Probably one of the most famous royal deaths in history, and still a mystery, the Science Museum is putting on an exhibition about the execution of the Romanov Royal Family.
To mark the 100th anniversary of their execution at Yekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks, the free exhibition opening later this year will investigate the role of science in the lives and deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
Set against a turbulent backdrop of the Russian revolution, the Science Museum aims to explore the significant influence of medicine on the private lives of the imperial family during this period and the advances in medicine and forensic science over 70 years later that transformed the investigation into their sudden disappearance.
From the treatment of their only son and heir Alexei’s life-threatening haemophilia B, a rare blood condition and infamous ‘royal disease’ passed down from Queen Victoria, to the Tsarina’s fertility and the Red Cross medical training of the Tsar’s daughters, this exhibition will explore the imperial family’s contrasting reliance on both the latest medical discoveries of the time as well as traditional and spiritual healers.
The Royal Family’s determination to keep Alexei’s illness a secret, as well as their unorthodox approach to providing relief, compelled them to take controversial measures that ultimately contributed to the fall of the 300-year-old dynasty.
The exhibition will show off objects such as the family’s personal diaries, private possessions and jewellery found at the scene of their murder, and an Imperial Fabergé Egg presented by the Tsar to his wife just a year before the fall of the imperial house.
For the first time, photographic albums created by an English tutor to the imperial family, and now part of the Science Museum Group collection, will be on public display, providing an insight into their daily lives.
The investigation into the disappearance of Tsar Nicholas II, his family and entourage, following the revolutions of 1917, started in July 1918 and the case remains open.
Formal identification of the remains of the last members of the imperial family is however expected to be announced this week, which will finally bring closure to this historic case.
The Science Museum exhibition opens on 21st September, and entry will be free, but needs booking in advance. Tickets are released today.