The many, many characters in Matthew Weiner's new Amazon Prime show, The Romanoffs, are saddled with a unique identity complex. Each is convinced that he or she is a descendant of the Romanov family, the last dynasty to rule Russia. In 1918, Tsar Nicholas II and his family were assassinated by their Bolshevik captors, marking the end of a 300-year imperial dynasty.
Though Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their five children were murdered, the descendants of the Romanov family live on in an exclusive bunch which includes Prince William and Harry. During the Bolshevik revolution, about 12 members of the extended Romanov clan were able to escape Russia. Their descendants are part of royal families and aren't regular civilians, as many of the characters (and royal-wannabes) in The Romanoffs are.
That said, whether The Romanoffs are actually related to the Romanovs doesn't really matter. What matters is that they think they are. A bloodline to the Romanovs is a shortcut to many heavy associations: lost grandeur, faded glory, a history of tragedy. Thinking you're related to the Romanovs is code for thinking you're destined for more.