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400th Anniversary
A Russian Moment
Alexander I
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Alexander Mikhailovich, GD
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Alexandra Nicholayevna, GD
Alexandra Pavlovna GD
Amber Room
Andrei Vladimirovich, GD
Anna Feodorovna, GD
Anna Ioannovna, Empress
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Anna Pavlovna, GD
Beautiful Orthodox Churches
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Constantine Constantinovich, GD
Country Estates
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Dmitri Romanovich
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Eagar, Margaretta
Ekaterinburg Remains
Elena Vladimirovna, GD
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Gibbes, Charles Sidney
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexa
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Kazan Cathedral
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Konstantin Nikolayevich, GD
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Maria Pavlovna, Senior
Maria Vladimirovna GD
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Mikhail Alexandrovich GD
Mikhail Nikolayevich, GD
Nevsky, Alexander
Nicholas Alexandrovich GD
Nicholas I
Nicholas II
Nicholas Mikhailovich, GD
Nicholas Nicholayevich, GD
Nicholas Romanovich
Oleg Konstantinovich, Prince
Olga Alexandrovna GD
Olga Konstantinovna GD
Olga Nicholayevna GD
Paley, Princess Natalia
Paul Alexandrovich, GD
Paul Gilbert
Paul I, Emperor
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Tauride Palace
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Tsesarevich Alexei
Vera Konstantinovna, Princess
Vladimir Alexandrovich, GD
Vyrubova, Anna
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Thursday, 1 November 2012
"Russians do not have to repent for killing of tsar's family" – Culture Minister
Topic: Nicholas II


Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky does not believe that the blame for the killing of Russia's last Emperor Nicholas II and his family rests with the people of Russia.

"I don't believe the people of Russia should repent for the murder of the tsar's family because the people of Russia did not kill the tsar's family. It was done by several bastards on the orders of other bastards," the minister said at the 5th International Festival of Orthodox Media Faith and Word, commenting on the statement made by one delegate referring to the discussion on the need for the people of Russia to repent for their sins to the tsar's family, which has been occurring on the Internet for the past few years.

Medinsky also spoke about the issue of the burial of the body of Vladimir Lenin, saying that "the Culture Ministry will not come up with any initiatives regarding any burials and re-burials."

"It is our official position, and there is also my private opinion as a citizen," the minister said, adding that he would not like his private opinion on this issue, which he characterize as "rather sharp," to be associated with the official position of the government.

© Interfax. 01 November, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:24 PM EDT
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Art Russe Auction Catalogue, Paris - November 15, 2012
Topic: Auctions

||| Click Here to View and Print a Copy of the Catalogue |||

On November 15th,  Olivier Coutau-Begarie in Paris, France, will auction a splendid selection of Russian Imperial and Romanov objects. Included are icons, Faberge pieces, photographs and letters of the Russian Imperial family, porcelain, medals and awards, silverware, works of art, and much more.

© Coutau-Begarie. 01 November, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:13 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2014 12:23 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Illuminations at the Catherine Palace, Tsarskoye Selo
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute, 21 seconds
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo

On Tuesday, 30 October 2012 at 19:00 the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve invited everyone to the Main Courtyard of the Catherine Palace to admire the new permanent illumination of the former imperial residence, with inspired performances by the Kuznetsov Naval Academy brass band and the Malaya Okhta women’s drumming group.

© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve. 30 October, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:47 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2012 7:51 AM EDT
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Monday, 29 October 2012
New Coin Dedicated to Imperial Faberge Eggs
Topic: Collectibles


The Mint of Poland offers a series of collector coins dedicated to the exceptional Tsar’s Fabergé Eggs. These absolute jewellery masterpieces symbolize extravagance and luxury. Designed by Peter Carl Fabergé and his assistants for the Russian tsars, Alexander III and Nicholas II, the eggs were made of gold and silver embellished with enamel and gemstones.

Until now the following coins have been released: the "Coronation Egg", the "Lily of the Valley Egg" the "Clover Leaf Egg”, “The Duchess of Marlborough Egg”, “the "Pansy Egg" and the „Bay Tree Egg”. The forthcoming  coin of the collection is the “100th Anniversary of Patriotic War 1812” – inspired by The Napoleonic Egg.

At the bottom – open Spring Flowers Egg (1899-1903) with a miniature basket of wood anemones inside. Above – the Niue Island’s Coat of Arms with the inscription “ELIZABETH II” and the mint’s mark (m/w) below. Around the Queen’s effigy – a decorative neorococo scroll ornament. At the top – the issuer’s name: NIUE ISLAND. On the right – a nominal value of the coin (2 dollars), on the left – the year of issue 2012.

