But into that tinderbox of discontent stepped his eldest son, Nicholas II, who grew to become the last-ever tsar of Russia in 1894.
On a happier word, that very same 12 months he married German-born Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, certainly one of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom‘s 42 grandchildren. The future Empress Consort Alexandra Feodorovna was 12 when she met 16-year-old Nicholas II, a nephew of the groom, at her huge sister Ella‘s marriage ceremony to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich. When “sweet little Alix,” as the long run tsar referred to her in his diary, visited her sister in Russia six years later, the the courtship started, enthusiastically championed by Ella and Sergei.
“It is my dream to one day marry Alix H,” Nicholas II wrote in his diary. “I have loved her for a long time, but more deeply and strongly since 1889 when she spent six weeks in Petersburg. For a long time, I have resisted my feeling that my dearest dream will come true.”
Queen Victoria preferred her granddaughter’s future husband as an individual however did not approve of the match, writing in a letter after they bought engaged, “The more I think of sweet Alicky’s marriage the more unhappy I am. Not as to the personality for I like him very much but on account of the country and the awful insecurity to which that poor child will be exposed.”
Books upon books have been written concerning the political turmoil of that point in Russia alone, not to mention the remainder of Europe, and thru all of it Nicholas II dedicated the deadly transfer of wanting to hold onto the outdated methods—a.okay.a. autocratic rule—and not studying the temperature of the room. Which was quickly blazing as World War I started in 1914.
Wildly unpopular, Nicholas II abdicated in March 1917, drawing up a plan of succession to have brother Grand Duke Michael develop into the following emperor. But the provisional authorities, fashioned as a compromise by the Duma, who wished to maintain the established order, and the Marxists of the Petrograd Soviets, who wished to put in a republic, refused to implement it. After spending a couple of days as Emperor Michael II, Misha (as he was familiarly identified) signed his personal abdication papers, stating that he’d solely assume the place if the people determined on the poll field that the monarchy ought to proceed.
And that was that for the 304-year reign of the Romanovs and the Russian crown.