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Monday, 19 March 2012
Vintage Photo of Nicholas II No. 5
Topic: Nicholas II


Emperor Nicholas II in regimental uniform reviews the Egerski on its regimental holiday. The Emperor is followed by his son, the Tsesarevich Alexis and the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich. Tsarskoe Selo,  17th August, 1912. Following this visit the regiment was granted permission to replace its band of fifes and drums with sixty-three horns.  (Photo: Karl Bulla)

© Royal Russia. 19 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:12 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2012 6:50 PM EDT
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Sunday, 18 March 2012
Faberge Egg Shines at Queen's Jubilee Exhibition
Topic: Faberge


This is one of the series of fifty Imperial Easter Eggs made by Fabergé for the Russian imperial family between 1885 and 1917.  It demonstrates the extraordinary craftsmanship of Fabergé’s team of designers, jewellers, goldsmiths and enamellers.  The design of the flower motif is inspired by petit-point embroidery, while each of the tiny precious stones is precisely cut and calibrated to fit the platinum mesh of which the egg is constructed. The medallion on a jewelled stand (the ‘surprise’) painted with the portraits of the five children of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra fits inside the egg and was revealed when the egg was opened on Easter day.

Technically one of the most sophisticated and extraordinary of Fabergé’s Imperial Easter Eggs, the Mosaic Egg retains its ‘surprise’. It takes the form of a medallion painted on ivory with the portraits of the five children of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra on one side and a basket of flowers and their names on the other, on a stand surmounted by the Russian imperial crown, held within the egg by gold clips.

The egg was theTsar’s Easter gift to his wife in 1914, but the original invoice was destroyed and the cost is therefore unknown. The Tsarina’s monogram and the date 1914 are set beneath a moonstone at the apex of the egg. It comprises a platinum mesh into which tiny diamonds, rubies, topaz, sapphires, demantoid garnets, pearls and emeralds are fitted – perfectly cut, polished and calibrated to fill the spaces.This extraordinary technical feat is all the more impressive because the platinum is not welded but cut.The five oval panels around the centre of the egg feature a stylised floral motif, replicating the technique of petit-point.

In the list of confiscated treasures transferred from the Anichkov Palace to the Sovnarkom in 1922, the egg is described thus: ‘1 gold egg as though embroidered on canvas’. The designer, AlmaTheresia Pihl, was inspired to produce the needlework motif when watching her mother-in-law working at her embroidery by the fire. Alma Pihl came from a distinguished family of Finnish jewellers employed by Fabergé. Her uncle, Albert Holmström, took over his father August’s workshop and was the workmaster responsible for the production of this bejewelled egg. The egg was confiscated in 1917 and sold by the Antikvariat in 1933 for 5,000 roubles. It was purchased by King George V from Cameo Corner, London, on 22 May 1933for £250 ‘half-cost’, probably for Queen Mary’s birthday on 26 May.

The Mosaic Egg is one of numerous Faberge treasures currently on display at the Treasures from the Queen's Palaces exhibit in the Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland. The exhibition runs until 4th November, 2012.

© The Royal Collection. 18 March, 2012 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:10 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2012 6:20 AM EDT
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Saturday, 17 March 2012
Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna's Books on Display
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute, 59 seconds
Topic: Paul I, Emperor

A unique and rare collection of books from the library of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (1786-1859), have gone on display in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

The collection was given to the State Public Library in the Rostov in 1947, but it was not until many years later that the original owner of these books was found to be that of the grand duchess.

The books are bound in leather, their pages trimmed with gold leaf. It is believed that the grand duchess' library consisted of several thousand volumes, however, the library in Rostov retains only a fraction of the original collection. Many of the books are kept in special storage rooms and in need of repair. Experts estimate that the restoration would cost millions of rubles.

Born in 1786, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna was the third daughter of the Emperor Paul and the Empress Maria Feodorovna. In 1804, she married Charles Frederick, Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. The couple had four children together. The Grand Duchess retired from public life after the death of her husband in 1853. She died on 23 June, 1859, and was buried in a Russian style chapel at Weimar.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:53 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2012 11:15 AM EDT
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Friday, 16 March 2012
4th Annual Russian Monarchist Conference in Moscow


On March 13th, a group of more than 100 historians, scholars and politcians from across Russia gathered at the Russian State Trade and Economic University in Moscow for the 4th Annual All-Russian Conference dedicated to the Monarchist Idea in the 21st Century. This years theme was Russian Imperial Politics Past and Future.

The Presidium of the conference included A.N. Zakhatov, Director of the Chancellery of HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna; and Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, Head of the MP Synodal Division for Church and Public Relations.

The event coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna as Head of the Russian Imperial House.

The hall was decorated with the imperial standard, and large portraits of Grand Duchess Maria and her son, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich. The Russian Imperial National Anthem God Save the Tsar, was sung at the beginning and the end of the day-long conference.

