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'What has enabled Russia to rise among the great powers of the world…has been the conquest of Siberia'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Haunting last picture before execution of the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

By The Siberian Times reporter
11 June 2018

Image goes on display at new Tobolsk museum dedicated to the exile of Nikolai II and family shortly before they were shot.

Last picture of Tsarevich Alexei and sister Olga Nikolayevna was taken either on, or shortly after 20 May 2018, on board of Rus riverboat. Picture: Tobolsk History Museum

This image shows heir Alexei on his river trip to death, aged 13 and nine months old, around eight weeks before he was murdered with the rest of his family by a Bolshevik execution squad.

The museum - part of a new trail for tourists and royal enthusiasts  following the route of the Romanovs in exile after Nikolai’s abdication in 1917 - has confirmed this image is the last known photograph of the Tsarevich.

It was taken as he left the historic Siberian town of Tobolsk where the family were held in the so-called Governor’s House from August 2017.

In April, Nikolai, his former empress Alexandra and one of their daughters, Maria, moved to Yekaterinburg. 

Alexei, a haemophiliac, had been ill, and he remained in Tobolsk in their care of his three other sisters, Olga, Tatiana and Anastasia, and 26 servants. 

They left by riverboat on 20 May 1918, two months before they would be killed. 

The picture was taken on board the riverboat called Rus.

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar
Tsarevich Alexei pctured with sisters in Tobolsk, Siberia, and on his own during 2017-2018 exile; last picture shows the house where Romanov family stayed during their exile in Tobolsk. Pictures: Tobolsk History Museum, Vesti Rossiya

Alexei health had caused acute concern to the royal family before the revolution, contributing to their obsession with ‘crazed’ monk Gregory Rasputin who was seen as a healer. 

As Nikolai’s sole male heir, Alexei was born to inherit from his father the following formidable and colourful titles as an absolute ruler: Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod; Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Chersonese Taurian, Tsar of Georgia; Lord of Pskov and Grand Prince of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, Finland; Prince of Estland, Livland, Courland, Semigalia, Samogitia, Belostok, Karelia, Tver, Yugorsky land, Perm, Vyatka, Bolgar and others; Lord and Grand Prince of Nizhny Nogorod, Chernigov, Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Belozersk, Udorsky land, Obdorsk, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislav, and all of the northern countries Master; and Lord of Iberia, Kartli, and Kabardia lands and Armenian provinces; hereditary Sovereign and ruler of the Circassian and Mountainous Princes and of others; Lord of Turkestan; Heir of Norway; Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, and Oldenburg, and others, and others, and others.

It was not to be, of course. 

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar
The execution site of Romanov family inside the Ipatiev house in Yekaterinburg; Tsarevich Alexei pictured with favourite spaniel Joy, sisters, and mother Alexandra. Pictures: Tobolsk History Museum

The new Tobolsk museum The Imperial Route project, which charts the Romanov family’s stay or transfer after Nikolai’s abdication through  St Petersburg , Moscow,  Tyumen, Perm, Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg. 

The museum is in the old Governor’s House with 13 rooms preserved as well as possible from a century ago. 

Items have been gifted by the descendants of Briton Charles Gibbes, Alexei’s tutor, who went with the family into exile before finding his way out of the revolution maelstrom via China. 

Pictures below show reconstruction and picture of Alexei's room in the house in Tobolsk, Alexei with a cat and his favourite spaniel Joy, and Alexei with tutor Charles Gibbes

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Haunting last picture before execution of  the boy born to be Russia’s tsar

Comments (23)

Forgive us Alexei. May you forever run free, alive, happy and healthy, in the memories of those who knew and loved you. May your simple courage, confidence and positivity even in the face of sickness, pain and terror shine on as a timeless example for all humanity.
Rohan, Rihe
14/08/2019 22:39
John in the UK seems to think Americans, as a group, are claiming to be the reincarnation of the Russian royal family. Be specific, John. It's just the one individual. Not the entire nation of three hundred million people.
Anna, Colorado, US
13/08/2019 23:37
I as mother its hurt me so much very sad story.

Rest in peace there soul romanov family that solution of killing the family

I called out weak..

