Over time, Rasputin became more and more necessary to the Romanovs, at least in Alexandra’s opinion. The monk gradually became a fixture in the palace. He was given unrestrained access to the palace and was casually familiar with the family. Despite the rumors and substantiated stories, nothing could harm him with the Romanovs.

tsar and children
(L-R) Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria, Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the Tsarevich Alexei

 

People noticed it, and reacted with resentment. In a sign of imminent trouble, suggestive cartoons appeared in the newspapers, disrespectfully portraying the tsar and tsarina as manipulated children, and the tsarina as Rasputin’s lover. This is stunning, given the newspapers were censored. Even a year earlier, no editor would have had the courage to print them.

cartoon 2

A suggestive cartoon that appeared in a St. Petersburg newspaper in 1916
A suggestive cartoon that appeared in a St. Petersburg newspaper in 1916

 

If there was any doubt in the minds of Nicholas and Alexandra, it disappeared when Alexei had another scare. Rasputin was in Siberia when Alexandra’s frantic telegram arrived: the doctors said the boy couldn’t live through the night. Rasputin responded immediately, reassuring the Empress that God had heard her prayers and Alexei would recover.

The next day the tsarevich was better. After that, nothing could dislodge Rasputin.

Alexandra and Alexei
The Empress Alexandra with the tsarevich

 

 

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