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Haunting last picture before execution of the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

By 0 and 0 and 0
11 June 2018


Last picture of Tsarevich Alexei and sister Olga Nikolayevna was taken either on, or shortly after 20 May 2018, on board of Rus riverboat. Picture: Tobolsk History Museum

This image shows heir Alexei on his river trip to death, aged 13 and nine months old, around eight weeks before he was murdered with the rest of his family by a Bolshevik execution squad.

The museum - part of a new trail for tourists and royal enthusiasts  following the route of the Romanovs in exile after Nikolai’s abdication in 1917 - has confirmed this image is the last known photograph of the Tsarevich.

It was taken as he left the historic Siberian town of Tobolsk where the family were held in the so-called Governor’s House from August 2017.

In April, Nikolai, his former empress Alexandra and one of their daughters, Maria, moved to Yekaterinburg. 

Alexei, a haemophiliac, had been ill, and he remained in Tobolsk in their care of his three other sisters, Olga, Tatiana and Anastasia, and 26 servants. 

They left by riverboat on 20 May 1918, two months before they would be killed. 

The picture was taken on board the riverboat called Rus.

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar
Tsarevich Alexei pctured with sisters in Tobolsk, Siberia, and on his own during 2017-2018 exile; last picture shows the house where Romanov family stayed during their exile in Tobolsk. Pictures: Tobolsk History Museum, Vesti Rossiya

Alexei health had caused acute concern to the royal family before the revolution, contributing to their obsession with ‘crazed’ monk Gregory Rasputin who was seen as a healer. 

As Nikolai’s sole male heir, Alexei was born to inherit from his father the following formidable and colourful titles as an absolute ruler: Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod; Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Chersonese Taurian, Tsar of Georgia; Lord of Pskov and Grand Prince of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, Finland; Prince of Estland, Livland, Courland, Semigalia, Samogitia, Belostok, Karelia, Tver, Yugorsky land, Perm, Vyatka, Bolgar and others; Lord and Grand Prince of Nizhny Nogorod, Chernigov, Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Belozersk, Udorsky land, Obdorsk, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislav, and all of the northern countries Master; and Lord of Iberia, Kartli, and Kabardia lands and Armenian provinces; hereditary Sovereign and ruler of the Circassian and Mountainous Princes and of others; Lord of Turkestan; Heir of Norway; Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, and Oldenburg, and others, and others, and others.

It was not to be, of course. 

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar
The execution site of Romanov family inside the Ipatiev house in Yekaterinburg; Tsarevich Alexei pictured with favourite spaniel Joy, sisters, and mother Alexandra. Pictures: Tobolsk History Museum

The new Tobolsk museum The Imperial Route project, which charts the Romanov family’s stay or transfer after Nikolai’s abdication through  St Petersburg , Moscow,  Tyumen, Perm, Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg. 

The museum is in the old Governor’s House with 13 rooms preserved as well as possible from a century ago. 

Items have been gifted by the descendants of Briton Charles Gibbes, Alexei’s tutor, who went with the family into exile before finding his way out of the revolution maelstrom via China. 

Pictures below show reconstruction and picture of Alexei's room in the house in Tobolsk, Alexei with a cat and his favourite spaniel Joy, and Alexei with tutor Charles Gibbes

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Comments (47)

Such a sad and tragic story. Whatever the faults of the Tsar ( and they were small compared to the Bolsheviks) the whole family did not deserve this fate. Exile would have been enough, but unfortunately Lenin was out for revenge for the death of his brother so there was never a chance of that. I hope they are all together again and in peace in the heavenly sphere.
Alan Young, United Kingdom
03/10/2020 16:18
Even the French revolution did not dare to execute Louis XVI.' s children.
Nor did they execute without trials, in the middle of the night. Premeditated group murder.
I.E. Mohelská , Düsseldorf Germany
28/09/2020 22:34
Man's inhumanity to man. So sad. I struggled to read Helen Rappaport's book on the Romanovs to the end. Where are their to mentors now? We'll all a seer to God one day.
Kayode Adelusola, Ife, Nigeria
15/08/2020 02:19
Rest in peace, Alexei, and every other member of the Romanov family. Your life was full of hardships and misery, you died unfairly, but we hope you finally find your peace above. Im sorry, this is a tragedy. He was just a child. None of his father's mistakes is his fault. Humanity can be cruel sometimes, rest in peace. You deserve way more than the world gave you.
Natasha, America
23/07/2020 11:43
This is a tragedy... So so so so tragic. My heart is weighed down by the unfairness of it all. Rest in peace, little Tsar.
Melanie, England
23/07/2020 11:25
"If only they believe that only Jesus can heal "

