Soon it will be a full hundred years since that fateful July 1914 when Imperial Russia mobilized its armies to confront the Central Powers in what would become World War I. It was the beginning of the end of the Romanov dynasty and the court of the last Tsar.
The Romanov court required a staggering number of servants. At the Winter Palace alone over 1,000 were in constant attendance; when the Tsar and the Empress were in actual residence as many as 6,000 were needed.
Now being “in service” to the royal family wasn’t too bad a gig for the time. Most of those employed at Court came to service through family connections as descendants of earlier employees. Most male servants were taken from the military, their unquestioning allegiance making them fit for service. There was some glamour to the job no matter how menial. There were hundreds…
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