Closeup of a photograph of some of the members of the Imperial family, taken on a visit to Moscow in 1903.
You can see Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna at the front. Behind them are Nicholas’ uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, who was Alix’s sister.
Next to Elizabeth and Sergei are the children of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich - Maria and Dmitri. (The couple were appointed the guardians of their niece and nephew after their father remarried in an unapproved marriage to a commoner and all his properties were seized and he was dismissed from his military commissions)
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia and his younger brother Paul Alexandrovich, the youngest of six sons of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. The brothers were inseparable and they were known for their gentle nature, shyness, and strong devotion to religion. Both would eventually be killed by revolutionaries, Sergei by a terrorist bomb in 1905 and Paul by a Bolshevik firing squad in 1919.
"What silence, what tranquillity and serenity. I was happy there… My soul was quiet and untouched by other things… Sergei and I went out for a walk… We started talking, and he told me about his wife, he praised her, and every time praised God for his fortune - and I was happy for him…"
— Grand Duke Konstantine K. Romanov after visiting Ella and Sergei in Ilyinsk.