The months passed and Alexei stood up in his crib and began to crawl and to try to walk. When he stumbled and fell, little bumps and bruises appeared on his arms and legs. Within a few hours, they grew to dark blue swellings. Beneath the skin, his blood was failing to clot. The terrifying suspicion of his parents was confirmed. Alexei had hemophilia.
It is one of the supreme ironies of history that the blessed birth of an only son should have proved the mortal blow. Even as the saluting cannons boomed and the flags waved. Fate had prepare a terrible story. A long with the lost battles and sunken ships, the bombs, the revolutionaries and their plots, the strikes and revolts. Imperial Russia was toppled by a tiny defect in the body of a little boy. Hidden from public view, veiled in rumor, working from within, this unseen tragedy would change the history of Russia and the world. Nicholas & Alexandra by Massie