Principal Historical Characters
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Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich Romanov
December 4, 1878 – June 12 – 13, 1918
Nicknamed Misha, Michael was the fifth child, and third son of the Alexander III and the former Danish Princess Dagmar, known in Russia as Maria Feodorovna. He was third in line to the Russian throne until his brother George died and he moved up to second. When Nicholas II’s son Alexis was born in 1904, Michael was named Regent. Under Russian House Law, Michael was a member of the imperial family and could not marry without the consent of the ruling monarch. Michael was the first of eighteen members of the Imperial Family to be murdered by the Bolsheviks.
Princess Beatrice April 20, 1884 – July 13, 1966
An English princess, Beatrice Leopoldine Victoria was the daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (the second son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom) and Grand Duchess Maria Aleksandrovna of Russia (a daughter of Alexander II of Russia and aunt to Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich). During her lifetime she held several titles: Princess of Edinburgh; Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; and Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Nicholas II refused permission for Grand Duke Michael to marry Beatrice based on the Orthodox Church’s rule against marriage between first cousins.
Nathalie Sergeyevna Wulfurt June 27, 1880 – January 26, 1952
Called Natasha by her friends and family, Nathalie married and divorced twice before she married Michael Aleksandrovich in October 1912. Her presence caused a major rift between Michael and his family. She had a daughter from her first marriage and birthed a son, Georgi, by Michael while still legally married to her second husband. After sending Michael and Natasha into exile in England, Nicholas II later relented and gave Natasha the title of Countess Brasov after the name of Michael’s English estate. She was unable to retrieve Michael’s fortune and died in a charity hospital in Paris of cancer. She was buried next to her, and Michael’s, son, George, Count Brasov.
George Mikhailovich Romanov July 24, 1910 – July 21, 1931
George, Count Brasov, is the son of Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich and Natasha Sergeyevna Wulfurt. He studied in England and France but died in an automobile accident just before his 21st birthday.
Nicholas II May 6, 1868 – July 17, 1918
Nicholas Aleksandrovich was called Nicky by family members. The oldest son of Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna, he ascended to the Russian throne on May 14, 1896, the day his father died. He and his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna, had four daughters and a son. The entire family was murdered on July 17, 1918, by the Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg.
Empress Alexandra Feodorovna June 6, 1872 – July 17, 1918
Alexandra, Alix Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice, Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, was born to a German father and an English mother. She was also a granddaughter of Queen Victoria through her mother. After her mother’s death, Alexandra and her siblings were raised in England by Queen Victoria. She married Nicholas II and mothered five children all of whom were murdered with their parents while under arrest in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918.
- Olga Nikolaevna November 3, 1895 – July 17, 1918
- Tatiana Nikolaevna May 29, 1897 – July 17, 1918
- Marie Nikolaevna June 14, 189 – July 17, 1918
- Anastasia Nikolaevna June 5, 1901 – July 17, 1918
- Alexis Nikolaevich July 30, 1904 – July 17, 1918
Empress Dowager Marie Feodorovna Nov. 26, 1847 – Oct. 13, 1928
Called Minnie within the family, Marie, the former Princess Dagmar of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and later Princess Dagmar of Denmark, was born to King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Cassel. The spouse of Emperor Alexander III, she mothered two daughters (Olga and Irina) and four sons (Alexander, Gregori, Nicholas II, and Michael).
Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin January 21, 1869 – December 30, 1916
Born into a peasant family, Rasputin became a controversial religious healer who gained access to Nicholas II’s family by easing the symptoms of Tsesarevich Alexei’s hemophilia. He was murdered by Russian noblemen because of his great influence on Empress Alexandra.
Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich April 13, 1866 – Feb. 26, 1933
Alexander, known as Sandro in the family, was married to Xenia, his first cousin’s daughter and Michael’s sister. Along with being a naval officer, Sandro was the grandson of Nicholas I, trusted family advisor, and brother-in-law to Nicholas II. When the Romanov Family Association was formed in 1979, two of his sons served as presidents until their deaths; first Prince Dmitri in 1980 and then Prince Vasili in 1989.
Nicholas Johnson 1878 – June 12 – 13, 1918
Nicholas was born as Brian Johnson in Russia to Nicholas A. Johnson, an English guard at the Imperial Court, and a Russian mother. When he was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church, he changed his name to Nicholas. He was a faithful friend and aide to Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich with whom he shared a love of music. Together they were exiled to Perm, a city known as the gateway to Siberia, where they were murdered in June 1918.
Additional Historic Characters Referenced in the Text:
Count Sergei Yulievich Witte June 29, 1849 – March 13, 1915
Witte, a highly influential Russian policy-maker who presided over extensive industrialization within the Russian Empire, served under two emperors of Russia: Alexander III and Nicholas II. He was also the author of the October Manifesto of 1905, a precursor to Russia’s first constitution, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) of the Russian Empire. He died in 1915 at the age of 66.
Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky April 11, 1881 – June 11, 1970
Kerensky was a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party and the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October 1917 Revolution. He died in exile in the United States.
Count Paul Benckendorff 1853 – January 28, 1921
Count Paul Benckendorff served as Nicholas II’s Grand Marshall of the Russian Imperial Court. After Nicolas’ abdication, both he and his wife shared the Imperial family’s captivity at Tsarskoe Selo. He has written a detailed rendition of the Tsar’s last days in captivity at the Alexander Palace. It can be found at The Alexander Palace web site, entitled: Last Days at Tsarskoe Selo.
Peter Stolypin April 2, 1862 – September 5, 1911
From 1906 to 1911, Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin served as Nicholas II’s Prime Minister and the leader of the Third Duma. He is considered to be one of the last major statesmen of Imperial Russia to promote defined public policies and to undertake major reforms.