Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

March 16, 2017 OPINION/NEWS


Hazel Speed

When I learned that it was a hundred years since the date of the Russian Revolution, I had a sense of sadness that I always have when I think about this tragic story.

The Emperor, the Tsar, and Empress Tsarina, together with their Family of Princesses and one Prince Son (who sadly suffered from haemophilia), were all ruthlessly shot dead, then their bodies were burned.

What makes this even more tragic was the fact there were soldiers en route to rescue them but were a little way off, as the Romanov Family had been taken from a Palace to a type of farmhouse elsewhere and lived in hope of rescue for quite a long time. No more grandeur for them. Even some of their close courtiers were reported to have been with them and shared their eventual fate apparently.

All this because of civil war – the situation not helped by the fact the Russian people suffered hardships and were starving whilst the Romanovs continued on with their lifestyle.

History varies on some accounts inferring by the time the Tsar realised the enormity of this serious situation it was too late, all was lost.

The British Royal Family does not come out of this too well either as for political reasons the Tsar and his Family were refused residence in the UK by his own Cousin, King George V, albeit because he was so advised, despite wanting to help the Romanovs seek refuge in England.

Then again, it is said he managed to get that decision reversed, but by that time, it was too late. Originally, King George V was advised it would harm Britain if his Cousin and Family were in the UK as the Russian Revolution may actually come to Britain.

I recall that when HRH Prince Charles was once being interviewed when he was still a young bachelor, he said if he had lived in the same era of the Tsar, prior to the Revolution, then he most likely would have married one of the Royal Princesses, such were traditions of those times.

Whilst the Russian Civil War was going on, Rasputin, who was a rogue cleric of sorts, but far from being a chaste man as he loved wine, women and probably song, seemed to have a gift of healing so the Tsarina called him to help with the Royal Son’s health emergencies, especially if the young boy had a fall or hurt himself as either contingency was life-threatening, given his condition of haemophilia.

The country soon accused him of political scheming at best, or being the lover of the Tsarina at worst, so eventually he was also assassinated, but the cleric took some killing!

There is a legend that Anastasia, one of the Russian Princesses who was reportedly assassinated, survived. I saw a television documentary once where verbatim statement of an eye witness not long after the time of the massacre of the Royal Family, reported seeing Anastasia; sadly rumours inferred she ended up in a sanatorium then left of her own accord but reports were vague thereafter.


In 1972 I had the privilege of sailing on the Alexandra Pushkin Ship from Montreal to Tilbury docks. Though we did hope there would not be any international incident anywhere in the world as we would be possible diplomatic prisoners, especially as we had to relinquish our passports whilst on board, only stopping for a couple of hours at Le Havre before going on to Tilbury.

Whilst on board waiting with two other ladies for the ship elevator to arrive and take everyone to another deck, the lady on my left started a row, in French, with the lady on my right who responded, in French. Despite my silent prayers, they gestured to me for my input.

As I only understand bits and bobs of the French language I needed help fast as did not even know what the row was about so hoped it was nothing to do with myself. I was eventually saved by a friend who shared the same dining table as myself. She spoke numerous languages so managed to extricate me without getting caught up in the row itself.

When we left the scene the row, apparently, had been between a Canadian French speaker and a French speaking person from Paris, France who had accused the Canadian lady of not being true French and they were seeking my opinion (grin). Phew.

I would like to finalise my words in this article, however, by saying the Russian people know the meaning of hardship and hard work, struggling against the weather and the odds. They have, though a great sense of culture, and fine artists (Faberge jewelled eggs), Russian Amber Room and intrigue about that itself, though they have suffered greatly in historic times and many, it is said, still lack the freedoms we have and enjoy in the West.

The story of the Russian Revolution should serve as a warning to us all. Civil War is the worst kind of war, though none are ever good. The people of any nation serve as a metaphor in considerations akin to a canary in a mine.

We have seen how Brexit has had its inevitable effect on the UK and prior to that the years of Mrs Thatcher many considered a tyranny of sorts. The people are paramount to any nation, and any Head of State or Royal Family are only where they are by the will of the people, though it is accepted that removing any political leader is more restrictive, within some autocratic states, for obvious reasons.

Somehow, it feels like a sad day to me as I write this in respect of those times for Russia as a country, and its people, a Century ago.









Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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1 Comment

  1. P C K PREM March 16, at 09:13

    Apart from contemporary relevance and contextual questions, it reminds of 'Involuntary Journey to Siberia' Regimental life restricts intellectual growth and does not speak well of a free society. I enjoyed reading the article of Madam Hazel Speed. Thanks.


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