The Last Czars: Did royal tutor Pierre Gilliard PROVE Princess Anastasia was still alive?
18th July 2019

The Last Czars is available to stream and download on Netflix now. At the beginning of each episode, Pierre Gilliard (played by Oliver Dimsdale) visits a woman thought to be Princess Anastasia (Indre Patkauskaite) in hospital. In the series, Gilliard is trying to identify if the woman claiming to be Anastasia is the real Princess. Here’s what actually happened when royal tutor Pierre Gillard was asked to prove Princess Anastasia was real.

The Russian Royal Family were executed by Bolshevik soldiers in the early hours of July 17, 1918.

Rumours began to circulate that one of the Russian princesses had survived the execution as no remains had been uncovered from the house in Yekaterinburg.

The remains of the Tsar and his family would not be uncovered until the late 1970s and made public until after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

DNA testing confirmed that five bodies found at the burial site were that of the Tsar, Alexandra and three of his daughters.

In 2007, two more bodies were found nearby, and these were confirmed to be Alexei and the fourth daughter Anastasia.

Therefore, it has been scientifically proven that Princess Anastasia did not survive the execution of her family.


Regardless, throughout the 20th Century, several women came forward impersonating Princess Anastasia.

There have even been films made about her survival including 1956 film Anastasia and the animated 1997 film Anastasia.

The most well-known imposter of Princess Anastasia was Anna Anderson.

In 1920, Franziska Schanzkowska (also known as Anna Anderson) from West Prussia, appeared in Berlin after jumping from a bridge, claiming to the Princess Anastasia of the Romanov Dynasty.

When she arrived, she refused to identify herself and when she did speak, she was noted as having a Russian accent by Nurse Erna Buchholz and Dr Bonhoeffer at the Elisabeth Hospital.


Surviving members of the Russian Royal Family and those who were close to the Romanovs were called to identify if Anderson was Anastasia.

Pierre Gilliard was a Swiss academic and author, who was employed by Tsar Nicholas II as a French language tutor to his five children from 1905 to 1918.

In 1925, the Tsar’s sister Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia asked Gilliard and his wife to visit Anderson at St Mary’s Hospital in Berlin.

At the time, Anderson was being treated for a tubercular infection and she was gravely ill.

When she recovered, Anderson did not recognise Gilliard and later claimed it was because he had shaved off his beard.


As seen in the docuseries, Gilliard pressed Anastasia for details on her past, but she refused to answer.

Gilliard and his wife had become sympathetic to Anderson but did not believe that she was Anastasia.

He later wrote books and articles, including The False Anastasia, calling Anderson a “vulgar adventuress” and “first-rate actress”.

Gilliard detailed how there was no resemblance between Anastasia and Anderson and testified against her claims to be recognised as the Duchess of Hamburg in 1958.

Anderson’s lawsuits against the German government failed due to lack of proof that she was Anastasia.

DNA tests in 1995 later proved that Anderson was not Anastasia, but was a Polish woman by the name of Franziska Schanzkowska.

The Last Czars is streaming on Netflix now

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently, see more details here.

Source: Read Full Article