God Save the Prince looks to hemophilia and Alexei Nikolaevich Romanov for inspiration. Alexei was the son of Nicholas II and the heir to the Russian throne. Unfortunately, Alexei also suffered from hemophilia. Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder in which the sufferers ability to form a clot is severely reduced. Bumps and scrapes that would be minor to others can result in life threatening internal bleeding for a hemophiliac. In Alexei’s time, hemophiliacs didn’t generally live to see adulthood.
Alexei’s family rallied around the sick boy and kept his illness a secret. The Romanov’s feared public knowledge of Alexei’s illness would lead the Russian people to lose faith in the monarchy. As the illness drew the Romanovs closer as a family unit, the gap between Nicholas II and the people of Russia widened. In 1917, the Russian Revolution deposed the Romanovs and they were executed the following year.
Today hemophilia is treatable. With access to the correct anti-hemophiliac drugs sufferers have a normal life expectancy. The high cost of treatment however leaves it largely out of reach for citizens of the undeveloped world. The struggles of the Romanovs in the early 1900s are still felt by families coping with hemophilia today. In the 1980s most of the population of severe hemophiliacs was infected with HIV by drugs used to treat hemophilia. The families afflicted were pariahs in their communities. Some hemophiliacs were kicked out of school and others even had their homes burned down if they were known to have hemophilia and HIV.
To their subjects, the Romanovs seemed distant and unrelatable. God Save the Prince aims to refocus our lens on the Romanovs as a family unit and promote hemophilia awareness. Our friends (both solvent and indigent) dealing with pre-existing conditions like hemophilia need our support and acknowledgement.