Nicholas Alexandrovich, Tsarevich of Russia

Nicholas Alexandrovich, Tsarevich of Russia
Nicholas Alexandrovich
Tsesarevich of Russia
House House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Father Alexander II of Russia
Mother Marie of Hesse and by Rhine
Born 20 September 1843(1843-09-20)
Alexander Palace, Tsarskoye Selo, Russian Empire
Died 24 April 1865(1865-04-24) (aged 21)
Nice, France

For the son of Alexander III, who succeeded his father on the throne in 1894, see Nicholas II of Russia.

Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov (Russian: Цесаревич Николай Александрович Романов), full title: Heir, Tsesarevich and Grand Duke of Russia (Russian: Наследник-Цесаревич и Великий Князь) (20 September [O.S. 8 September] 1843 – 24 April [O.S. 12 April] 1865) was Tsesarevich (more commonly but inaccurately confused with Tsarevich, a title that was abolished in 1721)—the heir apparent—of Imperial Russia from 2 March 1855 until his death in 1865. He was nicknamed Nixa.

He was born at Tsarskoe Selo, the eldest son of Tsarevich Alexander Nikolaievich, eldest son of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine. In 1855, his paternal grandfather died and his father succeeded as Emperor Alexander II. His early death at the age of twenty-one was a devastating blow to his mother.



Nicholas as a baby with his older sister, Alexandra.

In the summer of 1864 Nicholas became engaged to Princess Dagmar of Denmark. She was the second daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) and a sister-in-law of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the heir to the British throne. It is believed that on his deathbed Nicholas expressed the wish that his fiancée should become the bride of his younger brother and successor as Tsarevich, Alexander.


Nicholas was thought to have a strong constitution until early 1865, when during a tour in southern Europe he contracted an ailment that was initially incorrectly diagnosed as rheumatism. It later turned out to be cerebro-spinal meningitis. Nicholas's initial symptoms included back pain and a stiff neck as well as sensitivity to noise and light. However the Tsarevich thought little of it and continued his tour in Italy. His health rapidly grew worse and he was sent to Southern France but this brought no improvement. In the spring of 1865 Nicholas continued to decline and he died on 24 April 1865 in Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.[1]

His death at the early age of 21 thoroughly devastated his mother, who was said to have pored obsessively over all aspects of Nicholas's life. Empress Marie never recovered from his death.




Russian royalty
Preceded by
Alexander II of Russia
Heir to the Russian Throne
Succeeded by
Alexander III of Russia

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