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Although a figure in the public eye, Empress Alexandra was something of a homebody, who preferred to spend the majority of her time at the palace at Tsarskoe Selo.

On the night of July 16-17, 1918, Nicholas II and his family were murdered by Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, thus ending more than three centuries of the Romanov dynasty’s rule.

Historians have long speculated as to whether Nicholas II’s daughter, Anastasia, might have survived the shooting but in 2007, a DNA analysis conclusively identified her body.

Unaware of the event, Nicholas II and Alexandra were all smiles as they went on to celebrate the coronation at a ball.

The couple’s oblivion made a poor first impression on Nicholas II’s new subjects.

In fact, he confessed to a close friend, "I am not prepared to be a tsar. I know nothing of the business of ruling." Despite all that was happening, Nicholas II managed to marry Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt (commonly known as Alexandra) within a month of Alexander III’s passing.

Once he ascended the throne, Nicholas II had to marry and have children expediently, in order to secure a future heir to the throne.

The main objective of Nicholas II’s foreign policy during his early reign was to maintain the status quo in Europe, rather than to conquer new territory.

But, in the 1890s, as Russia experienced economic growth, it began to expand its industry into the Far East. In December of that year, Nicholas II’s army was forced to surrender Port Arthur.

The Russian public blamed Nicholas II for his poor military decisions, and Empress Alexandra for her ill-advised role in government.

Because Alexandra was originally from Germany, suspicion spread that she might have even deliberately sabotaged Russia, ensuring its defeat in the war.

In 1897 the couple gave birth to a second daughter, Tatiana.