Exactly 100 years ago, in March 1917, the Russian Emperor Nicholas II signed the abdication of the throne in favor of his younger brother Mikhail. It would seem that this step is not logical - after all, Nikolai's heir was his son Alexei, who was, however, only 12 years old. But the matter is not in the early childhood of Alexei, the prince was terminally ill.
Hemophilia is often called the disease of kings, because members of the monarchical houses of Europe, and only men, suffered from it. But, the carriers of this disease were women, from whom sons with a serious illness were born. For the first time, the X chromosome mutation was discovered in the British Queen Victoria back in the 19th century, and she, in turn, passed the disease gene to her daughters. Victoria was the great-grandmother of the heir to the Russian throne, Alexei, who began to show signs of illness already in early childhood.
In patients with hemophilia, blood clotting very poorly, therefore, any, even minor, bleeding can end tragically. The medicine of that time was powerless, the only healer who could somehow alleviate the child's suffering was a simple peasant from the Tobolsk province, Grigory Rasputin. It is not surprising that after a short time he already had a huge influence on the royal family.
The prince could not even walk for a long time, the blood got into the joints and caused unbearable pain. Therefore, a specially appointed sailor Andrei Derevenko carried the heir in his arms during an exacerbation of the disease. It was possible to relieve pain with the help of morphine, but the doctors did not dare to take this step due to the terrible consequences of using the drug.
With age, Alexei began to realize the danger of hemophilia and more than once told his sisters that he appreciates every day of his life, because it can end at any moment.
It is difficult to say how many years Alexei would have been in this world if the 1917 revolution had not happened. For example, the brother of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Alexei's mother, who also suffered from hemophilia, did not live to be four years old: he fell out of a window on the first floor and died on the same day, although he did not receive any serious bruises.
Queen Victoria's son Leopold died at the 31st year of life, and Prince Waldemar of Prussia lived for 56 years. But the cause of death of the heir to Alexei was not hemophilia; on the night of July 16-17, 1918, he was shot by the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg along with his parents and sisters. He was not yet 14 years old.