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Monday, 20 May 2013
White Flower Day at Livadia
Topic: Livadia

Poster announcing this years White Flower Day at Livadia

Livadia Palace, situated near Yalta in the Crimea was the setting for the White Flower Day on Sunday, May 19th. The tradition of this charitable sale originated in the early twentieth century by the last Empress of Russia, Alexandra Feodorona.

Beginning in 1911, the whole community took part including members of the Imperial family and the nobility who were vacationing at their palaces in the region, and the local townsfolk. They flocked in numbers to contribute to the good deeds by buying bouquets of white daisies, paying what they could whether it was a few kopecks or hundreds of rubles. Each donation helped alleviate the suffering of those in need. The grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and their little brother Alexis eagerly assisted their mother at the open stalls.

The noble cause was reinstituted in 2005, and has since been held annually on the second Sunday after Easter. The event is held at the Church of the Exaltation at Livadia Palace. Money collected in this year's auction will be spent on new equipment and the training of nurses at a new retirement home to be opened in the territory of the Yalta City Hospital, as well as helping the poor and sick to fight tuberculosis.

The symbol of this holiday is the white daisy, which today is distributed to all who make a donation. The people of Yalta took an active interest in the event, including the local women who donated their baked goods, handicrafts and flowers, while local school children donated their drawings, and handicrafts made of white flowers.

White Flower Day at the Martha Mary Convent in Moscow. Photo credit: 

White Flower Day is held in a growing number of cities across Russia, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 May, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:40 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 20 May 2013 10:15 AM EDT
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Tsarskoye Selo Marks 145th Anniversary of Nicholas II's Birth
Topic: Nicholas II

Following the Romanov 400th Anniversary Commemoration Project at Tsarskoye Selo, May 18th became the day to honour the Last Emperor of Russia.

Nicholas II was born in the Alexander Palace on May 18 (Old Style May 6), 1868.

145 years later, his Working Study was graced with a bouquet in the Russian Style.

The floral composition included cornflowers, bluebells, asters and grasses.

The Sovereign loved Russian nature and enjoyed long strolls in the parks of Tsarskoye Selo, where he and his spouse Alexandra moved two weeks after their wedding in 1894. Nicholas wrote in his journal, "Words cannot describe the bliss of two of us living in such a good place as Tsarskoye!"

© Tsarskoye Selo Palace Museum Preserve. 20th May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:38 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 20 May 2013 6:44 AM EDT
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Marius Bauer and the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II
Topic: Exhibitions

In 1896 the Dutch artist Marius Bauer (1867-1932) was present at the crowning of Nicholas II in Moscow.

He was invited there by the Chronika magazine, in which he later shared with readers his enthusiastic impressions about splendor and shine of this event.

On returning to Holland he created a unique series of canvasses, water colors and engravings, using sketches and studies made by him in Russia. For the first time his works of art are going to be displayed in the place where their concept was born. However the exhibition is not limited to the Russian subject matter, but aims at demonstrating Marius Baeur’s creativity in all its richness and variety. The visitors will see Bauer as a gifted orientalist, refined aquarellist and a talented graphic artist, whose etchings remind of great Dutch masters of the 17th century, including Rembrandt.

More than twenty paintings, thirty water colors, fifty etchings, illustrations and sketch albums presented at the exhibition make it possible to get a comprehensive idea of Bauer’s rich art heritage.

The exhibition will be held from May 23 till September 9 in the Museum of Oriental Arts in Moscow.

© Russia Info-Centre. 20 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:20 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 20 May 2013 6:28 AM EDT
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Sunday, 19 May 2013
Beautiful Orthodox Churches of Russia No. 12
Topic: Beautiful Orthodox Churches

The Cathedral of the Assumption or Cathedral of the Dormition (Uspensky Sobor in Russian) was built between 1475 and 1479 AD by the Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti. It is located on the north side of Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin, where a narrow alley separates the north from the Patriarch's Palace with the Twelve Apostles Church.

