Brothers Romanov — Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich with Grand Duke George Alexandrovich

Brothers Romanov — Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich (future Emperor Nicholas II, 1868-1918) with his younger brother Grand Duke George Alexandrovich (1871-1899).
These 2 photos were taken in 1883, the year of their father Emperor Alexander III’s Coronation on 27 May (O.S. 15 May) in Moscow.
Alexander III died on 1 November (O.S. 20 October) 1894, and Nicholas ascended the throne as Emperor. At the time, Nicholas had no children, thus according to the laws of succession of the Russian Empire, Grand Duke George became Tsesarevich, the heir presumptive to the throne.
George died suddenly in Abastumani, on 10 July (O.S. 28 June) 1899, at the age of 28. He was buried in the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
Nicholas II always remembered George and his wonderful sense of humour. He would tell great jokes that amused his brother very much. Nicholas would dutifully write out the best jokes on pieces of paper and save them in a box. Years later, the Tsar would be heard laughing by himself in his room, looking through his old box of George’s jokes.
In 1994 the body of Grand Duke George Alexandrovich was exhumed so that a sample of DNA could be taken from the remains to see whether skeletal remains allegedly belonging to his older brother Nicholas II, were legitimate or not. The DNA sample obtained from the Grand Duke’s remains indicated that he was closely related to the DNA sample from the presumed remains of Nicholas II, confirming their identity. After the completion of DNA testing, the remains of Grand Duke George Alexandrovich were once again laid to rest.

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