June 4, 2021
The middle child of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia, Maria Nikoleavna, shown in this colorized photograph from 1907, grew up pampered and privileged. This photo, for example, shows the young princess on the imperial yacht.
Princess Maria, along with her parents, three sisters, and young brother, all met a tragic fate in 1918. Just 19 years old, Maria was executed, putting an end to Russia’s royal family. Or was she? Although rumors have circulated for years that her youngest sister, Anastasia, may have escaped the slaughter, there has been some suspicion that it was really Maria who managed to survive.
The Russian Royal Family
By all accounts Nicholas II and Alexandra were deeply in love, a rarity in royal circles where marriages are arranged for political gain rather than love. The couple had four beautiful daughters, Olga and Tatiana who were older than Maria, and Anastasia who was younger. Nicholas doted on his adorable daughters, still, he wanted a male heir. Finally, in 1904, a son, Alexei, was born. But all was not perfect for this perfect family. Alexei was a sickly child. He was born with hemophilia, a genetic disorder in which the blood does not clot, putting the person at risk for bleeding to death.