The Romanovs and Hemophilia B

DFN: I guess this puts to rest whether Anastassia survived or not.

The Romanovs and Hemophilia B

By K. Kris Hirst, Guide to Archaeology since 1997
Thursday October 8, 2009

The Romanovs were the ruling family of Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and they were closely related to many of the ruling families in Europe, including Queen Victoria of England. Nicholas and Alexandra were the last tsarist family in Russia, and they and their children were murdered in 1918 during a political coup at the start of the Bolshevik revolution.

Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and Prince Alexei, 1911. Used with permission of the State Archives of the Russian Federation; The primary mystery solving their death has been identified–last summer, DNA analysis proved that all of the children of Nicholas and Alexandra had been killed, despite long-standing romantic rumors of the survival of Anastasia.

This fall, a new paper by the same team which identified the Romanovs, describes the further results of their study: that the version of hemophilia carried by the Romanovs and their other royal relatives was hemophilia B, called “Christmas disease”. Hemophilia has long been recognized as a disease carried by the royal families of Europe, and as the cause of the grave illness of Prince Alexei, Nicholas and Alexandra’s only son, shown here with his mother. The recent analysis indicates that the hemophilia shared by the ruling families of Europe was hemophilia B, rarer than classic hemophilia. Hemophilia A occurs in one person in about 10,000, while hemophilia B in one person in 50,000.

Sources and Further Information

Grigorenko, A. P., et al. in press Genomic technologies in the analysis of forensic and archival specimens related to Nicholas II Romanov and his family identification. Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series in press.

Rogaev, Evgeny I., et al. 2009 Genotype Analysis Identifies the Cause of the “Royal Disease”. Science Express 9 October 2009.

DNAI: Recovering the Romanovs
Christmas Disease and Hemophilia, from’s guide to Rare Diseases Alexander Palace, online tour of the Romanov’s palace at Tsarskoe Selo.

Timeline of the Russian Revolution, European History at



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