Once he gave up the throne, Nicholas was no longer Tsar. When he was no longer Tsar, his family was under house arrest in their own home.
Nicholas, as prisoner, was a beleaguered man. The strain of defeat, humiliation and concern for his family began to show on his face.
It wasn't long before the Romanov family was forced to leave their beloved palace at Tsarskoe Selo. They were no longer free to go to Peterhof (the stunning summer palace with dozens of gold fountains and a canal to the sea), where most of the children had been born. Instead, they were exiled: first to Tobolsk (where they lived in the Governor's home and Nicholas and Alexei cut their own wood); then to Yekaterinburg (also spelled Ekaterinburg), a Siberian town near the Ural Mountains, 850 miles east of Moscow.
The Tsar was supposed to stand trial in Moscow. He never got there.
Life for the children in exile was much different from the life they had led as youngsters at the imperial court. Gone were the spacious rooms for rest and leisure. Long gone were the carefree days of being young.
Nicholas no longer wore the trappings of royalty. Alexandra had no further need of her beautiful court dresses and imperial jewels. The family no longer had access to their beloved Russian icons and no longer sent invitations to other royals for costume balls.
The pace of life had slowed for the Romanovs as they settled into the double-pallisade-guarded Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg. It would be their last home. (Pay close attention to the small window on the lower level. You will soon learn what happened inside that room.)