In the central part – the stylized image of the original "Napoleonic Egg ". At the top, along the edge - the name of the series in English: IMPERIAL FABERGÉ EGGS. At the bottom – a fragment of the six Russian regiments fighted against the army of Napoleon, depicted in pad printing.

© Mint of Poland. 29 October, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:22 AM EDT
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Night at the Ipatiev House
Topic: Nicholas II



Moscow is filled with museums, many of which are overlooked by visitors from the West. One in particular is the Zurab Tsereteli Museum. The museum is situated in the former Dolgorukov Mansion which is located at 19 Prechistenka Street. It was originally constructed in 1785 and is considered one of the finest examples of Neo-Classical architecture in the city. In 1998-2000, Zurab Tsereteli, President of the Russian Aacademy of Arts restored and reconstructed the former mansion into a museum which today offers a permanent display for his numerous sculptures.

In 2007 Tsereteli unveiled one of his most significant sculptures entitled "Night at the Ipatiev House". The bronze multi-figure composition is dedicated to the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family at Ekateinburg on 17 July, 1918.

Visitors to the museum had already seen a small model of the “Night at the Ipatiev House” monument before it was installed in the Gallery’s hall “Knowledge of Good and Evil” with works on the biblical topic in the June of 2007.

The “Night at the Ipatiev House” represents sculptural images of Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsesarevich Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia against the background of the wall dotted with bullets and containing engraved figures of the bloody date – the year of 1918. The composition also comprises texts related to the last days of the Imperial family – citations from letters of the Empress and Grand Duchess Olga.

By odd and terrifying in its symbolism coincidence, the Romanov dynasty crowned in the Ipatiev monastery was overthrown in the so called Ipatiev house. Also on display at the museum are two nails from the basement, where the cruel massacre had taken place, also included by the artist in his sculptural composition.

The murdered members of the Imperial family were canonized because of their death as martyrs. In the last Christian tsar and members of his family we see people who sincerely tried to realize the Decalogue. “In sufferings endured by the Imperial family in the imprisonment with gentleness, patience and humility, in their martyrdom in Ekaterinburg on the night of July 17, 1918 was revealed the light of the Christian faith vanquishing the Evil” - is written in the resolution of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

It is important to note that "Night at the Ipatiev House" is just one of numerous sculptures of the Russian monarchs created by Tsereteli and on permanent display at the museum.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 October, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:41 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2017 12:35 PM EDT
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Sunday, 28 October 2012
An Important Collection of Russian Books & Manuscripts with Imperial Provenance
Topic: Antiques


Photo Credit: Christie's 

On 29 November 2012, Christie’s (London) will have the great privilege of offering for sale the largest group of Russian books and manuscripts with noble provenance to come to auction in decades: the collections of Emperors Paul I, Alexander I, Alexander II, Alexander III, Nicholas I, Nicholas II, Empress Elizabeth, and numerous Grand Dukes and Duchesses are all represented. The fate of books from the Russian palaces mirrors that of the palaces themselves: war and revolution took their brutal toll. Material with imperial provenance of the quality and importance represented in this collection is seldom offered for sale, and hardly ever in quantity. It would be virtually impossible to form another of this scope and caliber today. Highlights include The Coronation Album of Alexander III (estimate: £70,000 – 100,000, illustrated above) and a unique album of drawings of the coats-of-arms of members of the court of the future Emperor Paul (1796-1801), son of Catherine the Great (estimate: £150,000 – 200,000).

The books and manuscripts offered in this collection come from one of the most important philanthropists and collectors of the 19th century, J. Pierpoint Morgan (1837-1913). 

© Christie's London. 28 October, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:59 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2012 8:01 AM EDT
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Saturday, 27 October 2012
Tour of the State Halls and Private Rooms of the Grand Kremlin Palace
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 23 minutes, 50 seconds.
Topic: Kremlin

Aside from visiting heads of state, few foreigners ever get to see the beautiful interiors of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow. Today it serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation.

Before the Russian Revolution, the palace served as the official residence of the reigning sovereign and family while they were visiting the city. The palace is rich in Romanov history and was the venue for magnificent balls, sumptuous state dinners, and more.

Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia standing in St. Andrew's Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, 27th October, 2000 

I was very fortunate to visit this historic palace on my 44th birthday on October 27th, 2000. I had organized a tour that year to Moscow and the Crimea, in which a group of 15 people from Canada and the United States took part. I had been negotiating with the Kremlin administration for several years prior to allow me to include the Grand Kremlin Palace as part of one of my group tours. Permission was finally granted that year and it was well worth all the red tape that went with it. 

This video comes from a Russian media source and offers views of the State Halls which were restored to their original during the Yeltsin years, as well as the former private apartments of the Romanovs.

