On 19 May, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son, HIH Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich made an official visit to Massandra, the oldest winery in the Crimea. Their Imperial Highnesses attended a special event for Livadia, a red port wine produced by the Massandra estates, and a particular favourite of Emperor Nicholas II.
The history of Massandra is closely linked with the Russian Imperial House. The first commercial winemaking in the Crimea was organized by Count Mikhail Semenovich Vorontsov, who built a small distillery plant at Massandra. He imported the finest vines and invited the best wine experts from France to manage his new wine making industry. Vorontsov produced high quality wines, some of which were enjoyed by Emperor Nicholas I, who visited Crimea in 1837.
More than half a century later, in 1889, the Department of Appanages (part of the Ministry of the Imperial Court), bought Massandra from the Vorontsov family. In 1892, Emperor Alexander III appointed Prince Lev Golitsyn, as chief winemaker. It was he who ordered construction of the first underground winery with tunnels in Russia in order to produce and ripen fine table and dessert wines. Its construction lasted four years.
Golitsyn built seven 150-meter tunnels bored into the side of the mountain, which held more than one million bottles of wine in the special galleries created for aging the wines. It was here, that on 19 May, 2016, that Their Imperial Highnesses were invited to celebrate the famous red Livadia port wine. Considered to be one of the most expensive wines from the cellars at Massandra, one hundred bottles were presented, of which Their Imperial Highnesses signed twenty.
The classic Livadia red port wine was first produced in the Crimea in 1891. The wine was produced only at Massandra (for the Imperial wine cellars at Livadia) from the red Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, cultivated in the vineyards surrounding Simeiz, Livadia, Massandra, and Ai-Danil.
During their official visit to the Crimea this week, the Head of the Russian Imperial House Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov took part in ceremonies marking the historic visit to Yalta in 1916 by Emperor Nicholas II.
On 16th May, they attended a liturgy in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Yalta, followed by a procession along the waterfront where a bronze bust of Nicholas II was unveiled. The bust was established on the initiative of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and its Chairman Sergei Stepashin with the blessing of His Eminence Lazarus, Metropolitan of Simferopol and Crimea.
They then visited Evpatorian Kenassas, the temple complex of Crimean Karaites - opened in 1837 - located in Evpatoria. Their Imperial Highnesses unveiled a memorial plaque in memory of the visit by Emperor Nicholas II to the Karaite kenasa on 16 May, 1916.
Their Imperial Highnesses then took part in a prayer service given by Victor D. Tiriyaki - Head of the Karaite religious community in Evpatoria. After that, the representatives of the imperial family laid flowers at the memorial to the Karaites, who died during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). They were also shown a marble obelisk, erected in 1851, in memory of the visit by Emperor Alexander I to Evpatorian Kenassas in November 1825.
The Head of the Russian Imperial House Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich have arrived in the Crimea on an official visit — the first after the historic reunification of the peninsula to the Russian Federation in 2014. Their Imperial Highnesses will visit the Crimea until May 20th. Their arrival is timed to the 100th anniversary of the last visit of Emperor Nicholas II to the Crimea in 1916. Their visit will also include a series of meetings with representatives of the clergy and examine the historical and cultural attractions of the region.
Their Imperial Highnesses were met at Simferopol airport by a delegation of Crimean officials headed by Federation Council senator from the legislative (representative) public authority of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Tsekov, vice-speaker of the Crimean parliament Andrei Kozenko, head of the Committee of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea on State Building and Local Government Yefim Fiks, Metropolitan of Petrograd and Gdov in Simferopol Archpriest John Simon, among many others.
Welcoming the Head of the Russian Imperial House to the Crimean land, Tsekov said that this visit will be especially interesting for Maria Romanova and her son George. "Since your last visit to the Crimea, much has changed. The peninsula has transformed rapidly since the reunification with the Russian Federation in 2014."
During a meeting held upon their arrival at the airport, representatives of the republic's authorities updated the Grand Duchess and her son on the current situation in the Crimea, as well as prospects for development in the socio-economic, cultural, recreational and other areas.
Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna visited the Peninsula in September 2013 in the framework of the events dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. It was during this visit that HIH hosted a gala reception at the Livadia Palace, attended by about 40 representatives of European Royal and aristocratic families.
On Monday, May 16 - the Grand Duchess will travel to Evpatoria, where a memorial plaque in memory of the visit made by Emperor Nicholas II in 1916.
Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna will also attend the unveiling of a monument to Nicholas II and visit a mosque in Evpatoria, and in the evening in Simferopol will meet with the mufti of Muslims of Crimea Haji Emirali Ablayev.
On Tuesday, May 17th - Grand Duchess Maria will journey to Sevastopol, visiting the Bratskoe cemetery memorial, St. Nicholas Church, St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral, and will also meet with the leadership of the city and commander of the Russian Black Sea fleet, followed by a walk along the embankment of Balaklava.
On Wednesday, May 18th - the Grand Duchess, together with officials of the Crimea will take part in the events dedicated to the day of memory of victims of deportation of the Crimean Tatars. On the same day will be her meeting with the Plenipotentiary representative of the President of Russia in the Crimean Federal district Oleg Belaventsev.
On Thursday, May 19th - the Grand Duchess will meet with the Head of Crimean Parliament Vladimir Konstantinov, as well as visit the winery at Massandra, and will open the exhibition «History of Russian Perfumery and Cosmetics» in the Vorontsov Palace in Alupka.
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.