Did You Know? Prince Philip's DNA Helped Solve An Old Royal Russian Murder

Prince Philip († 99) used his DNA to solve the murder of the Tsar's family
June 4, 2021 - 11:40 / Anna Valenzuela Rosas

Prince Philip lived a long exciting life. He is a direct descendant of the last Russian Royal family who was murdered and went missing 100 years ago. Philip's DNA helped identify them!

To understand how Prince Philip († 99) was involved in the legendary investigation, one must first take a look at his impressive family tree. The late husband of Queen Elizabeth II (95) had not only German, British, Greek, and Danish ancestors. His family tree reaches as far as Russia.

Prince Philip Was Related To Russian Royalty

Prince Philip was a direct descendant of Tsarina Alexandra († 46). His mother, Princess Alice von Battenberg († 84), was the daughter of Viktoria von Hessen-Darmstadt († 87). Prince Philip's mother was her niece and Philip was her great-nephew. Tragically, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife Alexandra, and her entire family and other relatives within the dynasty were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

One of the last photographs taken of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Tsar Nicholas II was the last Emporer of Russia. He and his Royal family were betrayed and slaughtered in 1918. The last moments of the Romanov family were left shrouded in mystery for years as the family member's remains were never found. Many hoped this meant some were still alive and simply living in secret. 

It wasn't until the 1970s that a geologist and a filmmaker set out to find the remains. Alexander Avdonin had found the gravesite decades prior but kept it a secret until the Soviet Union fell. The bodies were finally excavated in the early 1990s. This is where Prince Philip became involved.

According to The Independent, the bodies of the Tsar, Tsarina Alexandra, and 3 of their 5 children were discovered in 1991. It was not until the DNA of the bodies found in the shallow grave were compared to Prince Philip's that it was confirmed to be the bodies of the last Royal family of Russia. The final 2 children's bodies were discovered in a grave in 2007.

Portrait of the Royal Romanov Family. The last royal Russian family in 1913: Olga, Maria, Nicholas II, Alexandra Fyodorovna, Anastasia, Alexei, and Tatiana. 

Dr. Gill, a forensics professor at Oslo University said, "To determine if the remains belonged to the Romanovs, we needed to compare them to samples from verified relatives. We were fortunate to obtain blood samples from HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who is a direct descendant of the Tsarina Alexandra. Samples were also obtained from the Duke of Fife and Princess Xenia Cheremeteff Sfiri, who are related to the Tsar."

This all proved that the Romanov family were in fact murdered 100 years ago by the Bolshevik revolutionaries. The DNA comparison left no doubt that Alexandra and her five children were killed together with Nicholas II († 50). Prince Philip never commented publicly on the dramatic fate of his relatives.

Actress Olga Drozdova and actor Dmitry Pevtsov perform during a concert at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hallmarking the centenary of the execution of the Russian royal family.

On July 16th, 1918, the entire family of the Tsar was shot and those who survived were killed by a knife. A funeral was officially held for the family in 1998 where Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared, "Today is a historic day for Russia. For many years, we kept quiet about this monstrous crime, but the truth has to be spoken." Prince Michael of Kent even attended to represent the British Royal family. 

The Supreme Court of Russia ended up ruling that Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family were victims of political persecution. 

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