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  #281  
Old 04-05-2008, 02:43 PM
Imperial Majesty
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexi4 View Post
I believe there was an article in Science Magazine in 2005 that discussed using DNA to identify a TB carrier. It can be done.
If you have any more details, I can probably find the article because I have a subscription to Science.


Quote:
You present o good defense of the bodies found in the mass grave belonging to the Romanovs. I don't think too many people question those findings. Or at least I don't.
You've just posted a thread about the Knight paper, which is the one that questions these results. You're saying you don't agree with their conclusions?

Quote:
I think the heart of this dispute is the chain of custody involved in the samples which came from Anna Anderson. That seems to be at the heart of every debate.
Lexi
The people who are disputing the authenticity of the samples, which are from quite different sources (one hair sample donated by an individual and one intestinal sample from a hospital) don't seem to have a good explanation for the fact that they have the same DNA sequence. I could understand the problem if both samples were from the same source, but they weren't. Nor were they analysed in the same lab, so cross-contamination isn't likely.
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  #282  
Old 04-05-2008, 04:48 PM
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Elspeth,
Let me to repeat my questions once again:
1. Do you know, what was a degree (%) of reliability of comparative researches of DNA in 1990th years and what degree of the reliability is now?
2. And - this is very important (ChatNoir's question) - if a TB carrier cannot be identified using DNA sampling - why in general you give so a lot of attention to these doubtful researches of DNA of AA of 1990-th years?
Boris
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  #283  
Old 04-05-2008, 05:11 PM
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I must agree with Elspeth and she has used a very cogent, scientific statement to back her facts. Also, Peter Kurth is selling a book, based on the "assumption" that AA was Anastasia.
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  #284  
Old 04-05-2008, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
So unless you're accusing the scientists of switching samples, the hair did in fact come from the same person as the intestinal sample? Which suggests that the intestinal sample wasn't some random sample from someone completely different and relabelled as coming from Anna Anderson.
I have not accused anybody of switching samples, only pointed out that it took three months to find the sample from AA after the hospital denied that there was anything left of her there.

Quote:
As I said - a lot of scientific results, including correct ones, wouldn't hold up in court because the standards of proof (if you can even use the word "proof" in science) are different. The match was good enough for the paper to make it through the peer review process at a major journal, whose purpose is to catch overstated results, among other things. If the conclusions made by the authors were inconsistent with the data, the peer review process should have caught it. To what extent is Shay McNeal an authority on DNA testing?
I do not know if Shay McNeal is an authority or not on DNA testing. What she points out, it that neither FSS nor AFDIL released their full case file to RECA for independent peer review and the legal procedure of discovery by a truly independent body. Do you know why?

Quote:
C
Quote:
TCCCCACCTTT ATTA...
TTCCCCACCTTC ATTG..C
TTCCCCACCTTC ATTG..C

(the dots are where there's no data)


As you can see, every time the other two sequences don't match the reference sequence, the difference is the same for both. In other words, they're identical to each other. Please explain how this match is tenuous.
You are right, this looks like a match to me.

Quote:
Presumably the person who collected the sample, unless you're suggesting that Prince Philip drew his own blood. And since the sample matched a sample from the putative Tsarina (see above), it would appear that it was genuine.
And here is why it would not pass muster in court, the sample was not collected with the proper persons in attendance.

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Which other scientists?
Dr. Knight, among others.

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No, it doesn't. There's nothing wrong with the technique. If it's used correctly, it gives correct results. As with all techniques, if it isn't used correctly, it'll give incorrect results. Doctors occasionally misread mammograms; it would be utterly foolish to dismiss mammography as a useful technique on the basis of a few mistakes by a few individuals, yet that's what you're trying to do here. The people who are so casually dismissing the results of these analyses are so far not addressing how the same results were obtained independently in two labs (actually, I think it was three labs because the analyses were also being done in Russia). Are you seriously trying to say that the exact same mistakes were independently made by two different groups in two different labs on two different continents? The probability of that scenario is remote to say the least. The alternative would be some sort of conspiracy between them to fudge their results so they appeared correct when they weren't - and that's where we're getting into the realms of accusation of criminal wrongdoing, which is something I hope you have good grounds for making.
As I said before, the same results from different labs would indicate correct results. What I am getting at, is the chain of custody.