© Paul Gilbert. 27 October, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:01 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2012 1:40 PM EDT
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Nicholas II Exhibition Opens at the Hermitage-Vyborg Center
Topic: Exhibitions


A new exhibition, The Last Emperor of Russia: Family and Court of Nicholas II at the Turn of the Century opened yesterday at the Hermitage in Vyborg, Russia.

The exhibition will feature nearly 300 items from a variety of museums in St. Petersburg: The State Hermitage Museum, Anichkov Palace, Novo-Mikhailovksy Palace (New Michael Palace), the Yusupov Palace; the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, and from private Russian collections.

The exhibition is arranged in choronological order covering the life and reign of Tsar Nicholas II and his family up until 1917.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Vice-Governor of the Leningrad region, Konstantin Patraev and the Director of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Mikhail Piotrovsky.

The Hermitage-Vyborg Center was opened in June, 2010, and regularly hosts exhibitions from the State Hermitage funds in St. Petersburg since that time.

Vyborg is situated 130 km (81 miles) northwest of St. Petersburg, and 38 km (24 miles) south of the Russian-Finnish border.

The exhibion runs until March 2013.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 October, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:42 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2012 1:01 PM EDT
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Friday, 26 October 2012
Prince Michael of Kent Visits Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow
Topic: Prince Michael of Kent


During a visit to Moscow this week, Prince Michael of Kent stopped at the Martha and Mary Convent where he was met by Panteleimon, Bishop of Smolensk and Vyazma who provided the Prince with a tour of the convent and explained its activities within the community.

Prince Michael was met at the entrance of the convent's historic Holy Protection Cathedral  by the prioress, Sister Catherine, who offered him bread and salt, a traditional Russian custom that dates back centuries.

He visited the cathedral which has been restored including the frescoes painted by Russian artist Mikhail Nesterov.

He then visited the orphanage at the Martha and Mary Convent where he met the children, who performed songs in his presence.

Prince Michael also visited the memorial museum, now housed in the former rooms of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, and restored to their original thanks to old photographs that survived. It was here that Prince Michael became interested in the photographs of his ancestor, each of which was explained by Sister Catherine. Among the exhibits is the former grand piano of the grand duchess. Miraculously preserved, the piano has never left the monastery.

The Martha and Mary Convent is one of the few places in Moscow that is directly associated with the Russian Imperial family. It offers two guided tours each day of the convent and memorial rooms.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 October, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:36 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 26 October 2012 2:01 PM EDT
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Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna and Prince Nicholas of Greece
Topic: Elena Vladimirovna, GD


Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna (1882-1957) was the only daughter of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909) and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, nee Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1854-1920). 

Elena inherited her mother's beauty, but she also inherited her mother's fiery temper. "Poor little thing, I feel sorry for her," wrote the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, "for she is really quite sweet, but vain and pretty grandiose."

She was initially engaged to Prince Max of Baden, however, the engagement was broken off. It was generally believed that it was Max who broke off the engagement, however, we now know thanks to surviving correspondence of Nicholas II and Maria, Duchess of Coburg, that it was Elena who broke off the engagement.

Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (1872-1938) first proposed to Elena in 1900, but Maria Pavlovna was indignant that her only daughter should marry a younger son with no real fortune or prospects of inheriting a throne. Two years later, Elena's mother agreed to the engagement. Their wedding took place in the palatial church of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo on 16th August 1902, attended by members of the Russian and Greek royal famililes.  

Prince Nicholas was known in the family as "Greek Nicky" to distinguish himself from his cousin Tsar Nicholas II.

The daughters of Elena and Nicholas: Olga, Elizabeth and Marina 

Grand Duchess Elena and Prince Nicholas had three daughters: 

Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark (1903-1997), later Princess Paul of Yugoslavia

Princess Elizabeth of Greece and Denmark (1904-1955), later Countess of Toerring-Jettenbach

Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark (1906-1968), later Princess Maria, Duchess of Kent, and mother to the current Prince Michael of Kent (1942-present).

The family was greatly affected by turmoil of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and later by the turmoil in Greece which became a republic. The latter resulted in the family of Prince and Princess Nicholas living in exile in France for a while.

During their years in France, Grand Duchess Elena became deeply involved in charity work for Russian exiles, particularly children. Short of money due to their exile from Greece and the loss of their Russian income, the family lived in reduced, but elegant circumstances. Grand Duchess Elena's fabulous jewel collection, as well as Prince Nicholas' own artwork provided them with an income. It is interesting to note that Nicholas was a talented painter, often signing his works as "Nicholas Leprince."

They returned to Greece where Prince Nicholas died of a heart attack at Athens on 8th February, 1938. Grand Duchess Elena remained in Greece throughout the Second World War, where she died on 13th March, 1957.

In November 2009, a dress belonging to Grand Duchess Elena was sold for £6000, and a photograph album sold for over £8125 at an auction held at Christie's.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 October, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:31 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 26 October 2012 6:43 AM EDT
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