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Saturday, 21 March 2015
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 1920, 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 two of their three children: Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, and their youngest daughter Grand Duchess 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. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 March, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:22 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 21 March 2015 12:31 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Grand Duchess Maria Awarded Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh Ist Class
Topic: Russian Imperial House

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna wearing the Order of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Ist Class Photo 
© Russian Imperial House
On 19th December, 2014, on the feast day of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill performed the rite of Divine Blessing of the restored Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin in Sokolniki, in Moscow.

After the Divine Liturgy in the newly consecrated church, His Holiness presented the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna with the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh Ist Class - the Church’s highest award - in recognition of her many years of work for the good of the Church and also in connection with her 60th birthday.

Her Imperial Highness noted the following in a statement issued on 23rd December, 2014:

“I was especially moved that Your Holiness chose to present the insignia of the Order to me in this year, when we celebrate the 700th anniversary of the birth of this great Abbot of the Russian Land. My Imperial ancestors, as, indeed, all our people, have always deeply revered St. Sergius, and have turned to him in prayer both in good times and in bad. In fact, one of the vitae of this great Russian saint issued from the pen of my ancestor, Empress Catherine II the Great. And for me and my son and heir, Grand Duke George of Russia, St. Sergius has been one of our most important heavenly patrons, and we feel a constant, living connection to him.

“The insignia of the Order of St Sergius, which you have awarded me, represent for me a very dear blessing and symbolize the on-going cooperation that exists between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Imperial House.”

The Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, visited Moscow 16-20 December, 2014 at the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.

The Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh was established in 1988, it is the Russian Orthodox Church's highest award

Photo © Russian Imperial House

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia and Russian Imperial House. 06 January, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:35 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 January 2015 6:44 AM EST
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Saturday, 25 October 2014
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Visits St. Petersburg
Topic: Russian Imperial House

HIH Grand Duke George Mikhailovich lays flowers on the grave of his grandmother, Grand Duchess Leonida who is buried
next to her husband, Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, in the Grand Ducal Mausoleum at the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
Photo Courtesy: Russian Imperial House
On October 2-6, 2014, H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia visited St. Petersburg. His Imperial Highness arrived to take part in events marking the 100th birthday of his grandmother, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna (who was born on September 23/October 6, 1914 and died on May 10/23, 2010).

On Sunday, October 5, H.I.H. the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia attended the pine Liturgy in the Ss. Peter and Paul Fortress, which was served by His Grace Bishop Nazarii of Kronstadt, Vicar Bishop of the St. Petersburg Metropolia, as well as by the rector of the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral, Hegumen Alexander (Fedorov), Archpriest Alexander Tkachenko, and other clergy. During the Liturgy, the litany for the reposed was sung for Grand Duchess Leonida and for all the emperors, empresses, and other members of the House of Romanoff who are buried in the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral and in its New Mausoleum. During the Liturgy, the Tsesarevich took Holy Communion. Then His Grace Bishop Nazarii offered a Litiya (requiem) service at the graves of Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna and her husband, Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, in the New Mausoleum. At the conclusion of the services, Bishop Nazarii gave a brief sermon on the life and service of Grand Duchess Leonida, whom he had met many times in Russia and Paris. His Grace wished the members of the Imperial House of Romanoff success and God’s help in all their endeavors for the benefit of Russia.

Addressing the Grand Duke and all those gathered together in prayer, His Grace Bishop Nazarii said: “I was so very glad today to serve the pine Liturgy in this cathedral, which is the mausoleum of all members of the House of Romanoff, and I was especially glad to welcome Grand Duke George of Russia, who has come to St. Petersburg to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of his grandmother, Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna. The House of Romanoff has done, and continues to do, many good works for Russia and its people, despite its current difficult situation. It is proper that we remember this dynasty whenever we speak about Russia. They are the heirs of all the great rulers of Russia, under whose rule the people of our country accomplished many great things.”

Grand Duke George of Russia in response noted that he was deeply moved by everyone’s prayers and remembrances of his grandmother. “She loved Russia wholeheartedly and left for all of us an example of service to the nation. We all are striving to preserve and observe traditions that were very dear to her. Thank you for coming today to remember the Grand Duchess in prayer, and also for your support, which we constantly feel and greatly appreciate,” the Grand Duke said.

After the Litiya service, the Grand Duke laid flowers and a wreath on his grandmother’s grave. He also spoke with representatives of several civic organizations of the city and with cadets of the First Border Military Corps, who happened to be touring the cathedral. The cadets were very interested in the commemorative events taking place in the mausoleum, and the Tsesarevich spoke with them about the work of Grand Duchess Leonida during her lifetime, and of the activities today of members of the House of Romanoff. He wished them all well in their service to their country, and the cadets in turn expressed their unexpected pleasure at “seeing history come to life” right before their eyes.
To read the full version of this article, and watch a VIDEO (in Russian), please click on the link below:

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Visits St. Petersburg 

© Russian Imperial House. 25 October, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:38 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 October 2014 9:52 AM EDT
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Friday, 24 October 2014
Russian Orthodox University Hosts Ceremonies Marking 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Grand Duchess Leonida of Russia
Topic: Russian Imperial House

Photo © Maria Temnova
October 6, 2014, marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Her Imperial Highness The Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna of Russia, mother of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia.

