Famous Diaries: Nicholas II Celebrates the Birth of Alexei

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In the summer of 1904, Empress Alexandra (“Alix”) of Russia gave birth to a baby boy. Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich (known as Alexei) was the youngest child and only son of Alix and Emperor Nicholas II, and heir apparent to the throne of the Romanov Dynasty. Of course, we all know the tragic fate the Romanovs met on July 17, 1918 but before their exile and subsequent murder, the family was quite pleased with their affectionate, yet shy little boy.

The Romanov family is known for, among other things, keeping extensive diaries. In the years following their executions, numerous handwritten entries have been made public, shedding light on the innermost thoughts of one of Russia’s most infamous clans. In today’s Famous Diaries, we’re taking a look at Nicholas II’s entry from the day of Alexei’s birth.

“Weight 4660 gms, length 58 cm, girth of head 38cm, girth of chest 39cm.”

July 30th 1904 (O.S.)
“An Unforgettable, great day for us on which so clearly the mercy of God has visited us. At 1:15 in the afternoon Alix gave birth to a son who was given the name of Alexei when praying. Everything had happened remarkably soon – for me at least. In the morning, as usual, I visited Moma, then I received a report from Kokovtsov and the artillery officer. Klepikov wounded at Wafangou, and I went to Alix to have lunch. She was already upstairs, and half an hour later this happy event came about. I have no words worthy enough to be able to thank God for the consolation granted by Him in this year of hard trials. Darling Alix felt quite well. Mama came at 2 and sat long by my side before her first meeting with her new grandchild. At five I went to church service together with the children where the whole family gathered. Wrote a mass of telegrams. Misha arrived from the camp; he assures he has applied for ‘resignation’…”

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