Quote:
No, you aren't. You're trying to use mistakes in another case to cast doubt on these particular results. I think everyone would agree that any analysis technique has at some point given wrong results because the technician screwed up, the machine wasn't calibrated, the samples were contaminated or wrongly labelled, or whatever other reason. However, in order to cast doubt on the Gill-Stoneking results, you need to show that they were doing something wrong, not that someone else was doing something wrong in a totally unrelated case ten years later.
All we know, is that mistakes DO happen, even in the scientific world.


Quote:
If you're casting doubt on scientific research, your scientific credentials and your understanding of science are entirely relevant. You're accusing highly regarded scientists of (at the very least) serious incompetence and at worst criminal conspiracy and fraud, and it would be nice to know how deeply you understand the science and, if you don't, why you're so confidently trashing the reputations of these researchers.
No, my dear, I am not accusing anybody. I only try to collect the information I find about this case and present it her for discussion.

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I don't especially care what you believe. I care about these allegations you're making against highly reputable research scientists.
It seems to me that you care a whole lot.....

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Peter Kurth would be another world-renowned expert on genetics like Shay McNeal, would he?
And instead of commenting on what Mr. Kurth's colleague wrote on his website, all you can do, is making snide remarks about Mr. Kurth. Interesting.

ChatNoir
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  #285  
Old 04-06-2008, 04:38 AM
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IMHO Lexi has it right: we have no convincing proof that the DNA said to be from AN really is from her. So for me the DNA-test is not necessarily the end of it. There is a lot of evidence in the case to point at AN having been Anastasia and there are quite some motives why people involved haven't wanted that result to be the lasting one.

So I believe the case is open enough to discuss it and form an opinion.
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  #286  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisRom View Post
Elspeth,
Let me to repeat my questions once again:
1. Do you know, what was a degree (%) of reliability of comparative researches of DNA in 1990th years and what degree of the reliability is now?
2. And - this is very important (ChatNoir's question) - if a TB carrier cannot be identified using DNA sampling - why in general you give so a lot of attention to these doubtful researches of DNA of AA of 1990-th years?
Boris
1. According to the researchers, the techniques aren't that different now. There have been some refinements but no major changes. From reading their long paper (the one on the bodies from the mass grave), their account of the experimental procedures they used reads very much like a modern paper - and I read these sorts of papers all the time in my line of work.

2. We don't actually know that TB carriers can't be identified - I'm still waiting for some more details about this Science paper. Was Anna Anderson a TB carrier? If not, how is this relevant?

On what basis are you claiming that these researches are doubtful? Do we have another armchair genetics expert here, so confidently pouring scorn on the work of real scientists?
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  #287  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:47 PM
Imperial Majesty
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChatNoir View Post
I have not accused anybody of switching samples, only pointed out that it took three months to find the sample from AA after the hospital denied that there was anything left of her there.
And why is this relevant? The DNA sequence of the sample they eventually produced matched the DNA sequence of another sample purported to be from the same person.


Quote:
I do not know if Shay McNeal is an authority or not on DNA testing. What she points out, it that neither FSS nor AFDIL released their full case file to RECA for independent peer review and the legal procedure of discovery by a truly independent body. Do you know why?
No, but I do know their results went through scientific peer review. They weren't asked to take on a case where they would have to defend their results in a court of law, so there's no reason for them to proceed as though they would.


Quote:
And here is why it would not pass muster in court, the sample was not collected with the proper persons in attendance.
What, exactly, constitutes the "proper people"? As far as courts of law, you only have to look at the Princess Diana inquest to know that verdicts in courts of law make no difference to people who are rock-solid sure they know the Truth.

Quote:
Dr. Knight, among others.
Please provide a link to the report where Dr Knight was querying the Anna Anderson results.


Quote:
As I said before, the same results from different labs would indicate correct results. What I am getting at, is the chain of custody.
Why? You have results from two - possibly three - labs in agreement with each other. This indicates an extremely high likelihood that the samples (which are different from each other and were provided by different sources) come from the same person. In order to use chain-of-custody arguments to cast doubt on these results, you'd need to be claiming a conspiracy of some sort.

Quote:
All we know, is that mistakes DO happen, even in the scientific world.
Of course they do. However, as I said, you need actual evidence that mistakes were made in this case in order to discount the results. The fact of independent confirmation from different labs is a very strong indicator that the results are sound. If you want to challenge these particular results, you'll need more details than saying that, well, mistakes are made in science because look at the Titanic results and throwing out vague comments about chains of custody.

