learned their names and details about their wives and children. Unaware of her danger, she commented at Tobolsk that she would be happy to live there indefinitely if only she could take a walk outside without being guarded continuously.[37] Maria and her sister Anastasia burned their letters and diaries in April 1918 because they feared their possessions would be searched.[38]

Tsarina Alexandra chose Maria to accompany Tsar Nicholas II and herself to Yekaterinburg when the family was briefly separated in April 1918. Maria had grown from a child to a woman during the years of captivity, according to the Baroness Sophie Buxhoevden, a lady in waiting, and the Tsarina felt she could depend upon her third daughter to help her as she could not rely upon the deeply depressed Olga or Anastasia, who was still a child. Level-headed Tatiana was needed to watch over her ill brother.[39] They were forced to leave their other children behind in Tobolsk because Maria's brother Alexei was ill. The four other children joined their family in Yekaterinburg several weeks later.

Enlarge picture
Grand Duchesses Anastasia, Maria, and Tatiana Nikolaevna in captivity at Tsarskoe Selo in the spring of 1917.

In her letters to her siblings in Tobolsk, Maria described her unease at the new restrictions on the family at Yekaterinburg. She and her parents were searched by guards at the Ipatiev House and were warned they would be subject to further searches. A wooden fence was installed around the house, limiting their view of the street. "Oh, how complicated everything is now," she wrote on May 2 1918. "We lived so peacefully for eight months and now it's all started again."[40] Maria passed the time by attempting to befriend members of the Ipatiev House Guard. She showed them pictures from her photo albums and talked with them about their families and her own hopes for a new life in England if she was released. Alexander Strekotin, one of the guards, recalled in his memoirs that she "was a girl who loved to have fun." Another of the guards recalled Maria's buxom beauty with appreciation and said she didn't assume an air of grandeur.[41] One former sentry recalled that Maria was often scolded by her mother in "severe and angry whispers," apparently for being too friendly with the guards at Yekaterinburg.[42] Strekotin wrote that their conversations always began with one of the girls saying, "We're so bored! In Tobolsk there was always something to do. I know! Try to guess the name of this dog!" The teenage girls walked by the sentries, whispering and giggling in a manner that the guards considered flirtatious.[43]

In his memoirs, one guard recalled that on one occasion another guard forgot himself and told an off-color joke to the grand duchesses during one of these meetings. The offended Tatiana ran from the room, "pale as death." Maria eyed the man and said, "Why are you not disgusted with yourselves when you use such shameful words? Do you imagine that you can woo a well-born woman with such witticisms and have her be well disposed towards you? Be refined and respectable men and then we can get along."[44] Ivan Kleschev, a 21-year-old guard, declared that he intended to marry one of the grand duchesses and if her parents said no he would rescue her from the Ipatiev House himself.[45]

Ivan Skorokhodov, yet another of the guards, smuggled in a birthday cake to celebrate Maria's nineteenth birthday on June 26, 1918. Maria slipped away from the group with Ivan Skorokhodov for a private moment and they were discovered when two of his superiors conducted a surprise inspection of the house. Skorokhodov was removed from his position after his actions and friendliness towards the grand duchess were discovered by his commanding officers. In their memoirs, several guards reported that both the Tsarina and her older sister Olga appeared angry with Maria in the days following the incident and that Olga avoided her company.[46]

On July 14, 1918, local priests at Yekaterinburg conducted a private church service for the family and reported that Maria and her family, contrary to custom, fell on their knees during the prayer for the dead.[47] Maria was murdered on July 17, 1918 in the cellar room of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. The murder was carried out by forces of the Bolshevik secret police under the command of Yakov Yurovsky. According to one account of the murders, Maria ran from the assassins and began banging on the door of a storage room and crying for help. She was then shot in the thigh by drunken military commissar Peter Ermakov, who also tried to stab her with a bayonet and shoot her in the head, but may have failed to aim properly. Maria somehow fainted and remained alive until the bodies were inspected to check for pulses. She screamed, causing Ermakov to try and stab her again. When his attempt failed to kill her, he struck her in the face until she was silent. Today her cause of death remains a mystery.[48]

Rediscovery and reports of survival

Enlarge picture
Grand Duchess Maria in 1915.

