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Nicholas Romanov was born at Tsarkoe Selo on May 19, 1868. His parents were Marie Feodorovna, a Danish princess and Tsar Alexander III. He was the first born child of 6 children and lived a simple life sleeping on an army cot and taking cold baths.
His father wanted him to be tough but his personality was the exact opposite. He was a gentle person which showed particularly in his eyes. Sydney Gibbes, who later became tutor to the Romanov children said of Nicholas, "He had a 'presence' that was second to none, so full of quiet and assured self-possession and dignity...I think the reason for this was his eyes...Of the most delicate shade of blue, they looked you straight in the face with the kindest, tenderest, the most loving expression..."
Nicholas wasn't trained in being a tsar or the duties that came with it so when his father died in 1894, he was unprepared for his new role. At the time of his father's death, he was engaged to Alix of Hesse, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria. They were married on November 26, 1894.
Between 1895 and 1901, Nicholas and Alexandra had 4 daughters, Olga(1895), Tatiana(1897), Maria(1899), and Anastasia(1901). They had longed for a son to inherit the Russian throne and at the birth of each of the girls, they began to worry if they would have the son they wanted. On August 12, 1904, the heir to the throne was born. He was named Alexei.Nicholas and his family kept a secret from the Russian people that began to signal their unpopularity. The secret was that Alexei had hemophilia and they didn't want the people to know because they felt that it cause the public to lose faith in the Imperial regime. Introducing Rasputin to the court to heal the Tsarevich was a mistake because it fueled the dislike that the Russians had for Nicholas and his family.
In August 1914, Russia declared war on Germany and Austria. The popularity of Nicholas grew when the war started but as it went on, his popularity began to drop because of the heavy casulties. Nicholas decided to go to the front to boost the soldiers' morale. At home, the country was moving towards a revolution. On March 15, 1917, Nicholas was forced to abdicate his throne and he was then taken home to be put under house arrest with the rest of his family.
He and his family were moved from their home to Siberia and Ekaterineburg, where they were put in the Ipatiev House. On July 16, 1918, Nicholas and his family were led down to the cellar and shot to death. He was 50 years old at the time of his death.