Russia’s tsars ruled over the biggest country in the world for more than 300 years. Their power was absolute, their wealth legendary and their downfall cruel. In the end, they tragically failed to fulfil their goal of leading their empire into the modern age. The last tsarist family, the Romanoffs, were executed in the bullet storm of the 1917 revolution.
Today, Russia is proud of its royal heritage again. It is hoped imperial glory will rub off on its new ruler, head of state Vladimir Putin, and reignite national sentiment.