Nicholas and Empress Alexandra Courtesy of the State Archives of
the Russian Federation
never dreamt that our married life would have been so perfect, such
utter happiness you have brought me."
letter to Nicholas, 20 September 1898
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.
Emperor NicholasII and his son, Tsarevich Alexei, at the beach
and Alexandra rejoiced in their beautiful family, the four grand
duchesses, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, and the light of
their life, Tsarevich Alexei.
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 to Emperor Nicholas,
29 November 1914
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.
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.
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 at Tsarevich Alexei's bedside -- Russian Pictorial Collection,
Hoover Institution Archives