Who are the Romanoffs and is the series based on a true story?

Tom Duggins October 16, 2018
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Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs has debuted on Amazon Video with episodes “The Violet Hour” and “The Royal We,” but the show’s blend of fact and fiction has gotten viewers searching for the truth.

Fans of Weiner’s previous long-running series, Mad Men, will no doubt have been pleased to hear that Weiner was reuniting with series regular John Slattery (who played Roger Sterling) for a new big budget drama.


What viewers might not have anticipated, however, is that Slattery only appears in one episode of the miniseries. The show is split into eight separate instalments with each telling a unique story.

The connecting theme for the series is that each episode follows a different group of people who believe themselves to be descended from the former royal family of the Russian Empire. So who were the Romanoffs or Romanovs and why do people continue to claim a lineage to the old dynastic power?

who were the romanoffs?

The House of Romanov was an aristocratic dynasty that ruled over Russia for more than three hundred years. Peter the Great was a Romanov, as was Catherine the Great.

They first took the throne in 1613 when Mikhail Romanov, a nephew of the previous tsar, was nominated by the Russian parliament to take the crown.

The family held onto power until the February Revolution of 1917 when public protests over government corruption and food rationing broke out into full scale armed revolution. As a result, the last Romanov tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne and no other Romanov wished to take the crown from him.

Some members of the imperial family were allowed to leave Russia in exile, but Nicholas II and his immediate family were placed under house arrest and eventually executed by the Bolshevik forces who came to power in October of that same year.

is the romanoffs based on a true story?


Due to the tactic of misinformation which the Bolsheviks used to partly disguise the Romanovs’ execution after the event, confusion was widespread as to the actual fate of the Romanovs and other members of the royal family.

In the decades that followed, numerous people came forward claiming to be surviving members of the royal family who had escaped the execution. All of these claims were eventually disproven in 2008 when the remains of the final two missing family members were discovered and then identified using DNA testing.

There are, however, modern day Romanovs who can claim rightful lineage to earlier Russian monarchs and members of the House of Romanov. In 1979, the Romanov Family Association was established for descendants of Paul I of Russia, a Romanov emperor who ruled in the eighteenth century.

More: True Story

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