Sunday, October 30, 2011

Burial of Alexei and Maria Romanov

In July 1998, the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his family were buried in St Petersburg's St Peter and Paul Cathedral, exactly 80 years after their execution by Bolshevik revolutionaries.

The nine coffins bearing the remains of Nicholas II, his wife, three of his children and four loyal staff were interred in the crypt of the cathedral's St Catherine Chapel, the resting place of Russian emperors since the reign of Peter the Great.

Addressing the funeral attendees, President Yeltsin described the murder of the Russian royal family as one of the most shameful pages in Russian history, and urged Russians to close a "bloody century" with repentance.

However, two children of Emperor Nicholas II were not buried: Alexei and Maria.

The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed in October 2011 that the remains of Russia’s tsar family buried in St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, as well as the bodies of Alexei and Maria, which still remain unburied, were authentic.

Emperor Nicholas II

“As a result of a probe, the Investigative Committee has come to the categorical conclusion that the remains are authentic,” investigator Vladimir Solovyov told journalists in Moscow, adding that the conclusion was based on “summarized data including court documents, genetic analysis, and historical and other materials.”

The authenticity of the remains of the tsar's family, who were murdered by Bolsheviks in 1918, has been repeatedly challenged despite positive results of forensic tests conducted by a dozen organizations in Russia and abroad.

Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, their four daughters and son, and several servants, were shot dead in a cellar in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in the early hours of July 17, 1918. Remains of the murdered family, except Alexei and Maria’s bodies, and the servants, were discovered in 1991. In 1998, they were authenticated and buried in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

Alexei and Maria’s bodies were discovered in 2007 near Yekaterinburg. Their authenticity has also been proven by DNA tests.

The Russian Orthodox Church, which canonized the murdered Romanovs in 2000, has not recognized the remains.

Solovyov expressed hope on Thursday that the Investigative Committee’s conclusions would hasten the burial of Alexei and Maria’s bodies.

Read it all here.

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