Tsar Ivan III had invited Fioravanti, a celebrated architect and engineer from Bologna, Italy, to come to Moscow and entrusted him with the task of building the cathedral from scratch in the traditions of Russian architecture. The cathedral in Vladimir was once again taken as a model for the building, and so Fioravanti travelled to Vladimir in order to study Russian methods of building. He designed a light and spacious masterpiece that combined the spirit of the Renaissance with Russian traditions.

The foundation for the new cathedral was laid in 1475, and in 1479 the new cathedral was consecrated by Metropolitan Geronty. The interior was painted with frescoes and adorned with many holy images, including Our Lady of Vladimir and the Blachernitissa.

The church's magnificent interior decoration is dominated by its fresco paintings. The huge iconostasis dates from 1547, but its two highest tiers are later additions from 1626 and 1653/1654 under Patriarch Nikon. It addition to its liturgical function, the iconostasis also served as a sort of trophy wall, in that Russian Tsars would add the most important icons from cities they had conquered to its collection. One of the oldest, icons with the bust of Saint George dates from the 12th century and was transferred to Moscow by Tsar Ivan IV on the conquest of the city of Veliky Novgorod in 1561.

In 1547 the coronation of the first Russian Tsar, Ivan IV (the Terrible), took place in this cathedral, while from 1721 it was the scene of the coronation of the Russian emperors. The last coronation (Emperor Nicholas II) took place here on May 26th [O.S. May 14th] 1896. The ritual installation of metropolitans and patriarchs of the Orthodox Church also took place in this cathedral, and their tombs are also to be found here. The patriarchate was abolished by Peter the Great and only restored after February Revolution of 1917.

On November 21, 1917 the cathedral was the setting for the installation of Tikhon (Belavin), the Moscow metropolitan, as patriarch. Subsequently he was canonized. After the transfer of the Bolshevik government to Moscow services in the Kremlin cathedrals were prohibited. It was only with Lenin's special permission that the final Easter service was held in 1918. The final moments of this Easter service was the subject of an unfinished painting by Pavel Korin entitled Farewell to Rus. Most of the church treasures were transferred to the Kremlin Armory, or were sold overseas.

According to legend, in the winter of 1941, when the Nazis had reached the threshold of Moscow, Joseph Stalin secretly ordered a service to be held in the Assumption Cathedral to pray for the country's salvation from the invading Germans. In 1991 the Assumption Cathedral was returned to the Church, although a museum still operates within it.

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna attends a Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Assumption

On March 6th, 2013 a Divine Liturgy was performed by Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus, Kirill to mark the 400th anniversary of the election of the first Romanov tsar, Mikhail Feodorovich on March 6th [O.S. February 21st] 1613. The Liturgy was attended by HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Head of the Russian Imperial House.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:15 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2013 1:08 PM EDT
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Saturday, 18 May 2013
Ekaterinburg Marks 400th Anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty
Topic: 400th Anniversary

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and Patriarch Kirill I visiting the Romanov exhibit in Ekaterinburg

The Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill I, have arrived in Ekaterinburg to take part in the celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, including the 145th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Nicholas II on May 18th, 1868.

The first stop was Ganina Yama where His Holiness laid the first stone for a new church and its consecration. The original wooden Church of the Mother of God was destroyed during a fire in 2010.

This was followed by a litany, and prayer at the cross marking the spot where the bodies of the last tsar, his family and faithful retainers were dumped into the abandoned mineshaft by the Bolsheviks in the early morning hours of July 18th, 1918.

His Holiness said: "During the 300-year-reign of the Romanov dynasty, Russia was a great power stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. The country's economic, social and political development were quickly outpacing those of other nations. In modern terms, its GDP was close to the second place in the world."