Quote:
No, my dear, I am not accusing anybody. I only try to collect the information I find about this case and present it her for discussion.
You are accusing them. You're doing your best to infer that their results were wrong. Given the scenario of tests from two different labs that give matching results, you have to be accusing them of, at the very least, gross incompetence. And to be honest, I'm having a hard time seeing how incompetence could even account for this - the only really plausible scenario, apart from the possibility that their results are actually correct, would be some sort of conspiracy among the different groups of scientists to falsify their results. I hope you can see that that is an extremely serious allegation. Scientists have ended up losing their jobs and in some cases being prosecuted over this sort of thing.

Quote:
It seems to me that you care a whole lot.....
As I said - I do care a whole lot when people start trashing the work of reputable scientists, which is what's going on here.


Quote:
And instead of commenting on what Mr. Kurth's colleague wrote on his website, all you can do, is making snide remarks about Mr. Kurth. Interesting.
Perhaps you missed the quotes from the scientists themselves which I posted?
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  #288  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine View Post
IMHO Lexi has it right: we have no convincing proof that the DNA said to be from AN really is from her. So for me the DNA-test is not necessarily the end of it. There is a lot of evidence in the case to point at AN having been Anastasia and there are quite some motives why people involved haven't wanted that result to be the lasting one.

So I believe the case is open enough to discuss it and form an opinion.
There were two samples, not one. One (the intestinal sample) came from the hospital, which claimed that it was from Anna Anderson. One (the hair sample) was provided by some people who claimed that the hairs came from Anna Anderson. One of the samples was tested in the USA, and the other was tested in the UK, meaning that cross-contamination was highly unlikely. They showed the same DNA sequences, meaning that they were almost certainly from the same person.

If there had only been one sample, I'd agree with you. But the existence of two samples from different sources (although both being claimed to be from the same person), tested in different labs, giving the same results, is a lot firmer than just one DNA sample of somewhat dubious provenance.

If the hospital had just pulled a sample off the shelf at random and given it to the scientists, saying "here's a sample from Anna Anderson," then it would be anyone's guess whether it really was from her. But that sample and the hair sample seem to be from the same person. It's vanishingly unlikely that a random sample from the hospital would be a DNA match to the hair sample unless they were from the same person.
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  #289  
Old 04-06-2008, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
1. According to the researchers, the techniques aren't that different now. There have been some refinements but no major changes. From reading their long paper (the one on the bodies from the mass grave), their account of the experimental procedures they used reads very much like a modern paper - and I read these sorts of papers all the time in my line of work.
Elspeth,
With due respect,
but you have not answered my question on a degree of reliability of comparative researches of DNA. 99 %? 99.9 %?... 99.9999 %? How many?
Each scientific method of research has own degree of reliability of results.
As to me, I have a scientific degree of Cand.Tech.Sci. (I defended PhD in radio-technic in 1980).
I’m not a genetics expert, therefore I have asked you about reliability of these comparative researches of DNA.
Boris
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  #290  
Old 04-06-2008, 01:38 PM
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Here is a link to an article about Dr. Alec Knight.

http://www.peterkurth.com/Knight%20c...ill%202004.htm

And yes, Anna Anderson suffered from tuberculosis.

ChatNoir
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  #291  
Old 04-06-2008, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
If you have any more details, I can probably find the article because I have a subscription to Science.




You've just posted a thread about the Knight paper, which is the one that questions these results. You're saying you don't agree with their conclusions?



The people who are disputing the authenticity of the samples, which are from quite different sources (one hair sample donated by an individual and one intestinal sample from a hospital) don't seem to have a good explanation for the fact that they have the same DNA sequence. I could understand the problem if both samples were from the same source, but they weren't. Nor were they analysed in the same lab, so cross-contamination isn't likely.
So you leap to the conclusion that I agree with the Knight paper simply because I posted it? Wow. I never stated my opinion of the Knight paper. I posted it so that it would be available for anyone who was interested. So it could be read and one could draw their own conclusions. Just because I posted it does not mean that I agree or disagree with it. I just like making all information available.
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  #292  
Old 04-06-2008, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChatNoir View Post
Here is a link to an article about Dr. Alec Knight.

http://www.peterkurth.com/Knight%20c...ill%202004.htm

And yes, Anna Anderson suffered from tuberculosis.

