Haemophilia in the Russian royal family

Haemophilia in the Russian royal family

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Haemophilia in the Russian royal family. Tsarina Alexandra of Russia and her son Alexei, to whom she passed the gene for haemophilia, a blood-clotting disorder. Tsarina Alexandra (1872-1918) was the daughter of a Grand Duke of Germany and a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of Britain. Born Princess Alix, she took the Russian name Alexandra Fyodorovna when she married Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in 1894. She had inherited the haemophilia gene from Queen Victoria. Alexei Nikolaevich (1904-1918) was a Grand Duke and Tsarevich, heir to the throne of Russia. Haemophilia is an incurable condition that can cause life-threatening bleeding, and so the boy's illness was a closely guarded secret. Alexandra and Alexei, along with the rest of the family, were executed by the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

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