95 years ago today, Queen Victoria's granddaughter was shot dead...
The adjective 'Victorian' is so vivid and stirs up so many mental visuals, that it can be used effectively to describe a situation or an item of clothing or a mode of thought. Queen Victoria's influence and spirit live on. As the longest reigning British monarch in history, in her 63 years on the throne, her character was etched in the public mind as very emotional, prone to melancholy, frank and most of all, headstrong. Her influence lives on, and it's almost as though her ghost walks through the dusty streets, checking to make sure that the buildings erected in her honour, are maintained to her standards.
|Alexandra, the granddaughter of Victoria|
The blood connection between Queen Victoria and Empress Alexandra may not ring many bells with a modern audience. When you stand before the gold memorial to Victoria in front of Buckingham Palace, you don't think that her granddaughter was ravaged by little lead bullets in Russia in 1918 by Bolsheviks.
But what will ring a distinct bell - is the medical condition that was an unfortunate legacy of the family's genetic inheritance. Queen Victoria's youngest son, Leopold, had hemophilia, 'the bleeding disease'. And so, too, did Empress Alexandra's youngest child, her son, the young Tsar, who was plunged in agony if he got a bruise or a cut. Alexandra's only son was seen as their only hope of succession, as the heir to the Tsar's throne. It is often argued, that despite the fact that the last Tsar was not the most entrepid ruler and his wife rather naive and easily fooled, that the great grief of their lives, the disease that was ravaging their little boy, was the cause of the last Tsar's fatal distraction from successfully ruling Russia.
If you can bear the ghoulishly polyester wigs that they drape on Rasputin, or the way all the characters speak as though they are giving speeches in the House of Commons, then the best film that captures the life of Nicholas and Alexandra, and the circumstances that led to their execution is Nicholas and Alexandra, the 1971 film, based on Robert K Massie's bestselling book.
I also include the final scene of the film. It is very poignant, and the callous, indifferent way that the gunmen fired at the children will make your blood run cold.