100 years have passed since the murder of this innocent family, and controversy has surrounded their remains for many years. Finally, science has provided an indisputable answer, via new DNA evidence.
New DNA evidence helps confirm that the human remains found in Ekaterinburg are those of Russia's last royal family. This forensic evidence comes from locks of hair found in items previously belonging to the Romanovs.
In July, 2018, at the opening of the new exhibition "Last Days of the Last Tsar" at the Russian History Foundation in Jordanville, New York, a major announcement has been made. As related by Nicholas Nicholson, a Russian art scholar and antiques expert:
A Fabergé frame and a Fabergé locket in the exhibition each contained locks of hair. After DNA analysis by the FBI, arranged by Capt. Peter Sarandinaki and the SEARCH Foundation, it has been determined conclusively that the DNA samples are identical not only to Romanov family DNA, but to the remains first discovered in Ekaterinburg in 1979.
These results have been submitted to the Patriarch and the Patriarchal commission.
The following details are currently being displayed on plaques at the exhibition in New York:
This Fabergé locket, which bears the engraved cypher of Alexandra Feodorovna, contains a photograph of the young Empress from the year of her coronation. The locket, purchased by the current owner at an antique show in Florida, was discovered to contain a small lock of hair. 2018 tests by the FBI have determined that the DNA material extracted from the hair belongs to haplogroup H1af2 and is 100% concordant with the published sequence of Empress Alexandra [GenBank # FJ656214]. This reference sequence was obtained using skeletal remains found in 1991 on the Koptiakovskaia Road, close to Ekaterinburg, Russia and identified as those of Empress Alexandra. This result may serve to confirm that the remains discovered in Ekaterinburg are those of the imperial family.
This Fabergé silver and guilloché enameled frame contains a photograph of Queen Louise of Denmark, the maternal grandmother of Nicholas II. The current owner purchased the frame from a relative of a Romanov descendant. Like the locket, the frame was also discovered to contain a lock of hair. 2018 tests by the FBI have determined that the DNA material extracted from the hair belongs to haplogroup T2a1a and is identical to the published sequence of Tsar Nicholas [GenBank # FJ656215]. This reference sequence was obtained using skeletal remains found in 1991 on the Koptiakovskaia Road, close to Ekaterinburg, and identified as those of Emperor Nicholas II. Like the hair discovered within the Fabergé locket, this sample points to the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg remains.
100 years have passed since the murder of this innocent family, and controversy has surrounded their remains for many years. Finally, science has provided an indisputable answer, via new DNA evidence. May this saintly family finally be allowed to rest in peace.
Note: A recent news report revealed additional DNA evidence, directly identifying the Ekaterinburg remains to be those of Tsar Nicholas and his family.
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