ChatNoir
I'm familiar with the allegations by Dr Knight. I'm asking what they have to do with the Anderson case.
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  #293  
Old 04-06-2008, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexi4 View Post
So you leap to the conclusion that I agree with the Knight paper simply because I posted it? Wow. I never stated my opinion of the Knight paper. I posted it so that it would be available for anyone who was interested. So it could be read and one could draw their own conclusions. Just because I posted it does not mean that I agree or disagree with it. I just like making all information available.
Please read what I wrote. I was asking if you agreed with it since you'd posted the link. That isn't a matter of leaping to conclusions, it's a matter of asking for clarification.

So, again, do you agree with his criticisms of the work done on the remains from the mass grave?
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  #294  
Old 04-06-2008, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisRom View Post
Elspeth,
With due respect,
but you have not answered my question on a degree of reliability of comparative researches of DNA. 99 %? 99.9 %?... 99.9999 %? How many?
Each scientific method of research has own degree of reliability of results.
As to me, I have a scientific degree of Cand.Tech.Sci. (I defended PhD in radio-technic in 1980).
I’m not a genetics expert, therefore I have asked you about reliability of these comparative researches of DNA.
Boris
The technique is basically the same as it was in the 1990s. There have been refinements over the years to allow amplification of smaller stretches of DNA, but the technique itself isn't that different. If you have a workable sample, you'll get the same results now as you would have in the 1990s.

One of the biggest problems with this sort of work is contamination of the samples leading to amplification of a DNA sequence that isn't what you thought it was. From reading the research paper which described experimental procedures, the safeguards they used are pretty much the same as those used nowadays.

You can't put a blanket percentage reliability on a method because there are too many variables, one of the most problematic being the condition of the sample. As far as I can tell, all the techniques they used back then are still in use today, which means they've stood the test of time.
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  #295  
Old 04-06-2008, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
I'm familiar with the allegations by Dr Knight. I'm asking what they have to do with the Anderson case.
My fault, and I apologize. But the cases are rather connected, don't you think?
And the bottom line is: There is still no legal ruling that has established Anna Anderson as being Franzisca Schanzkowska.

ChatNoir
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  #296  
Old 04-06-2008, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Please read what I wrote. I was asking if you agreed with it since you'd posted the link. That isn't a matter of leaping to conclusions, it's a matter of asking for clarification.

So, again, do you agree with his criticisms of the work done on the remains from the mass grave?
Elspeth,
My opinion doesn't matter. I just enjoy the discussion.
Lexi
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  #297  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
<...>You can't put a blanket percentage reliability on a method because there are too many variables, one of the most problematic being the condition of the sample. As far as I can tell, all the techniques they used back then are still in use today, which means they've stood the test of time.
Elspeth,
How much I know, a blanket percentage reliability of comparative tests of DNA is defined by probability of reception (of showing) of casual identical genetic structures/profiles (according to statistics of used bases ["bank"] of genes).
Test methods of DNA and bases of genes of 1990th years provided probability of reception of casual identical genetic structures within the limits of 4:100 (96 %) up to 1:6000 (99.983 %) - at the best.
Actually this level of reliability is too low for conclusions on the basis of comparative researches of DNA. For example, we know, that in 1920th years the 600 thousand Russian emigrants lived in Germany. Hence, methods of comparative researches of DNA of 1990th years would show us, that not less than 100 person from them (1:6000) or up to 24 thousand from them (4:100) - unrelated to each other - would have identical mtDNA profiles, thus "proving" that they are related.
How much I know, now the test-methods of DNA and basesof genes provide probability of reception (of showing) of casual identical genetic structures less 1:100 000 (or even 1:1 000 000). These levels of reliability are more suitable for conclusions about a degree of relationship. However, the medical statistics of rare disease (congenital b. Hallux Valgus - case of AA=ANR) nevertheless makes more than 1 : 10 000 000! It is much more reliable basis for conclusions about identity (AA=ANR)
Thus, results of comparative researches of DNA of 1990th years cannot be taken into account for definition of a degree of relationship.
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  #298  
Old 04-07-2008, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post

The people who are disputing the authenticity of the samples, which are from quite different sources (one hair sample donated by an individual and one intestinal sample from a hospital) don't seem to have a good explanation for the fact that they have the same DNA sequence. I could understand the problem if both samples were from the same source, but they weren't. Nor were they analysed in the same lab, so cross-contamination isn't likely.
Elspeth, the fact that the samples were from two different sources doesn't mean anything for me. That is because I believe it is not very difficult to plant both samples in order to force a "case closed"-verdict. If hospitals specialized in treating sensitive VIP-cases like the UCLA Medical Center are not able to keep their staff in line when money is offered to them, why should I believe in the staff of another hospital, who "finds" leftover of a patient who was not a VIP back then and whose history of illness does not indicate that someone would have ever needed this sample at all. As for the hair - ChatNoir already said that the source of this hair is at best dubious, if not outright suspicious.

Plus the Schanzkowska-connection. That is really suspicious, as Anastasia as well as AN were small women with small feet while Franziska Schanzkowska has been known to be much taller, with much larger feet. so I firmly believe that someone tried to end the case being discussed once and for all and tied up as much as he could. A conspiracy? I believe in it, yes. Because there are lots of motives of interested parties, the case was never properly investigated and the DNA-findings, even if they are scientifically correct, are outrights suspicious if only part of what has been investigated in the basic facts about Franziska Schanzkowska and AN is true. Not to mention that foot-deformation that AN had, that AA had but Schanzkowska most likely had not.

And here's a theory about who laughs the most about the AN/AA-case. IMHO it's the Russians who have had a very vivid interest in the fact that AN should never be accepted as AA. For them the current situation of the Romanovs is wonderful. At the moment there is no real pretender in the family: Grand Duchess Maria suffers from the disputed marriage of her parents and was forced according to the House laws to make a marriage which might be in accord with the rules as stated in the 1700s, but which doesn't hold in today's Russia. She married a German Royal and has now a son as heir who is not a real Russian but a German Hohenzollern-prince from his father's side. Some sort of pretender! So easy to portray him as a foreigner in Russia. And the others are all from morganatic marriages.

But if AN had been AA and had been recognised, she would have been the heiress (as next of kin to the last emperor), she could have married amd produced an heir - with her story in the back this would have been really, really a problem for the Soviets. A problem Germany had an interest in in 1938 but that nobody wanted after WWII, not the Soviets, not the Western countries. There was an interest on all sides that AN could not be proven as AA.

The question of a living daughter of the murdered emperor is not only a romantic one but had been a very political question as well. One easily tend to forget that.
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  #299  
Old 04-07-2008, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine View Post

But if AN had been AA and had been recognised, she would have been the heiress (as next of kin to the last emperor), she could have married amd produced an heir - with her story in the back this would have been really, really a problem for the Soviets. A problem Germany had an interest in in 1938 but that nobody wanted after WWII, not the Soviets, not the Western countries. There was an interest on all sides that AN could not be proven as AA.

The question of a living daughter of the murdered emperor is not only a romantic one but had been a very political question as well. One easily tend to forget that.
Forgive me, as I'm not an expert in the Russian succession laws, but from what I have read various places, I had thought that they were male line descent, and if all of the male lines were extinct - then it would go to a female.

Would that have been different if one of the Czar's daughters were alive? I realize that there were different claimants out there, Cyril, Dmitri, whatnot - but these were all male. If there had indeed been one of the Czar's daughters alive - would that really have changed that line of succession at the time?
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  #300  
Old 04-07-2008, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by norwegianne View Post
Forgive me, as I'm not an expert in the Russian succession laws, but from what I have read various places, I had thought that they were male line descent, and if all of the male lines were extinct - then it would go to a female.

Would that have been different if one of the Czar's daughters were alive? I realize that there were different claimants out there, Cyril, Dmitri, whatnot - but these were all male. If there had indeed been one of the Czar's daughters alive - would that really have changed that line of succession at the time?
The question of who was the heir to the killed Tsar if Alexei died as well was widely disputed. It all has to do with equal marriages according to the Romanov House Laws.

On the one hand there was Grand Duke Cyril, who proclaimed himself first, in 1922, curator of the throne and then, in 1924, emperor-in-exile. The question is: was this proclamation by rights, because Cyril had married without the consent of Nicholas II. - which according to the House laws leads to an exclusion from the line. Because of that, in the 1920s several groups formed around various Grand Dukes who all reasoned that their claim was the rightful one, but who all either died without children or married morganatically according to the House Laws. Cyril had married without the emperor's consent and his son Vladmir married a lady who was not Royal according to the interpretation of pre-1917 - thus both their claims were disputable.

As noone else except Cyril declared himself "emperor", once there was no male dynast from an equal marriage left, the princess who was next of kin of the last emperor was the heiress. So if Anastasia had survived and married a prince, her claim would have been much more founded than that of Cyril, Vladimir and now Grand Duchess Maria. So of course, from 1917 till the 1960ties no Romanov really wished for Anastasia to surface, get married to a Royal and become mother of a child with a claim to the throne according to the House laws of pre-1917.
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