1885: Emperor Nicholas II's accession to the throne
Nicholas II ascended the throne after the sudden death of his father Emperor Alexander III in 1895. In that year he married Princess Alice of Hessen-Darmstadt, who converted to Russian Orthodoxy and was given the name Russian Alexandra Fyodorovna (as was traditional for non-Orthodox brides of Russian monarchs and princes). Nicholas was crowned in 1896.
In the complex social and political situation which took shape in Russia at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, Nicholas became totally lost. Entrenched in the autocratic ideals of the 19th century, he refused to introduce reforms, being gradually forced into making some concessions to more forward looking politicians. But it was not enough and the monarchy was overthrown in a bloodless coup in February 1917. His brother Mikhail refused to accept the throne and a Provisional Government was set up. This in turn was overthrown by the more radical Bolshevik revolution of October 1917. The Emperor and his family had been kept imprisoned but largely well-treated until this time, but in July 1918 they were put to death in Ekaterinburg. Thus Nicholas II has gone down in history as the last Russian Emperor.
Coronation of Nicholas II
Portrait of Nicholas II