Support for a restoration of the monarchy in Russia continues to grow as more and more Russians become despondent with modern day politicians. A poll taken in May 2011 found that 39% of Russians favour a constitutional monarchy, compared with 24% for the current democratic republic, and only 12% favoured a return to Communism.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 March, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:35 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2012 9:05 AM EDT
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Conference on Tsar's Abdication Held in Moscow
Topic: Nicholas II


The manifesto dated 2 March, 1917 at 3:00 pm, signed by Nicholas II in pencil at the bottom right hand corner 

On March 15th [O.S. March 2nd] Russia marked the 95th anniversary of the Abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. This historic manifesto essentially brought an end to the Romanov Dynasty which had ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917.

Last night, a group of historians, scientists, and other public figures met at the State Russian Historical Museum in Moscow to discuss the abdication of Russia's last tsar.

It is interesting to note that there is a theory among a growing number of historians in Russia who claim that the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II was actually fabricated and that the manifesto document itself was forged by his enemies, anxious to see an end to his reign and the monarchy in Russia. The debate on this theory has actually been garnering headlines in the Russian media over the past year.

In 1997, a memorial plaque was mounted at the train station in Pskov marking the signing of the abdication by Nicholas II  

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:39 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 16 March 2012 10:40 AM EDT
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Decision Regarding Romanov Burial to Be Made by State
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


“The decision on the burial of the remains of the children of Tsar Nicholas II is to be made by the Russian State,” said Chairman of the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko.

According to Matviyenko, the problem surrounding the burial of the remains of the Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria continues to be a subject of debate. “There is no consensus among the descendants of the Romanovs nor the Russian Orthodox Church regarding both the question of the authenticity of the remains found near Ekaterinburg in 2007, and their proposed burial,” she said.

Matviyenko went on to say: “that it is essential for historical accuracy to resolve the problems and unanswered questions of our nations past.”

The remains of Alexei and Maria are now being housed at the State Archives of the Russian Federation in Moscow, awaiting the decision of the Russian Government.   

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:04 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 16 March 2012 10:18 AM EDT
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Russian Icons Featured at Maastricht Art Fair
Topic: Antiques


Russia presents a variety of icons, paintings, jewelry items, and antique porcelain and furniture at the European Fine Art Fair TEFAF in Maastricht.

The Russian pavilion abounds in exquisite pieces of art, including paintings by Konstantin and Vladimir Makovsky, animal figures made from semiprecious stones from Carl Faberge collections and choice porcelain from the Yusupov factory which was founded in Arkhangelskoye outside Moscow in 1814.

The Amsterdam-based company Toth features an impressive 700-item collection which consists of Russian icons and other masterpieces with the prices reaching  dozens of thousands of euro.

© RIAN. 16 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:37 AM EDT
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Thursday, 15 March 2012
Royal Gate Restored at Church on the Spilled Blood
Topic: St. Petersburg


The consecration ceremony of the Royal Gate in the Church on the Spilled Blood took place on Wednesday.

The recreation of the Royal Gate was done almost from scratch, thanks to vintage black and white photographs dating back to 1907, and colour lithographs. The work which lasted 8 years, consisted of 600 kilograms of gold, silver and enamel.

Construction on the church began in 1883, and was completed during the reign of Emperor Nicholas II in 1907. The church has never functioned as a place of worship (even during Tsarist times), having been built exclusively as a memorial to Emperor Alexander II who was murdered on the spot that the church was built in 1881. 

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted. In 1929 the Royal Gates were stripped bare, and the following year, the church was closed by Soviet authorities. Restoration of the church began in 1970 and took 27 years to complete. The recreation of the Royal Gate is the last major restoration project of the famous church located on the Griboedov Canal in the former Russian capital.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:34 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2012 3:00 PM EDT
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Romanov Descendants Ask Putin to Rule on Romanov Burial
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


On Tuesday, representatives of the Romanov Family Association asked President-Elect Vladimir Putin to rule on the burial of the Tsesarevich Alexis Nicholayevich and his sister, the Grand Duchess Maria Nicholayevna, whose remains were found in 2007.

Ivan Artsyshevsky, who represents the Romanov Family Association claims that the main obstacle to the burial remains is the position of the Church.

Both the Russian Orthodox Church and the head of the Russian Imperial House, the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, continue to doubt the authenticity of the remains found in 1991 and 2007.

In late 2011 a Russian Court ordered that a copy of the 700-page investigation into the murder of the 1918 murders of the last tsar and his family be handed over the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Fresco Depicting Nicholas II Discovered in Serbian Monastery
Topic: Nicholas II

A unique fresco depicting the Emperor Nicholas II has been discovered at the Zica Monastery in Serbia.

Although the image of the Russian tsar was found in the monastery church of Saint Sava a few years back, information regarding the discovery has only just recently come to light.

The paintings of the church, including the image of the Tsar-Martyr, were created by Nicholas Meyendorff in 1937. The image was hidden from view for fear of the fresco being destroyed by Communist authorities.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:58 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2012 9:11 AM EDT
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