The Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia, extend their heartfelt thanks to all their countrymen and to all friends of Russia around the world who have sent holiday greetings, and likewise send greetings for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in 2016, wishing all health, happiness, spiritual strength, and God's help in all their endeavours.
Grand Duchess Maria of Russia also warmly thanks all those who sent their congratulations on her birthday, which is celebrated on 23rd December.
House of Romanov Trusts New Forensic Study on Royal Family - Chancellery Topic: Russian Imperial House
Director of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House, Alexander Zakatov with HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
Note: the following article has been edited by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
According to the Interfax News Agency in Moscow, the House of Romanov sees no reasons to question the new forensic study in the criminal probe into the death of the last Russian Emperor Nicolas II and his family, but will wait until the final results.
"The Head of the House of Romanov Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna welcomes the resumption of the investigation and generally views the people who are conducting it with a presumption of trust. At this point, there is no reason to question the honesty and proficiency of the investigators," Alexander Zakatov, the director of the Romanov family chancellery, told Interfax on Thursday.
"Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna recognizes that the stance of the Orthodox Church is treated with full respect this time and this, in her opinion, paves the way to the studies' impartiality," he said.
However, Zakatov said that it is too early to state that the authenticity of the 'Ekaterinburg remains' is proven.
"It is necessary to wait until all the results are obtained and to compare the conclusions made by the state experts with the ones made by experts called for by the Church. Only then will it be possible to finalize the findings," he said.
"Otherwise, doubts will arise again, both among Orthodox Christians and members of the public in general, and suspicions will emerge once again that everything has been foreclosed and the experts are simply forcing the evidence to fit one single theory instead of considering several theories," Zakatov said.
The House of Romanov expects that it will have a chance to look at the findings of the new genetic study.
"The head of the Romanov House is convinced that the study must be exercised openly and publicly and its findings must be available not only to the hierarchy of the Church, members of the imperial house and their relatives, but to all who are not indifferent to this problem," Zakatov said.
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich to Support Russia by Visiting Crimea Topic: Russian Imperial House
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich has told reporters that he and his relatives have always supported Crimea’s return to the Russian Federation and promised to soon visit the peninsula for the sake of cultural and charity projects.
“I was in Crimea in 2013, I know many people there and I will definitely visit this place again and I hope not only once,” the heir of the Russian Imperial House said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.
“We supported Crimea’s accession into the Russian Federation from the very beginning, when they held a referendum. We have cultural and charity projects working on the peninsula. My mother and I will go there again, but not for PR purposes and not for ticking the box, we will do it when the interests of our cause demand it,” he added.
The Grand Duke explained that as he and his mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna represented the Russian Imperial House, the future visit required a lot of preparatory work, both in organizational and in the legal field. “We are not driven by vogue, but by understanding of what is good for our country,” he added.
“Of course I hear a lot of criticism in Russia’s address, but there are also weighted statements by serious people who understand that no balance is possible in the world without Russia and common recognition of Russia’s great role in the international politics,” George Mikhailovich told reporters. “The Imperial House and most of people who are loyal to us think that Vladimir Putin is successfully defending his country’s interests,” he noted. The Grand Duke also dismissed any parallels between the Russian president and any monarchs, emphasizing that Vladimir Putin can only be described as the head of a republican state.
In June this year, Leningrad Region lawmaker Vladimir Petrov wrote letters to Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and the head of the second branch of the dynasty, Dimitri Romanovich, with requests to return to Russia and become symbols of national culture and maintain traditions, as in many other European nations. He also suggested that the returning Royal Family could be granted a place of residence in one of historical palaces of St. Petersburg or in the famous Livadia Palace in Crimea.
An opinion poll conducted in 2013 in connection with the 400th anniversary of the Romanov royal house showed that 28 percent of Russian citizens would agree to the rule of tsars, but only 6 percent said that this modern monarch must be from the Romanov dynasty. About 13 percent maintain that a contemporary Russian politician could become a new tsar and suggested a nationwide referendum to decide on the candidate.
The majority of the people - 67 percent - rejected the idea of even nominal monarchy and said they want Russia to remain a democracy.