Patriarch Kirill I consecrates the new Church of the Mother of God at Ganina Yama

On the last tsar, he added: "The Monastery at Ganina Yama is a holy place. It provides an opportunity to remember the spiritual heroism of Nicholas II and his family, who accepted their deaths in gentleness, peace, forgiveness of enemies, in all humility and surrendering to God's hands. It is important that in light of the fact that the gravest crimes were committed on this site, that we erected this monastery."

"Despite the fact that during Soviet times everything connected with the royal family was distorted, despite the ridicule and reproach, like a concrete slab through which grass can not grow, their memory has always been alive in the hearts of people," he said.

Several thousand faithful arrived at Ganina Yama by bus, car and on foot from Ekaterinburg, and other towns in the surrounding region of Sverdlovsk.

The next stop was Ekaterinburg, where the Patriarch and Grand Duchess Maria stopped at the Church on the Blood, built on the site of the former Ipatiev House. Together they visited the nearby Patriarchal Compound where an exhibition featuring rare archival materials related to the House of Romanov is on display. The exhibit also included a collection of watercolours and personal items of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, the youngest sister of Nicholas II.

In the evening, His Holiness held a Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Ekaterinburg.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:08 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2013 4:00 PM EDT
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FOR SALE - Painting by HIH Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna
Topic: Olga Alexandrovna GD

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:04 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2013 12:10 PM EDT
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A Russian View of Monarchy
Topic: Russian Monarchy

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:42 AM EDT
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Russians Don't Like Idea of Bringing Monarchy Back - Poll
Topic: Russian Monarchy

A poll conducted by the Levada Center shows that the majority of Russians are confident that Russia does not need a monarchy and Russia's last emperor Nicholas II was not the best leader. The 145th anniversary of the birth of Russia's last Emperor Nicholas II will be marked on May 18th.

 The study shows that 10% of the respondents (against 9% in 2000) favor the restoration of monarchy in Russia. These people are mainly workers (14%), public servants (13%), respondents aged between 25 and 55 (13%), people with vocational degrees (13%), and supporters of Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky (13%).

 An overwhelming majority of the respondents (76%, against 91% in 2000) oppose the restoration of monarchy in Russia. These people are mainly students (85%), people with disabilities (83%), businessman (82%) Russians older than 55 (81%), people with university degrees (80%), supporters of Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov (89%) or businessman Mikhail Prokhorov (86%).

 Twenty-five percent of the respondents believe Nicholas II "was not a very good leader and made many mistakes, which he, however, redeemed with his death as a martyr." Twenty-three percent of the respondents call him "an innocent victim of the bolshevik terror," 18% believe that Nicholas "abdicated, gave up the country at a difficult moment, and is responsible for what happened to the country after 1917." Another 12% said Nicholas II "reduced the people of Russia to poverty caused a catastrophe in the country, and was overthrown by the people."

Note: the results of this poll do not reflect the opinions of Royal Russia and its administration - PG

© Voice of Russia, Interfax. 18 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:37 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2013 11:56 AM EDT
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Friday, 17 May 2013
Memorial Chapel to Holy Royal Martyrs Opens at Livadia
Topic: Livadia


memorial chapel to the Holy Royal Martyrs has been erected at Livadia in the Crimea. The seven-meter chapel is located at the entrance to the palace-museum. Inside the tiny chapel is a beautiful icon made of mosaic tiles depicting Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, their son Tsesarevich Alexis, and their four daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia standing in front of the Livadia Palace.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 May, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:47 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 17 May 2013 4:11 PM EDT
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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Catherine the Great's Hunting Rifle on Exhibit
Topic: Catherine II

Photo Credit: Cody Firearms Museum

The Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming unveiled its display of 64 unique pieces this week, on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The unusual firearms include a .50-caliber hunting rifle by a Russian gun maker named Permajakov dating from the 1700s for Empress Catherine the Great. The rifle is inlaid with her name and Russian symbols and also incorporating a green velvet cheek piece on the rifle’s stock ensuring her comfort while shooting. Additionally, a gold inlaid image of Catherine herself is on the barrel near the breech.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:30 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:42 PM EDT
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