As I finished reading “The Romanovs,” a history of the ruling dynasty of Russia (my review), I fell down a pleasant internet rathole of finding out what happened to the Romanovs after the revolution.
The Matthew “Mad Men” Weiner TV series, “The Romanoffs,” takes the premise that members of the family survived, and it follows the stories of several people alive today who are – or believe themselves to be – surviving Romanovs. It’s an anthology series, with different characters and stories and settings in each episode. Julie and I watched it and enjoyed the first few episodes, but we lost interest in the episode set in Mexico City. I even enjoyed parts of that one because it showed me a side of Mexico I had not seen before, but the main character was an excruciatingly boring hipster. There are two more episodes, and I’d like to catch up on them at some point.
I had thought the premise of the Weiner series was made-up, but in reality a dozen or two Romanov relations, including the Czar’s mother, managed to escape Russia after the Revolution, and their descendants keep the family legacy alive. Here’s some of the traces they left on the Internet:
George Romanoff, said by some to be the current heir to the Russian dynastic throne, has a LinkedIn profile. He seems to be a business consultant of some sort, in Europe. His colleagues endorse him for several skills, none of which are “ruling Russia” or “czaring.”
His dynastic name is Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, and his position in the family is Tsesarevich. This is not mentioned on his LinkedIn profile.
More formally, he’d be considered a “pretender” to the throne, and Grand Duke is a “title of pretense.”
Here’s his company, Romanoff and Partners. It’s hard to figure out what they do, just a lot of handwaving about values and such. That’s pretty common in business websites. Romanoff and Partners seem to be consultants, specializing in hooking up Western companies with Eastern European partners, investors and customers.
Russian Imperial House – The Status of the Russian Imperial House in the Russian Federation: The Russian Imperial House is still a thing, with two people who can legally claim (according to them) to be heirs to the dynasty – George Romanoff and his Mom. They seem to be optimistic that Russia will restore the monarchy and bring them back. Here is the Romanoff dynastic succession, post-1917. With Czar Nicholas II and his son, Alexei, murdered, the succession fell to descendants of an earlier czar from the 19th Century.
However, there are rivals to the throne – sort of. The Romanov Family Association claims there are no current heirs to the throne, according to pre-Communist Russian dynastic law. The page was last updated in 2012. Dimitri Romanovich Romanov, the head of the association, died in 2016; I’ve found no evidence the association is still a going concern.