The Russian Legitimist Topic: Russian Imperial House
The Russian Legitimist is an independent and unofficial Legitimist site providing accurate information about the Russian Imperial House.
The focus of this new website is the history and current activities of the Russian imperial dynasty, the House of Romanoff, focusing its attention on the position of the Russian Imperial House, the activities and statements of its current head, Grand Duchess Maria, and of her son and heir, Grand Duke George, and many other topics of interest to Russian legitimists.
The site contains a wealth of information on such topics as Legitimism, dynastic rights, Pauline Laws, the Imperial family today, non-Dynastic descendants, Fundamental Laws, plus numerous articles written be respected experts, links and much more.
The Russian Legitimist website will serve as an important resource for any one interested in the Russian Imperial House.
Click on the link below to review The Russian Legitimist web site:
The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to Saint-Briac Exhibition Extended Topic: Russian Imperial House
HIH Grand Duke George Mikhailovich speaks with a guest at the opening of the exhibition on July 3rd, 2015
The French newspaper Le Télégramme have announced that the exhibition The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to Saint-Briac presented this summer at the Convent de Sagesse in the Breton town of Dinan, France, has been extended until Sunday.
The decision to extend the exhibition is based on its popularly among locals and tourists to the region. Dr. Marc Bonnel, President of the History and Heritage Association (L'association Histoire et patrimoine du Pays) notes, "more than 7,300 people have already visited the exhibition. Many visitors, have been surprised by the exhibit’s professional presentation, they have traveled from all corners of France, but also from Russia, Canada, Australia and many European countries to share with enthusiasm and emotion these moments of intimate Romanov history, if we can judge by the reviews in our guest book”.
For more information on The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to Saint-Briac exhibition, please refer to the following article:
Legitimist Addresses Succession Issues Topic: Russian Imperial House
In the February, March, April, and May issues of the Russian émigré journal “Russkaya Mysl’” (Russian Thought), a series of “Conversations on the Succession” were published with several prominent aristocrats of the first emigration in exile in Paris.
Count Cheremetieff, Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky, Prince Troubetskoy, and Count Capnist each weighed in with their unique opinions on the Russian Succession and it’s ramifications today. What was interesting to see was that while all of them agreed that Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna did not have a clear right to the throne, collectively they provided divergent and incoherent reasons why this was the case. The issues ranged from divorce, marriage in violation of Imperial and/or Canon law, punishments which might or might not have had legal efficacy, and finally personal and slanderous attacks. I responded to their collective objections with a general editorial letter which focused exclusively on facts, which was published in the August 2015 issue.
Since the original publication of the “Conversations," the four men in question further addressed a letter detailing their objections to Sergei Naryshkin, Chairman of the State Duma, as well as to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The four leaked extracts of this letter to the Russian press, and have spoken to reporters on the topic inciting a flurry of debate.
Oleg Shcherbatov, the president of the Russian Assembly of the Nobility, made it very clear that these opinions were unique to these four men, and not reflective of the position of the nobility as a whole, or held officially by any noble group.
Click on the link below to read the full English translation:
House of Romanov Never Asked for Official Status and Property in Moscow - Chancellery Head Topic: Russian Imperial House
Director of the Chancellory of the Russian Imperial House, Alexander Zakatov with the HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
Journalists presented significantly distorted information, Alexander Zakatov said, commenting on media reports that the Imperial House has asked to provide them with a residence in the capital
The Imperial House of Romanov headed by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna has never asked the Russian authorities to recognize its official status and rights to property in Moscow, director of the House of Romanov’s Chancellery Alexander Zakatov told TASS on Monday.
"In this case, journalists unfortunately presented significantly distorted information," Zakatov said, commenting on media reports that "the Imperial House has asked to provide them with a residence in the capital."
"The House of Romanov has never asked about anything, written any addresses to the government or set any conditions," Zakatov stressed, adding that the descendants of the Imperial Romanov family think that it is fair "to recognize the Russian Imperial House as part of historical heritage." However, the House of Romanov thinks that "such initiative should come from the government itself, like it happened in other countries, where non-ruling dynasties are officially recognized as historical institutions and part of historical heritage," Zakatov said.