The principal organizer of the celebrations that took place in Moscow on October 10 at the Russian Orthodox University (RPU) was the national civic organization “For Faith and Fatherland.” A solemn panikhida, or requiem service, was held at the university’s Chapel of the Holy Evangelist John the Theologian under the Elm, officiated by Hieromonk Nikon (Levachev-Belavenets), the chaplain for the organization “For Faith and Fatherland.” Also serving at the panikhida was Deacon Boris Yakovenko of the Church of St. Dmitrii Donskoi in the Raevo section of Moscow.

Attending the panikhida were members of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, including its Director and the Private Secretary of the Imperial Family, Alexander Zakatov; members of the Russian Nobility Association, including its chairman, Oleg Shcherbachev; members of “For Faith and Fatherland,” including the vice-chairman of its executive council, A. V. Kulyomin; the chairman of the Societies of Descendants of the Wars of 1812 and 1914, V. I. Aliavdin; the chief of the administrative offices of the Central Elections Commission of the Russian Federation, Major-General A. V. Kirilin; the Distinguished Artist of Russia I. G. Mashkov; members of the public; and parishioners.

After the conclusion of the service and a brief sermon by Fr. Nikon, A. N. Zakatov announced the next event in the campaign “Gifts for the Grand Duchess—Charity,” which is timed to coincide with the anniversary of Grand Duchess Leonida’s birthday. In accordance with the wishes of H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, donations are being accepted to commission an Icon of Holy Martyr Anastasia the Alleviatrix of Captives for the Church of St. John the Theologian under the Elm and for the construction of a case (or kiot) for it. Those who make donations for this purpose will receive in return a commemorative certificate acknowledging their gift. A list of all donors and the amounts of their donations will be presented to Her Imperial Highness.

Later, in the university’s conference hall, a photo exhibit entitled “Preserver of the Foundations of the Dynasty,” dedicated to the life and work of Grand Duchess Leonida, was opened, and then Hieromonk Nikon formally opened the conference. First, Hieromonk Matfei (Muntianu), an instructor at RPU and the assistant rector of the chapel, welcomed all the participants and conveyed to all those gathered the warmest wishes and gratitude of Hegumen Peter (Eremeev), the Chancellor of RPU, for all that they are doing to help the church. Next, Alexander Zakatov discussed the celebrations marking the 100th birthday of Grand Duchess Leonida in St. Petersburg and the recent visit to the Northern Capital of the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia. Then followed speeches from O. V. Shcherbachev and A. V. Kulyomin, who welcomed the conference participants on behalf of the Russian Nobility Association and Societies of Descendants of the Wars of 1812 and 1914, respectively. Then the participants of the conference heard the fascinating paper by Dr. S. V. Dumin, King-of-Arms and in charge of the Office of Heraldry in H.I.H.’s Chancellery, about the Georgian Royal House.

Dr. F. V. Shelov-Koveliaev, the former First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, gave a paper on the reactions of the Russian political elite during the first official visit to Russia of Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich and Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna in November 1991. The many difficulties of the first visit of the Imperial Family to Moscow at the end of May 1992 was the topic of the next paper by Dr. V. I. Bragin, the former Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation. At the end of the session, chess Grandmaster and National Sports Laureate of the USSR L. S. Belavenets shared her impressions of meeting the members of the Imperial Family.

The conference ended with a reception and concert by stars of the Russian stage, Inna Subbotina and Iurii Filatov. 
© Russian Imperial House. 24 October, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:30 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 October 2014 9:53 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Interview of H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, with the Editor of the Newspaper Monarkhist
Topic: Russian Imperial House

Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
Interview of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, with the Editor of the newspaper Monarkhist, Mikhail Kulybin. Originally published in Russian on June 19th, 2014. English translation published August 5th, 2014.

To read the full interview published on Royal Russia News, please click on the link below:

Interview of H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, with the Editor of the Newspaper Monarkhist 

© Monarkhist. 05 August, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:03 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 August 2014 6:09 AM EDT
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Monday, 9 June 2014
Russian Imperial House Expresses Regret Over Spanish King's Abdication
Topic: Russian Imperial House

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and King Juan Carlos I of Spain
The Russian Imperial House of Romanov has expressed regret over the abdication of the throne by King Juan Carlos of Spain in favor of his son, Felipe of Asturias. The head of the House of Romanov, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, lives in Spain.

"The Grand Duchess has great respect for King Juan Carlos, for everything he did for his country, and his decision. Maria Vladimirovna certainly believes that Juan Carlos will retain moral influence until the end of his days. She hopes that his son will continue the cause of his father and bring in a fresh stream of development for Spanish monarchic institutions," the House of Romanov's Chancellery Director Aleksandr Zakatov told Interfax on Monday.
"The Russian Imperial House believes that the head of the dynasty, the reigning monarch must perform his duties until the end. A partial handover of duties and powers to the heir is possible," Zakatov said.

