The Crown: Myers says season five ‘black mark’ on Charles
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Season five of The Crown covers the Royal Family from 1991 to 1997, chronicling events including the Windsor Castle fire in 1992, the explosive BBC Panorama interview with Princess Diana (played by Elizabeth Debicki) in 1995, and Prince Charles’ (Dominic West) continued relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams), among other events. One of the most intriguing instalments in the new series is episode six titled Ipatiev House, which looks at the relationship between the British Royal Family and their Russian cousins in the early 20th century.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from The Crown season 5
The episode sees Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce) sharing his DNA with scientists in a bid to identify the remains found close to Ipatiev House, which were thought to be those of the Russian Royal Family who was brutally assassinated by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution.
Prince Philip reconnects with his distant Russian relatives through extensive reading and research.
As one of the few remaining living descendants, Philip also gives some of his blood to a team hoping to confirm who the skeletons were.
The Duke of Edinburgh went on to speak to his friend Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma (Natascha McElhone) about the process by which his DNA was extracted.
How is Prince Philip related to the Romanovs?
As depicted in The Crown season five, Prince Philip’s DNA was used to solve the mystery of the remains near Ipatiev House, which were those of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and three of their five children.
The remains were first found in a shallow grave in 1991 after they were killed in 1918, however, the site was kept secret until the fall of the Soviet Union.
The remaining two children were later found in 2007 in a nearby site with Philip’s DNA used to identify them in 2016.
DNA from the monarch, who was a direct descendant of the Tsarina’s sister, were obtained as part of the research.
Additionally, DNA samples were taken from the Duke of Fife and Princess Xenia Cheremeteff Sfiri, who were directly related to Tsar Nicholas.
And so, all of the Romanovs were finally identified, bringing nearly a century of speculation about their fate and possible survival to an end.
Prince Philip is related to the Romanovs through all four of his grandparents. The last empress of Russia, Tsarina Alexandra, was his great-aunt on his mother’s side.
Prince Philip’s maternal grandmother was Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, who was sister to the Tsarina.
This means, the Tsar and Tsarina’s children were his great-distant cousins, whom he never got the chance to meet.
Meanwhile, his maternal grandfather was Prince Louis of Battenberg who was the nephew of Maria Alexandrovna (Marie of Hesse). She in turn was the wife of Romanov Emperor Alexander II.
Additionally, Prince Philip’s paternal grandmother was Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, who was the granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I.
His paternal grandfather George I of Greece was the brother of was the brother of Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark), who was the wife of Emperor Alexander III.
Speaking about Prince Philip’s connection to the Romanovs, Koenig said: “They didn’t make state visits to Russia for a very long time. Philip talked about how difficult it was. But he has Romanov ancestry.” She went on to say it was “family history” and “personal” to the Royal Family.
Koenig said: “I think the tragedy of the situation and being thrown into unmarked graves and buried.
“I think the historical significance and how they were found and finding more and more documents as the Soviet Union collapsed, and you found first-hand accounts of how these things happened. It was a tragedy.”
Reflecting on how Prince Philip may have felt, Koenig said: “It was important but it was also his family history. He was missing knowing.
“The grand duchesses would have married. We don’t know with Alexei as he was haemophiliac. But they could have had families of their own. Another circle of cousins.”
The Crown season 5 is streaming on Netflix now
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