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Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Russian Royal Classics
Topic: Books

© Royal Russia. 27 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:02 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 April 2016 10:13 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Tsaritsyno to Host Alexander Palace Exhibit
Topic: Alexander Palace

Watercolour of the Alexander Palace by Alexei Maksimovich Gornostaev 1847
The Tsaritsyno State Historical, Architectural, Art and Landscape Museum-Reserve in Moscow will host a new two-part exhibit this summer dedicated to the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.

Tsarskoye Selo: the History of the Alexander Palace and the Romanovs will be devoted to the history of the Alexander Palace and the Romanov dynasty, from Empress Catherine II - who built the palace for her grandson the future Emperor Alexander I - to Emperor Nicholas II. It was in the Alexander Palace that the last Russian emperor was born in 1868, and where he spent much of his 22 year reign. After abdicating the throne in 1917, Nicholas II lived here under house arrest with his family until they were later sent into exile to Siberia.

The exhibition, which opens in the halls of the Grand Palace at Tsaritsyno in June 2016, will consist of two parts. In the first part, visitors will learn about the Alexander Palace and its inhabitants - members of the Russian Imperial family. The exhibit will focus on the personal history of each family member, highlighted with portraits, furniture, porcelain items, toys, costumes (gowns, dresses, uniforms, children's clothes), among other items from the Alexander Palace collection.

The second part, Alexander Palace. Year 1917 will open on the eve of 2017. This part of the exhibit focuses specifically on the 22 year reign of Emperor Nicholas II, and the years in which he and his family lived in the Alexander Palace up to his abdication, and the months in which they were under house arrest in the palace. The exhibit will feature a series of amazing vintage photos of the interiors of the Alexander Palace, which were taken immediately after the departure of the Imperial family on 1 August, 1917. These photographs have provided history with a rare look into the the private world of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. 

The permanent exhibition Reminiscences in the Alexander Palace, which included the former private apartments of Emperor Nicholas II and his family located in the East Wing of the palace closed on 2 August, 2015 while the Suite of State Rooms closed on 31 August, 2015. The Alexander Palace is scheduled to reopen on July 17, 2018, marking the 100th anniversary of the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. 

For more information on the history and restoration of the Alexander Palace, please refer to the following link:

More Articles and Videos on the Alexander Palace 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 April, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:25 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 April 2016 4:43 AM EDT
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Monday, 25 April 2016
Lost Iron Gate to His Majesty's Own Dacha Found
Topic: Palaces

A unique item offered for sale this month in a Russian classifieds ad not only caught historians by surprise, but also attracted the attention of the authorities as well. The ad read: "wrought-iron gates with traces of gilding, about 19th century, found in the Peterhof reserve. Height 152 cm, width 84 cm . . .” 

Staff of the St. Petersburg Committee for State Control, Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments identified the item as the former gate of His Majesty’s Own Dacha, the summer residence of Emperor Alexander II near Peterhof. The "gilded, wrought-iron gates" stood at the entrance of the former Imperial residence for more than 100 years, but disappeared after the Second World War and considered irretrievably lost.
Click on the link below to read the full article and more photos:



© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:34 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 April 2016 12:18 PM EDT
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Sunday, 24 April 2016
Follow Royal Russia on Facebook
Topic: Royal Russia


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 April 2016 8:48 AM EDT
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Saturday, 23 April 2016
On This Day: Russian Empire State Emblem and State Seal Approved
Topic: Imperial Russia

Note: this article has been edited and updated from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia

On 23 April (O.S. 11 April), 1857 Emperor Alexander II approved the detailed description of the State emblem and seal.

The double-headed eagle became the Russian state symbol at the end of the 15th century. The emblem’s composition and design continued to change repeatedly over the centuries.

The images of the double-headed eagle in the first half of the 19th century were quite varied. It could bear one or three crowns, hold a sceptre and orb, a wreath or Peroun, a torch in its claws; with raised or spread wings.

During the reign of Emperor Nikolai I two designs of the state eagle were officially established. One had spread wings, bore one crown over two heads, a sacred image of St. George on his chest and sceptre and orb in his claws. The second type had raised wings bearing the titular emblems: of Kazan, Astrakhan and Siberia on the right; of Poland, Taurida and Finland – on the left.

In 1856 in the course of heraldic reform conducted under the guidance of Baron Bernhard Kohne the design of the state eagle was changed under the influence of German models. At the same time the direction of the image of St. George depicted on the eagle’s chest was turned to the right in accordance with the West-European rules of heraldry. The design of the Lesser Emblem of Russia was made by artist Alexander Fadeyev and approved by the Emperor on 20 December (O.S. 8 December), 1856. This variant of the emblem differed from the previous ones not only by the eagle’s design but also by the number of titular emblems on its wings. The right wing bore the shields with emblems of Kazan, Poland, Chersonesos Taurica and the united emblem of Kiev, Vladimir and Novgorod; the left wing contained the shields with the emblems of Astrakhan, Siberia, Georgia and Finland.

On 23 April (O.S. 11 April), 1857 the Emperor approved the whole set of emblems: the Great one, the Middle one and the Lesser State Emblem; titular coats of arms of the Emperor’s family members and the patrimonial coat of arms of the Emperor. Also approved were the designs of the Great, Middle and Lesser State Seals, seals boxes and the seals of higher and lower offices and persons. The Minor State Emblem – the double-headed eagle with all the attributes –was the one for general use. The Great and Middle Emblems represented complicated compositions with the Lesser Emblem at the center of it and the emblems of all the lands under the Emperor’s title around it including other supplementary elements (holders for shields, pedestal, etc.). These two Emblems were used in particular cases of especial importance.

On 12 June (O.S. 31 May), 1857 the Senate issued the Decree with the description of the new Emblems and norms for their use. In total the document approved of 110 designs lithographed by the artist A. K. Beggrov. The act was followed by a series of other acts establishing new models of the State Emblem. At that time the first stamp appeared with the double-headed eagle on it.

The State Emblem of Russia adopted in 1857 remained practically unchanged up to 1917.

© Presidential Library / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:05 AM EDT
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Thursday, 21 April 2016
State Hermitage to Open Fashion Museum in 2018
Topic: State Hermitage Museum

Ceremonial court dress of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. From the collection of the State Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg have announced plans to open a fashion museum in 2018. The new museum will present costumes of the Russian Imperial family dating from the 18th to early 20th centuries, which include dresses and gowns, uniforms, children’s clothes, and accessories from the vast collections of the Hermitage, as well as from private collections.

The creation of a fashion museum to be created in St. Petersburg is based on the success of two splendid exhibitions held at the State Hermitage Museum in the spring of 2014. At the Russian Imperial Court featured more than 250 costumes of members of the Russian Imperial family displayed in five halls. This exquisite exhibit was further enhanced by Servants of the Imperial Court, which showcased for the first time some 250 pieces of attire and accessories from the unique Hermitage collection of the livery wear of the Russian Court in the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

The permanent exhibition at the new fashion museum will be further supplemented with temporary exhibits showcasing the work of contemporary Russian designers, such as Tatiana Parfenov Lilies Kisselenko, Stas Lopatkin, among many others.

The creation of the Fashion Museum is Nina Tarasova, Head of the Sector of Applied Arts Department of the Russian Culture of the State Hermitage Museum. The location of the new museum has yet to be announced.
The former Imperial palace-museums at Tsarskoye Selo, Peterhof and Pavlovsk each retain magnificent examples of gowns, uniforms and other personal items of the Romanov emperors and empresses, beautifully preserved in their respective collections. Pavlovsk opened a Costume Museum several years back. It is located in the north wing of the palace, and features a rich collection of gowns, fans and purses belonging to the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna.
For more information on the costume exhibits held in 2014 at the State Hermitage Museum, please refer to the following links:

At the Russian Imperial Court + VIDEO & 20 Colour Photos

Servants of the Imperial Court + VIDEO & 12 Colour Photos

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:12 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 April 2016 6:34 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 19 April 2016
On This Day: Manifesto on Accession of Crimea Peninsula to the Russian Empire Adopted
Topic: Crimea

Note: this article has been edited and updated from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia

On April 19 (O.S. 8 April), 1783 the Empress Catherine II signed the Manifesto on the annexation to the Russian state of the Crimea peninsula and creation of the Taurida region, to be governed by Prince Grigori A. Potyomkin who was conferred the title of Taurida for his service. The Manifesto was a logical result of the century long struggle of Russia in order to return its primordial lands and secure access to the Black Sea.

After the victories of Field Marshal General, Count P. A. Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky during the second Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774, Russia and Turkey concluded the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca. Under the Treaty Russia received the territory between the Bug and Dnepr rivers as well as the Kerch, Enikale and Kinburn fortresses. Russia managed to obtain access to the Black Sea and confirm its rights for the territory of Kabarda, Azov and the nearby lands conquered by Emperor Peter I. The Crimea Khanate separated itself from the Ottoman Empire and declared its independence. However Turkey having acknowledged its independence was preparing for a new struggle for these territories.