In 1991, bodies believed to be those of the Imperial Family and their servants were finally exhumed from a mass grave in the woods outside Yekaterinburg. The grave had been found nearly a decade earlier, but was kept hidden by its discoverers from the Communists who still ruled Russia when the grave was originally found. Once the grave was opened, the excavators realized that instead of eleven sets of remains (Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, Tsarevitch Alexei, the four Grand Duchesses, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia; the family's doctor, Yevgeny Botkin; their valet, Alexei Trupp; their cook, Ivan Kharitonov; and Alexandra's maid, Anna Demidova) the grave held only nine. Alexei and, according to the late forensic expert Dr. William Maples, Anastasia were missing from the family's grave.[49] Russian scientists contested this, however, and claimed it was Maria's body that was missing.[50] The Russians identified Anastasia by using a computer program to compare photos of the youngest Grand Duchess with the skulls of the victims from the mass grave. They estimated the height and width of the skulls where pieces of bone were missing. American scientists found this method inexact.[51] A Russian forensic expert said none of the skulls attributed to the Grand Duchesses had a gap between the front teeth as Maria did.[52]

Enlarge picture
Grand Duchess Maria wearing a kimono-style dressing gown ca. 1915.
American scientists thought the missing body to be Anastasia because none of the female skeletons showed the evidence of immaturity, such as an immature collarbone, undescended wisdom teeth, or immature vertebrae in the back, that they would have expected to find in the seventeen-year-old Anastasia. In 1998, when the bodies of the Imperial Family were finally interred, a body measuring approximately 5 feet 7 inches was buried under the name of Anastasia. Photographs taken of the four sisters up until six months before the murders demonstrate that Maria was several inches taller than Anastasia and was also taller than her sister Olga. However, the heights of the skeletons had to be estimated because some of the bones had been cut and portions of the skeletons were missing.[53] Since teeth and large portions of the jaw were missing in several of the skeletons, the Russian scientists' assertion that Anastasia's remains rather than those of Maria were in the grave because none of the skeletons had a gap between the front teeth also appeared questionable to American scientists.[54]

The mitochondrial DNA from the skeletons was compared against mitochondrial DNA from relatives of the imperial family in the maternal line of descent, including the Tsarina's great-nephew Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and was found to be a match. Scientists believed that the matching DNA was enough to identify the remains of the Imperial Family and their servants. The fate of the two missing children remains a mystery. Some historians believe the account detailed in the "Yurovsky Note", a report filed by commander Yakov Yurovsky with his superiors following the murders. Yurovsky wrote that two of the bodies were removed from the main grave and cremated at an undisclosed area.[55] If the Whites ever discovered the grave, Yurovsky believed they would doubt the grave belonged to the Tsar and his retinue because the body count would be incorrect. Some forensic experts believe the complete burning of two bodies in so short a time would have been impossible given the environment and materials possessed by Yurovsky and his men.[56] Numerous searches of the area in subsequent years failed to turn up a cremation site or the remains of the two missing Romanov children.[57][58]

Enlarge picture
An official portrait of Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia Nikolaevna in 1916.
According to the accounts of some of the guards, there may have been an opportunity for one or more of the guards to rescue a survivor. Yurovsky demanded that the guards come to his office and turn over items they had stolen following the assassinations. There was reportedly a span of time when the bodies of the victims were left largely unattended in the truck, in the basement, and in the corridor of the house. Some guards who had not participated in the murders and had been sympathetic to the grand duchesses were left in the basement with the bodies.[59]

