Hell of a hat trick!
Entered cellar, family shot, stabbed,
Became a legion.
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna was born 117 years ago today and yes, she was murdered in that cellar in Yekaterinburg by the Bolshevik secret police in 1918. Even before the DNA evidence was discovered, well… The rest of her family, along with the doctor, maid, and dog, were definitely killed that night. (There were rumors that Alexei somehow survived too, but come on, a frail boy with hemophilia and couldn’t even walk at that stage survive a volley of bullets? Come on.) The idea of any of the executioners showing mercy to Anastasia strains credulity. In any case, Wikipedia puts the number of pretenders at 10+.
What was Anastasia herself like? ‘Spunky’. Reportedly witty, a bit of a tomboy, a very reluctant scholar. She also got into trouble, a lot, mostly for very good reasons. (Like mimicking people to the point of mockery and putting a rock in a snowball and chucking it at her sister Tatiana. She freaked out at the results of the latter, though.) When her family was in captivity, she and her sisters would perform plays for the entertainment of the others. Even the guards were split on whether she was charming or awful. She probably wasn’t awful enough to merit death by bayonet, though.