Friday 25 January 2008
One of the 20th century’s most abiding mysteries could soon be solved when British scientists carry out DNA tests on recently discovered bone fragments said to belong to the two missing children of Tsar Nicholas II.
Russian forensic experts have been examining the remains, discovered under a mound near Yekaterinburg by amateur archaeologists last August, and say that early findings gave credence to the royal claims.
On Vladimir Lenin’s orders, a Bolshevik firing squad executed 11 members of the Royal family and their retinue in 1918.
Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia (Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, Russian: Великая Княжна Анастасия Николаевна Романова, June 18 1901 — July 17, 1918), was the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Anastasia was a younger sister of Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana and Grand Duchess Maria, and was an elder sister of Alexei Nikolaievitch, Tsarevitch of Russia. She is presumed to have been murdered with her family on July 17, 1918, by forces of the Bolshevik secret police. However, rumours have persisted of her possible escape since 1918.
Several women have claimed to have been Anastasia, the most famous of whom was Anna Anderson. Anderson’s body was cremated upon her death in 1984. Despite support for her claim from several people who knew Anastasia, DNA testing in 1994 on pieces of Anderson’s tissue and hair showed no relation to DNA of the Grand Duchess.