At least two of the Grand Duchesses were said to have survived the initial attack on the Royal Family. Two of the Grand Duchesses, Maria and Anastasia, "sat up screaming" when they were being carried out to a waiting truck. They were then attacked again.[60] There have been claims made that Maria was the Grand Duchess who survived. A man named Alex Brimeyer claimed to be Maria's grandson "Prince Alexis d'Anjou de Bourbon-Condé Romanov-Dolgoruky." He said Maria had escaped to Romania, married and had a daughter, Olga-Beata. Olga-Beata then allegedly married and had a son named "Prince Alexis". Brimeyer was sentenced to 18 months in prison by a Belgian court after he was sued in 1971 by the Dolgoruky family and the Association of Descendants of the Russian Nobility of Belgium.[61] Two young women claiming to be Maria and her sister Anastasia were taken in by a priest in the Ural Mountains in 1919, where they lived as nuns until their deaths in 1964. They were buried under the names Anastasia and Maria Nikolaevna.[62]

More recently, Gabriel Louis Duval wrote a book, A Princess in the Family, claiming that his foster grandmother "Granny Alena" might have been the Grand Duchess Maria.[63] According to Duval, Granny Alena married a man named Frank and emigrated to South Africa. She later lived with his family before dying in 1969. Her body was exhumed, but DNA was too degraded to be useful in determining whether she shared DNA with the imperial family. Most historians discount the claims that Maria or another member of the family survived the killings.[63] Until his own assassination in 1979, her first cousin, Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, kept a photograph of Maria beside his bed in memory of the crush he had upon her.[64]

On August 23, 2007, a Russian archaeologist announced the discovery of two burned, partial skeletons at a bonfire site near Yekaterinburg that appeared to match the site described in Yurovsky's memoirs. The archaeologists said the bones are from a boy who was roughly between the ages of ten and thirteen years at the time of his death and of a young woman who was roughly between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three years old. Maria was nineteen years, one month old at the time of the assassinations while her sister Anastasia was seventeen years, one month old and her brother Alexei was two weeks shy of his fourteenth birthday. Maria's elder sisters Olga and Tatiana were twenty-two and twenty-one years old at the time of the assassinations. Along with the remains of the two bodies, archaeologists found "shards of a container of sulfuric acid, nails, metal strips from a wooden box, and bullets of various caliber." The bones were found using metal detectors and metal rods as probes. Tests are still being conducted on the remains to determine whether they are the remains of the two missing Romanov children.[65]


For more information, see Romanov sainthood
In 2000, Maria and her family were canonized as passion bearers by the Russian Orthodox Church. The family had previously been canonized in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad as holy martyrs. The bodies of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and three of their daughters were finally interred at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg on July 17, 1998, eighty years after they were murdered.[66]


1. ^ Kurth (1983), p. xiv
2. ^ Klier and Mingay (1995), p. 203
3. ^ Massie (1967), p. 133.
4. ^ Gilliard, Pierre. Thirteen Years at the Russian Court. Retrieved on March 14.
5. ^ Kurth (1983), p. 138
6. ^ Eagar, Margaret (1906). Six Years at the Russian Court. Retrieved on December 12.
7. ^ Massie (1967), p. 132
8. ^ Zeepvat (2004), p. xiv.
9. ^ Massie (1967), p. 133
10. ^ Kurth (1983), p. 138
11. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 337
12. ^ Dehn, Lili (1922). The Real Tsaritsa. Retrieved on March 20.
13. ^ Buxhoeveden, Baroness Sophie. The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodorovna. Retrieved on March 20.
14. ^ Massie, p133
15. ^ Mironenko and Maylunas (1997), p. 463
16. ^ Massie (1967), p. 133
17. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 336
18. ^ Massie (1967), pp. 199-200
19. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 314
20. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 321
21. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 330
22. ^ Radzinsky (2000), p. 139
23. ^ Massie (1967), p. 208
24. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 330
25. ^ Radzinsky (2000), pp. 129-130.
26. ^ Mager (1998), p. 257
27. ^ Christopher et al. (1995), p. 115.
28. ^ Christopher et al. (1995), p. 116
29. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 489
30. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 507
31. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 511
32. ^ Vorres (1965), p. 115.
33. ^ Zeepvat, p. 175
34. ^ Kurth (1983), p. 417.
35. ^ Bokhanov et al. (1993), p. 125
36. ^ Bokhanov et al., p. 125
37. ^ Christopher et al. (1995), p. 180
38. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 613
39. ^ Christopher et al. (1995), p. 180
40. ^ Maylunas and Mironenko (1997), p. 618
41. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 238
42. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 238
43. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 240.
44. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 242
45. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 243
46. ^ King and Wilson (2003), pp. 242-247
47. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 276
48. ^ King and Wilson (2003), pp. 303-310, 434.
49. ^ Massie (1995), p. 67
50. ^ Massie (1995), p. 67
51. ^ Massie (1995), p. 67.
52. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 251)
53. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 434.
54. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 251
55. ^ Radzinsky (1992), pp. 380-393
56. ^ King and Wilson, p. 468
57. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 469.
58. ^ Radzinsky (1992), pp. 380-393
59. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 314
60. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 470
61. ^ Massie (1995), p. 148
62. ^ Massie (1995), p. 146
63. ^ George Negus Tonight (2004). "A Princess in the Family?". Retrieved on December 18, 2006.
64. ^ King and Wilson (2003), p. 49
65. ^ Bones found>Gutterman, Steve (2007). "Remains of czar heir may have been found". Retrieved on August 24, 2007.
66. ^ Shevchenko, Maxim (2000). "The Glorification of the Royal Family". Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Retrieved on December 10, 2006.


