Watch the reenactment of the last days of the Romanovs on Netflix

The Last Czars on Netflix: Who was the Last Czar? Who was Nicholas II?

THE LAST CZARS is the new docuseries streaming on Netflix now. The series follows the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia but who was Nicholas II? spoke to Ben Cartwright who plays Rasputin in the series and Susanna Herbert who plays Tsarina Alexandra to find out more.


The Last Czars: Trailer for Netflix docuseries

The Last Czars is the new six-part docuseries about Nicholas II of Russia and the fall of the Romanov dynasty. The series features the input of historians who are experts on the Romanov dynasty alongside a dramatisation of events. Nicholas II was the last-ever Emperor of Russia and his abdication saw the monarchy abolished in Russia.

Nicholas II (also known as Nikolai II) was the last Tsar of Russia.

At the age of 26 in November 1894, he had no choice but to become Emperor after the death of his father Alexander II.

Nicholas had a controversial reign that was plagued by economic and social upheaval, alongside military collapse in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and the Eastern Front in World War Two.

The factor that caused Nicholas’s downfall is still widely debated by historians today.

Nicholas appointed himself as sole Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army in 1915, which meant he was largely absent from the Alexandra Palace.

Power was then left in the hands of his German wife, Alexandra, who had formed a close bond with the healer and spiritualist Rasputin.

The Tsar’s absence alongside crippling military defeats in World War One caused a lot of resentment amongst the elite and the people of Russia.

The people of Russia were also increasingly frustrated by food shortages, lack of supplies and the continuation of Russia’s involvement in the war.

All of this anger mounted in February 1917 over eight days, when mass demonstrations and violent clashes with police took place on the streets of Russia.

When divisions of the Russian army mutinied on March 12, the Tsar had really no option but to abdicate.

With his new German bride Alexandra by his side.   Alexandra is played by Susanna Herbert

With his new German bride Alexandra by his side. Alexandra is played by Susanna Herbert (Image: NETFLIX)

Speaking exclusively to, Ben Cartwright who plays Rasputin in The Last Czars said: “His father, was Alexander II and he was massive in stature, the whole country idolised him and he died prematurely and Nicholas was thrown into a role that he wasn’t prepared for. I think his case is really really sad and people will really connect with that.”

He added: “Robbie [Robert Jack] who plays him [Nicholas] does such a fantastic job of kind portraying this guy who he has this job that is too big for him but he is desperately trying to save face and prove that he can do it.

“He’s got people in one ear telling him to do this and people in the other telling him to do that and amongst all of that other stuff, you read that unlike many other royal couples, him and Alexandra were madly in love and really connected and had almost like a modern-day relationship where it was very mutual. He took on her counsel such as much she took on his and they are a loving family.

“You just feel dreadfully sorry for him I think and along the way he was a bit rigid and not realising that the times were changing and Russia was changing and actually being the King and the head of the church and having total autonomy over everything wasn’t the way to go forward but he stuck to his guns a little bit because that’s the way it had always been. It all came crashing down around him, it’s dreadfully sad.”

Tsar Nicholas II is played by Robert Jack

Tsar Nicholas II is played by Robert Jack (Image: NETFLIX)

The Tsar abdicated in on March 15, 1917, following the February Revolution, attempting to pass power Grand Duke Michael.

However, Michael did not accept the throne and the Provisional Government temporarily assumed control of Russia.

His reign saw the end of the Romanov dynasty and the abolition of the monarchy entirely in Russia.

Speaking exclusively to, Susanna Herbert who plays the Tsar’s wife, Alexandra added: “He struggled to have conviction in his own opinions and bowed too easily to his family’s or his advisor’s opinions.

“He was torn in so many different directions – he had to balance protecting the 300-year-old traditions of Russia and its rulers; evolving and changing with a modernising society; and protecting his own family, son and heir to the throne.

“I think anyone watching can empathise to some degree with the difficult decisions he faced on a daily basis.”

Tsar Nicholas II is played by Robert Jack

Tsar Nicholas II is played by Robert Jack (Image: NETFLIX)

The overthrow of the Tsar and the Romanov dynasty paved the way for the rise of the Bolshevik Party, led by Lenin, whose socialist politics led to the creation of the Soviet Union.

In August 1917, Kerensky, the leader of the Provisional Government, ordered the Romanovs to go Tobolsk for their safety.

In October 1917, Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized power and by March 1918, their imprisonment in the house in Tobolsk became more severe.

In July 1918, the Romanov family were executed by Yurovsky, a Soviet Revolutionary and Bolshevik officer.

Their bodies were not uncovered until 1979 by archaeologist Alexander Avdonin and in 2007, the body of the Tsar’s son Alexi and one of his daughters was uncovered.

The Last Czars is streaming on Netflix now

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The Tsar came to power in 1894

The Tsar came to power in 1894 (Image: NETFLIX)


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