The Empress Alexandra was devastated by Rasputin’s death. He was the only man alive who could save Alexei and now he was gone.

It is unknown whether she considered the implications of a man known to be favored by her being murdered despite her protection. But looking back, it was another sign that the people were increasingly dismissive of the imperial Romanovs.

Nicholas had no military experience and the war was not going well. At the front, men starved; at home, women and children went hungry. The Romanovs, however, seemed oblivious. It is more likely that the tsar’s gestures that were meant to give courage were misplaced or misinterpreted by a struggling people. The pretty grand duchesses, the impressive uniforms, the picturesque photographs looked as though they were part of a different war than the one being fought by the Russian army.

tsar with his children
Grand Duchess Anastasia, Grand Duchess Olga, Tsar Nicholas, Tsarevich Alexei, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria

 

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