The true story of the king’s man
Was Grigori Rasputin really a magical holy man capable of healing permanent wounds and wounds of war? Unlikely. But the truth about Rasputin’s life has long been obscured by rumours, innuendo and legends, much of his own making. At the very least, it is known that he was born as a peasant in the Siberian village of Pokrovskoye in 1869. His alleged religious conversion did not take place until 1897 while visiting a monastery, but this “ monk” was never a real member of Russian Orthodoxy. Church. In fact, as his influence began to grow at the imperial court, local clergy in his hometown denounced Rasputin as a heretic.
But by this time, the rude but charismatic trickster had long managed to convince wealthy St. Petersburg nobles of his mystical healing powers. It was there that Rasputin first met Tsar Peter Nicholas II in 1905. The Russian Emperor was in a desperate state due to the illness of his son Alexei, who suffered from haemophilia. Rasputin convinced the Tsar and Tsarina of his ability to cure the child’s ailments. He is quickly hired as a royal lighter but quickly becomes a sort of adviser and confidant to the Tsar. Some even feared the royal family puppeteer.
With his rude behavior and strong influence over the emperor, Rasputin became increasingly unpopular at court, especially after the outbreak of World War I. There are rumors that Rasputin participated in gay or bisexual orgies, but many of these arose after his death. During his lifetime, his enemies were known to whisper louder stories of rampant hedonism, some dubious (that he slept with the Empress and her teenage daughters), and some sadly truer (sexual coercion and even rape of her female followers).
From where various assassination attempts. The first came in 1914 when a peasant woman, at the probable suggestion of an Orthodox priest, stabbed Rasputin in the stomach. He survived.
The successful assassination that is turned into a great action sequence in The king’s man did not involve British spies or, to our knowledge, elaborately choreographed Cossack dance fights. However, not much is known about what happened on the night of December 16, 1916, other than the fact that Rasputin was eventually shot three times, including ultimately in the forehead, by a conspiracy of conservative Russian nobles ( that some historians suggest were homosexuals themselves). These men were determined to separate Rasputin from his hypnotic influence on the Tsar.
… Nevertheless, Prince Felix Yusupov, who orchestrated the assassination plot, wrote in his memoirs a rather salacious account of the murder which, to this day, clearly makes for a great story. According to the prince, they lured Rasputin to a stately celebratory dinner and gave him cyanide-mixed teas and cakes… which did nothing. They then gave him Madeira wine with more poison added… which didn’t do anything either. Eventually, the prince left, retrieved a gun, and went back down the stairs to shoot Rasputin twice in the chest. Later that night, Rasputin reportedly rose from his apparent death to attack the prince and attempt to strangle him, eventually chasing him into the courtyard where he was again shot, this time at the front. Good and dead now, Rasputin’s body was carried by the noble conspirators through the snow to a bridge over the Malaya Never River. There they threw him into the freezing water.