My blood run colds when I think of her, placed on that very unsafe throne. The state of Russia is so bad, so rotten, that at any moment something dreadful might happen. And the wife of heir to the throne is in a most difficult and precarious position.
Queen Victoria on her thoughts about Alix of Hesse (her granddaughter) marrying Nicholas
Why do people hate me? Because they know I have a strong will, and when convinced that a thing is right do not change my mind. Those who are afraid of me, who don’t look me in the eyes, or who are up to some wrong, never like me… But those who are good and devoted to you honestly and purely, they love me - look at the simple people and military. The good and bad clergy, it’s all so clear, and that is why it no longer hurts me as when I was younger.
Tsarina Alexandra writing to her husband in December 1916; Born to Rule p. 240
Colored black and white photo of the Russian royal family on their yacht, the Polar Star. From left, clockwise, we have: Olga, Tsar Nicolas II, Anastasia, Tsarina Alexandra, Tatiana, Maria, and Alexei.