The Royal Mystery

Heart don’t fail me now
Courage don’t desert me
Don’t turn back now that we’re here
People always say
Life is full of choices
No one ever mentions fear
Or how the world can seem so vast
On a journey to the past

Remember her? Well though it is a cartoon created by Disney, the adventure on investigating the truth behind the story is quite fascinating. I accidentally I came across this song from the cartoon Anastasia and it made me want to actually learn the mystery behind her story which took me on a journey to the past.

History, sometimes is very mysterious remaining as one prime factor that arouses curiosity. The Russian revolution and the reign and downfall of the Czar are no secret to many around the world. But the mystery that connects with the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna and their only son the heir to the throne has been a story that was concealed by a mystery that left many curious

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia was the daughter of the last Russian Czar, Nicholas II. After she and her family were executed, rumors claimed that she might have survived. The years following the Romanovs’ murders, speculation arose as to whether Anastasia and her brother might have survived the execution.

The tight-knit Romanov family lived peacefully at Czarskoe Palace until Nicholas II generated increasing public hostility during World War I. In March of 1917 as soldiers launched a mutiny and began seizing royal property, Nicholas II agreed to abdicate the throne in hopes of preventing a Russian civil war. Anastasia and her family were then exiled to the Ural Mountains and placed under house arrest.

Unfortunately, a civil war could not be prevented. On July 17, 1918, as Bolsheviks led by Vladmir Lenin fought to replace imperial rule with a new Communist regime, the Romanov family was awoken in the middle of the night and told to get dressed. On orders of the Supreme Soviet council of Russia, Yakov Yurovsky, commandant of the Special House of Purpose, led Anastasia and her family down to a basement under the pretext that they were being protected from the impending chaos of advancing counterrevolutionaries. The family was met by a group of executioners, who opened fired on Anastasia, her parents and siblings, a few of the family’s remaining servants.

New bone fragments were found in the summer of 2007, not far from the original discovery site about 900 miles east of Moscow, but they had been badly damaged by not only time and natural decomposition, but also by acid and fire, as the murderers apparently sought to fully destroy the bodies and evidence of the murder. Russian officials asked a group of researchers to examine the new evidence.

The sad news for romantics; they completed basic studies of mitochondrial DNA inherited through the maternal lines and linked the remains genetically to Empress Alexandra, wife of the Czar, indicating that the remains were very likely those of the czar’s children.

“Children were murdered along with their parents, the Czar and Empress, and their attendants, in a basement of Ipatyev House in Yekaterinaburg in 1918. Their bodies were transported to a forest and were badly damaged in an attempt to eliminate evidence of this crime, the newly found bone fragments were fragile and difficult to work with, but we were able to extract enough uncontaminated genetic material to conduct the tests. So we were able to test the genetic connections through both maternal and paternal lineages.”

Two bodies have said to be the bodies of Anastaisia and Alexie was claimed to be missing among the rest of the bodies of the royals. However, the inability of finding the missing bodies made it absolutely impossible for any rational human being to persist in the belief that Anastasia Romanov lived beyond the massacre of 17th July, 1918.

Why Anastasia became the center of the greatest conspiracy theory of the twentieth century is hard to say. Maybe it was because the name ‘Anastasia’ has links to the theme of resurrection in the Russian language or maybe because it was the unconscious allure of the youngest princess. For whatever reason, it was Anastasia who became fixed in the public’s mind as the ‘one who got away,’ whilst her three sisters faded into the history books as victims of the October Revolution.  There have been many who claimed to be the grand duchess Anastasia perhaps why she remained to be the most popular among the rest. However Anna Anderson was the key imposer who claimed to be the long lost princess until her very death.

“I remember the whole controversial issue about claiming to be Anastasia. In 1920 a woman in Berlin, Germany, attempted to kill herself by jumping off a bridge. She carried no identification and refused to tell her rescuers her name. She stayed silent for years and then said she was Grand Duchess Anastasia, the only surviving member of the Russian royal family.

She explained that she had survived because she and her sisters had jewels sewn into their corsets, making them difficult to pierce. When bullets didn’t kill her, the assassins attempted to end her life by bayonet, but the blades were blunt. She pretended to be dead, revealing herself to a soldier sent to take away the bodies. That soldier helped Anastasia escape, and she said she had come to Berlin to seek out relatives but, worried they wouldn’t recognize her, she tried to end her life. This quite had many believing and convinced for a long time”

However, newly analyzed DNA evidence from a second, nearby grave discovered in 2007 proves that the bones are those of two Romanov children, ending the mystery once and for all.

It would have been a thrill to see a remaining link of the Czar as shown in the cartoon. But history is not always pretty like fantasy.

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