It is December 16th 1916, and and the monk known as Grigori Rasputin has been invited by Prince Felix Yusupov to a wild party at the Moika Palace.
Happy Endings Part 11
Rasputin Rescues the RomanovsHe abruptly cancels his plans when a message arrives from the Empress. It tells him that an Okrana secret policeman has come to warn her that the British secret service has been plotting with Prince Yusupov to kill Rasputin.
With the Czar commanding the troops, the Czarina Alexandra has been acting as regent. Now she is horrified by the secret police report, that the British agents have decided to get rid of the monk, because he is persuading her to convince Czar Nicholas to make peace with her native Germany.
Rasputin's influence is certainly very great, since he is able to stop their son Alexei's bouts of hemophilia. (His power apparently came through hypnosis, combined with common-sense advice to let the boy rest.).
At any rate, the Russian people have long since turned against the war, which has led only to defeat and starvation. They are also reviling the Empress with rumors that she is a German spy, as well as Rasputin's mistress.
But her first thought is to save "our friend" (as she calls Rasputin), from any more assassination attempts. At once, she surrounds him with her family's famous Black bodyguards.
She also fires off a telegram to her husband, urging him to rush home. When the Okrana agent tells him about the English assassination scheme, he is so filled with outrage that he sues at once for peace with Germany and the other Central Powers.
He soon has reason to be glad he did. While the war had been turning the people against the royal family, the armistice brings on the same wild public rejoicing that greeted the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty a few years earlier.
About the only people who disapprove are the Bolsheviks, who had been hoping that the war would lead to a revolution. Instead, Vladimir Lenin stays stuck in Switzerland, while Joseph Stalin continues his career of robbing banks. As for Prince Yusupov, he is lucky to be able to flee in disguise to London.
The imperial family's popularity grows during World War II, when the Czar rallies his people during the Siege of Rasputingrad, which helps bring about the German defeat.
So now, under the rule of Czar Nicholas V, the Russian Empire seems likely to be governed by Romanovs for another 300 years. And of course the national anthem will always be "God Save the Czar!"