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Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Royal Russia is Moving!
Topic: Royal Russia

© Royal Russia. 30 August, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:30 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2017 10:34 AM EDT
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Saturday, 15 July 2017
Preserving the Romanov Legacy and the History of Imperial Russia
Topic: Royal Russia

If you enjoy all the FREE articles, photographs, and videos on Royal Russia, as well as the

weekly news and blog updates, please help support my work by making an online donation in *USD.

*Donations can also be made in Canadian dollars, £GBP and €Euros, please contact me for details


Dear Friends of Royal Russia:

This letter is part of my annual summer appeal to Romanov enthusiasts and lovers of the history of Imperial Russia.

Established in 1994, Royal Russia has been a personal labour of love for more than two decades, one which I am honoured to share with many others around the world on a daily basis. I am able to achieve this via my web site, blog and Facebook pages, and through the publication of books and periodicals.

The many hours which I devote to Royal Russia are strictly voluntary. I do not earn a salary from Royal Russia. I am now retired and receive a monthly government pension. My income is supplemented from my online bookshop. Royal Russia's existence and continued growth is solely dependent on the sale of my annual calendar, as well as donations from friends and supporters.

In the past few months, the Royal Russia web site has been undergoing a major overhaul. New full-length articles have been revised and updated, while a new video and film archive was launched. The news blog, which now features more than 2,200 news stories, and photographs, continues to grow on a near daily basis, offering many first-English translations from Russian media sources.

I am sure that you can appreciate that the maintenance and upkeep of a web site and blog of this size is both time consuming and costly?

Web Site and Blog: 

The growing number of visitors from around the world, who utilize my web site on a daily basis (2.8 million visitors during the first half of 2017), have an effect on monthly operational and maintenance costs.

Each month, I pay a fee to my web-host Lycos-Angelfire. Videos, photographs (JPEGs), music (MPEGs) and online auction catalogues and other documents (PDFs), which use up a lot of space, and I am forced to pay a monthly fee in order to provide additional space on my web site so that people can read and enjoy them.

I also pay a monthly fee to keep my web site and blog free from advertising pop-ups which otherwise are so numerous that they become a nuisance. I also have to pay for domain registration and a host of other services. All of these fees are paid for out of my own pocket, and paid in US dollars.


 "The translation of articles and news stories from Russian into English

will be the single largest expense in the coming year" 


Translations: it is the cost of translating books, articles and news stories from Russian into English, which puts the greatest strain on the limited finances which I have to work with.

Books in particular cost thousands of dollars to translate. Full-length articles by Russian historians are being published in English for the first time in issues of my bi-annual periodicals Royal Russia and Sovereign. Each issue offers 2 to 3 articles, and it is my goal to double this number within the next year or so. 

If you enjoy all the FREE articles, photographs, and videos on Royal Russia, as well as the weekly news and blog updates, please help support my work by making a donation.

If you would like to show your support for Royal Russia by making a personal donation, you may do this with a credit card by clicking on the Donate button below. Your donation, no matter how small (even $5 would be appreciated) will help to offset growing annual operational costs. 

Please note that there certainly is no obligation, this is merely a request for you to help by sponsoring my work and keeping the memories of old Russia alive.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support of Royal Russia. 

Sincerely Yours, 
Royal Russia Founder / Website Administrator
1 July 2017
NOTE: If you have recently made a donation, please accept my most sincere thanks for support of my work.
You will receive confirmation and thanks by e-mail or regular post.





Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:00 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2017 8:25 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Follow Royal Russia on Facebook
Topic: Royal Russia


14 June, 2017

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:00 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2017 9:02 AM EDT
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Friday, 17 March 2017
Topic: Royal Russia

© Royal Russia. 17 March, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:00 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 12 March 2017 5:25 PM EST
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Saturday, 4 March 2017
Royal Russia Gets a Face-lift!
Topic: Royal Russia

Please note that the entire ROYAL RUSSIA web site is currently being revised and updated. After more than a decade, I decided that it was time for a change, and that a major overhaul of this site was in order. Many of the full-length articles, photographs and videos that were available for review for many years, have now been deleted. Some of the most popular articles have been retained, and these will eventually be updated and reposted.
The ROYAL RUSSIA NEWS blog remains unchanged, and will continue to be updated on a regular basis with news on the Romanovs and Imperial Russian history from Russian media sources.
Over the course of the coming weeks and months ahead, I will continue to add NEW full-length articles, photographs and videos to this site. Their addition to ROYAL RUSSIA will be noted in a directory which will be updated accordingly.

While the new ROYAL RUSSIA web site will be smaller, it will also be more organized and easier to navigate. This will be a monumental task, one which will require both patience and time. 

For more than two decades, it has been my HONOUR to share my interest in the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, with so many people around the world on a daily basis. I look forward to continuing this journey for many years to come!

Thank you for your ongoing support of ROYAL RUSSIA.
Click on the link below to get a peek at the our new look:


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 4 March, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:53 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 5 March 2017 7:14 AM EST
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Thursday, 5 May 2016
Royal Russia Reaches Major New Milestone on Facebook
Topic: Royal Russia

© Royal Russia. 05 May, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:41 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 6 May 2016 6:50 AM EDT
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Monday, 18 April 2016
NEW Royal Russia Office and Bookshop Hours
Topic: Royal Russia


© Royal Russia. 18 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:40 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 April 2016 6:21 AM EDT
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Sunday, 28 September 2014
Topic: Royal Russia
(left) This photograph reflects a quiet corner of my office and study, and includes some of my favourite books, a bust of Nicholas II that I purchased in St. Petersburg earlier this year, and a reproduction of Valentin Serov's famous portrait of the last emperor painted in 1900 - a treasured gift from a dear American friend - PG

Today - September 28th - marks the 20th anniversary of Royal Russia!

When I launched Royal Russia back in 1994, I was following a dream. I wanted to share my my lifelong passion and interest in the Romanov dynasty and Imperial Russia with others.

My publishing endeavours began with a simple 4-page newsletter, entitled Imperial Russian Quarterly and a reprint of Memories in the Russian Court by Anna Vyrubova, originally published in 1923. 

Over the next two decades, that simple 4-page newsletter evolved and grew in both name and design until in 2011, I launched the 100+ page Royal Russia Annual. To date, I have published 25 books on the Romanovs and Imperial Russia in both hard and soft cover editions, many of which are still in print and available through the Royal Russia Bookshop. 

It was in the late 1990s that I launched exclusive Romanov tours to Russia. These custom designed tours featured visits to places only read about in books, and dreamed about by Romanovphiles. These included exclusive tours of the palaces and residences of the Russian Imperial family, with little "extras" such as lunch at the Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir, tea on the verandah at the Cottage Palace at Peterhof, lectures by Romanov historians and palace curators, and much more. Royal Russia was the first group from the West to visit the Alexander Palace in 1997. Other places of interest included the Grand Kremlin Museum and the Russian State Archives (GARF) in Moscow, Livadia in the Crimea, the Church on the Blood (built on the site of the Ipatiev House) and Ganina Yama at Ekaterinburg, among many others. The last Royal Russia tour was in 2006. While I no longer organize and host Romanov tours, I continue to travel to Russia independently on working visits, sharing my discoveries through the Royal Russia web site and magazine. 

The Royal Russia web site has expanded greatly over the last few years and now includes a news blog and Facebook page - both updated daily with news on the Romanovs and Imperial Russian history. Royal Russia web site and blog currently offer more than 600 news articles, more than 500 videos, over 2,000 photographs, plus a blog with nearly 1,500 news clips, videos and photographs. 

Today, Royal Russia ranks among the most popular Romanov-themed web sites in the world, welcoming more than 2 million visitors from every corner of the globe. Plus, the number of people who follow Royal Russia has now surpassed the 20,000 mark! This includes more than 3,000 people who receive our FREE bi-weekly news updates, plus nearly 18,000 followers on Facebook. Our colour advertisements are regularly feautured in Majesty Magazine in the United Kingdom, and Russian Life Magazine in the United States. 

Each year since 2009, Royal Russia has issued a wall calendar. The annual calendar issued in the past three years has become a very special project for me personally, as most of the net sales from the calendar sales are donated to the Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof Palace Museums. Between 2013-2014, Royal Russia donated 40,000 Rubles to the two palace museum reserves. The funds help them with restoration programs and the acquisition of items for their respective collections. Another donation will be made to these palaces in early 2015, based on the sale of our latest calendar. Russia has been very good to me these past 20 years, I am so pleased that I can now give something back, by making a contribution to an ideal which I hold near to my heart - the preservation and conservation of the Romanov legacy and Russia's Imperial past. 

The past 20 years have been a remarkable journey, one which I have shared with some of you from the very beginning. As I mark this memorable day, I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a very big thank you to each and every person who has supported Royal Russia over the years! This includes those who visit my web site and blog, who receive my bi-weekly news updates, those who buy books, magazines and calendars from my online shop, those who make donations each year to help offset the increasing costs of maintaining the every growing web site, to those who purchase my calendars and helping my Giving Back to Russia program, and for all of you who continually send kind words of support for my work by e-mail, letter, and telephone - without you, there would be no Royal Russia! 

Today is indeed a day to celebrate, and here's to the next 20 years of Royal Russia! 

(right) Dr. Russell E. Martin, International Communications Advisor to the Chancellery of Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Head of the Russian Imperial House, presents me with the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislas, III Class. The Order was presented during a private investiture ceremony at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York on May 18th, 2014. The Order was presented in recognition of a lifetime of service to the Russian Imperial House, my support of the Russian monarchy, and my personal dedication to distributing accurate information about the House of Romanov and to highlight the importance of the Russian Imperial House in today's Russia. Truly, it remains the proudest day of my life!   - PG

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 28 September, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 8 October 2014 10:14 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Giving Back to Russia - Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof - 2014
Topic: Royal Russia

For the second year in a row, Royal Russia has made a donation of 10,000 Rubles ($300 USD) to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve, and a further 10,000 Rubles ($300 USD) to the Peterhof State Museum Preserves. These gifts were made possible thanks to the sales of our 2014 calendar, Romanov Legacy: The Palaces and Residences of the Russian Imperial Family. 

Since 1994, I have worked as an independent publisher and bookseller specializing in books and periodicals on the Romanov dynasty and Imperial Russia. In the past few years I have branched out into rare and second-hand books, and currently work through dealers in Moscow and St. Petersburg to offer collectors unique titles published in Russian and English.

Bookselling and publishing are my sole means of income, I do not earn an income from Royal Russia. Therefore, I am very, very grateful to each and every one of you who support my online bookshop, because without your patronage there would be no Royal Russia.

Earning a living from my book business allows me to devote my free time to my web site and blog, even if that requires working extra hours 7 days a week. I love my work, and I trust that is reflected through my web site, blog and the publications that I produce. I am privileged and honoured to share Royal Russia with other Romanovphiles and Russophiles around the world.

Royal Russia is supported through the generous donations of people who share an interest in the Romanov dynasty and the history of Imperial Russia.

It is also supported by the sale of a calendar, created annually with a unique theme and richly illustrated with rare and beautiful photographs and illustrations. The net proceeds from the sale of this calendar help Royal Russia in 2 unique ways: first, to help offset the costs of maintaining a growing web site and blog which welcomed nearly 2 million visitors in 2013, a huge achievement and a new record! Secondly - sales from the calendar now allow Royal Russia to give something back to Russia, by making a small annual donation to two major palace-museum complexes near St. Petersburg.

I have been very blessed all these years to work at something that I truly enjoy. As a result, I am now in a position to give something back to Russia. In 2013 and 2014, a total of 40,000 Rubles ($1,200 USD) has been donated to the Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof State Museum Preserves.

These donations go towards restoration work and the acquisition of items for the palace-museum collections. I am very proud that I have been given the opportunity to make at least a small contribution to each museum. I am committed to helping to preserve the Romanov legacy when and where I can, and will continue to make ongoing donations in the years ahead.

Further, I have also made a personal donation in the amount of $250.00 CAD to the Children's Village at Pushkin. This wonderful organization helps orphaned Russian children, providing them with a safe place to live and grow. Helping children is a cause which is near and dear to my heart.

In May 2013, I also made a donation of books published by Royal Russia in the amount of $250.00 CAD to the Holy Trinity Monastery Library at Jordanville, New York. The library includes a large repository of books and other documents on the Romanov dynasty. This is further complimented by the recent opening of the Russian Nobility Association Reading Room located in the seminary at the Holy Trinity Monastery.

Once again, thank you to each and every one you who support my publishing efforts and bookshop, as well as those who purchased calendars and/or made donations to Royal Russia. Together, we are making a difference in helping to keep the memories of old Russia alive!

© Paul Gilbert. 08 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:19 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 July 2014 6:26 AM EDT
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Sunday, 8 June 2014
A Short Summary of My Spring 2014 Visit to St. Petersburg
Topic: Royal Russia

I have just returned from my annual Spring visit to St. Petersburg. During my 9-day visit I spent many hours conducting research for the Royal Russia magazine and web site. I also met with my supplier and ordered several new titles that will be featured in the Royal Russia Bookshop in the coming months ahead.

The highlights of this year's visit to St. Petersburg include:

At the Court of the Russian Emperors
The venue for this extraordinary exhibiton was the State Hermitage Museum. More than 250 costumes of members of the Russian Imperial family of the 18th to early 20th century are on display in 5 halls: Nicolas Hall, Antechamber, Eastern Gallery of the Winter Palace, Armorial Hall and Concert Hall.
The costumes and accessories on display in this ambitious exhibit once belonged to members of the Imperial family and members of the Russian aristocracy. These include both ceremonial and daily costumes, outfits for visits and horseback riding, children’s and masquerade costumes, morning and strolling attire, evening wear and ball gowns. 
Of particular interest were baby clothes and dresses that belonged to the daughters of Nicholas II. Numerous constumes worn by the Tsesarevich Alexei are also on display, including a ceremonial blue velvet costume, an officer's uniform of HIM's Own Guard, a Tulle lace baby dress in blue silk (1904) and his tiny Standart hat.
Court, ceremonial and everyday dresses and gowns worn by the Russian empresses from Catherine I to the last empress, Alexandra are on display. Those worn by the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorona and the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna are numerous. I counted more than 30 for Maria and 18 for Alexandra! The exquisite gowns are supplemented with shoes, hats, fans, parasols and more!
The uniforms of the Russian emperors and the grand dukes are also represented. These are supplemented with display cases filled with the Orders and medals worn with their uniforms. Portraits and framed photographs hang from the walls of each room, depicting the faces of the August and aristocratic subjects of this unique exhibit.
One hall offers a large glass display case which contains 10 costumes worn by members of the Imperial family and the aristocracy at the famous costume ball held in 1903 at the Winter Palace. These include Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Prince Dimitry Golitsyn, Princess Zinaida Yusupova, among others. On the reverse side of the display case hang 18 black and white portraits of others in attendance at the historic ball.
But wait, that's not all . . . . . the exhibition continues with
Servants of the Imperial Court
Two additional rooms, the Arab Hall and the Rotunda of the State Hermitage Museum compliment At the Court of the Russian Emperors. On display for the first time are some 250 pieces of attire and accessories from the unique Hermitage collection of the livery wear of the Russian Court in the late 19th to early 20th centuries.
These two magnificent exhibits rank among the finest Romanov-themed exhibitions that I have seen to date. The displays are captioned in both Russian and English and thus allowing foreigners a better understanding and appreciation of the historic items on display. The Servants of the Imperial Court exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated 400-page catalogue, in Russian only (with a 2-page English summary). I did not see a catalogue for the larger, more splendid At the Court of the Russian Emperors exhibition. 
Faberge Museum
Aside from the costume exhibit at the State Hermitage Museum, the Faberge Museum was a top priority for me to see, and it did not disappoint.
Housed in the former Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka, the museum features more than 4,000 pieces from the collection of Russian philanthropist Viktor Vekselberg. The palace has been beautifully restored, the central dome and staircase are the first taste of the splendour that await in the 10 exhibition rooms currently open to visitors.
The Blue Sitting Room is devoted solely to the museum's collection of 12 Faberge eggs. Each egg stands on a plinth in its glass case in two orderly rows. The 12 eggs include 9 of with an Imperial provenance, the remaining 3 include the Marlborough and Kelch eggs. 
Aside from the Faberge eggs, visitors see other examples of fine Fabergé craftsmanship, including gold jewels, silverware and ornate cigarette cases, as well as works by Fabergé contemporaries Ivan Khlebnikov, Pavel Ovchinnikov and Ignatius Sazikov. On the ground floor is another room which is currently hosting a small exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. It will close in July, as the room is prepared for a new exhibition marking the 100th anniversay of Russia's role in World War One.
To visit the Faberge Museum requires some planning. You must join a tour, individual visits are not yet available. I had to purchase my ticket in the morning, and return in the afternoon for the tour. Tours are offered in English or Russian and last an hour and a half, the price is 300 Rubles ($9 USD). Again, photography is absolutely forbidden, and there are plenty of security on hand to ensure that every one follows this rule. I was simply overwhelmed with this museum, and there is no question in my mind it will soon be one of St. Petersburg's most popular attractions.
The Alexander Palace
Each year I hop on the suburban train from the Vitebsky Railway Station bound for Tsarskoye Selo. The 30-minute ride is a bargain at 72 Rubles ($2 USD) return. Upon arrival, I immediately note that new signs reflect the recent name change which returns the historic name of the station from Pushkin to Tsarskoye Selo have been erected. Buses and taxis are available in front of the station, however, if the weather is nice then I prefer to walk, which is about 40 minutes to the Alexander Palace.
You enter the Alexander Palace through the central colonnade. Admission is 300 Rubles (9 USD), the exhibition Reminiscences in the Alexander Palace includes Nicholas and Alexandra's rooms located in the west wing, and the suite of State Halls, including the Marble (Mountain) Hall, one of three new rooms opened to the public last year, but still awaiting restoration.
Restoration work on the east wing of the palace is underway. In fact, much of the wing facing the park is surrounded by blue fencing, the grounds are filled with construction and contractor containers, workmen and the noises associated with building restoration. The new palace-museum complex is scheduled to open in 2018.    
Once again, I journeyed to this magnificent complex of palaces, pavilions, fountains and parks by hydrofoil. The Peterhof Express departs from the pier in front of the Admiralty every 30 minutes. It's not a cheap journey at 1500 Rubles ($45 USD return), however, you don't have to worry about traffic congestion and one truly arrives in style!
I spent the entire day here, and took in the Grand Palace enjoying all of the magnificent interiors. I have to admit that I do have a preference for this palace over the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. Admission to the palace is 550 Rubles ($16 USD).
I also visited the Saints Peter and Paul Church, where numerous Romanov events took place, such as weddings (Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna in 1894) and baptisms (Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaievich in 1904). The interiors are breathtaking. Admission is 400 Rubles ($12 USD). Photography is forbidden, however, a guide book (in Russian only) offers photos of the interiors, including the iconostasis.
Next, was the Special Treasury, housed in the former Coat-of-Arms Pavilion. Eight rooms house a collection of memorial items that belonged to the Russian rulers from Peter I to Nicholas II. The collection includes paintings, unique court costumes, furniture and jewellery, including Faberge. Sadly, many visitors to Peterhof overlook this museum, however, I highly recommend a visit. Admission is 500 Rubles ($15 USD).
I enjoyed a nice lunch in the Orangery before visiting the Imperial Yacht Museum. Three rooms tell the history of the imperial yachts, the last of which is dedicated to the Standart. Hundreds of items from more than a dozen imperial yachts are displayed in glass cases, including selections of porcelain and crystal services. The exhibit is further enhanced by a wonderful collection of vintage photographs and watercolours, uniforms, even pieces of furniture presevered from the Derzhava. Admission is 250 Rubles ($7 USD). The Imperial Yacht Museum will be the topic for My Russia, to be published in the No. 6 issue of Royal Russia (available August 2014). 
During my stay, I did a tremendous amount of research, compiling pages of notes, and more than 350 photographs, some of which are shown above. I look forward to sharing the fruits of my research with Royal Russia subscribers and followers on my web site and blog, as well as the pages of Royal Russia Annual in the coming weeks and months ahead. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 08 June, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:38 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 8 June 2014 12:49 PM EDT
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