The mystery surrounding Anastasia's fate after the Russian Revolution in 1918 is one of the biggest mysteries of the 20th Century. Many stories about her and recently the 20th Century Fox movie, entitled Anastasia, have brought the mystery alive again into the 21st Century. Even the discovery in the 1990's of the families remains outside Ekaterineburg, Russia where they perished has shed little light on her story. Experts in DNA testing cannot agree if she is, in fact, still missing.
However, DNA testing has proven once and for all the the woman, Anna Anderson, was in fact a Polish Peasant. If the real Anastasia did survive the execution in the basement, she definitely did not surface as Anna Anderson.
It was she who would spend hours cheering up her younger hemophiliac brother and heir to the Russian throne, Alexei, when he was ill. As the youngest daughter, most everything that could have been done had already done by the eldest three, so Anastasia took to being the infant terrible and carving for herself her special niche as the family clown. Some of the entertaining stories of her life and miraculous escape depicted her as under 10 when the family disappeared. She had just turned 17 when the family was murdered by the Bolsheviks.
Although her father ruled 1/6th the globe and was one of the wealthiest men of his day, Anastasia and her sisters never had their own room. The four Grand Duchesses shared a large airy room and slept on army cots that could easily be moved when the family travelled. In fact, the girls slept on these same cots in exile in Siberia after Nicholas II abdicated.
Anastasia and her sisters were well liked by all who met them. They preferred not to be called by their formal titles and became embarrassed when they were used. The girls were very close, as was the entire family. They had limited contact with children their own age, and were, therefore, most immature for their ages. Although Anastasia did not have a boyfriend, she did spend time with her sisters "flirting" with sailors assigned to the family's private yacht, the Standart.
Anastasia and her sisters did not bear the title of Princess. They were referred to a Grand Duchesses, which is considered higher than the European ''princess.'' One of the last Grand Duchesses to survive the Revolution was Anastasia's dear Aunt Olga Alexandrovna, who lived in Canada above a barbershop. Neighbors were shocked when Queen Elizabeth II of England extended an invitation to the kindly elderly woman to join her for tea during a tour in 1959.
Nicholas | Alexandra | Olga | Tatiana | Marie | Alexei
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