Counting down to 17 July 1918 when the family was murdered.
On 16 July 1918, the last full day of life for the Romanovs began. It was a quiet and uneventful day. It was their 78th day at the Ipatiev House. Alexei had a slight cold, but he still went out with the others into the gardens. Around 9 in the morning, the family took the tea and black bread for breakfast as Yurovsky became more and more nervous. He did the usual morning inspection. In his office, he informed his assistant that the “liquidation” would take place that night. There would be no more delays.1
It had been carefully planned out. The execution would have to take place inside the house, and the bodies would have to disappear to ensure that they would not be found later.2 The men would take aim from the doorway, another set of doors led into a storeroom, but that was to be firmly locked.
In the afternoon, Tatiana stayed indoors and read from the prophets as Alexandra sat making lace. Around 3 pm, Nicholas, Olga, Anastasia, Maria and Alexei went outside into the garden for the last time. They came back from their walk an hour later. A few hours later, the kitchen boy was told to get his things together to leave to go see his uncle. The family became upset at another one of their entourage being separated from them, but they were assured that he would come back. Later that night Alexandra wondered in her diary, “whether its (sic) true & we shall see the boy again!”
Around ten that night, Nicholas and Alexandra enjoyed a final game of bezique as their executions began to gather downstairs.3 Shortly after, the family and their last few servants, gathered for their usual prayers and then retired to bed. As her final diary entry, Alexandra recorded the weather. It was still 15 degrees outside.4