DNA Evidence Proves that Romanov Prince and Princess Rest in Peace

By Eliza Strickland | March 11, 2009 8:03 am

RomanovsDNA evidence has conclusively put to rest one of the legends spawned by the Russian revolution, proving once and for all that the entire Romanov family–Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and all of their five children–were killed by members of the Red Guard in 1918. A genetic analysis of bone fragments from a grave discovered in 2007 has revealed the remains to be those of Romanov crown prince Alexei and one of his four sisters, thus ending the romantic speculation that two children survived the execution and fled the country to start a new life.

The gunshot-and-bayonet murders took place in July 1918 in a cellar in the city of Ekaterinburg, central Russia. Since then, about 200 people have claimed to descend from one or other of the Romanovs who had somehow survived the slaughter in the basement of Ipatiev House [Telegraph]. In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, amateur archaeologist Gely Ryabov revealed the location of a mass grave he had discovered in the 1970s and kept secret. That grave contained the remains of nine bodies.

A genetic analysis revealed that the grave contained the bones of the royal couple and three of their children (as well as the family doctor and three servants), but the fact that two children were still unaccounted for generated more mystique. “Rather than bring closure to the mystery of the fate of the Romanovs, identification of only five of the seven family members continued to fuel speculation that somehow two miraculously escaped the bullets of the executioners and made their way out of Russia” [The Independent], says geneticist Michael Coble, lead author of the new study published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Now, newly analyzed DNA evidence from a second, nearby grave discovered in 2007 proves that the bones are those of two Romanov children…. “There is absolutely no doubt that these are the remains of the Romanov family,” said Peter Sarandinaki, founder of the Scientific Expedition to Account for the Romanov Children, which has been seeking the remains of the family. “The scientific results are, without a doubt, conclusive,” said Sarandinaki, the great-grandson of the White Army general who attempted to rescue the Romanovs before their deaths [Los Angeles Times]. Sarandinaki and Coble plan to present their results to the Russian Orthodox Church in May, in hopes of getting an official burial for what’s left of the royal family. Says Sarandinaki: “Once the church accepts the remains, my duty will be done” [Los Angeles Times]. 

Image: Wikimedia Commons

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine
MORE ABOUT: genetics
  • Steve

    I’m glad to hear this has finally been resolved. I have met two women that claimed to be a Romanov that survived the revolution. The funeral should be a very interesting event to say the least.

  • Kin

    I mean, how “conclusive” was this? i imagine there was reasonable abundance of “bastard” (the literal) type genetic people around the Tzars at the time..

    I only mean it to ask how tight was the dna. “Clearly related closely” or “clearly descendant of both”

  • http://www.searchfoundationinc.org Peter

    Russian DNA experts took a 117 year-old blood sample from a shirt that Nicholas II wore when he was wounded in Japan in an assassination attempt and were able to get his DNA. Dr. Michael Coble was able to get DNA from the Tzar’s bones. When copared these two matched exactly. there is no doubt it is the Tzar.

  • Ann

    And since it was the Tsar, that means it was also his children, all five of them. There are no more missing bodies. I hope this finally puts an end to all the silly conspiracy theories and those who cling to claimant fantasies.

  • von Ebert

    It is all well and good the Scientist have proof of all Romanov Royals have been found and proven by DNA matching.

    As Czar Nicholas 11 showed a rare mutation as did his brother , but his daughters DNA showed the same DNA genetic make up of their mother and that of Prince Phillip as well a Grand Duchess on the Czarina’s linage. The new findings of the boy and girl remains found last year and DNa Anilized did not show the Czars rare mutaion gene sequence. The czars DNA mutation also showed up at birth as certian visible markers on the Czars head area, as did it show the same on his son Alexie.

    As I have photo proof of what I speak of, so I ask this question to the scientist who have repoted all Romanov’s children remains have been found, (what were your findings as to the boys reamains found were they from the mothers DNA or that of the father?).

    The question is asked because no one of their scientist who performed their duties to identify the gene sequence of the boy and girl remains found, every specified if the brother and sister (boy or Girl found ) were showing DNA from the Nicholas 11 who had the rare genetic make up with identifying visible markers/marking,s or the mother who had no such visible markers and different DNA .

  • Nadhezda

    Until HIH The Empress (de jure) Maria I, gives her consent to this closure, then the investigation must remain open. We await her response to this difficult issue involving her ancestors.

