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Friday, 6 April 2018
Nicholas II Conference. Colchester, England. 27 October 2018
Topic: Nicholas II

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 6 April, 2018

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:05 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 6 April 2018 4:09 PM EDT
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Saturday, 20 January 2018
Topic: Nicholas II

Click here for more information about the conference, including a list of speakers, and to purchase tickets
Dear Friends of Royal Russia

I am pleased to announce that the details for the upcoming Nicholas II Conference have now been finalized.

Since its inception back in May 2017, the conference has undergone many changes.

Initially, I was going to host a two day event, and while I had enough speakers interested in participating, I decided that this was too large an event to organize effectively from the other side of the Atlantic.

It was also my plan to host the conference in London, however, during my visit in November to assess halls and other venues, the costs were simply beyond my budget. I want to make the event affordable to all who are interested in attending.

It was also during this trip, that I met with more than a dozen people – including friends of Royal Russia living in England, and members of the Russian Orthodox Church – all of whom offered valuable advice on planning this conference. I am indebted to each of them for their respective ideas and suggestions.

After reviewing numerous options, including power point presentations, I decided to take the conference in an entirely new direction altogether. Four speakers will present six papers, each talk followed by a 10-15 minute question and answer session. A 30 minute break will include refreshments, and an opportunity for attendees to meet and talk with speakers and make new acquaintances.

The conference will be held at St. John’s Orthodox Church in Colchester, Essex – an hour’s train ride from London. I am delighted that the Russian Orthodox Church will be involved in this historic event.

The date remains unchanged – Saturday, 27th October – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Tickets are £25.00 per person, and can only be ordered online using a credit card or PayPal.

Click here for full details on the conference, and to purchase tickets.

Over the past few months, people from as far away as America and Australia have contacted me expressing an interest in attending. As a suggestion for those travelling from abroad, you could very nicely combine the conference on 27 October with the exhibition Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs which opens on 9 November, in the Queen’s Gallery, London.

Given that I will eventually be returning to England to live, it is my sincere hope and wish that the autumn Conference in Colchester will be a precursor for future Royal Russia events.

On a more personal note, I am very excited about the prospects of hosting such an event in England, particularly in the year of two very important dates in the life of Nicholas II: the 150th anniversary of his birth, and the 100th anniversary of his death and martyrdom.

I look forward to meeting both old and new friends to share our mutual interest in Russia’s last emperor and tsar, as well as one of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most revered passion bearers.

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please do not hesitate to contact me by email - 



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:46 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 5 February 2018 11:26 AM EST
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Thursday, 18 January 2018
Controversial Film Mathilde Banned in Ukraine
Topic: Nicholas II

Russian film director Alexei Uchitel
This article was originally published by on 18 January 2018

Director Alexei Uchitel’s recently-released film Mathilde about the relationship between St. Petersburg ballerina Mathilde Kschessinskaya and then-Tsesarevich Nicholas II has been banned in Ukraine, reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The ban was reported by a member of the Expert Council of the State Committee for Cinematography Dimitry Kapranov.

“We have not allowed the showing of Mathilde according to formal criteria,” noted Kapranov. He explained that a musician on the so-called “black list” was involved in the making of the film.

Kapranov went on to note that viewers might object to such reasoning, and responded saying, “Are you willing to buy a watermelon at the market that has nitrates? Sure, there’s vitamins, but there’s also nitrates. These people on the ‘black list’ are nitrates. If they exist, then the product is considered to be poisonous.”

The film caused a scandal in Russia leading up to its release due to its irreverently unhistorical treatment of the person of the Royal Martyr Tsar Nicholas II. Several hierarchs have condemned the film as a “vulgarity,” including Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyeev) and Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov). His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has also spoken out against it. Others had called for the film to be banned. The Athonite brotherhood of St. Panteleimon’s Monastery has also spoken out against the film, as has Abbot Ephraim of Vatopaidi Monastery. The movement against the film was championed by State Deputy Natalia Poklonskaya.

Although the film was approved for showing in Russia, various regions and theaters throughout the country made the decision not to show it.

My Mathilde: The Love Letters and Diaries of Nicholas II by Boris Sokolov 
Interfax-Religion also reports that the book My Mathilde: The Love Letters and Diaries of Nicholas II by Boris Sokolov was among the 25 Russian publications that were banned by the Ukrainian State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting on January 10. The list also includes the book Orthodoxy: An Honest Conversation by Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin.

© 18 January 2018


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:16 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2018 10:23 AM EST
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Thursday, 11 January 2018
Life and Death of Nicholas II Subject of Rostov-on-Don Exhibit
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2018

From 11 to 21 January, the DonExpocenter in Rostov-on-Don will host a unique multimedia exhibition Culture and History of Russia. The exhibit showcases life in Russia during the 20th century, and how art, science, literature, painting developed, viewing history through the eyes of artists and writers, scientists.

Visitors to the exhibition, using touch screens and interactive screens will be able to learn about the events of 1917 that affected the course of Russian history and the fate of the great Russian artists, musicians, writers who worked during and after the revolution.

Two of the four halls are dedicated to the life and death of the family of Emperor Nicholas II. The exhibit features rare documents from the State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF), including Yurovsky's note, ration cards issued to the family in Tobolsk, and the act of abdication. The last diary of Nicholas II is also on display, open to the blank page dated 17 July (O.S. 4 July) 1918.

High-tech multimedia allow visitors to the exhibition to see photographs and paintings, which depict different moments from the life of Nicholas II, as well as portraits of the emperor himself and his family.

A 30-minute panoramic program explores important events in the life of Nicholas II, illustrated with the canvases of Valentin Serov, Vladimir Pchelin, Laurits Tuxen, and other artists: these include his ascension to the throne, his marriage to Princess Alix of Hesse, his coronation in Moscow, the birth of his only son and heir, his abdication, his house arrest , and the tragic death of the Imperial family. 
The exhibition Culture and History of Russia runs until 21 January, at the DonExpocenter in Rostov-on-Don. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 11 January 2018 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:39 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 13 January 2018 4:54 PM EST
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Saturday, 6 January 2018
Nicholas II Bust Unveiled in Melbourne, Australia
Topic: Nicholas II

This article by Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov), was originally published by
Eastern American Diocese | Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia on 26 December 2017

The past 2017 year marked the centennial of the terrible revolutionary events that led to the mass exodus of the Russian people from the territory of the former Russian Empire and their resettlement around the globe. To this day, as a result of the sorrowful events of 100 years past, the Orthodox Russian people are perhaps the most scattered in the world.

In honor of the anniversary of this event, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Foundation for Mutual Development & Strengthening of Spiritual Unity and the Religious & Historical Values of Russian Orthodoxy in the Homeland & Abroad "Under the Protection of the Theotokos" undertook a great mission: traveling around the world with the "Circumglobal" Icon of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos.

The goal of these worldwide travels was to unite Orthodox Russian living around the world, under the Protection of the Theotokos. For the first time, Russians worldwide were given an opportunity to "embrace" their brothers and sisters in Christ located on various continents, through the venerated "Circumglobal" Icon of the Protection of the Mother of God.

The journey began in Moscow on September 2, 2017, continued through Crimea, the Orthodox island of Cyprus, and the Holy Land: Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and the U.S. After visiting Australia and Hong Kong, the icon will return to Russia on the eve of the Nativity of Christ. During its travels, the "Circumglobal" Icon of the Theotokos will be placed on the most revered holy sites. At the end of December 2017, the icon arrived in Melbourne, Australia – on December 26 – the dedication of a monument to the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas took place. The bust of Nicholas II was presented to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia by the "Under the Protection of the Theotokos" Foundation, and the monument installed on St. John of Kronstadt Square in Dandenong (Melbourne, Victoria).

Speakers at the dedication ceremony included: Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York (First Hierarch of ROCOR), Eugene Korolev (director of the Foundation), Archpriest Michael Protopopov (rector of the Church of Our Lady’s Dormition in Dandenong), and Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov; abbot of Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ, USA).

The rite of the blessing of the monument to the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas ended with a festal luncheon, held at St. John of Kronstadt Retirement Home, to which all those present were invited.

© Eastern American Diocese | Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. 6 January 2018 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:30 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2018 7:50 AM EST
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Friday, 5 January 2018
Moscow Tretyakov Gallery to Host Nicholas II Exhibit in 2018
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2018

The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow will host an exhibition this autumn, featuring unique materials of the Imperial family from the museum’s archival collection. The exhibition The Romanovs. Family Album will be held in the New Tretyakov Gallery, which is situated at Krimsky Val, 10 - not far from the main State Tretyakov museum on Lavrushinsky Lane.

The exhibition will feature both albums and individual photographs of members of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, dating from the 1870s to 1910s. The albums, richly decorated with silver and gold, originally came from the Gatchina and Alexander palaces, and were transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery in 1929-1932. The museum claims that the albums and photographs have never been displayed to the public.

The photos were taken by famous professional photographers of the day: A. Gudshon, Alexander Gubchevsky, Konrad Brandel, Karl Bergamasco, etc., as well as members of the Imperial family and people from their entourage.

The exhibition is organized within the framework of participation in the program of the Moscow International Photobiennale of 2018. The exhibition is just one of many planned in Russia this year, and timed to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Nicholas II on 18th May, and the 100th anniversary of the murders of the Imperial family on 17th July.

The exhibition The Romanovs. Family Album runs from 1 September - 31 October, 2018, at the New Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 January 2018 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:26 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 5 January 2018 5:54 PM EST
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Friday, 29 December 2017
Russian Chef Recreates Imperial Family's Menu in Exile
Topic: Nicholas II

Emperor Nicholas II and his family dining together. The Emperor and Empress preferred
simple foods, and while at home, the Imperial family actually dined rather modestly.
This article has been abridged and edited from its original by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2017

Maria Afonina writes about the eating habits of the Tsar Nicholas II and his family dined on during their exile just before their murders on the night of 16/17 July 1918.

In 1917, the delicious feasts of the tsarist family came to an end. In Yekaterinburg, in the Ipatiev House where the Romanov family spent their last 78 days, they had a cook named Ivan Kharitonov. The family was given little meat, which is why instead of the usual pelmeni and dumplings Kharitonov made beet salad; instead of the tangerine jelly – compote; and instead of tarts – macaroni pie. 

Maxim Syrnikov, chef and Russian culinary historian at the restaurant, Domino, in the Pirogovo residence, has recreated the dishes that were part of the Imperial family’s menu in exile. Syrnikov's tsarist dinner is now part of the restaurant menu, which includes fresh cucumber soup-puree, beet salad, macaroni pie and rice cutlets. Here are some recipes.  

Cucumber soup-puree


500 g of fresh cucumbers
One glass of mineral water
Garlic, salt, black pepper, dill, spring onion 

Grate the cucumbers and garlic with a small grater, dilute the mass with mineral water, add finely chopped onion, dill, salt and pepper. 

Macaroni pie 

100 g of macaroni
1 egg
One glass of cream
Clarified butter
Salt, pepper

Boil the macaroni in salted water. Spread them out on a frying pan and pour the egg-cream mixture over them. Place the fried onion (cut into half rings) over the egg-cream mixture and sprinkle some black pepper. Bake in an oven until the liquid is fully thickened. 

Rice cutlet 


1 glass of rice
2 glasses of water
2 tbs of clarified butter
1 egg
2 spoons of finely crushed wheat crackers 

Boil the rice in two glasses of water. Cool. Add the egg, salt, a spoon of clarified butter and mix well. Form the cutlets and bread them in the crackers. Fry on both sides in the remaining butter.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 December, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:32 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2017 1:35 PM EST
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Saturday, 23 December 2017
New Book Looks at the Life of Nicholas II in Mogliev
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2017

On 13 December, a new historical study of the life of Nicholas II in Mogilev, where the headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army was located during the First World War, was presented in Minsk.

The Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army during the First World War in Events and Persons by Anatoly Sharkov and Elena Khoroshevich, presents memories and documents, testimonies of contemporaries, rare photographs from Belarusian archives - and many facts concerning the war, which during the Soviet years were “forgotten", are documented in this new Russian language study.

The authors are laureates of the President of the Republic of Belarus Prize For Spiritual Revival. The publication of the book Zvyazda Publishing House was made possible thanks to close Russian-Belarusian cooperation in the areas of culture, and the history of the Russian and Belarusian peoples.

Secretary of State of the Standing Committee of the Union State Grigory Rapota noted that “history unites people through both good and tragic events. It was in Mogilev that after the February Revolution Nicholas II said goodbye to officers and troops stationed at the headquarters of the Supreme Command, it was also the last time which he saw his mother the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. On 8 March 1917, he left Mogilev Station to Tsarskoye Selo, where he was placed under house arrest. 

During his visits to Mogilev, he was visited not only by Russian officers and representatives of the Allies, but also by his family: the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, the Grand Duchesses and Tsarevich Alexei first visited the city in 1915.

“A lot has been written about the First World War, but the activities of the Supreme Headquarters of the Russian Army are given very little attention” - said  Anatoly Sharkov “but, in truth, it is impossible to say that the Russian Army lost the war in the trenches. She won, not for herself, but for the allies.”

Authors Anatoly Sharkov and Elena Khoroshevich present their new book on Nicholas II at Mogilev in Minsk
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 December, 2017 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:06 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 24 December 2017 5:29 AM EST
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Friday, 22 December 2017
Future Tsar Nicholas II 1891 Triumphal Arch to be Rebuilt in Khabarovsk?
Topic: Nicholas II

A pre-Revolutionary postcard of the triumphal arch in Khabarovsk, destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1924
This article was originally published by on 19 December 2017,
and edited by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia

A meeting of the initiative group advocating for the re-establishment of Khabarovsk’s triumphal arch took place in Friday at the Khabarovsk Theological Seminary, under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Vladimir of Khabarovsk. The arch was initially constructed to coincide with the 1891 visit of then-Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov, the future tsar and royal martyr, reports the site of the Khabarovsk Diocese.

The meeting was attended by various notable architects, representatives of the local branch of memorial preservation society, and members of the clergy and various public organizations.

“Orthodox believers support the idea of recreating the triumphal arch in Khabarovsk. We all know that the royal family was glorified by the Church as holy royal passion-bearers, and next year marks the 100th anniversary of their martyr's death, therefore, for the clergy and laity of the Khabarovsk Diocese, the perpetuation of the memory of Tsar-Passion-bearer Nicholas II, precisely here, in Khabarovsk, is of special importance,” Met. Vladimir noted, opening the meeting.

Several possible locations for rebuilding the arch were proposed during the meeting. The participants also visited Komsomolskaya Square, where the arch was originally built in 1891.

According to the public representatives, the reconstruction of the arch in honour of the centenary of the martyrdom of the royal family would be an important event in the cultural life of the city, and the building itself would be for the decoration of the regional center.

Triumphal arches were built in several cities in the Russian Far East, including Blagoveschensk, Khabarovsk, Ussuriisk, and Vladivostok, in time with the 1891 visit of Tsesarevich Nicholas. The arches were destroyed during Soviet times, though those in Vladivostok and Blagoveschensk were rebuilt in 2003 and 2005 respectively.

The original triumphal arch in Vladivostock was destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1930, and reconstructed in 2003 

The original triumphal arch in Blagoveschensk was destroyed by the Soviets in 1935, and reconstructed in 2005 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 December, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:17 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 22 December 2017 10:20 AM EST
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Thursday, 21 December 2017
State Historical Museum in Moscow to Host Nicholas II Exhibition in 2018
Topic: Nicholas II

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2017

The State Historical Museum in Moscow have announced that they will host an exhibition on Emperor Nicholas II in 2018. The exhibit will be an historical portrait of Russia’s last emperor and tsar, marking both the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1868, and the 100th anniversary of his death in 1918.

The memorial exhibition is designed to show the family and ceremonial aspects of the life of Emperor Nicholas II. It will feature personal items, rare photographs, diaries, letters, among other documents, sculptures, portraits and graphics of both the monarch himself and members of his family. 

The exhibition, will span the fifty years of the emperor's life: from his birth at Tsarskoye Selo in 1868 to his death in Ekaterinburg in 1918. Special sections of the exhibition will be devoted to the most important dynastic events of his reign - including the coronation of Nicholas II (1896) and the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Romanovs' house (1913). 

A section of the exhibition will be devoted to the emperor’s son and heir Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, the tragic fate of which left a mark on the life of the whole imperial family.
The final section of the exhibition will be dedicated to perpetuating the memory of Nicholas II, where for the first time a number of rare items from the Museum of the Memory of Nicholas II in Belgrade - which existed in the 1920-1930's - will be on display, and after the Second World War were added to the collection of the State Historical Museum.

The exhibition will run from July to October 2018 in the State Historical Museum in Moscow.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 December, 2017 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:55 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 21 December 2017 9:15 AM EST
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