Season five, episode six of
, “Ipatiev House,” focuses on the relationship between the British royal family and the Romanovs, and how Prince Philip's DNA helped to identify the Romanovs' remains. In light of the episode, we're resurfacing our 2018 story on how the modern royals, including Princes William and Harry, are related to Russia's last imperial family.
Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife Alexandra, and their five children , Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei were brutally murdered at Ipatiev House, on Tuesday, July 16, 1918. But their execution didn't wipe out the Romanov bloodline entirely; their modern relatives include members of British royal family, including King Charles and Princes William and Harry.
The late Prince Philip is related to the Romanovs through both his mother and his father. Philip is the grandnephew of Alexandra Romanov, Nicholas II's wife, and the last Tsarina of Russia. He is also a cousin to the Russian royal family (more on that below).
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Philip's children and grandchildren, including William and Harry, are therefore related to the Romanovs too.
In fact, when the remains of two children thought to be Maria and Alexei Romanov were found in a field in 2007 , it was Prince Philip's DNA that was used to identify them, news which was revealed in 2016.
To add another British connection to the Russian Imperial family, the Queen's first cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, is also uniquely related to the Romanovs. He's the grandson of Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, who was a first cousin of Nicholas II.
The Queen, Prince Philip, and all of their descendants are also related to the Romanovs through Queen Victoria, as she was Tsarina Alexandra's grandmother. Alexandra's mother was Victoria's second daughter, Princess Alice. Queen Elizabeth is a great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Philip is Victoria's great-great-grandson.
In fact, it is Queen Victoria's connection to the Romanov's that links many members of European royal families to the doomed Russian royals. Victoria is known as the
grandmother of Europe
as her children married into royal families across the continent.
Similarly, given that Nicholas II and Alexandra lived during a time when royalty almost exclusively married royalty, Russian royals found their way into a number of ruling families in the 19th century
King Constantine II of Greece's great-grandmother was a Romanov grand duchess for example, and so the Greek royals, including Princess Olympia, are all distant relatives of the Romanov family as well.
As the digital director for Town & Country, Caroline Hallemann covers culture, entertainment, and a range of other subjects