This RAO gallery exhibit was originally part of the Hoover Institute's exhibition series.

Nicholas & Alexandra
Emperor Nicholas and Empress Alexandra Courtesy of the State Archives of the Russian Federation



"I never dreamt that our married life would have been so perfect, such utter happiness you have brought me."

--Alexandra's letter to Nicholas, 20 September 1898


Nicholas and Alexandra had loved each other for years, but it wasn't until 1894 that she agreed to convert to Orthodoxy, a requirement for the wife of the heir to the Russian throne. They were engaged in the spring and married in November after the unexpected death of Nicholas's father, Emperor Alexander III, in October.

  Romanov family
Emperor Nicholas, Empress Alexandra, and their five children
The TSar & tsarevich Alexei

Emperor NicholasII and his son, Tsarevich Alexei, at the beach


Nicholas and Alexandra rejoiced in their beautiful family, the four grand duchesses, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, and the light of their life, Tsarevich Alexei.

"I feel lonely the whole time without you. I hope to see you soon. Keep well. Write to me. May God protect you! A big kiss -Your loving Alexei"

--Tsarevich Alexei to Emperor Nicholas,
29 November 1914

Alexei and his father had a very close relationship. Nicholas was a devoted family man who would have preferred private happiness to the power of the throne.



The Tsarina was at her son's side from the first onset of the attack. She watched over him, surrounding him with her tender love and care, and trying by a thousand attentions to alleviate his sufferings.

Alexei, the heir to the throne, suffered from the hereditary disease of hemophilia, which caused both personal grief and a dynastic problem for the line of succession.

Alexandra with Alexei
Empress Alexandra at Tsarevich Alexei's bedside -- Russian Pictorial Collection, Hoover Institution Archives