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Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia facts for kids

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Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
Grand Duchess Anastasia, ca. 1914.
Grand Duchess Anastasia, ca. 1914.
House House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Father Nicholas II of Russia
Mother Alexandra Fyodorovna
(Alix of Hesse)
Born (1901-06-18)June 18, 1901
Petergof, Russian Empire
Died July 17, 1918(1918-07-17)
Yekaterinburg, Russian SFSR
Burial Peter and Paul Cathedral, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Signature Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia's signature
Religion Eastern Orthodox

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia (Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova), (Russian: Великая Княжна Анастасия Николаевна Романова) (June 18 [O.S. June 5] 1901 – July 17, 1918), was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna.

Anastasia was a younger sister of Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana and Grand Duchess Maria. She was also the older sister of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia. She was murdered with her family on July 17, 1918 by forces of the Bolshevik secret police.

There were many stories about her possible escape after she died. This was partly because the place of her burial was not known during the years of Communist rule. The bodies of the Tsar, his wife, and three daughters were discovered in a grave near Ekaterinburg in 1991. However, the bodies of Alexei Nikolaevich and one of his sisters (either Anastasia or Maria) were not discovered there.

Her death has been completely proven. In January 2008, Russian scientists said that the remains of a young boy and woman discovered near Ekaterinburg in August 2007 were probably those of the 13-year-old Tsarevich and one of the four Romanov grand duchesses. In April 30, 2008, Russian scientists confirmed that they were the remains of the Tsarevich Alexei and one of his four sisters. In March 2009, the last results of the DNA testing were published by Dr. Michael Coble of the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. This proved that all four Grand Duchesses were murdered.

Several women have falsely claimed to have been Anastasia. The most famous person who claimed to be Anastasia was Anna Anderson. DNA testing in 1994 on pieces of Anderson's tissue and hair showed no relation to DNA of the Imperial family.


Life and childhood

When Anastasia was born, her parents and family were disappointed. They had wanted a son who would be heir to the throne. Tsar Nicholas II went for a long walk to calm himself before visiting Tsarina Alexandra and the newborn Anastasia for the first time. In honor of her birth, her father forgave students who had been put in prison for joining in riots in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Because of this, one meaning of Anastasia's name is "the breaker of chains" or "the prison opener". Another meaning of the name is "of the resurrection". People often noted this when there were stories that she was not dead. Anastasia's title can be most precisely translated as "Grand Princess". This means that Anastasia, as an "Imperial Highness", was higher in rank than other Princesses in Europe who were "Royal Highnesses." "Grand Duchess" became the most well-known translation of the title into English from Russian.

The Tsar's children had a very simple life. They slept on hard camp cots without pillows when they were healthy. They took cold baths in the morning, and had to clean their rooms and do needlework when they did not have other things to do. Most people living with them, including servants, usually called the Grand Duchess by her first name, Anastasia Nikolaevna. They did not use her title or "Her Imperial Highness". Sometimes they called her "Anastasie" or "Nastya", "Nastas", or "Nastenka". Anastasia was also called "Malenkaya", meaning "little (one)", or "shvibzik", the Russian word for "imp."


Her family was murdered by Bolsheviks on July 17, 1918 during the Russian Revolution. Some people think Anastasia was saved. People said that Russian soldiers looked for Anastasia after the rest of her family was murdered. Apparently she faked death to escape. The family's grave was found in 1991 in Siberia. Two bodies are missing from the family's grave. The missing bodies are believed to be her brother Alexei and Anastasia or her sister Maria. Scientists think that her other sisters, Olga and Tatiana, were in the grave. They think the bodies of the three young women in the grave were too tall and too old to belong to Anastasia. Eventually, two more bodies were found. Scientists now believe everyone, including Anastasia has been accounted for. Anastasia was shorter than her three sisters. She had light brown hair and blue eyes. She was seventeen when the family was murdered.

Several women later said they were Anastasia (such as most the most famous claimant Anna Anderson). Some people said Anna Anderson looked like Anastasia and acted like her. DNA tests later proved she was not the grand duchess. Movies have been made and books have been written about the story of Anastasia.

The Tsar, the Tsarina, and three of their daughters were buried at St. Petersburg, Russia on July 17, 1998. Anastasia and her family were canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.

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