Tombs of the Royal Family to be Opened for 
DNA Testing

The tomb of Alexander the III in the cathedral on the grounds of the Peter and Paul Fortress is to be opened for DNA testing.  Several other tombs including that of Nicholas II and Alexandra will be opened for DNA testing.  It is interesting to note that several members of the royal family suffered from hemophilia.  

The opening of the tombs has been initiated and approved by the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Papa Kiril.  The main goal and intention is to have a final recognition that these are in fact the bones of the royal family.  It has long been suspected that they are in fact the remains although until recently there has been a margin of error that meant that there was a small amount of uncertainly that allowed for some doubt.  

In 1998 the remains were officially buried in the church and in 2000 the remains were canonized as martyrs.  As the DNA tests done at time left a small amount of doubt, the remains could not be considered relics.  The upcoming tests hope to put an end to any doubt.