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Thursday, 1 December 2016
Restored Portrait of Nicholas II Unveiled in St. Petersburg
Topic: Nicholas II

Rector of the Academy Stieglitz Vasily Kichedzhi presents the restored portrait of Emperor Nicholas II
This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016

Historical justice is done, a portrait of Emperor Nicholas II - by the Russian artist Ilya Savich Galkin (1860-1915) - hidden from human eyes for some ninety-odd years - was presented at the St. Petersburg Museum of Applied Arts on November 30th. 

The restoration which took three years to complete, was initiated by the staff and students of the department of painting and restoration of the Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design under Professor Tatiana Potselueva. 

The portrait of Russia’s last emperor was discovered on the back of a portrait of Vladimir Lenin in 2013. Today, the double portraits are presented to the public for the first time. Nicholas II is presented in an elegant frame, while Lenin is presented in the "workers and peasants” wood. 

The story of this unique painting attracted the interest of the Russian media, as well as specialists in the field of painting. They believe that the history of these portraits is both mysterious as mystical, symbolizing both the tragedy and the greatness of the country's history at a time of great change and upheaval.

In 1896, Ilya Galkin was appointed Court painter. The young artist painted a portrait of Nicholas II in the year of his coronation. The emperor appears in all his glory - in dress uniform, set against the background of a palace interior. The portrait was painted under the order for the Petrovsky Commercial College, which during Soviet times became Primary School No. 206.

During the upheaval of the 1917 Revolution, to which Galkin did not live to witness, the disappearance of the portrait went unnoticed. As it turned out, the portrait of Nicholas II did not disappear, it was merely hidden. The artist Vladislav Izmailovich utilized the reverse of the canvas of Nicholas II for a portrait of the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin (1924). Izmailovich’s initiative in fact saved Galkin’s portrait of Russia’s last emperor. For the next 90 years, the back-to-back portraits hung in the hall of Primary School No. 206 in Leningrad.
It was not until 2013, when Primary School No. 206 asked for the portrait of the Bolshevik leader, which was ripped at the bottom, to be restored. When the Stieglitz Academy restorers took the painting out of the frame, they discovered that the back of the canvas was covered with black water-soluble paint. Beneath the paint they found the well preserved portrait of Emperor Nicholas II.

Portrait of Emperor Nicholas II (1896) Ilya Savich Galkin (1860-1915)
What's next?

Professor Tatiana Potselueva, engaged students of the Academy in the restoration of the portrait. These young artists took great pride and honour by participating in this historic event. Now that their work is complete, the question now, is what will the Academy do with the portraits?

Rector of the Academy Stieglitz Vasily Kichedzhi, notes that this painting requires special storage conditions and should be put on display in a large museum. In addition, he notes that the portrait has always been the property of the state and should continue to belong to the state.

“It is not just a picture, it is - the personification of the history of the country and the state” - said Kichedzhi. The rector wrote a letter to the Minister of Education and Minister of Culture with a request to determine the future fate of the picture.

In the meantime, a number of prominent museums have expressed an interest in the portrait of Emperor Nicholas II. Among those is the Director of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve Olga Taratynova, who believes that the panting should be displayed in the Alexander Palace, which will reopen as a multi-museum complex in July 2018.
The Museum of Political History in St. Petersburg, is believed to be a perfect venue to display the portrait of Lenin.

While the fate of both portraits is being decided, visitors to St. Petersburg can view the portraits of Emperor Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin at the Stieglitz Applied Arts Museum in St Petersburg, from December 1st.
For more information on the restoration of this painting, please refer to the following article:

Image of Emperor Nicholas II Found Beneath Portrait of Vladimir Lenin

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 1 December, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:02 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 2 December 2016 11:58 AM EST
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Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Monument to Nicholas II Established in Vladivostok
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016

A new monument to Emperor Nicholas II has been established on the grounds of the Cathedral of the Intercession in the center of the Russian city of Vladivostok.

The monument is timed to mark the 125th anniversary of a visit by Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich to the city from 11-21 May 1891, after returning from his Eastern journey of Asia in 1890–91. It was during this historic visit, that an assassination attempt was made on Russia's future emperor in Otsu, Japan on 11 May [O.S. 29 April] 1891.

The official opening and consecration of the monument will take place on December 19 - the feast day of St. Nicholas - patron saint of Saint Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 November, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:49 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2016 11:56 AM EST
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Friday, 11 November 2016
Image of Emperor Nicholas II Found Beneath Portrait of Vladimir Lenin
Topic: Nicholas II

The recently discovered and now restored portrait of Nicholas II
A portrait of Tsar Nicholas II was discovered during the restoration of a full-size painting of the 1917 October Revolution leader Vladimir Lenin. The image was "hidden" for the last 90 years beneath water-soluble paint on the back of the canvas used by Soviet artist Vladislav Izmailovich for Lenin's portrait.

The discovery was made by restorers from the Stieglitz Art and Industry Academy in St. Petersburg, where the portrait has been on loan from the Russian Museum for restoration since 2013. The recovered works of the two artists will be presented at the St. Petersburg Museum of Applied Arts on November 30, 2016.

"The large-scale double-sided portrait, painted by different artists under different political regimes, is a unique phenomenon that has no historical parallels," the Academy's press service told RBTH.

The history of the "double" portrait began in 1896, when artist Ilya Galkin, who portrayed the royal family many times, created a large-scale (9' x 6') ceremonial portrait of Tsar Nicholas II. The painting was commissioned in the year of the monarch's coronation for the assembly hall of the Merchant Society's Petrovsky Trade and Commercial School.

After the 1917 revolution, the trade school building was converted into a regular school, and in 1924, after Lenin's death, experts speculate that Vladislav Izmailovich covered the portrait of the tsar with several layers of paint and then illustrated the revolutionary leader on the back.

Lenin, standing on a pavement against the background of the Admiralty, was hung in the same place in the assembly hall. The painting hung there for nearly a century, until the school's administration decided to send the portrait, which was damaged during the Soviet era, for restoration.

Restoration of the portraits took three years to complete
"At the bottom of the canvas, numerous small holes were discovered, presumably marks made with bayonets during the revolution," the Academy's press service said.

"It is noteworthy that an X-ray examination of the canvas found that the heads of Lenin and the emperor are almost in the same place."

© Russia Beyond the Headlines. 11 November, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:32 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 13 November 2016 6:50 AM EST
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Monday, 7 November 2016
Topic: Nicholas II

I am pleased to announce that the next issue of SOVEREIGN, our popular bi-annual periodical dedicated to the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II is nearing completion, the files will be sent to the printers in the next week - Paul Gilbert

The No. 3 - Autumn 2016 issue features 130 pages with more than 100 black-and-white photographs, and 8 full-length articles, including 4 first English translations of articles written by Russian experts. 
NEW to this issue of SOVEREIGN:
Sovereign News 
featuring news highlights from Russian media sources
This issue includes 4 NEW previously unpublished works by the following Western experts:
Nicholas II. Russia's Last Orthodox Christian Monarch
by Paul Gilbert
Tsar and Shah. Were Nicholas II and Mohammed Reza Pahlavi Really Absolute Monarchs?
by Professor Hereward Senior
'Your Loving Nephew' Nicholas II and Edward VII
by Coryne Hall
Grounds for the Canonization of Emperor Nicholas II and His Family 
by Metropolitan of Krutitsa and Kolomna Juvenaly
This issue also includes 4 first English translation articles by the following Russian experts:
Emperor Nicholas II. Initiator of Global Disarmament
by Pyotr Multatuli
Gunshot on the Moika and the End of the Russian Empire
by Archpriest Vladislav Tsypin 
Emperor Nicholas II at Mogliev
by Tatyana Potemkina, Boris Sidorenko, V.F. Andarenhko, and M.N. Pirogov
The Tragedy of Bloody Sunday
by Andrei Mantsov 

This issue also includes 3 collections of historic photographs on the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II:
Sovereign Photo Collection No. 5
1903 Costume Ball in the Winter Palace
Official Portraits of Emperor Nicholas II 
Sovereign Photo Collection No. 6
The Private World of Emperor Nicholas II
The Alexander Park at Tsarskoye Selo 
Emperor Nicholas II Photo Album
Historical Images of Russia's Last Emperor
Sovereign No. 3 - Autumn 2016 will be available for the Royal Russia Bookshop at the end of November or early December. Please note that we do not offer subscriptions or standing orders for SOVEREIGN at this time. Please check this page for updates on availability.
Click on the link below for more information on Sovereign. The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II, please visit our web site:


© Royal Russia. 7 November, 2016 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:04 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 7 November 2016 10:46 AM EST
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Thursday, 3 November 2016
Personal Items of Emperor Nicholas II Returned to Livadia Palace
Topic: Nicholas II

This article has been translated by Dmitry Lapa. Courtesy

Rector of the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Gorokhovo Pole in Moscow Archpriest Vasily Golovanov has given personal items of the Holy Emperor Nicholas II to Livadia Palace in the south of Crimea, reported deputy of the Russian State Duma Natalia Poklonskaya.

“Some items which were used by Tsar Nicholas II himself are now returning to the museum of Livadia Palace, including the stationery from the holy emperor’s worktable: a stamp box, a small bell, a lion figurine on a stand along with bronze statuettes of Gottfried and Lohengrin,” Poklonskaya wrote in her LiveJournal blog.

According to her information, the items had been in private ownership until 2000 when they were presented to the rector of the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Gorokhovo Pole in Moscow. “And now Archpriest Vasily Golovanov is gratuitously giving these unique historic pieces to the museum of Livadia Palace,” the deputy wrote.

The chief of Russia’s Military Orthodox Mission Igor Smykov helped deliver the pieces to Crimea. The ceremony of donation of the items to the palace took place on Wednesday. They will be placed on the writing desk of the holy tsar’s study on the first floor of the palace where they were originally kept.

© 3 November, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:22 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 3 November 2016 9:32 AM EDT
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Saturday, 17 September 2016
New Bust of Emperor Nicholas II Installed in Simferopol
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016

On September 8th, a bust of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II was unveiled near the entrance to the Office of the Prosecutor General in Crimean city of Simferopol.

The bust is mounted on a pedestal in front of a small memorial chapel, which was constructed on the donations of employees of the department in honour of the Holy Royal Martyrs - Nicholas II and his family.

The building houses the office of Natalia Poklonskaya. In recent years, Crimea’s Prosecutor General has repeatedly demonstrated her admiration for Russia's last emperor: 

- July 2016 Poklonskaya presented a new portrait of the last Russian Imperial family to Livadia Palace

- May 2016 Poklonskaya took part in a procession carrying an icon of Saint Nicholas II Tsar-Martyr of Russia 

- October 2014 Poklonskaya presented 80 photoraphs of Emperor Nicholas II to the Livadia Palace-Museum

- On 20th July, 2014  Poklonskaya was awarded the Imperial Order of Saint Anastasia during a ceremony in Moscow by the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna 

The bust in Simferopol is one of several monuments to Nicholas II in the Crimea:

- May 2016 a bust of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled in Yalta

- May 2015 a bust of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled at the Livadia Palace 

- December 2014 a bust of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled in Sevastopol 

- September 2012 a monument to Emperor Nicholas II and Prince Lev Golitsyn was unveiled at Massandra in the village of Novy Svet 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 September, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:43 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 17 September 2016 10:03 AM EDT
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Friday, 19 August 2016
On This Day: Nicholas II Manifesto on Establishment of the State Duma
Topic: Nicholas II

The throne draped and flanked by the Imperial Romanov regalia, the Imperial family (to the left of the throne) and members of the 1st State Duma witness Emperor Nicholas II opening the first Duma in St. George’s Hall of the Winter Palace the following year.
This article has been revised and edited from its original by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016
On 19 August (O.S. 6 August) 1905 Emperor Nicholas II signed the manifesto for the establishment of Russian State Duma - the supreme representative law advisory body of the Russian Empire. The same day was issued "Regulations on the State Duma elections".

The beginning of the project's development was an address of by Minister of Agriculture and State Property, A. S. Ermolov to Emperor Nicholas II 13 February (O.S. January 31) 1905, with a proposal to establish an elected Zemstvo Duma for preliminary consideration of major bills. In February the Council of Ministers met twice regarding this issue, but the decision had not been made. Soon, the Minister of Internal Affairs A. G. Bulygin was given a rescript, charging him the chairmanship of the Special Meeting to draft provisions on the State Duma. On behalf of its creator, this project was called Bulygin Duma.

Developed by the Ministry of Interior, the project was discussed at meetings with the Emperor at New Peterhof with attendance of the grand dukes, members of the Council of State and Ministers.

The Duma was to be convened no later than mid-January 1906. According to the project, it was granted the right to discuss all the bills, budget, report of state control and draw conclusions on them which then were submitted to the State Council, where from the bills with the conclusions of the Duma and the Council were submitted to the emperor for consideration. The Duma was to be elected for 5 year tearms. Most people did not have voting rights, including those under 25 years old, workers, women, students, military personnel, foreign nationals, as well as governors, vice governors, mayors and their aides and police officers within the areas under their jurisdiction. Elections were held in provinces and regions, and also separately in the capitals and 23 largest cities. Farmers were supposed to have four-stage elections, and landlords and bourgeoisie - two-stage elections; 42% of the electors were to be elected by congresses of representatives of the counties, 34% - by congresses of district landowners, and 24% - by congresses of urban voters.

Members of the State Duma were to be elected by the provincial election meetings of landowners and representatives of townships, under the chairmanship of the provincial marshal of nobility or urban voters meeting chaired by the mayor.

Members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) called on the workers and peasants to actively boycott the Bulygin Duma and used their propaganda campaign to prepare for an armed uprising. The convening of the Bulygin Duma was disrupted as a result of the revolutionary events of October 1905, forcing the Russian Emperor to issue a Manifesto "On improvement of public order" on the establishment of the State Duma with legislative powers.

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


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:04 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 August 2016 8:15 AM EDT
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Friday, 12 August 2016
Monument to Tsesarevich Nicholas Unveiled in Chita
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016

A monument of Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (the future Emperor Nicholas II), was unveiled 11th August on Cossack Square in the Russian city of Chita. It is the only monument in Russia which depicts Nicholas II as Tsesarevich

Chita is the administrative center of Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia, located at the confluence of the Chita and Ingoda Rivers and on the Trans-Siberian Railway, 900 kilometers (560 mi) east of Irkutsk. 

The monument was created to mark the Tsesarevich’s visit to the Trans-Baikal region, where he spent 11 days in June 1891. During his visit to the region, the heir to the throne assisted with developments in education, and supported the establishment of new institutions, and the Chita trade school.

Standing proud, his young face, strong chin, the future emperor directs a confident gaze to the future of Russia. The bronze figure of the young Tsesarevich stands more than 2-meters in height, and is set on a 4-meter granite pedestal. 

The cost of the monument was 2.5 million rubles. Funds for the monument were collected around the world, including the descendants of Trans-Baikal Cossacks living in Australia, plus major financial support provided by the Trans-Baikal Railway. Emperor Nicholas II is especially revered by the Cossacks, because he served as the Most August Ataman of All Cossack troops of the Russian Empire.

The creator of the monument is the famed Krasnoyarsk sculptor Konstantin Zinich, who is an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts. The unveiling of the monument took place with great pomp and ceremony. The event opened with the playing of the anthem of the Russian Empire, "God Save the Tsar," followed by local folk dancing, singing and an honourary 5-gun salute.

"In unveiling this monument to Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich, we restore historical justice and acknowledge that much of the planning and commitment by this man played a significant and positive role in the development of the Trans-Baikal", - organizers said.

One of the initiators of the monument, the deputy of the regional Legislative Assembly Alexander Filonich said that the arrival of Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich in the region will always be associated with the beginning of construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. During that journey, he stopped in 14 towns in the region, meeting with local residents, officials, clergy and merchants at each.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 August, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:57 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 12 August 2016 6:16 AM EDT
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Monday, 25 July 2016
New Book on the Reign of Nicholas II Presented in Ekaterinburg
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016

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:

New Book on the Reign of Nicholas II Presented in Ekaterinburg

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 July, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:44 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 July 2016 10:28 AM EDT
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Sunday, 17 July 2016
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 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.

Click on the link below to read the full article:


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 July, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:43 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 6 August 2016 11:45 AM EDT
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