"The official status does not envisage any political powers or privileges and does not include the right to own property. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovha is, by the way, the opponent of restitution," the Chancellery director said. The Grand Duchess and her successor Georgy Mikhailovich often visit Russia, but do not intend to move to Moscow for permanent residence any time soon, he added. "Where they live is another matter which will be solved not at the government’s expense, of course, but on voluntary donations of citizens who respect the history of their country," Zakatov concluded.
Earlier today, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the situation with the Romanov family’s alleged request to recognize their official status. "We do not know yet what this is all about. We saw reports in the media, but we cannot comment on anything yet," Peskov said.
Several media reported earlier that descendants of the Russian Imperial Romanov family want to return to Russia for permanent residence. However, several legal issues need to be settled before that, including the authorities’ recognition of the House of Romanov as an Imperial House. Representatives of the Romanov dynasty have allegedly contacted the Russian authorities with such request.
Russian Lawmaker Wants Romanovs to Return to Russia Topic: Russian Imperial House
HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
Head of the Russian Imperial House and de jure Empress of All the Russias
The decision to invite back the Russian royals is one of the most significant events of the post-Soviet period. This article was originally published in the June 23rd, 2015 edition of Russia Today, and edited for clarification by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
A regional lawmaker has addressed the heirs of the Russian Imperial House and descendants of the Romanov dynasty with a request to return to Russia promising them a special legal status and one of historic palaces in Crimea or St. Petersburg.
The move proposed by Vladimir Petrov, a law maker from President Vladimir Putin's party, and member of the legislative assembly of the Leningrad Region, has prompted speculation that it has the Russian leaders' direct approval. Petrov wrote letters to Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and Dimitri Romanovich asking them to become symbols of national culture and maintaining traditions, similar to that of the European nations that retained their monarchies to this day.
“For the whole length of its reign the Romanov imperial dynasty remained a foundation of the Russian statehood. At present Russia is undergoing a complicated process of regaining its glory and worldwide influence. I am sure that in this historical moment the Romanovs would not stay away from all processes that are taking place in Russia,” Petrov writes in his letter.
The politician suggested that this move would help to smooth political controversies within Russia and help to restore the “spiritual power” of the nation.
Petrov added that he and his colleagues from the Leningrad regional legislature would very soon develop and draft a bill “On the special status of representatives of the Tsars’ family” that would give some guarantees to the returning Romanovs. He also said that the royals could use one of the palaces that belonged to their ancestors before the revolution and that now remain vacant or are misused.
“To this day a lot of wonderful Tsar’s palaces near St. Petersburg are either empty or used not according to their destination. I think if one of these palaces is used as an official residence of the Romanov family it would only be for everyone’s benefit,” the lawmaker said in comments to Izvestia daily. He noted that another option was to settle the royals in the Livadia Palaces in Crimea.
The head of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House, Aleksandr Zakatov, told Izvestia that some representatives of the dynasty were ready to move to Russia. However, he noted that Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna held a high post of the head of the imperial house and therefore her return should be decent and solemn.
“She has no claims for property or political privileges and powers, she only wants the imperial house to become a historical institution and part of the national legacy, similar to royal houses of many other countries. And this recognition must be manifested in a legal act,” Zakatov said.
Currently there are two major branches of the Romanov dynasty – one is headed by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Head of the Russian Imperial House and the other by Dimitri Romanovich, Head of the Romanov Family Association. Their representatives often visit Russia and take part in various events, but so far none of them have made any political claims.
An opinion poll conducted in 2013 in connection with the 400th anniversary of the Romanov royal house showed that 28 percent of Russian citizens would agree to the rule of Tsars, but only 6 percent said that this modern monarch must be from the Romanov dynasty. About 13 percent hold that a contemporary Russian politician could become a new Tsar and suggested a nationwide referendum to decide on the candidate.
The majority of the people - 67 percent - said that Russia should leave monarchy in the past and remain a democracy.
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Visits Berlin for 70th Anniversary Victory Celebrations Topic: Russian Imperial House
Andrey Golubev, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich , and Iu. V. Myshonkov. Berlin, May 8 2015.
On May 709, 2015, H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich and Grand Duke George of Russia visited Berlin, where he took part in celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazism in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
On May 7, the Grand Duke arrived in Berlin. His Imperial Highness was greeted at the airport by Iu. V. Myshonkov, an advisor to the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House; A. V. Golubev, the organizer of the Grand Duke’s visit; Stephan Seeger, the Managing Director of the Sparkasse Foundations; and Kai-Uwe Döhler, a representative of the business community in Germany.
Upon arriving, the Grand Duke George of Russia went to the residence “Schloss Neuhardenberg.” That evening, he attended a dinner in his honour.
On May 8, the Tsesarevich attended a panikhida service “for the commanders and soldiers who fell on the battlefield” in the Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection in Berlin. The panikhida was served by Fr. Daniil Saifutdinov. He also laid flowers at the graves of soldiers buried on the grounds of the cathedral. The parishioners of the cathedral presented His Imperial Highness an icon of his Heavenly Patron, the Holy Great Martyr and Victory-Bearer George. The Grand Duke expressed his heartfelt thanks to the parish community and congratulated them on the approaching Victory Day holiday.
On May 9, the Grand Duke George of Russia met with O. Ksenofontov, the head of the branch office of the Russian Federal Agency for International Humanitarian Cooperation (“Rossotrudnichestvo)” in Germany, and the Director of the Russian House of Science and Culture.
That same day, His Imperial Highness laid a wreath at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park. The inscription on the ribbon reads: “To the Ever-Memorable Defenders of the Nation and Victors over Nazism—from the Russian Imperial House.”
Later, H.I.H. The Grand Duke George of Russia laid a wreath at the Soviet War Memorial in the Teirgarten.
That afternoon, the Grand Duke attended a formal reception at the Russian embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany at the invitation of the ambassadors of the Russian Federation (V. Grinin), Azerbaijan (P. Shakhbazov), Belarus (A. Giro), Kazakhstan (B. Nussupov), Kirgizstan (B. Otunbaev), Tajikistan (M. Nematov), Turkmenistan (T. Ataiev), Uzbekistan (D. Amanov), and Armenia (A. Smbatyan).
At the reception, the Grand Duke George of Russia spoke with the Russian ambassador to Germany, V. M. Grinin, exchanging warm and friendly greetings on the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War. His Imperial Highness also met and spoke with other official guests, veterans, members of the clergy and Cossack community, and other guests.
That evening, H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia returned to Brussels.
While in Berlin, His Imperial Highness was interviewed by RIA-Novosti’s correspondent Angelina Timofeeva, the Grand Duke George of Russia discusses why the memory of the victory in the Great Patriotic War remains such a powerful factor in national unity, and why the remains of members of the House of Romanoff are being reburied in Russia.
— Your Imperial Highness, why are you taking part in the celebrations in Berlin marking the 70th anniversary of the ending of the Great Patriotic War?
— The House of Romanoff has always striven to bring people together and to promote in other countries an understanding of Russia’s position on issues of the day. This is a vital part of our mission. Here in Berlin, I want first and foremost to honor the memory of my countrymen who gave their lives in the struggle against Nazism, and secondly, to demonstrate that Russian history is continuous and unbroken, and that the Russian people around the world are wholly united in solidarity, even if there are specific issues upon which we disagree among ourselves. The Russian Imperial House is removed from all forms of political disputes and places above all else those things which bring people together, rather than pull them apart. Our continuing memory of the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and our gratitude to the defenders of our country remain powerful factors of national unity in our day.
Russia has survived many horrific wars. Those who are attempting today to portray our country as some kind of “aggressor” are being very fair. Our people have borne incredible sufferings as a result of wars. Russians at an almost genetic level understand all the horrors of war and always strive for peace. But if we are attacked, we will defend ourselves. The monument to the soldier-liberators in Treptower Park is a good reminder of this. For me, it is deeply symbolic that on this day, when there is a victory parade in Moscow, I and other Russians are representing our country here in Berlin, where, thanks to the feats of our armed forces, the worst war in the history of humanity came to an end.
