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There was no shortage of male Romanovs for a succession so even if the Tsesarevich died of his illness the future of the dynasty would not be in jeopardy. It was a very dangerous time for the Russian Aristocracy - the threat of assassination loomed large. See The Romanovs and others. So it seems quite sensible that Alexei's vulnerability should be ...


This was kept a secret for the same reason that FDR "was careful never to be seen in [a wheelchair] in public. Great care was also taken to prevent his being portrayed by the press in a way which would highlight his disability" - the severely ill heir subverts trust in government. This is especially true of the Russian monarchy, which claimed divine right.

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