In the summer of 1904 as Russia was convulsed in the Russo-Japanese War, an event of great joy occurred when a baby boy was born to Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra. After the arrival four daughters, the longed-for male heir to the Romanov dynasty, Tsarevich Alexei, had completed the family of Nicholas and Alexandra. The happiness of the imperial couple was soon dashed, however, by the tragic news that their only son and heir was afflicted with the painful and often fatal, bleeding disease, hemophilia. The ill-health of the heir to the throne was a well-guarded secret that cast a deep shadow over the final years of imperial Russia.
Here is the dramatic story of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra during those years as they struggled to deal with their son’s infirmity which brought the controversial Rasputin into the imperial court. Follow their story from the joyful day of Tsarevich Alexei’s birth in 1904 to its moving and dramatic denouement.