Their Empire fell, their people betrayed them, they were imprisoned and despised, but nothing could shake the love that reigned in this family
Nicholas II, the last Tsar of the Russian Empire and his German wife, Alexandra Romanov, were perhaps the most glittering royal pair in the world, until they were brutally executed with their five children in 1918, in the aftermath of the bloody Revolution.
Thus they entered the world's shared imagination, as evil tyrants, as tragically flawed figures, or as examples of extreme piety and sainthood.
Amid the slander, chaos and confusion, however, many forgot that the centre of their life, their strength and patience was found always in their private family, a place luminous with faith and true, dedicated, tender love.
Most know that the marriage of Nicholas and Alexandra was a marriage of love, one frowned upon by many monarchs who had hoped for a more convenient or politically beneficial alliance, especially for Nicholas.
Not many in the West, however, realize that the pair carried and magnified their love throughout their years of marriage. Their children learned to live with discipline and treat others with tenderness by osmosis, by seeing the uncontainable love between their parents every day.
Here are some excerpts from royal couple's correspondence (translated from an article on foma.ru). Most of them are from letters written around the time of the World War I, a time of difficulty, darkness and betrayal for the family that continued up until their arrest in 1917. At this time, they had been married for about a decade.
All my prayers and most tender thoughts are following you. May God grant you courage and strength, and patience. You have more faith now, than ever before and that is what supports you. Yes, prayer and unconditional belief in the mercy of God – only they give me the strength to endure everything.
Separation teaches one so much! When one is away so often, one begins to value that, which passes by unnoticed or which one don’t feel as strongly while living peacefully at home!...I thank you from the heart for the dear letters—my old heart beats stronger every time I read them.
To pray for you is my joy, when we are separated. I cannot get used to even the shortest time of being without you at home, even though our five treasures are with me.
From now on there will be no more separation. Finally, we are connected, bounded together for a life together, and when earthly life comes to an end, we will meet again in a different world, to be together eternally.
From Nicholas (Nicky)
I hope, my dearest, with God’s help, I will meet you in Sevastopol, where we said goodbye…when I see other young pairs together, I feel so lonely and leave, so as not to see them. But I am absolutely sure, than not one of those husbands loves his wife as strongly and faithfully, as I love you.
How thankful I am to you for your dear letters! In my loneliness- they are my one consolation, and I wait for their arrival with impatience. On the days of fasting, I was in church every day --- either in the morning, or evening…I feel listless and empty alone. In my thoughts we are always together. I hug you tightly.
The happiness of life is made up of separate, quickly forgotten pleasures of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, hearfelt compliment and countless small, but kind thoughts and sincere feelings. Love too needs her daily bread.
From Alexandra (Alix)
I would so wish to lessen for you that burden, help you carry it, stroke your forehead, cling close to you. But when we are together, and that happens so rarely, we do not show each other what we feel. Each one cheers up for the sake of the other and suffers in silence.
My intense prayers follow you day and night. May God keep you safe, may He protect, guide and lead you, and bring you home safe and strong. I bless and love you, as rarely or ever has anyone been loved, and kiss every dear spot, and press you close to my heart. Forever your own old wifey.
I don’t know, how I would stand it all, if God had not granted me you, my wife and friend. I say this seriously. Sometimes it is hard for me to speak of these things, it’s easier to express your thoughts because of one’s foolish timidity… Tenderly kiss you and the children.