YOU'RE A TSAR

Newly unearthed photos of the last tsar and his family show a forgotten empire

The Romanovs visit family in Germany in 1910.
The Romanovs visit family in Germany in 1910.
Image: #Romanovs100/GARF
By
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Russia’s last tsar, his wife, and their five children were murdered amid the tumult of the Bolshevik revolution 100 years ago today (July 17).

The execution of Emperor Nicholas II and other members of the Romanov family that had ruled for more than 300 years marked the end of imperial Russia. To commemorate the anniversary, the Russian state archive’s #Romanovs100 project has released newly unearthed photos taken by the family members themselves.

The Romanovs had several cameras and recorded many of the most meaningful events of their extremely comfortable lives.

A colorized image of Queen Victoria of England with the Romanov family.
A colorized image of Queen Victoria of England with the Romanov family.
Image: #Romanovs100/GARF

King Edward VII of England, who was Nicholas II’s uncle, visited Russia for the first time in 1908 to improve bilateral relations. Edward’s mother was Queen Victoria.

King Edward with the Romanovs in 1908.
King Edward with the Romanovs in 1908.
Image: #Romanovs100/GARF

The family documented events marking the dynasty’s 300 years of rule in 1913, which were part of an empire-wide celebration.

1913 marked 300 years of the Romanov dynasty’s rule.
1913 marked 300 years of the Romanov dynasty’s rule.
Image: #Romanovs100/GARF
A 1913 procession celebrating 300 years of rule.
A 1913 procession celebrating 300 years of rule.
Image: #Romanovs100/GARF
Tatiana, Olga, Anastasia and Maria, the daughters of Emperor Nicholas II, aboard a steamer boat.
Tatiana, Olga, Anastasia and Maria, the daughters of Emperor Nicholas II, aboard a steamer boat.
Image: #Romanovs100/GARF

Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man Rasputin befriended Nicholas II’s family—and thus gained significant influence in late imperial Russia.

Rasputin befriended the family of Nicholas II.
Rasputin befriended the family of Nicholas II.
Image: #Romanovs100/GARF
Emperor Nicholas II and his youngest child, Alexei, cutting wood in 1918.
Emperor Nicholas II and his youngest child, Alexei, cutting wood in 1918.
Image: #Romanovs100/GARF