The surprise consists of a double-sided watercolor miniature portrait of Tsarevich Alexei, framed by the Russian double-headed eagle, set - both on the front and the back - with diamonds. The Imperial eagle holds the orb and sceptre representative of the Romanov crown jewels. The original portrait has suffered some damage, and the current portrait on display is an archival photograph.
Inside the egg sits an engraved gold disc with a rose window design that holds the surprise in place. The intricate frame sits on a base of lapiz lazuli, and can be removed from the egg.
In 1904 Alexis - the long awaited heir to the throne - was born. But in 1911 he fell seriously ill with haemophilia, which he had inherited from his mother's bloodline. For a moment he was so sick that the Imperial Court had already written out his death notice. But he survived, and his miraculous recovery was therefor the inspiration for the 1912 easter egg.
The "Tsarevich Egg" - and the original portrait - can now be seen at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where it remains on permanent view.