This is the same "healer" who like his fake "father" happily stood by and did nothing, just ask any of the dead who were on the Titanic or the WTC towers on 9/11 how well prayers and their jesus worked out for them!
rdw, USA
23/05/2020 09:48
This story was really sad but opens your eyes a bit
Olivia, Connecticut
07/05/2020 23:48
he is kinda cute
lily james, usa
28/01/2020 02:03
I just read a book from the series The Missing by Margaret Peterson Haddix in my school about the Romanovs, very harsh way that they were tricked into coming into the cellar and then murdered, for no apparent reason. God bless any Romanov descendants and I wish their family the best.
Robert Gibson, USA
20/11/2019 07:53
Forgive us Alexei. May you forever run free, alive, happy and healthy, in the memories of those who knew and loved you. May your simple courage, confidence and positivity even in the face of sickness, pain and terror shine on as a timeless example for all humanity.
Rohan, Rihe
14/08/2019 22:39
John in the UK seems to think Americans, as a group, are claiming to be the reincarnation of the Russian royal family. Be specific, John. It's just the one individual. Not the entire nation of three hundred million people.
Anna, Colorado, US
13/08/2019 23:37
I as mother its hurt me so much very sad story.

Rest in peace there soul romanov family that solution of killing the family

I called out weak..

Aracelis RODRIGUEZ, United States
06/08/2019 02:08
The Russian Empire was actually enjoying a massive economic boom from 1909-1913, and record harvests. It was World War I that ended the monarchy, and not just in Russia, but Germany and Austria-Hungary too. The February revolution was ignited by two things: (1) Food shortages in Petrograd because of the war and very heavy snowstorms that stalled the trains carrying food into the capital and (2) The widespread propaganda belief (a complete lie, the absolute opposite of the truth) that Empress Alexandra was an immoral German spy and traitor. The real German-sponsored traitor was of course Lenin, sent into Russia by them. After the fake October "revolution"/putsch the amount of killings that Lenin's Cheka carried out PER WEEK was often equal to the total number of executions under 23 YEARS of Tsar Nicholas II. And yet many consider Lenin a noble revolutionary and Nicholas II a monstrous tyrant. Shame.
Nikki, India
27/07/2019 05:56
He was given bad advice by everybody around him. He refused to see the reality of the pain the people were going through, their lives were insufferable. The royal family should have stepped down and created a democracy, or more of one to appease the people. They might have survived if they had done that. No wonder there was a revolution. Historically, they had to be killed though, or there would have always been strife in the country over some people against the family, and others sympathetic to their cause. It's the cold reality of it. People can survive a better life without a dictatorship, and basically that is what Russia has had.
Kelly Wheeler, United States
20/07/2019 00:58
The Rasputin destroyed their lives,if not of the Empresses superstitious belief and the depression for the cure of her son’s illness they would not have ended in tragedy.They were deceived by the tricks of an evil man whom they revered as holy man but in reality a minion of the devil,If only they believe that only Jesus can heal and no other then their royalty would have been saved.With due respect to the Russian Orthodox Church,the Royal Family should not have been declared saints because of their association to an evil man which even the Orthodox Church was blinded,instead it would be proper that they were just given a State or Imperial burial that befits their royal status but not a Sacred Status with that of a saint.
Winston of Philippines, Republic of the Philippines
17/07/2019 12:45

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