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Grand Duke Michael of Russia

(Redirected from Mikhail Alexandrovitch Romanov)

Grand Duke Michael of Russia, Mikhail Alexandrovich Romanov (Russian: Михаил Александрович Романов), sometimes called Tsar Michael II (November 22, 1878 (O.S.) - about June 12, 1918) was the son of Tsar Alexander III of Russia, and brother of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Michael began a relationship with Natalya Sergeyevna Sheremetevskaya, a twice-divorced commoner. Their only child, George, was born in 1910, and the couple married in the autumn of 1912. Nicholas created Michael's wife Countess Brasova, and their son Count Brasov.

On 2 March (Julian Calendar)/ 15 March (Gregorian Calendar), 1917 Emperor Nicholas II abdicated in favor of his brother, saying, "We bequeath Our inheritance to Our brother the Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and give him Our Blessing on his accession to the throne." [1]

One day later (3 March/16 March, 1917) Michael signed a manifesto which stated in part: "I am firmly resolved to assume supreme power only if such is the will of our great people, who must now by universal suffrage and through their representatives in the Constituent Assembly establish a form of government and new fundamental laws of the Russian State." [2] For one day Michael entertained the hope of being elected by the people as ruler, but this was not to be.

Historians differ as to whether to view Michael as the last tsar. Some historians claim he became tsar the moment Nicholas's abdication became effective, and he would have had to abdicate himself in order to renounce the throne. His refusal of the throne after his condition was not met, is viewed by these historians as that abdication. Thus, they claim, he technically reigned as the tsar for a day, but never ruled. Others argue he could have become tsar only upon his acceptance of the throne, which either (a) was given subject to a condition that was not satisfied, or (b) was never given at all. Whether or not he was tsar, his reign lasted for a maximum of one day. This entire argument becomes academic, as the Russian monarchy de facto ceased to exist, Michael was never crowned, he was never recognised by his people as ruler, and Nicholas II is universally accepted as the last effective tsar.

The best source material, both archival from Russia and elsewhere, seems to indicate that Michael was killed in the outskirts of Perm on June 12, 1918. The order to execute him appears to have been given by the Perm Cheka.

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Preceded by:
Nicholas II
Leader of Russia
March 15-March 16, 1917
Succeeded by:
End of the Russian Empire.
Provisional Government under Georgy Evgenyevich Lvov
Emperor of Russia
March 15-March 16, 1917
No successor.
Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovitch

Last updated: 05-07-2005 11:28:32
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04