Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse) - Death - Identification of Remains

Identification of Remains

After the execution of the Romanov family in the Ipatiev House, Alexandra's body, along with Nicholas, their children and some faithful retainers who died with them, was stripped and the clothing burnt according to the Yurovsky Note. Initially the bodies were thrown down a disused mine-shaft at Ganina Yama, 12 miles (19 km) north of Yekaterinburg. A short time later they were retrieved, their faces were smashed and the bodies dismembered and disfigured with sulphuric acid were hurriedly buried under railway sleepers with the exception of two of the children whose bodies were not discovered until 2007. In 2007, the bodies missing were those of a daughter—Maria or Anastasia—and Alexei. In the early 1990s, following the fall of the Soviet Union, the bodies of the majority of the Romanovs were located along with their loyal servants, exhumed and formally identified. A secret report by Yurovsky, which came to light in the late 1970s, but did not become public knowledge until the 1990s, helped the authorities to locate the bodies. Preliminary results of genetic analysis carried out on the remains of a boy and a young woman believed to belong to Nicholas II's son and heir Alexei, and daughter Anastasia were revealed on 22 January 2008. The Ekaterinburg region's chief forensic expert said, "Tests conducted in Yekaterinburg and Moscow allowed DNA to be extracted from the bones, which proved positive," Nikolai Nevolin said. "Once the genetic analysis has been completed in Russia, its results will be compared with test results from foreign experts." Nevolin said the final results would be published in April or May 2008. Certainty about the remains would definitively put an end to the claim that Anna Anderson could be connected with the Romanovs, as all remaining bodies would be accounted for.

DNA analysis represented a key means of identifying the bodies. A blood sample from Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (a grandson of Alexandra's oldest sister, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine) was employed to identify Alexandra and her daughters through their mitochondrial DNA. They belonged to Haplogroup H (mtDNA). Nicholas was identified from DNA obtained from among others his late brother Grand Duke George Alexandrovich of Russia. Grand Duke George had died of tuberculosis in the late 1890s and was buried in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg.

Read more about this topic:  Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix Of Hesse), Death

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