The Empress charged G. A. Potyomkin with the task of providing security of the Russian southern borders and developing the newly acquired lands. At the end of 1782 Potyomkin, considering the advantages of Crimea annexation to Russia, wrote to Catherine II: ‘The position of Crimea interferes into our borders… You must raise the glory of Russia… Crimea acquisition cannot strengthen You or enrich but will give You peace and calm’. Soon after that Catherine II issued the Manifesto on Crimea annexation. The document promised to the Crimea citizens to ‘treat them as well as our innate subjects, defend and protect their personality, property, cathedrals and inborn faith…’.

After the Russian administration settlement in Crimea  in 1783 the slave trade was abolished and the state government of the European type started to develop. The government moved here the state peasants from the central and Ukrainian lands. Gradually large landed properties concentrated in the North-Western Crimea. G. A. Potyomkin sent for the English and French specialists for the development of gardens and parks. He himself wrote a special instruction for Agriculture and Housekeeping Office in Crimea. Basing on the ‘Decree on provinces’ of 1775 G. A. Potyomkin created a specific system of management with involvement of local multiethnic population which contributed to the implementing the government policy on the settlement and economic development of Crimea peninsula.

Crimea annexation to Russia had a great progressive importance: economy, culture and trade started to develop promptly, the great massif of rich Crimea territories. During a short period of time new ports and cities in the territories along the Black Sea began to appear. The Russian Navy asserted itself in the Black Sea by establishing its principal base in the city of Sevastopol.

© Presidential Library / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:53 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 April 2016 6:57 AM EDT
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Monday, 18 April 2016
NEW Royal Russia Office and Bookshop Hours
Topic: Royal Russia


© Royal Russia. 18 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:40 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 April 2016 6:21 AM EDT
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Saturday, 16 April 2016
On This Day: Emperor Paul I Enacts Act of Succession to the Throne
Topic: Paul I, Emperor

Note: this article has been edited and updated from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia

On 16 April (O.S. 5 April), 1797 on the day of his coronation Emperor Paul I promulgated the Act of Succession or the Pauline Laws which abolished Emperor Peter I’s Decree on succession of 16 February (O.S. 5 February), 1722. The Act with slight amendments had been in effect until 1917.

Back in 1788 Tsesarevich Pavel Petrovich developed and signed together with his wife the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna the Act of Succession to the throne. Paul’s intention was to exclude any possibility of removing from the throne from the rightful heirs of the Romanov dynasty. Tsesarevich introduced the succession according to the law. The Act ran: ‘in order that the state always has a heir, that the heir is always appointed by the law itself, that there is not any doubt about who should inherit the throne, that the families’ right to succession is not violated and to avoid the troubles while passing from one kin to another’. Paul established the majority for emperors and heirs the age of 16; for other members of the imperial family the age of 20. If a heir under age was to ascend the throne, a ruler and a regent must be assigned. The Act also included an important provision declaring that a person who did not belong to the Orthodox Church could not ascend the Russian throne. 

After his coronation on 16 April (O.S. 5 April), 1797 Paul I himself swore to the issued Act which was then placed in the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin and preserved there.

On the same day the Emperor issued another Act, the Regulations on the Imperial family, which determined the members of the imperial family, their hierarchy, the civil rights of the Imperial House members, their duties to the Emperor; it also established the coats of arms, titles and the size of stipend.

In 1820 Emperor Alexander I supplemented the Act on succession with the requirement of kin equality in marriage as indispensable condition for succession to the throne by the children of the Imperial family members.

The Act of Succession to the throne of Paul I along with subsequent acts regarding this issue was included in all the editions of the Code of Laws of the Russian Empire.

© Presidential Library / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:39 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 April 2016 6:09 AM EDT
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Thursday, 14 April 2016
Work to Begin on Lower Dacha at Peterhof this Month
Topic: Peterhof

Vintage photographs of the Lower Dacha, summer residence of Emperor Nicholas II and his family at Peterhof
After years of discussions and planning, the Peterhof State Museum Preserve have officially announced that work on dismantling the ruins of the Lower Dacha and Garden will begin this month. Restorers will begin an analysis of the ruins, to determine the number of original parts which have survived, and to study the buildings original foundation. The announcement was made today at a meeting of the Council for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in St. Petersburg.
Click on the link below to read the full article:

Work to Begin on Lower Dacha at Peterhof this Month + VIDEO

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:07 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 28 April 2016 10:47 AM EDT
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