Did youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II and heir to the Russian monarchy, survive the massacre of the Romanov family during the Russian Revolution? This question has been the subject of more than one dozen movies and countless storybooks since it was pretty much the story of a real Disney princess.
he speculation began in the early 1920s when a woman named Anna Anderson claimed to be the Romanov princess, and that she had been living in exile. Her story drew a huge amount of publicity, and Anderson stuck by it until her death in 1984, at which point CSI was finally able to get close enough to determine that she wasn’t even Russian, let alone Queen of the Russians. Still, they didn’t take back the Academy Award that Ingrid Bergman won for playing Anderson in 1956.
In fact, at least 10 other women, and probably some men, have since come forward to claim the title of the real Romanov princess, and nobody ever seemed to find it fishy that most of them were suffering from mental illnesses.
Only one claimant to the Russian throne has provided compelling evidence that she may be the real Anastasia, and that is a corpse who was found buried with the rest of the Romanov family in 2008.
The main reason why the mystery of Anastasia persisted for so long was because it took one hell of a long time for Anastasia’s body to be recovered. For most of the 20th century, researchers had that whole “Cold War” thing blocking their access to the Romanov gravesite, and even when they finally got to dig up the bodies in 1991, conspiracy theorists were tantalized by the fact that they still seemed to be missing a couple of stiffs, including that of the mysterious princess.
Then, almost two decades later, they went back and found them about 200-feet away. Well, shit.
In 2008, 21st century DNA technology confirmed that these were really the remains of Anastasia, proving that the long-lost princess was, in fact, very dead. But at least they got to make some decent movies.