alexander ii nikolaevich


Romanov men as affectionate fathers

  • Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich with his eldest son Nicholas
  • Emperor Alexander II with his youngest legitimate son Pavel
  • Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich with his third child and second son Mikhail
  • Emperor Alexander III with his fourth child and first daughter Xenia
  • Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich with his second son Kyril
  • Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich with his eldest child Irina
  • Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich with his youngest son Georgiy
  • Emperor Nicholas II with his youngest child and only son Alexei
  • Grand Duke Kyril Vladimirovich with his eldest child Maria

Miniatures of the children of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia: Tsarevich Alexander Nikolaevich, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna, Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich, and Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich.



With the exception of the youngest daughter Elizabeth (not pictured), who died when she was about three years old in 1829, these are the years Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and his immediate family turned thirteen years old, their first year as a teenager.

When Emperor Nicholas I of Russia was 13 year old in 1809, his education began becoming more advanced and the boy was being trained almost as if he was the heir, even though he was the third son. His upbringing was strict, flogging was common and few efforts were made to motivate the young student, all of which triggered the boy to hate learning. As a boy, Nicholas was rude and mischievous. The only member of the family that he would listen to was his mother, to whom he was very close. 

By the time Alexandra Feodorovna became 13 years old in July 1811, her young life was marked by the Napoleonic Wars and mourned her mother, who died in the previous year. Alexandra was originally Charlotte, Princess of Prussia, who was an avid reader and enjoyed music. Young Charlotte was a delicate creature full with kindness and preferred privacy which made her adjustment to the excessively ornate society of St. Petersburg very difficult.

Nicholas and Charlotte were warm and affectionate parents, but avoided overindulging their children. The girls, Grand Duchesses Maria, Olga and Alexandra, were raised in the company of each other. At 13, all of the girls were artistically gifted and very lively, sweet and generous and the three younger boys Konstantin, Nicholas and Michael were being trained for the military. Konstantin shared his sisters’ personality but Nicholas was almost the complete opposite. He was less intelligent and later became a true womanizer and loved hunting. His reputation was very low by the time of his death. Little was known of the youngest boy, Michael’s teenage years.


Wonderful headers for some of the chapters of “Romanov Autumn” by Charlotte Zeepvat. The chapters featured in this post:

  • The Other Nicholas and Alexandra (Tsar Nicholas I and His Wife Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna)
  • A Useless Sacrifice? (Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna)
  • A Flight of Doves (The Early Years of Alexander II)
  • Our Joy Since Birth (Tsarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich)
  • A Tale of Two Women (The Wives of Alexander II)
  • The Admiral-General (Grand Prince Konstantin Nikolaevich)
  • Far From Home (Nursing the Tsar´s Children)
  • Behind the Empress (Grand Princess Vladimir)
  • Think of Coburg (The Engagement of the Second Nicholas and Alexandra)
  • A Russian Enigma (Grand Prince Sergei Alexandrovich)

Click HERE for part two.