Aracelis RODRIGUEZ, United States
06/08/2019 02:08
The Russian Empire was actually enjoying a massive economic boom from 1909-1913, and record harvests. It was World War I that ended the monarchy, and not just in Russia, but Germany and Austria-Hungary too. The February revolution was ignited by two things: (1) Food shortages in Petrograd because of the war and very heavy snowstorms that stalled the trains carrying food into the capital and (2) The widespread propaganda belief (a complete lie, the absolute opposite of the truth) that Empress Alexandra was an immoral German spy and traitor. The real German-sponsored traitor was of course Lenin, sent into Russia by them. After the fake October "revolution"/putsch the amount of killings that Lenin's Cheka carried out PER WEEK was often equal to the total number of executions under 23 YEARS of Tsar Nicholas II. And yet many consider Lenin a noble revolutionary and Nicholas II a monstrous tyrant. Shame.
Nikki, India
27/07/2019 05:56
He was given bad advice by everybody around him. He refused to see the reality of the pain the people were going through, their lives were insufferable. The royal family should have stepped down and created a democracy, or more of one to appease the people. They might have survived if they had done that. No wonder there was a revolution. Historically, they had to be killed though, or there would have always been strife in the country over some people against the family, and others sympathetic to their cause. It's the cold reality of it. People can survive a better life without a dictatorship, and basically that is what Russia has had.
Kelly Wheeler, United States
20/07/2019 00:58
The Rasputin destroyed their lives,if not of the Empresses superstitious belief and the depression for the cure of her son’s illness they would not have ended in tragedy.They were deceived by the tricks of an evil man whom they revered as holy man but in reality a minion of the devil,If only they believe that only Jesus can heal and no other then their royalty would have been saved.With due respect to the Russian Orthodox Church,the Royal Family should not have been declared saints because of their association to an evil man which even the Orthodox Church was blinded,instead it would be proper that they were just given a State or Imperial burial that befits their royal status but not a Sacred Status with that of a saint.
Winston of Philippines, Republic of the Philippines
17/07/2019 12:45
Very sad and tragic end for this royal family. I wish they could resolve their differences in Russia long enough to see the remains of Alexei and his sister Maria returned to the final resting place of the rest of the family.. Remains have still not been respectfully interred pending more investigation. They’ve been identified by DNA - let them join their family in eternal rest.
Noreen Farrell, USA
14/07/2019 08:29
Such a crime what was done to this sophisticated family! Executing CHILDREN is completely unacceptable and barbarian! Obviously, there were forces wanting them out. Yes, there were problems, but I don't believe this is what the people wanted. Horrible brutality!
Maria Adams, Denver, CO
08/07/2019 16:03
They should fled with their grandmother to England or Denmark and nothing of this would had happened in the first place, but he’s russian pride could more than his duty of protecting his family.
Nydia Velazquez, Puerto Rico
08/07/2019 06:20
Gosh you americans are some strange people with your comments. The reincarnation hahaha
John, UK
02/05/2019 23:47
This is such a sad story I can’t even describe how sad it is
Olivia, Texas
29/04/2019 22:50
Yea, being the reincarnation of Maria. I hate what happned. It was horrid and it all had. een horrible some dont understand what we had gone through but I know the reincarnation of Aleksey. I agree with you all and quite frankly I dont understand why they wanted them back after they had killed them.
Maria, USA
14/04/2019 09:49
I love this family, and wanted so much for them to be saved, truly.
Mary Mulhall, Dagenham United Kingdom
11/04/2019 17:02
My Dearest Sweet Alyosha, I pray to you daily. You were so brave in the face of the worst events. I wish I had known you, sweet child. What a wonderful life you could have had. We still weep for you, and ourselves.
Mary G Hughes, United States
27/02/2019 18:28
Alyosha, we do not know if you are still there somewhere, or if you can hear us. Still we ask for your forgiveness. Your short life was full of immense pain and suffering from your terrible illness and from the cruelest hatreds. We cannot imagine how scared you must have been in your last moments with your parents and sisters being brutally killed around you, sitting in a chair, crippled and unable to defend them or yourself. Despite everything you always tried to be cheerful, bold, strong and active, until the end. You would perhaps have been one of the greatest leaders of Russia. Today we cannot look at your face, always handsome and bright, without our eyes being wet with grief and repentance. God bless you Alyosha. We will never forget you.
Yulia, UK
17/01/2019 00:59

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