Original CDV Photograph printed by Tournier Paris. Tsesarevich Nicholas of Russia pencilled to reverse
On 1 March 1881, following the assassination of his grandfather, Tsar Alexander II, Nicholas became Tsesarevich and his father became Tsar Alexander III. Nicholas and other family members witnessed Alexander II's death because they were staying at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg where he was brought after being attacked. For security reasons, the new Tsar and his family relocated their primary residence to the Gatchina Palace outside the city.
A long trip for educational purposes became an important part of training for the members of the Russian imperial house. In 1890, Tsar Alexander III decided to build the Trans-Siberian Railway. His heir, Tsesarevich Nicholas, took part in the opening ceremony for construction of the eastern portion in Vladivostok, and from there he continued to make a journey around the world, which became known as the Eastern Journey during which he survived an assassination attempt at Otsu, Japan. Although Nicholas attended meetings of the Imperial Council, his obligations were limited until he acceded to the throne, which was not expected for many years, since his father was only 45.