DNA testing has concluded that bones found in the Ural Mountains are those of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife and their five children. The Russian royal family and their servants were murdered 100 years ago this very week.
The abdicated tsar and his family, hoped to flee to exile in Britain, but were shot dead by the Bolsheviks on the night of 16–17 July 1918. In-depth DNA checks prove that the remains are genuine, says the Russian Investigative Committee.
“The findings of the complex expert molecular genetic examinations have proved that the found remains belong to former Emperor Nicholas II, his family members and entourage”, said the committee.
The DNA tests took samples from the grave of the last tsar’s father Alexander III to establish a match with Nicholas II. Genetic material was also taken from blood on a shirt worn by Nicholas II during an attempt on his life in Japan in 1891.
The checks were undertaken because the Russian Orthodox Church had expressed doubts over earlier DNA tests – in part conducted in Britain. It’s now become clear that in 1993, 2 years after the bodies were found the UK’s Prince Philip provided a DNA sample to help identify the bodies. The Duke is the great nephew of Empress Alexandra, Tsar Nicholas’s wife. His DNA was matched with samples taken from the skeletons of the Tsarina and her four daughters.
The church has so far not commented on the new findings.
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