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Gill Paul | Sexing up the Romanovs
Author Guest / August 28, 2019

The new Netflix series The Last Czars is a visually stunning and generally accurate account of Nicholas II’s ascent to the Russian throne and the mistakes he and his wife Alexandra made that more or less assured their tragic fate. However, right from the first episode, there are sex scenes galore, as if some studio exec decided it needed ‘sexing up.’ One such scene in the final episode had me yelling out loud at my screen. It showed Maria, third daughter of Nicholas and Alexandra, making out with one of the guards in the Ekaterinburg house where they were held from April to July 1918. She is unbuttoning her blouse while he is ripping off his jacket, presumably about to have consensual sex, when the door is thrown open by Avdeyev, commandant of the guards. This is implausible on many levels. First of all, Maria was a deeply religious girl, who followed the daily practices of the Russian Orthodox church and was unquestionably chaste. She was also a tsar’s daughter, who in other circumstances might have been matched with foreign royalty or a Russian aristocrat, while the guard in question was a lower-class factory worker. Maria was an obedient girl,…