British forensic scientists announce that they have positively identified the remains of Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II; his wife, Czarina Alexandra; and three of their daughters. The scientists used mitochondria DNA fingerprinting to identify the bones, which had been excavated in a forest near Yekaterinburg by Russians scientists in 1991.
The Crown Prince Alexei and one Romanov daughter were not accounted for, fueling the persistent legend that Anastasia, the youngest Romanov daughter, had survived the July 1918 execution of her family by the Bolsheviks. Of the several “Anastasias” that surfaced in Europe in the decade after the Russian Revolution, Anna Anderson, who died in the United States in 1968, was the most convincing.
In 1994, however, British and American scientists used DNA to prove that Anna Anderson was not Anastasia but a Polish woman named Franziska Schanzkowska.