  • Bokhanov, Alexander, Knodt, Dr. Manfred, Oustimenko, Vladimir, Peregudova, Zinaida, and Tyutyunnik, Lyubov (1993). The Romanovs: Love, Power, and Tragedy. Leppi Publications. ISBN 0-9521644-0-X
  • Christopher, Peter, Kurth, Peter, and Radzinsky, Edvard (1995) Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra. Little Brown and Co. ISBN 0316507873
  • King, Greg and Wilson, Penny (2003) The Fate of the Romanovs. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-20768-3
  • Klier, John and Mingay, Helen (1995). The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Last Romanovs. Birch Lane Press Book. ISBN 1-55972-442-0
  • Kurth, Peter (1983). Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson. Back Bay Books. ISBN 0-316-50717-2
  • Mager, Hugo (1998). Elizabeth: Grand Duchess of Russia. Caroll and Graf Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-7867-0678-3
  • Massie, Robert K. (1967). Nicholas and Alexandra. Dell Publishing Co. ISBN 0440163587
  • Massie, Robert K. (1995). The Romanovs: The Final Chapter. Random House. ISBN 0-394-58048-6
  • Maylunas, Andrei and Mironenko, Sergei, editors; Darya Galy, translator (1997). A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story. Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-48673-1
  • Radzinsky, Edvard (1992). The Last Tsar. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-42371-3
  • Radzinsky, Edvard (2000). The Rasputin File. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-48909-9
  • Vorres, Ian (1965), The Last Grand Duchess, Scribner. ASIN B0007E0JK0, p. 115
NAMERussia, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of
SHORT DESCRIPTIONThird daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
DATE OF BIRTHJune 26, 1899
PLACE OF BIRTHPeterhof, Russia
DATE OF DEATHJuly 17, 1918
PLACE OF DEATHEkaterinburg, Russia
Emperor Nicholas I
Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias

Reign December 1, 1825–March 2, 1855
Coronation September 3 1826
Born 6 July 1796(1796--)

..... Click the link for more information.
Writing system: Cyrillic (Russian variant)  
Official status
Official language of:  Abkhazia (Georgia)
 Commonwealth of Independent States (working)
 Crimea (de facto; Ukraine)
..... Click the link for more information.
June 14 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

In common years it is always in ISO week 24.
..... Click the link for more information.
June 26 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


  • 363 - Roman Emperor Julian is killed during the retreat from the Sassanid Empire.

..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1860s  1870s  1880s  - 1890s -  1900s  1910s  1920s
1896 1897 1898 - 1899 - 1900 1901 1902

Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
July 17 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


  • 180 - Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa executed for being Christians.

