Royal SCANDAL: King George V RUTHLESSLY knifed Tsar Nicholas in back to save Royal Family

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Royal SCANDAL: King George V RUTHLESSLY knifed Tsar Nicholas in back to save Royal Family

King George V has been revealed as a key architect in the demise of his cousin Tsar Nicholas II of Russia at the height of the Russian revolution, after failing to provide asylum to the Russian monarchy in a bid a protect the House of Windsor.

Nicholas II and his family were shot dead by the Bolsheviks in July 1918, after abdicating in March 1917 following the February Revolution.

King George V and Tsar Nicholas II were close friends and spent many holidays together Image GETTY
King George V and Tsar Nicholas II were close friends and spent many holidays together Image GETTY

King George V and Prime Minister Lloyd George had initially offered asylum to the Russian Royal Family in Britain after the House of Romanov was overthrown, fearing the Provisional government would be overthrown by the Bolsheviks, which later occurred during the October Revolution of 1917.

Writing on March 19 1917 to Tsar Nicholas II, King George V said: “Events of last week have deeply distressed me.

“My thoughts are constantly with you, and I shall always remain your true and devoted friend as you know I have been in the past.”

Every day the King is becoming more concerned about the question of the Emperor and Empress of Russia coming to this country

Lord Stamfordham

However, the fall of the Russian Tsars was widely welcomed by war-weary Britons towards the end of the First World War, with many socialists regarding Tsar Nicholas II as a tyrant.

Tsar Nicholas II and his family were killed on July 16 1918 in Ekaterinburg Image GETTY
Tsar Nicholas II and his family were killed on July 16 1918 in Ekaterinburg Image GETTY

King George V’s private secretary, Lord Stamfordham, consequently compiled a file – named Unrest in the Country – which outlined the changing attitudes towards monarchy in Britain.

Within the file, it included a letter from Colonel Unsworth which outlined the growing resent towards the Royal Family among the British public.

Writing on April 5 1917, he said: “I have noticed since the news came to hand of the Russian Revolution, a change has come over a certain sector of the people in regards to their respect for the King and the Royal Family.

“A friend of mine saw written in a second class railway carriage, ‘to hell with the King, down with all royalties’.”

In a newly uncovered letter, it has been revealed that King George instructed Lord Stamfordham to write to the then Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, outlining his growing concerns surrounding the potential arrival of the Russian Tsar in Britain.

The letter, sent from Lord Stamfordham to Arthur Balfour on April 6 1917, said: “Every day the King is becoming more concerned about the question of the Emperor and Empress of Russia coming to this country.

“His Majesty receives letters from people in all classes of life, known or unknown to him, saying how much the matter is being discussed.”

Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in March 1917 following the February Revolution Image GETTY
Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in March 1917 following the February Revolution Image GETTY

A second letter, dated the same day, added: “There is evidence in this country of the ex-Emperor and Empress coming to this country would be resented by the public.

“The opposition to them coming here is so strong that we must be allowed to withdraw from the consent previously given to the Russian government’s proposal.”

It had previously been believed Lloyd George had decided to withdraw the offer of asylum to the House of Romanov following an initial request from the Russian government, but Lord Stamfordham’s letter indicates that King George himself was pivotal in the decision.

Historian Dr Piers Brendon notes in the documentary, The Royal House of Windsor, that King George was a constitutional monarch, who was supposed to heed the advice of his ministers.

Princess Olga Romanoff said her father never knew of King George Vs letter to Lloyd George Image GETTY
Princess Olga Romanoff said her father never knew of King George Vs letter to Lloyd George Image GETTY

Yet, he adds the King in effect “attempted to instruct” the government on its policy, with words such as “must” and “ought” in his letter.

Arthur Balfour consequently capitulated and wrote to Lloyd George, advising the Prime Minister to withdraw the offer of asylum, and in turn sealing the fate of the Russian royal family.

Tsar Nicholas and his family were subsequently overthrown in March 1917, and were later executed by the Bolsheviks on July 16 1918 after being moved to Ekaterinburg.

In a damning reflection on the King’s actions, Dr Brendon said: “George consigned the House of Romanov to history and his cousin Nicholas to the firing squad in order that the House of Windsor should survive.”

King George V encouraged the British Government to withdraw an offer of asylum to Tsar Nicholas II Image GETTY
King George V encouraged the British Government to withdraw an offer of asylum to Tsar Nicholas II Image GETTY

Historian Professor Jane Ridley added: “I think this decision to refuse asylum is characteristic of the British Royal Family, which is pragmatic, realistic, but with a certain ruthlessness.”

The Russian royal family, including the few members who managed to seek asylum in Britain following the revolution, were never made aware of King George’s actions until the revelation of Lord Stamfordham’s letter.

Princess Olga Romanoff, a descendant of the House of Romanov whose father was the son of Tsar Nicholas’ sister Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, noted her father never knew King George was partly to blame for his family’s demise.

She said: “My father never said it was George’s fault, he always said it was the Prime Minister fault; but it appears it was all George’s fault.

“I’m very glad my father died before the letter was found because he would have been really upset.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK