A new two-volume study on Emperor Nicholas II by historian and writer Petr Multatuli was presented in Ekaterinburg last week. Multatuli is the great-grandson of the imperial cook Ivan Kharitonov, who was shot along with the Imperial family in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg on 17 July, 1918.
The presentation which took place on 20th July was attended by Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, and Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky, the widow of Tikhon Kulikovsky, son of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna.
To this day Russia’s last monarch continues to be misunderstood, both as a man and as a statesman. Even for the modern reader, the figure of Emperor Nicholas II remains a mystery. Historian Petr Multatuli presents his fundamental biographical project in two volumes (in Russian only):
In Volume I the author examines the reign of the Emperor, including a detailed analysis of the monarch's accession to the throne, Nicholas II's personal qualities as a politician and as a family man, his attitude to domestic reforms, events of the 1905 Revolution and the Russian-Japanese War.
In Volume II Multatuli explores the reign of Nicholas II before the collapse of the Russian Empire. Much attention is paid to the role of the Emperor in the reform of Russian society and his relations with Stolypin, and the complex assembly of the Balkan problems and Russia's participation in the First World War. Separately, the author examines the circumstances of the martyrdom of Nicholas II and his family.
The author has based his research for this new study new documents from the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) and the personal diaries of Nicholas II. Russian historian and writer Petr Multatuli presents by far the most complete biography of the Holy Tsar-Martyr.
Petr Multatuli has a PhD in Historical Sciences, and his written a number of monographs and articles on the life and reign of the Emperor Nicholas II and his epoch. His work challenges the popular held negative image of Russia's last emperor, embraced by many Western historians and biographers in the West.
Since June 2010 Petr Multatuli has been working for the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also a member of the Union of Writers of the Russian Federation.
Click on the link below to watch a video (in Russian) of the book's presentation in Ekaterinburg on 20th July, 2016:
The last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, was a pious man whose Christian priorities
were as misunderstood by Western observers as they were despised by Lenin.
His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov was born in the Blue Boudoir of his mother Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna (the future Empress Maria Feodorovna) of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo on 18 [O.S. 6] May 1868. He came into this world on the day upon which the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of St. Job the Long-Suffering. Upon the death of his father Emperor Alexander III on 1 November [O.S. 20 October] 1894, Emperor Nicholas II was destined to reign as Russia's last Orthodox Christian monarch until his abdication on 15 [O.S. 2] March 1917.
During my recent visit to Ekaterinburg last month, I had the pleasure of visiting the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent, which was located directly behind my hotel. Each morning, I would attend morning prayers held in the magnificent St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The beautiful landscaped grounds of the convent were surrounded by a high wall, the sweet smell of lilacs and the sound of birds singing provided me with a peaceful sanctuary in which to reflect and write about my visit to the Ural city and the places associated with the final days of Russia’s last emperor and his family.
The Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent shares an interesting history with the Romanov dynasty, particularly that of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. In 1918, during their imprisonment in the Ipatiev House, the nuns from the convent offered prayers to the family, and also brought them milk, eggs and cream. It was during my recent visit that I learned of a portrait of the last tsar, painted by one of the nuns at the convent, one with a sad yet fascinating fate.
During his reign, Nicholas II never visited Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent, however, when a request was made by one of the nuns to paint his portrait came, the emperor granted his favour. It was Nun Emilia who painted the portrait of Emperor Nicholas II in the uniform of the Life-Guards Hussar Regiment. The portrait - a gift marking the 1896 coronation - was sent to St. Petersburg, where the emperor hung it in his private apartments in the Winter Palace.
In October 1917, during the assault on the Winter Palace, the portrait was cut by the bayonets of Bolshevik thugs. During the Soviet years, the portrait hung in the Museum of the October Revolution in Leningrad for more than 70 years. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the portrait was restored, leaving, however, the cuts made by the bayonets as a poignant reminder of the dark days of the Bolshevik Revolution which swept Russia and it’s monarchy into an abyss.
Today, the portrait hangs in the Museum of Political History of Russia (located in the former mansion of Mathilde Kschessinska) in St. Petersburg.
For more information on the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent, please refer to the following article:
On 16 May, a bronze bust of St. Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II was unveiled on the grounds of the Transfiguration Cathedral in the Russian city of Tambov. Metropolitan Theodosius of Tambov and Rasskazovsky performed the consecration in the presence of members of the clergy, Orthodox Christians and monarchists.
In 1914, Emperor Nicholas II visited the church during a short visit to Tambov, where he venerated the relics of St. Pitirim of Tambov (glorified in 1914). In honour of this historic event a walkway was recreated from the church to the source of a nearby well, which allows the faithful to retrace the steps of Russia’s last emperor some 102 years ago.
"He proceeded along the walkway by which we today march to the source of Saint Pitirim, and drank water from it. We have historical evidence of this event, "- said Metropolitan Theodosius of Tambov and Rasskazovsky.
The bust of Emperor Nicholas II was presented to the church by the Orthodox Mission Branch of the Tambov Archdiocese.
A second bust of Emperor Nicholas II was also unveiled on 16 May in Yalta. The bronze bust was unveiled by Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) Chairman Sergei Stepashin, marking the 100th anniversary of the last visit to the Crimea by Russia’s last emperor.
Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea performed a liturgy in St. Nicholas Cathedral, followed by a procession along the waterfront where he performed the consecration of the bust. The solemn ceremony was followed by festivities attended by the heads of the municipality, municipal education departments of Family, Youth and Sports in Yevpatoriya.
The opening ceremony was attended by Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea Lazar, Metropolitan Platon of Feodosia and Kerch, the Head of the Russian Imperial House HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, her son Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich, and the head of the administration of Yevpatoriya Andrew Filonov, among other guests of honour.
The bust was established on the initiative of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and its Chairman Sergei Stepashin with the blessing of His Eminence Lazarus, Metropolitan of Simferopol and Crimea. This is the second bust of Emperor Nicholas II in the Yalta area. The first was unveiled at Livadia Palace on 19 May, 2015.
A third bust of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled on 19 May in Rostov-on-Don. The bronze bust was erected at the entrance of the Cadet School of the Second Don Emperor Nicholas II Cadets Corps, located at the Don State Technical University.
On This Day: Emperor Nicholas II was Born at Tsarskoye Selo Topic: Nicholas II
Note: this article has been amended from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
On 18 May (O.S. 6 May) 1868 in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, was born the first son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna, the Grand Duke Nikolai Alexandrovich - the future and last Emperor of Russia - Nicholas II.
Nicholas passed his childhood years growing up in Gatchina Palace. The future emperor had been educated in compliance with an accurately designed thirteen year program. During the first 8 years particular attention was devoted to subjects such as political history, Russian literature, French, German, English, and gymnasium; the next five years were devoted to studying military affairs, legal and economic sciences, necessary for a statesman. Among his tutors were outstanding Russian scholars: N. N. Beketov, N. N. Obruchev, J. F. Cui, M. I. Dragomirov, N. J. Bunge.
In 1884 Nicholas joined the military service, and in July 1887 he joined the Preobrazhensky Regiment. Prior to ascending the throne, Nicholas commanded – as a colonel - the first battalion of the Life Guards Preobrazhensky Regiment.
Having a notion about public affairs, Nicholas began to attend meetings of the State Council and the Committee of Ministers from May 1889. In October 1890 he went on a voyage to the Far East. During the first 9 months, he visited Greece, Egypt, India, China, Japan, and then by land, having crossed the entire Siberia, returned to the capital of Russia.
In April 1894 the future Emperor became engaged with Princess Alice of Hesse Darmstadt, the daughter of Grand Duke of Hesse, granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England. After her conversion to Orthodoxy, she took the name Alexandra Feodorovna.
On 2 November (O.S. 20 October), 1894 his father Emperor Alexander III died at the young age of 49. A few hours before his death, the dying emperor obliged his son to sign a Manifesto on his accession to the throne.
During the reign of Nicholas II, Russia was being transformed into a major agro-industrial nation, the cities grew, railroads and industrial enterprises were being rapidly developed. The Emperor supported the decisions aimed at economic and social modernization of the country: introduction of the gold circulation of the ruble, Stolypin's agrarian reform, laws on workers' insurance, universal primary education, and religious tolerance.
The Reign of Nicholas II took place in an atmosphere of growing revolutionary movements and the complexity of the situation of foreign policy (Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905, Bloody Sunday, Revolution of 1905-1907; First World War, February Revolution of 1917).
Under the influence of a strong social movement in favour of political reforms, the Emperor signed the Manifesto of 17 October 1905, proclaiming democratic freedoms. On 6 May (O.S. 23 April), 1906 he approved a new edition of “Fundamental laws of the Russian Empire”, and in 1906 the State Duma began its work established by the emperor’s Manifesto.