..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1880s  1890s  1900s  - 1910s -  1920s  1930s  1940s
1915 1916 1917 - 1918 - 1919 1920 1921

Year 1918 (MCMXVIII
..... Click the link for more information.
Emperor Nicholas II
Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias

Reign 1 November, 1894 – 15 March, 1917
Coronation 26 May [O.S. 14 May] 1896
Born 19 May 1868(1868--)
..... Click the link for more information.
Alexandra Fyodorovna of Russia
Empress Consort of Russia

Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Tsarskoe Selo, 1907
Full name Alexandra Fyodorovna Romanova
Titles HIM The Empress of Russia (1894–1918)
..... Click the link for more information.
The Russian Revolution (1917) was a series of economic and social upheavals in Russia, involving first the overthrow of the tsarist autocracy, and then the overthrow of the liberal and moderate-socialist Provisional Government, resulting in the establishment of Soviet power under
..... Click the link for more information.
Canonization (also spelled Canonisation) is the act by which a Christian Church declares a deceased person to be a saint, inscribing that person in the canon, or list, of recognized saints.
..... Click the link for more information.
In Orthodox Christianity, a passion-bearer (Russian: strastoterpets, страстотéрпец) is a person who faces his or her death in a Christ-like manner.
..... Click the link for more information.
Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (Russian: Русская Православная Церковь
..... Click the link for more information.
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement French: Mouvement international de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge, is an international humanitarian movement whose stated mission is to protect human life and health, to ensure
..... Click the link for more information.
Nurses are responsible—along with other health care professionals—for the treatment, safety, and recovery of acutely or chronically ill or injured people, health maintenance of the healthy, and treatment of life-threatening emergencies in a wide range of health
..... Click the link for more information.
Clockwise from top: Trenches on the Western Front; a British Mark IV tank crossing a trench; Royal Navy battleship HMS Irresistible sinking after striking a mine at the Battle of the Dardanelles; a Vickers machine gun crew with gas masks, and German Albatros D.
..... Click the link for more information.
Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia (Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, (Russian: Великая Княжна
..... Click the link for more information.
Екатеринбур? (Russian)

Yekaterinburg on the map of Russia

..... Click the link for more information.
Hymn of the Russian Federation

(and largest city) Moscow

..... Click the link for more information.
Brown hair is the second most common hair color, with black being the most common. Outside of Northern Europe, where the blond mutation originated, most humans have black or dark brown hair.
..... Click the link for more information.
Eye color is a polygenic trait and is determined primarily by the amount and type of pigments present in the eye's iris.[1][2] Humans and animals have many phenotypic variations in eye color.
..... Click the link for more information.
Pierre Gilliard (1879 - May 30, 1962), a Swiss citizen, was the French tutor for the five children of Tsar Nicholas II from 1905 to 1918. Years after the Imperial Family was assassinated by the Bolsheviks in July 1918, Gilliard wrote a book
..... Click the link for more information.
Sandro Botticelli

Alleged self-portrait of Botticelli, in his Adoration of the Magi. Uffizi, Florence.
Birth name Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi
March 1 1444(1444--) or 1445
..... Click the link for more information.
Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, in Russian Владимир Александрович / Влади́мирови?
..... Click the link for more information.
Margaretta Alexandra Eagar, also known as Margaret Eagar, (August 12, 1863 - 1936), was a nurse for the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra. She wrote a 1906 memoir entitled Six Years at the Russian Court about her time in Russia.
..... Click the link for more information.
This article may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since July 2007.

..... Click the link for more information.
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia (Russian: О́льга Алекса́ндровна
..... Click the link for more information.
Margaretta Alexandra Eagar, also known as Margaret Eagar, (August 12, 1863 - 1936), was a nurse for the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra. She wrote a 1906 memoir entitled Six Years at the Russian Court about her time in Russia.
..... Click the link for more information.
MeSH D014435 Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever,[1] is an illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar typhi. Common worldwide, it is transmitted by the fecal-oral route — the ingestion of food or water contaminated
..... Click the link for more information.
Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaievna of Russia (Tatiana Nikolaievna Romanova) (In Russian Великая Княжна Татьяна
..... Click the link for more information.

This article is copied from an article on - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.