Private Rasputin: #Romanovs100 reveals archive images from royal family album (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Grigory Rasputin was not the first mystic and spiritual teacher to whom Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna turned. Desperate for an heir, after having four daughters, the royal couple consulted a Frenchman, Phillip, who was introduced to the family as a psychic by Princess Milica of Montenegro. A note written by Nicholas II to the Princess on the day Alexei was born asks her to thank Phillip for “what he has done” for the family, clearly suggesting that the Emperor believed they had a baby boy thanks to Phillip.
Alexei was born a haemophiliac – a hereditary disease preventing blood from clotting. His illness gnawed at the very core of the family’s happiness: weeks were spent without sleep when the boy was in agony from internal bleeding, then it took months and, in the worst cases, over a year to recover. Rasputin entered the family because Alexei’s parents believed he could help the boy battle his way through life.
In 1912, in the imperial hunting lodge of Spala, Alexei almost died. What started as a mere bruise turned into severe internal bleeding that was so bad, the family was getting ready to announce the heir’s death. Alexandra Feodorovna reached out to Rasputin, who replied with a telegram, and when he did, Alexei began to recover.
That drew the line for the Empress, who firmly linked Rasputin with her son’s wellbeing. It’s noteworthy that the Romanovs kept Alexei’s haemophilia a secret, turning their backs to the court and reducing their social life to an absolute minimum. Without that information out in the open, it was unclear to the outside world why the family had Rasputin around in the first place.
Rasputin's increasing power over the Empress and subsequent meddling in politics were too much for the nobility in proximity of the throne to comprehend. Prince Felix Yusupov, MI-6 spy Oswald Rayner, Nicholas II's cousin, Dmitriy Pavlovitch, and right-wing politician Vladimir Purishkevich conspired and murdered Grigory Rasputin in Yusupov's Palace in December 1916.
#Romanovs100 will run until July 17, 2018. You can follow the project on any or all of the following social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, with each platform allowing for a unique experience of history.