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Alexandra of Hesse Biography
Alexandra of Hesse, Alix von Hessen-Darmstadt (25 April 1872 - 16/17 July 1918) was born in Darmstadt, Germany. She was the Tsarina (wife of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia) from 1894 to 1917. Born as Alix Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice, Princess of Hesse.

Her father was Ludwig IV von Hessen-Darmstadt, Grand Duke of Hesse and her mother was Princess Alice of Great Britain and Ireland, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Alexandra met Nicholas when aged twelve, she attended the wedding of her sister Ella (Grand Duchess Elizabeth) to the Grand Duke Sergei in 1884. For Nicholas, who was sixteen, it was love at first sight.

Alexandra and Nicholas were married on November 26, 1894 at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. They had four daughters and one son, Olga, Tatiana, Maria (or Marie), Anastasia, and the long awaited Tsarevich Alexei.

Slowly she began to be unpopular in the empire as she exerted progressive influence over her husband, and also due to her reluctance to speak Russian, (English was always spoken between the imperial couple) also her German ancestry was resented.

Alexandra had always had a nervous disposition, following the diagnosis of her son with haemophilia, all her nervous energies were channelled towards him. As she became more neurotic she began to neglect her duties as Empress, this caused even more resentment, and made her dangerous enemies in the highest echelons of Russian society

Her interference in affairs of state, and fascination with Rasputin, whose bad advice she often heeded, as he claimed to be able to cure her son, hastened the end of the Romanov dynasty.

Her husband abdicated as Tsar in 1917. On July 16/17, 1918, Alexandra, Nicholas II and their children and staff were shot in the cellar of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

In 2001 she and her family were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Her life was dramatized in Nicholas and Alexandra.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Alexandra of Hesse.