Russia remembers its royal family

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Russia remembers its royal family

 Russia remembers its royal family
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Commemorations to mark the 90th anniversary of the Tsar’s execution began at the beginning of the week.

Hundreds of Russians have flocked to the Church on the Blood, built in 2003 on the site where the family was gunned down by Bolshevik executioners.

Members of Russia’s royal family have been among those paying their respects.

Nicolas II was only 26 when he arrived on the throne. It soon became clear that he knew little or nothing about the art of governing as he developed perilous foreign policy.

In 1904, he led Russia into what turned out to be a disastrous war with Japan. The First World War finally put paid to the Tsar’s autocratic rule as discontent among workers and soldiers spread all the way to Parliament via two revolutions.

He abdicated and was then arrested in March 1917. The Royal family was transfered to Yekaterinburg just over a year later.

On the night of July 16-17, in the basement of a merchant’s house, the Bolsheviks executed the Tsar, his wife and their five children, the youngest of whom was only 14.

Last year bone fragments and teeth belonging to two young people were found about 70 metres from the site where Russia’s imperial rulers had been buried.

On the eve of this year’s anniversary, Russian authorities revealed the remains were those of
Prince Alexei Nikolayevich and 19-year-old Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna.

Remains believed to belong to the Tsar, his wife and three of his daughters were exhumed after the collapse of the Soviet Union but it took another seven years before they were officially identified by the Russian government.

At the orders of then-President Boris Yeltsin, they were reburied in 1998 in the imperial crypt of the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Two years later, Nicolas was canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church but the Supreme Court still refuses to restore the Royal Family’s status.