Tuesday, Mar. 16, 2010

The Last of the Romanovs

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia — to use her full title — was the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II and has been the subject of heated interest ever since her apparent murder at age 17, along with the rest of the royal family, during Russia's Bolshevik Revolution. Rumors had long circulated that the princess had actually escaped — indeed, the location of her burial remained unknown for decades, and when the grave was finally discovered and explored in 1991, her remains weren't there. To make matters even spicier, several women have falsely claimed to have been Anastasia, the most notorious among them being Anna Anderson. Anderson's battle to be legally recognized as the heir to the Romanov throne lasted an unheard-of 32 years, from 1938 to 1970; it was the longest-running case ever heard by the German courts (in the end, judges decided she hadn't provided sufficient proof). And she was just 1 of at least 10 women who claimed to be the missing princess.