Romanov family true story

The true story of the connection between the Royal and Romanov families

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are distantly related

Despite most of The Crown season five taking place in the 1990s, the sixth episode begins in World War I Britain, when King George V was the monarch. In the episode titled Ipatiev House, a letter from Downing Street arrives for King George from the Tsar and Tsarina of Russia, who had been overthrown in the Russian Revolution. The British government were willing to send a ship to bring the Romanov family to safety in England, however it is later found out that the Royal Family refused to help them.

In the episode, viewers see an imprisoned Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra who are woken up by a soldier who takes them to a basement where they are murdered. Back in the 1990s, Queen Elizabeth II meets Boris Yeltsin, the president of the Russian Federation. It soon is revealed that Elizabeth and Philip are relatives of the Romanov family.

The Crown often dramatises real life events for entertainment purposes, but how accurate did they get the story of the British Royal Family and the Romanovs? This is the true story of the Romanov family and their connection to the Royals.

The Windsor and Romanov families are related

In The Crown, it is revealed that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are related to the Romanov family and that fact is very much true. Queen Elizabeth’s great grandmother Queen Alexandra came from Danish royalty, and she married King Edward VII, unlike her sister Maria who married Czar Alexander of Russia. Maria’s son Nicholas was the last ruler of Russia, and the first cousin of King George V, who is Elizabeth’s grandfather.

Romanov family true story

via Netflix

Prince Philip was the grandnephew of Tsarina Alexandra. The last empress of Russia, Tsarina Alexandra was Philip’s maternal great aunt. The Duke of Edinburgh’s maternal grandmother was Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, who was the sister to the Tsarina.

As it shows in The Crown, George V really did deny his cousin and his family asylum in the United Kingdom

Following the abdication of Nicholas, the Russian government wanted the Romanov family out of Russia as they grew fearful that his allies could restore the monarchy. In 1917, the British ambassador to Russia shared the plan with the former prime minister, David Lloyd George. The idea was initially approved and they even discussed sending the Romanovs to Balmoral.

However, due to George V’s subjects being angry over the ideals of the Russian Revolution, the former King backtracked. By April 1918, the Romanovs were imprisoned at Ipatiev House and soldiers murdered the family and lit them on fire.

Romanov family true story

via Netflix

As its suggested in The Crown that the final decision to save the Romanov family was left to Mary. There is no evidence to suggest that Mary was jealous of Alexandra either, as Penny Knatchbull speculates in the episode.

The Romanov family’s remains were found elsewhere than suggested in The Crown

In The Crown, the remains of the family were said to have been found in 1994, following Boris Yeltsin’s visit to London. However, the true story of the Romanov family is that their remains of the family were located in the late 1970s, excavated in 1991 and identified in 1993. Tsar Nicholas’ remains were only identified in 1998 and the reburial took place that year.

The bodies of the Romanov family were allowed to be exhumed, 73 years later

Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the new Russian Federation government allowed the bodies to be exhumed. Like it shows in The Crown, Prince Philip really did give his DNA, via blood, to help identify who the skeletons were. It was through his help, the Romanov’s remains were identified and properly buried in 1998.

via Netflix

The Crown season five is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Featured image credit via Netflix.