— Do you have plans to participate in similar ceremonies in Moscow, and if so, which ones?
— This year, my mother, the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and I will be traveling to Russia several times and participating in memorial events in Moscow and in other cities. These events include panikhida services for fallen soldiers in churches and at military cemeteries, laying flowers and wreaths at statues and monuments, and academic conferences, among other things. And, of course, we will participate in more official events as well—in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and in other large cities.
But it is also important to us to celebrate this anniversary with our countrymen in the border areas and small towns where so many terrible battles actually took place, areas that may be somewhat lesser known. The people living in these places also deserve our attention. And the most touching moments that I have ever experienced have happened in such places. I will never forget, for example, how last year I marked Victory Day in the village of Kabona, on the “Road of Life,” over which the people of Leningrad received life-sustaining aid during the Blockade.
— What is your reaction to the reburial of the remains of Grand Duke Nicholas Romanoff and his wife in Russia, which took place on April 30, in the Chapel of the Transfiguration at the Briansk Military Cemetery in Moscow?
— Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich has every right to be buried in his homeland. But I think it was a mistake to rebury him in Moscow. The Grand Duke had very few ties to Moscow and he never expressed the wish to be buried there. I think it would have been more appropriate to bury him in the family mausoleum—in the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, where his father, Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich the Elder, lies buried.
I also don’t quite understand why his remains, and those of his wife, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, were reburied in Russia, but not the remains of his brother, Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich, and his wife, Grand Duchess Militsa Nikolaevna; or those of Emperor Nicholas II’s brother-in-law, Prince Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg. Russia was their homeland, and they too wanted to return to it, even if only after their deaths. And they deserve reburial in Russia no less than does Nicholas Nikolaevich—perhaps even more then he does.
Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich was a very controversial figure. He was not a successful field commander, and the emperor removed him from his post and himself assumed personal command of the Russian forces at the front. And sad to say, during the Revolution of 1917, Nicholas Nikolaevich violated his oath, took part in a conspiracy, and demanded that Nicholas II abdicate his throne. And later, while in exile, he continued to cause divisions and sow discord.
But, when speaking of the dead, we must remember more the good things about them, and there were good things. Nicholas Nikolaevich may have been a poor and unscrupulous politician, but he was also a very brave officer. That can never be taken away from him. He led a large number of charitable activities, and he donated funds for the construction of churches. Of course, he suffered greatly at being exiled from Russia. We hope that, before death, he came to recognize his sins and mistakes and repented of them.
It makes me very sad, frankly, that the Grand Duke’s remains were disturbed not for the sake of doing the right thing by him, but rather for the sake political hype and self-promotion.
The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to St. Briac Topic: Russian Imperial House
In residence at Saint-Briac-sur-Mer: Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna,
Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna, and Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich. Photo circa 1930s.
The History and Heritage Association (L'association Histoire et patrimoine du Pays) in Dinard, France in partnership with the municipality, is organizing a unique exhibition to open this summer. The exhibition entitled The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to St. Briac will reflect on the life of members of the Russian Imperial House who lived in exile at St. Briac after the 1917 Russian Revolution.
In 1921, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich moved to Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, a small picturesque village in Brittany, along with his wife Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, and their three children: Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, and their daughters Grand Duchesses Maria and Kira Kirillovna.
The exhibition is being organized by Cyrille Boulay, an historian and art expert, and one of today's leading specialists on the Romanovs and Imperial Russia. Many objects, documents, photos and paintings evoking the history of the Russian Imperial family during their years Saint-Briac-sur-Mer will be presented. The imperial couple’s home served as the heart of Russian Legitimist movement for many years.
According to the History and Heritage Association, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna will preside over the opening of the exhibition on July 3rd. She will be accompanied by her son, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, who attended St. Anne School in St. Briac, and Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, Russia’s Ambassador to France. The exhibition The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to St. Briac will open on July 4th and run until August 30th, 2015.