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Everything Anastasia Doesn’t Tell You About The True Story

Not only is Anastasia (Meg Ryan) not a Disney Princess (via Polygon), she’s not even a princess at all. Although the film often refers to her as the lost princess, she was technically a Grand Duchess. While there were dozens of princesses in Russia, the title of grand duke or duchess was reserved for the children of the monarch, although crucially, Anastasia wasn’t heir to the crown. According to The Russian Legitimist, daughters could only inherit the Russian throne if there were no male relatives to claim it. For this reason, says Alexander Palace, Anastasia’s parents desperately wanted a son; they got their wish when Anastasia’s brother Alexei was born.

Thus, Alexei would have been next in line, says Bustle. Of course, since Alexei had hemophilia, a potentially deadly genetic disease, his father Tsar Nicholas II (voiced by Rick Jones in the movie) needed to consider who might succeed the throne if Alexei died. In that scenario, the crown would’ve gone to Alexei’s uncle, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich.

However, it wasn’t meant to be. Alexandrovich was murdered in June 1918, followed shortly by Alexei, Anastasia, and their parents just a month later. But even if Anastasia had miraculously survived, she would have needed to get in line behind some distant male relatives who had survived, since they would have succeeded the throne before her.



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