Remarkable photo albums showing the Czar Nicholas II and the Russian royal family have gone on public display for the first time.
Dozens of candid photos show the Romanov family boating and enjoying sleigh rides during the twilight years of their ill-fated dynasty. The last czar of Russia abdicated on March 15, 1917, following the country’s February Revolution, bringing an end to the Romanov dynasty that ruled Russia for over 300 years.
Czar Nicholas was murdered with his family in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918.
Part of a new exhibition at the Science Museum in London, the photos offer a fascinating glimpse into the gilded existence of the doomed Romanovs. “They really show an insight into the private life of the family,” a Science Museum spokesman told Fox News.
The two albums were created by Herbert Galloway Stewart, an English tutor to the Czar’s nephews. Most of the photos, which span from 1908 to 1918, were taken in St. Petersburg and the Crimea.
Galloway Stewart was employed by the Grand Duchess Xenia as a tutor for her son, Prince Andrei Alexandrovich Romanov.
The Science Museum has a total of 22 albums from Galloway Stewart in its collection, the spokesman told Fox News.
The albums were found when Science Museum curator Dr. Natalia Sidlina was researching a previous exhibition entitled “Cosmonauts.”
“I vowed they would have their moment,” said Science Museum Director Ian Blatchford, in a blog post.
The exhibition, “The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution,” includes other rare Romanov artifacts, such as personal diaries, jewelry found at the scene of the family’s murder and two Imperial Faberge Easter eggs on loan from the Moscow Kremlin Museums. The eggs, which include an unusual “Steel Easter Egg” featuring military designs, were presented by the Czar to his wife in 1916 when Russia was embroiled in the World War I.
“This exhibition marks 100 years since the end of the Romanov dynasty and explores one of the most dramatic periods in Russian history, all through the unique lens of science,” said Blatchford in a statement. “Our curatorial team have brought together an exceptional, rare and poignant collection to tell this remarkable story.”
A key theme of the exhibition is the treatment of the czar and czarina’s only son and heir Alexei, who suffered from the life-threatening condition hemophilia B. Artifacts on show, for example, include the Imperial family’s traveling medicine chest.
The exhibition runs through March 24, 2019.
DNA tests conducted on the exhumed remains of the czar and his wife in 2015 proved they were authentic. The tests were performed at the request of the Russian Orthodox Church, which canonized the slain Romanov family in 2000.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers