Topic: Royal Russia
Royal Russia's 2014 calendar, The Romanov Legacy: The Palaces and Residences of the Russian Imperial Family, is now in stock. The 2013 calendar (of the same title) was so popular that we decided to issue another calendar for 2014, offering more palaces, residences and dachas of the Romanov's.
More than a dozen palaces and residences are featured in the 2014 calendar, including the Farm Palace at Peterhof, the Petrovski Palace at Moscow and the lesser known palaces of the Grand Dukes in the Crimea and Krasnoye Selo. The calendar features more than 30 rare vintage photographs of these Romanov residences, including images of their historical interiors, and information on the history and fate of each.
Each year since 2009, Royal Russia has issued a beautiful calendar. The entire proceeds from the sale of these calendars help offset the costs of maintaining the Royal Russia web site and blog, and assist with translation costs and much more.
Also, for the second year in a row, a portion from the sale of each calendar will be donated to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve and the Peterhof State Museum Preserve. These donations go towards restoration work and the acquisition of items for the palace-museum collections. Royal Russia is very proud to have an opportunity to make at least a small contribution to each palace-museum. What an honour to be able to give something back to Russia!
The Romanov Legacy 2014 Calendar is available from our online bookshop for $10.00 + postage. They have become collector's items for Romanovphiles and make perfect gifts for friends and family who have an interest in the Romanov's and their legacy.
For more information on the contents of this calendar, or to place an order, please click on the following link;
The following article appeared in the August 17, 2013 edition of The Virginia Gazette.
It seems that once your name becomes known on the Internet, strange things happen.
Apparently, as a result of having excerpts from my Gazette columns that deal with U.S.-Russian relations broadcast on the Voice of Russia, relayed to 160 countries and reaching an audience of more than 100 million people, I have received an invitation from Paul Gilbert to join Royal Russia, an organization that celebrates "The Romanov Dynasty, the Russian Monarchy and the History of Imperial Russia."
"Personally, I support a restoration of the monarchy in Russia," Gilbert wrote in the introduction to his biography. "I believe that a devout Christian monarchy must rule Russia. Holy Russia has no need of Western democracy. It is a country moved by mystical forces. Monarchy is a political form best suited to Russia. The country needs a monarch, the mother of the nation, one that is above the nation's law. I acknowledge HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna as Head of the Russian Imperial House and the rightful claimant to the Russian throne."
Gilbert was born in Cornwall, England, and as a child immigrated with his parents to Canada. To his knowledge, he has no Russian roots, but a book given to him many years ago whetted his appetite to learn more about the Romanovs and the rich history of Tsarist Russia.
"Even though I was baptized into the Church of England, I have great interest and respect for the Russian Orthodox Church. While traveling in Russia, I make a point of visiting as many churches that I possibly can… When I step into a Russian Orthodox Church, I feel transported back in time… It is in the churches of Russia that I find an inner peace that I do not find anywhere else," Gilbert wrote.
Gilbert's fascination with the Romanov Dynasty and Imperial Russia has transformed him into a power-house for propagating the restoration of the Romanov Dynasty. His more than 30 years of experience in the publishing business have prepared him well to launch Royal Russia Annual, the only publication of its kind dedicated to the Romanovs and Tsarist Russia. His website, Royal Russia: A Celebration of the Romanov Dynasty & Imperial Russia in Words and Photographs, welcomed over 1.2 million visitors from all over the world.
He writes that for nearly 100 years after the fall of the monarchy in Russia, the world's fascination with the Romanov Dynasty and Imperial Russia endures. But for many decades after the 1917 Revolution, the archive materials related to the Russian Imperial family were inaccessible. Contrary to widely held belief, he noted, nothing was destroyed. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, researchers are able to access a virtual cornucopia of diaries, letters, and other documents that shed new light on the Romanovs and their legacy.
"I have visited the Romanov Archives in the State Central Archives in Moscow on more that one occasion," he writes. "I held in my hands the personal letters between Nicholas II and Alexandra, the diaries of their children and the numerous personal photo albums of the Russian Imperial family."
Now, to honor the 400th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty, Gilbert is launching a new series of Royal Russia Collectors Editions devoted to the Russian Imperial family and their legacy.
In January 2013, Gilbert was notified by the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House that "Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna had elevated Paul Gilbert to the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislav, III Class." The presentation ceremony will take place in Moscow.
"It is truly a rare privilege for a non-Russian to receive one of the historic Imperial orders of knighthood. To be recognized for my effort by the Head of Russian Imperial House is indeed the greatest honor of my lifetime of work… It is my fervent hope that through my work I can leave behind a legacy of better understanding and appreciating the Romanov Dynasty and the immense contribution that they have made to the history of Russia," Gilbert wrote.
This claim may have many detractors. But no doubt, Gilbert's one-man crusade on behalf of the Romanov Dynasty has had an impact. Nevertheless, I have not joined the Royal Russia organization.
© The Virginia Gazette. 18 August, 2013
I have just returned from a 10-day journey St. Petersburg in Russia, where I also received a VIP welcome by the palace administration and staff at Tsarskoye Selo, Peterhof and Pavlovsk.
This was my annual research visit which allows me the opportunity to get the latest updates on the restoration of palaces, exhibitions, new Romanov books, plus meetings with museum staff, local historians and others to gain and share knowledge on the Romanov dynasty and their legacy.
The highlights of my 2013 visit to St. Petersburg include;
The Alexander Palace. The most exciting part of my visit to Tsarskoye Selo included an oppportunity to tour three new rooms currently under restoration. These include the Mountain Hall, the Large Library, and the Small Library.
The collection of colour autochromes of the Alexander Palace interiors taken shortly after Tsar Nicholas II and his family were sent into exile in 1917 ae currently on display in the Large Library. This rare and unique exhibit, however, is only temporary pending the upcoming restoration of the room.
I can also confirm that restoration work is under way in the west wing of the palace. I took a number of photographs of the new rooms (Mountain Hall and Large Library) under restoration, the colour autochromes and the work being carried out on the west wing of the palace.
I also returned to the Children’s Island at Tsarskoye Selo which will be the topic of My Russia featured in Royal Russia Annual No. 4 (due August 2013). It will include photographs which I took during this visit, and previous visits in which I actually walked on the island on two separate occasions. My article will also include new information from Russian sources on the history of the Children’s Island and plans for its restoration.
The Peter and Paul Cathedral. The restoration of the magnificent wooden gilded Baroque iconostasis is now complete. Designed by Ivan Zarudny and carved by Moscow craftsmen in the 1720s, the iconostasis contains 43 original icons of the eighteenth century, it is absolutely beautiful. The Grand Ducal Burial Vault is still closed due to restoration and is scheduled to open next month.
Mikhailovsky (Engineers) Castle. The former Imperial residence of Emperor Paul I is currently hosting an exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The exhibit offers a stunning collection of portraits, busts, and miniatures of members of the Russian Imperial family. Three busts by M. Antokolsky are included of Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. I was also pleased to see a selection of the original watercolours of the coronation of Emperor Alexander III, painted in 1883 by a variety of artists.
Pavlovsk. It has been several years since I was last at this beautiful palace. I spent an entire day here and saw a number of newly restored rooms, including the Rossi Library, Empress Maria Feodorovna’s private apartments and the Costume Museum which is housed on the ground floor of the north wing of the palace.
The Costume Museum offered two unique exhibits, including the fabulous Naryshkin Treasure. Pavlovsk currently have some 299 pieces on display from the collection found in the former Naryshkin Mansion at No. 29 Ulitsa Tchaikovsky at St. Petersburg in March, 2012. Beautifully presented in two rooms of the museum the gold and silver items on display include cutlery, tea pots, sugar bowls, serving dishes and platters, many bearing the Naryshkin coat-of-arms.
The second part of the exhibit which consists of four rooms is devoted to a collection of dresses and personal items of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and her daughter-in-law, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.
Large glass display cases showcase a total of 13 dresses and evening gowns, including 7 of the Dowager Empress and 6 of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Other display cases allow visitors to open drawers which are filled with a large collection of colourful and decorative fans, purses and lace. Also on display is a large pink silk handkerchief holder, embroidered with Empress Alexandra’s monogram on the front.
Probably the most interesting pieces on temporary display are two kokoshniks that were presented and worn by the Grand Duchesses Tatiana and Anastasia Nicholayevna in 1913.
Scattered throughout the costume exhibit are a selection of portraits of members of the Russian Imperial family, including two beautiful portraits of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, both of which are new to me. Two busts of Grand Duchess Alexandra Youssifova by Alexandre Munro and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna by Pietro Canonica are also on display.
Aside from these highlights I also visited many other places of interest: The State Hermitage Museum, Russian State Museum, Academy of Fine Arts, Summer Gardens of Peter the Great, Church on the Spilled Blood, Holy Trinity Alexander Nevsky Lavra (including St. Nicholas Cemetery and Lavra Necropolis), Transfiguration Cathedral and the newly restored Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (one of the most beautiful churches in the entire city).
I spent three full days at Tsarskoye Selo (Catherine and Alexander Palaces, Feodorovsky Cathedral and Feodorovsky Gorodok); Peterhof (Grand Palace, Imperial Yacht Museum, Catherine Block, Bath Block and the Peter and Paul Cathedral); and Pavlovsk (Palace, Costume Museum and park).
During my stay, I did a tremendous amount of research, and complied over 50 large sheets of notes, and took more than 400 photographs, some of which are shown above. I look forward to sharing them with Royal Russia subscribers on my web site and blog, as well as the pages of Royal Russia Annual* in the coming weeks and months ahead.
I also met with the company in Russia who supply my online shop with a steady stream of photo albums, biographies and palace guidebooks. I brought back samples of more than a dozen new books on the Romanovs and their palaces, several of which I have placed large orders for and will offer in my online shop upon receipt from my supplier in St. Petersburg in the coming months.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 June, 2013
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