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Born on 6  May 1868, the day of the Holy [[Job]] the Long-Suffering, St Nicholas was the eldest son of Crown Prince Alexander Alexandrovich (the future Emperor Alexander III) and Grand Duchess Maria Feodorvna (the future Empress). He received an excellent education under the supervision of his father, speaking fluently Russian, English, French, German, and Italian, and learning Russian and world history, Russian literature, and the art of warfare.
In 1884, St Nicholas met the future Empress St. [[Alexandra Romanov|Alexandra]], then Princess Alice Victoria Helen Louise Beatrix von Hessen-Darmstadt, at the wedding of the latter's sister, Grand Duches-Martyr St [[Elizabeth the New Martyr|Elizabeth Fyodorovna]] with the Emperor's uncle, Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich. Princess Alex was a daughter of Prince Ludwig von Hessen-Darmstadt and Princess Alice and a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of England. The two became good friends, a friendship that later grew into love. In 1894, St Nicholas received a blessing from his father to wed Princess Alice on the condition that she become Orthodox.
In February 1917, during the February Revolution, Nicholas reluctantly abdicated the throne, hoping that doing so might save the nation some violence. After the Bolshevik (October) revolution, he and his family were exiled to Siberia, where they were detained under house-arrest. After several months, the family was lined up in the basement and shot. The bodies were buried in an unmarked grave.