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The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution

This exhibition explored the lives and deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, uncovering the science behind one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.

Rulers of a sixth of the surface of the Earth, the last imperial monarchs of Russia, the Romanovs, enjoyed lives that glittered with unimaginable wealth and power—but the family mysteriously disappeared in 1918. 

Set against a turbulent backdrop of social upheaval and war between 1900 and 1918, this fascinating exhibition  explored the huge influence of medicine on the imperial family during this period, from the young Tsarevich Alexei’s haemophilia B—a rare blood condition passed down from Queen Victoria—to the Tsarina’s mental health, and the influence of doctors as well as spiritual advisers including the infamous mystic Rasputin.

Visitors could discover the private lives of the Tsar and Tsarina and their children through unique artefacts, documents and photographs never before on public display in the UK, examine the crime scene and learn more about the advances in medical and forensic science which would transform the investigation into their brutal deaths.

Object gallery

Header image: Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna and Nicholas II with children onboard the “Polar Star” yacht, 7 September 1905 © State Archive of the Russian Federation 

Associate sponsor

Russian Railways logo

Media Partner

Part of the Science Museum Group