The turning point in the fate of Nicholas II was the year of 1914 - the beginning of World War I, which worsened internal problems of the country. In Petrograd unrests began, which grew into mass demonstrations against the government and dynasty. On 15 March (O.S. 2 March) 1917 in Pskov, Nicholas II signed an act of abdication, handing power to his brother Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, who rejected the crown.
On 20 March (O.S. 7 March) 1917, the Provisional Government ordered the arrest of Nicholas and his wife. In early August 1917 the former emperor and his entourage were exiled to Tobolsk in Siberia. In May 1918, they were transferred to Ekaterinburg. On the night of 16 (O.S. 3) / 17 (O.S. 4) July 1918, Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, along with their five children and four of their faithful retainers were murdered by the Ural Soviet.
After years of research of the remains found near Ekaterinburg in the 1990s, they were solemnly buried in Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg on 17 July, 1998. In 2000, Nicholas II and the members of his family were canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate. The Imperial family had canonized in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).
Diaries and Memoirs Assess Life and Reign of Russia's Last Emperor Topic: Nicholas II
Note: this article has been amended from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
Shortly before the anniversary day of the birth of Emperor Nicholas II (1868-1918), which is celebrated on May 18, the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library in St. Petersburg offers rare materials, revealing the tragedy of the autocrat, who failed to save Russia from the social cataclysms which engulfed Russia in the early 20th century.
Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov was born at the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo on the day when the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of Holy Job the Long-Suffering. The Emperor made note of this coincidence, believing with "profound conviction that he was fated to terrible ordeals."
And they were not slow to come. The results of the Russian-Japanese war, the economic crisis and dissatisfaction of populace in response, the events of January 9, 1905, when the army and police of St. Petersburg took arms to drive away a peaceful procession of workers carrying a petition to Tsar... In the end of 1905 railway strike broke out nationwide. It shut down traffic on the Baltic Railway. "Transportation to St. Petersburg only by water, disgraceful situation," - the last Russian Emperor noted in his diary.
In an electronic copy of the "The Diary of Emperor Nicholas II" for the years 1890-1906 can be found his brief notes about the weather, dinners with those close to the Emperor, his "treasures" (son Alexei) behaviour - but almost nothing about the ripening of the revolutionary storm brewing in the country. "The weather was calm and sunny with wonderful frost on the trees," - writes Emperor Nikolai on January 7, 1905, two days before Bloody Sunday. A mention of the events of January 9 is interspersed with description of the everyday family rituals:
"Hard day! In St. Petersburg there were serious disturbances due to workers’ longing to get to the Winter Palace. The troops had to shoot across the city; there were many dead and wounded. Lord, how painful and hard! Mamá came over to see us from the city straight to liturgy. We had breakfast with everyone. Mamá stayed over with us."
Note: I would like to point out that historians often cite the lack of “details” in Nicholas II’s diaries as evidence of a ruler out of touch with reality. In situations such as ‘Bloody Sunday’ they also accuse him of insensitivity. This is an unfair assessment, due to the fact that his diaries were never intended as a historical record for his descendants, nor as a historical record on which to judge his life and reign. Historians are guilty of an unconscionable number of conclusions based on diary entries, the overwhelming majority of them unfavorable to Nicholas II. One of the worst offenders is French historian Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, in her book Nicholas II: The Interrupted Transition, published in 2000 - Paul Gilbert
Russian journalist, writer, critic M. Nevedomsky in the book "The First Year of Nicholas II" of 1896 edition wrote about a petition to Tsar from the district council "community" in response to his first "programmatic" speech, which has over crossed out all the hopes for society democratization: "The most advanced district council and council’s people insisted, or rather, asked only for the Tsar’s accord with the people, the direct access of district council to the throne, for transparency and the fact that the law was always higher than administrative tyranny. In short, it was all just about the bureaucratic-court wall, separating Tsar of Russia, to collapse."
Most historians explain the defeat of the empire in many respects to mismatch of Nicholas’ II personal qualities with the scale of problems he had to face (although many contemporaries stressed his good manners, amazing memory, accuracy in business, and modesty). "A task, which has laid into his shoulders, was too heavy, it exceeded his powers," - wrote a mentor of Tsarevich Alexei, who well knew Emperor Pierre Gilliard.
A prophecy of Leo Tolstoy, who sent two letters to the Tsar, trying to warn Nicholas from the wrong steps in dealing with crisis, has come true - in February 1917 Petrograd was consumed with riots. On March 2 the abdication of Nicholas II from the throne occurred, followed by the arrest of the entire family. On July 17, 1918 after five months of detention, the Bolsheviks in the cellar of the Ipatiev house shot dead the former ruler of Russia, Tsarina and their five children. In 1980 Nicholas II, Tsarina and their five children were canonized by the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. They were later canonized in 2000 by the Moscow Patriarchate.
Detailed information about the fate of Nicholas II can be found in the electronic collection of the Presidential Library, which in 2013 marked the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The collection includes about a thousand digitized documents, most of which were previously unknown to Russian and Western historians.
On 9th May - Victory Day in Russia - Natalya Poklonskaya, Prosecutor General of Crimea, took part in a procession carrying an icon of Saint Nicholas II Tsar-Martyr of Russia. While most of those who participated in the Immortal Regiment march in the Crimean capital of Simferopol carrying photos of their relatives who fought in WWII, Poklonskaya instead carried an icon of Russia’s last emperor.
Poklonskaya, explained why she carried an icon of Nicholas II and not photos of her relatives who fought in WWII during the procession: “A lot of WWII veterans told me they had visions of the Virgin Mary and Russian Tsar Nicholas II” - said Poklonskaya, - “the two helped them survive in the most desperate and hopeless situations during the Great Patriotic War.”
She also noted that the idea of worshiping deceased or incumbent monarchs, or the ideology of monarchy was frowned upon back in the days of the Soviet Union, while the country’s official anthem up until 1943 was The Internationale which had the following refrain: “There are no supreme saviours, Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune”.
Since its inception in 2007, the Immortal Regiment initiative has been met with unprecedented support, spreading from Russia to cities worldwide, with millions of people in 42 countries across the globe marching in commemoration of their loved ones who fought in World War II. The Immortal Regiment procession follows Russia's annual Victory Day parade. This year, an estimated 24 million took part in processions held in cities across Russia. In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again took part in the "Immortal Regiment" leading a procession of more than 700,000 people through the center of Moscow.
Victory Day marks the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. According to official data, about 27 million Soviet citizens died, including both civilians and servicemen.
SOVEREIGN No. 2 - NOW IN STOCK! Topic: Nicholas II
I am pleased to announce that the next issue of SOVEREIGN, our popular new periodical dedicated to the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II is now available from the Royal Russia Bookshop - Paul Gilbert
Our second issue features 145 pages with 130 black-and-white photographs, and 7 full-length articles, including 4 first English translations of articles written by Russian experts. This issue is dedicated to the 120th anniversary of Emperor Nicholas II at Moscow in 1896 + 48 photographs from this historic event.
This issue includes 3 NEW previously unpublished works by the following Western experts:
Nikolai II and the Supreme Commander: Fighting on Two Fronts
by Margarita Nelipa
Despite its magnitude, historians rarely evaluated the one imperial decision that shaped the course of World War One. When Russia entered the War in 1914, it fought: For Faith, Tsar and the Fatherland. On that day there appeared to be national harmony. The ordinary soldier went to battle as a patriot, loyal to the sovereign. By mid-August 1915, fatalities were immense, soldiers had either retreated en masse or gave themselves up as prisoners in large numbers, disillusioned with a war that made no sense for them. Owing to those catastrophic events, the sovereign felt duty-bound to defend his homeland and reign. To do so, he decided to firstly dismiss Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich as the Supreme Commander of the military forces and secondly, to accept direct responsibility to bring Russia back into a favorable military footing by stepping into that role himself. However, many members of the Council of Ministers, as shown by never-before-revealed Council transcripts, acted against the emperor’s decision, dismayed by his lack of consultation. The decision polarized members of the imperial family who also supported the Grand Duke’s wartime role. Nikolai II’s new role also caused the first shift against the sovereign among several Generals. Why that common dissension came about among the elite of the nation, is explained with the use of seldom accessed Russian language material. Notwithstanding the grievances, Nikolai II remained steadfast in his decision to take command of the armed forces. In the end, despite achieving some success on the battlefield, the Emperor lost the war on the home front.
"Dearest Grandmama" The Relationship Between Nicholas II and Queen Victoria
by Coryne Hall
Royal historian and author Coryne Hall offers the first of a 4 part series on Emperor Nicholas II's relationship with British monarchs.
Between 1894 and 1901 Emperor Nicholas II and Queen Victoria ruled two of the world's mightiest empires. They were also related, as Nicholas had married the Queen's granddaughter, Princess Alix of Hesse. So how did their personal relationship develope? Part I examines this interesting relationship between the two monarchs.
The Cult of Nicholas II
by Matthew Dal Santo
Russians' attitudes towards "Bloody Nicholas" have come a long way in the past one hundred years. The author explores the growing and more sympathetic modern-day "cult" of Nicholas II in contemporary Russian and Western society.
This issue also includes 4 first English translation articles by the following Russian experts:
Vladimir Fyodorovich Dzhunkovsky. Witness to the Coronation of Russia's Last Emperor
by Zenaida I. Peregudova and I.M. Pushkareva
Translated from Russian by Irene W. Galaktionova and Neil P. Mayhew
Vladimir Fyodorovich Dzhunkovsky is remembered as a prominent statesman and military leader of the Russian Empire. He was a very remarkable person in that he was so unlike other members of Nicholas II's governmental pantheon. The authors have written a biography of the man who served as adjutant of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and held posts of the Governor of Moscow Guberniya, the Governor-General of Moscow, the Assistant Minister of the Interior and Commander Special Corps of the Gendarmes. The first English translation of this article appears in this issue of Sovereign.
The 1896 Coronation Celebrations in Moscow
by Vladimir Fyodorovich Dzhunkovsky
Translated from Russian by Irene W. Galaktionova and Neil P. Mayhew
This excerpt from Vladimir Dzhunkovsky's memoirs tells about one of the most picturesque and memorable events in the history of Moscow: his personal eyewitness account of the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II May 1896. He goes on to describe the events of the Khodynka tragedy, offering one of the most accurate accounts to date. The first English translation of excerpts from Dzunkovsky's memoirs appear in this issue of Sovereign.
The Unknown Emperor. An Interview with Archpriest Valentin Asmus
by Semyon Sokolov and Ludmila Bonyushkina
Translated from Russian by Irene W. Galaktionova and Neil P. Mayhew
The day after the canonization of Emperor Nicholas II by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000, two Russian journalists managed to gain access to one of the most recognized experts in the history of the Russian monarchy: the Moscow Spiritual Academy lecturer Archpriest Valentin Asmus. Father Valentin speaks in length about the character of St. Tsar Nicholas II, and believes that the conventional views of the life and personality of Nicholas II often couldn't be further from the truth. The first English translation of this interview appears in this issue of Sovereign.
The Investigation into the Deaths of the Russian Royal Family and Persons of Their Entourage
by Archpriest Oleg Mitrov
Translated from Russian by Irene W. Galaktionova
The questions raised by the murders of the Russian Royal family, including the discovery of their remains in the vicinity of Yekaterinburg, as well as the recognition or non-recognition of their authenticity, have been unsettling our society for the last 25 years. Recently, many people have been looking to the Russian Orthodox Church for its verdict on the matter. But expressing an objective view requires the Church to conduct a thorough examination of the historical records as well as the investigation materials and the results of scientific enquiries.
In this first English language translation, Mitrov addresses the ROC's questions and concerns regarding the Ekaterinburg remains. Among them are the previous forensic studies of the remains carried out in the 1990s, Sergeev and later Sokolov's investigation in the 1920s, disturbing issues regarding the excavations conducted in 1979, 1991 and 2007, and much more.
Archpriest Oleg Mitrov is a member of the Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints, and is also currently engaged in the study of the issues surrounding the murders of Russia’s last royal family.
Note: This article was originally published in Royal Russia No. 9. An illustrated edition of this articles is presented in this issue of Sovereign for the benefit of those readers who do not subscribe to both periodicals.
This issue also includes 2 collections of historic photographs on the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II:
Sovereign Photo Collection No. 3 - Coronation of Emperor Nicholas II, May 1896
Sovereign Photo Collection No. 4 - Private World of Emperor Nicholas II, Livadia and Crimea
For further information, or to place an order, please refer to the following link:
The Ural director Andrei Krupin is preparing a unique exhibition project entitled Living Pictures: Nicholas II. According to Krupin, this is the first innovative artistic multimedia exhibition about Emperor Nicholas II and his family. The exhibition will mark the 100th anniversary of the murder of Nicholas II and his family in July 2018. It will initially be held in Russia’s three main cities: Ekaterinburg, Moscow and St. Petersburg. It will then tour the country with additional showings in Sochi, Perm, Tyumen, Krasnoyarsk, Crimea (Livadia) and Vladivostok.
Click on the link below to read the full article and watch a short VIDEO: