Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia

Grand Duke of Russia and member of the House of Romanov

Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia (Russian: Михаи́л Алекса́ндрович; 4 December [O.S. 22 November] 1878 – 13 June 1918) was the youngest son and fifth child of Emperor Alexander III of Russia. He was the brother of Nicholas II.

Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich
Disputed king I
Reign1917 (18 hours)
PredecessorNicholas II
SuccessorNikolai I
Born4 December [O.S. 22 November] 1878[1]
Anichkov Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died13 June 1918(1918-06-13) (aged 39)
Perm, Russian SFSR
Natalia Brasova (m. 1912)
IssueGeorge Mikhailovich, Count Brasov
Full name
Michael Alexandrovich Romanov
Regnal name
Michael II
FatherAlexander III of Russia
MotherDagmar of Denmark

When he was born, his paternal grandfather Alexander II was still the Emperor of Russia. Michael was fourth-in-line to the throne. After his grandfather was killed in 1881, he became third-in-line, In 1894, after the death of his father, he became second-in-line. In 1899, he became heir to Tsar Nicholas II.

In 1904, The birth of Nicholas's son Alexei moved Michael back to second-in-line. Alexei had hemophilia, so Michael thought the boy would die and he would be heir again. Michael caused a scandal when he took Natalia Sergeyevna Wulfert as a lover. This was because she was a married woman. Nicholas sent Michael to Orel to avoid a further scandal. This did not stop Michael, and he travelled often to see her. In 1910 they had a child, George. After this, Michael brought Natalia to St. Petersburg. In 1912, Michael married Natalia, hoping this would cause him to be removed from the line of succession. Michael and Natalia left Russia to live in France, Switzerland and England.

After the start of World War I, Michael returned to Russia. He was put in command of a cavalry regiment. When Nicholas abdicated on 15 March [O.S. 2 March] 1917, Michael was named as his successor instead of Alexei. Michael did not accept the throne. He waited for ratification by an elected assembly. He was never confirmed as emperor. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, he was put into prison and murdered.[2]

List of (unofficial) Monarchs of Russia

Name Born Died Reign
Michael II 1878 1918 1917-1917
Nikolai 1856 1929 1917-1924 or 1929
Cyril I ? ? 1924/1929-1938


  1. All dates before 14 February [O.S. 1 February] 1918, unless otherwise stated, are shown in Old Style, using the Julian calendar; from that date, only Gregorian (New Style) dates apply.
  2. "The Abdication of Nicholas II: 100 Years Later". The Russian Legitimist. Retrieved 30 January 2018.