  • polar

    olga (or sameone in her famyl) has got noble girl baby.she sent her rasputins relatives in the wine basket (under the botles) They were take her bulgaria and they were give her a turkish family(bektashi religions((she did not make,join rutiels all her lifelong).the turkish family grove her.one day she maried and her husband and their 6 sun,2 douther migration turkey and she died in turkey. she reaplayed again and again “I am gallers princes”all her lifelong
    semple sending avaible for me

  • converse princess

    what if those new bodies were buried later, or bodies of close cousins of the family but not actually the prince and princess?
    i don’t think everyone will ever believe that after all these years of speculation that it’s just that simple

  • a

    romanovs has got a noble girl baby.they sent the baby to rasputins relatives in the wine basket (under the botles) They were take her bulgaria and they were give her a turkish family(bektashi religions((she did not make,join rutiels all her lifelong).the turkish family grove her.one day she maried and her husband and their 6 suns,2 douthers went in turkey 1953 and she died in turkey. she said again and again “I am gallers princess”all her lifelong may be feodravna may be one of the OTMA members was mother ofthe baby who can belive but god knows
    I bless you

  • http://discovermagazine dbv

    i have read that Her Royal Highness Anastasia, has survived and has been living, i belive somewhere in Europe, and she is celebrating her 101st birthday. Also, her great granddaugher was not priviy to her family name and heritage and that she is a survinving princess os Russian and that she was betrothed to Prince William, and the royal family of England has known that Anastastia is indeed alive and she and her family have been living in secret. If this is a fact, i only wish, that i could meet the great lady, and show her my love and support and hope that one day her family will be restored to the throne and that Russia and its people will be runited and the heir to throne will restor Russia to its former great nation and power. I would like to believe she would be a great ruler and go forth into the future and yet preserveing her noble lineage and accomplishments. I would hope that the family heirlooms, jewels, and palaces and wealth would be restored. I do not however, if it is true why the Queen of England has done nothing to help Anastasia who is related to her to reclaim here heritage and regain at least some of her wealth. Just like as the revolution was commencing, Czar Nicholas wrote to his cousing the King of England for assistance ans support and he did nothing. And, Elizabeth is doing the same, except if the rumor is true, she betrothed Anastasia,s grandaughter to William. Yet, the family are living as middle class and have loss their noble heritage and not educated the children of their lineage and the pride of being decendent of royalty and they are in fact royalty and the rightful heirs to the Russian throne. If any of what i read is true, I only wish that one day the family will be restored to the throne . And, If all is true, as i said, i wish that i could meet the great lady herself and let her know that even though I am not a fellow countrymen, i send my best wishes and afformation. I would lke to believe a Romanov can bring their people together, improve their lives and bring Russia into the future and be prosporous.

  • http://ÐÏࡱá Harold Darcus

    Attractive component of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to say that I acquire in fact loved account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing for your augment or even I success you get entry to constantly rapidly.

  • http://www.aol.com iakov

    Dear all, the Russian Orthodox has faced this issue and the huge weight of scientific evidence pointing to all the remains conclusively and completely being recovered, yet they have not officially allowed them to be buried in the Peter and Paul Fortress or anywhere. Why is this? Is there something that we do not know? In 1903 Tsar Nicholas II Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and as Head of the Holy Russian Orthodox Church canonized St. Seraphim. Father Seraphim
    had predicted as his lifelong prophesy that the monarchy would return to Russia by way of a male heir who managed to escape any attention. If Alexius’ genetic mutations were not found in bone material…how can we be sure that they killed him…it would have taken a pretty sick man or group of rogues to kill this boy. The Anastasia story had to come from somewhere…people create stories because often there is truth in them….we the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church must examine all the evidence and decide. Russia without its monarchy is like a corpse that has labotimised itself and taken away valuable functions of itself…God please restore the dignity to this once great nation…the spiritual renewal will come through this nation…Russia consecrated to the virgin Mary will save…Russi not consecrated to the Virgin Mary will be the cause of many wars and bloodshed.

  • http://www.aol.com iakov

    Correction: lobotomised, the Russian Orthodox have buried Nicholas and have given the family status as passion bearers… however they do not recognise the bodies in the Ss. Peter and Paul Fortress as being the Romanov family.

  • http://n/a Barry Jandera

    I would like to ask in view of some very interesting information i recently received , in which many things tie together , but it may not be true still … but did the last Czar Nicholas have any bastard children prior to his marrage and were/are there any rumours that he ever did with possibly one of the maids of honour in the palace or wherever.


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