"Maria Vladimirovna respects the position of foreign states but believes the paternalistic element of monarchy must not be abandoned. It gives a lot of advantages, primarily, the independence of the state from parties and groups. The possibility of a monarch abdicating the throne is fairly debatable: the father cannot abandon his subjects, even if he is not as strong as he used to be. Such is the Russian tradition," Zakatov said. 
© Voice of Russia. 02 June, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:27 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 9 June 2014 4:44 AM EDT
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Sunday, 23 February 2014
Head of the Russian Imperial House Expresses Concern Over Tragic Events in Ukraine
Topic: Russian Imperial House

Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
A Statement
From the Head of the Russian Imperial House
H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia
On the Recent Events in Ukraine

The recent tragic events in Ukraine have filled my heart with enormous grief and sorrow.
It was not long ago, while visiting the ancient city of Kiev—the cradle of Slavic statehood—and the glorious and heroic Crimea, that I was filled with joy at seeing how Ukrainians of such different ethnic backgrounds, religious convictions, and social and political views all nonetheless maintain peaceful and harmonious relations with one another.
Now, Ukraine is experiencing upheavals that can only be compared to the calamitous events of the revolution.  And history shows that no revolution has brought happiness to any of the sides that take part in it.
I pray for the repose of the souls of all those who have lost their lives in these events, for the quick recovery of the injured, and for a cessation of violence.
I call upon all citizens of Ukraine, regardless of their political views, not to forget that they are all the sons and daughters of a common homeland and not to allow that common homeland to slip into a fratricidal civil war.
For the sake of the integrity of the Ukrainian State and the unity of its people, no one should in any way or under any circumstances yield to the temptation for revenge or retaliation.  May all of us remember the words of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearer, Emperor Nicholas II:  “evil cannot vanquish evil, only love can.”

H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

February 8/21, 2014 
© Russian Imperial House. 23 February, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:24 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 23 February 2014 5:31 PM EST
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Monday, 20 January 2014
Meet the Grand Duke of Russia . . . in Brussels
Topic: Russian Imperial House

HIH Grand Duke George Mikhailovich
The following article was originally published in the January 19th, 2014 edition of New Europe. The author Federico Grandesso owns the copyright presented below. 

In an exclusive interview with New Europe, the Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia - the 33-year-old heir apparent to Maria Vladimirovna, the Grand Duchess of Russia - spoke about his title, the evolution of the throne and his work in Europe. 

In Brussels, you just celebrated the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanov. What does this important name mean for you? Does it make you feel proud?

All people need to remember their ancestors and try to be worthy of them, follow their examples and learn from their mistakes. Some people know about their ancestors more and some less. I was lucky in this sense because the history of our lineage is well known and can be traced for almost 700 years, during which more than 300 years, my ancestors were brought forward to rule Russia. Kinship with other dynasties binds us to the world’s history. This imposes a serious responsibility on me. Like any man, I strive to achieve positive results in life. However, like any man I can make mistakes. But my efforts on a number of initiatives cannot be comparable with the achievements of my ancestors. I know that people judge us very harshly and demandingly because they compare what we do to the acts of our predecessors. This is why I do my best in order to fulfil my duty to represent the honour of my homeland, my compatriots and the good name of the Romanovs, trying always to embody the strong values and traditions I have been brought up in and always trying to put my name at service for good causes.

Is there a historical member of your family that has most inspired you from a moral or professional point of view?

I never cease to admire the will and energy of Peter the Great and his willingness to sacrifice. He demanded a lot from others, but was just as demanding of himself. Even his death became a symbol of these qualities. He became fatally ill, saving a stranded soldier of a boat in the icy waters during winter. Peter I by his own example proved that any work is worthy of respect, that there is no “non-prestigious” profession because all professions serve the betterment of a society. He mastered many sciences and crafts. In my work, I try to follow his example given the fact that he did not stubbornly try to keep all on his own, and did not to assume that all that was foreign was better, with his extensive travel and learning of a bigger world he tried to combine the best of both worlds to make his country stronger. Other ancestors I could mention, Alexander Nevsky, Nicholas I and Alexander III, all these sovereigns, each in his own way, have embodied the most positive qualities of Russian monarchs. 

Can you tell us about your work?

I started working in Brussels in 2001 as an assistant to the MEP and President of the Juridic Committee Ana de Palacio. I later worked with MEP Pilar Ayuso and eventually I was in the cabinet of Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transports and Energy Loyola de Palacio. I later moved to Luxembourg to continue my work in the General Directorate of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).

In 2010, I started working for Norilsk Nickel, a Russian company and the first global producer of nickel. I started as an adviser to the general manager of the company on European related issues, and soon after I was given the responsibilities of president of Norilsk Nickel Europe in London and Brussels representing the companies interests in front of the institutions of the European Union. I also became a member of the board of directors of an association of Nickel-related companies that came together with other similar companies from across the globe to solidify our industry’s position and reputation within the European Union. I am currently pursuing a variety of initiatives - some commercial and some charitable. I am working on the creation of a public affairs, communications platform in Brussels (Romanoff & Partners) which will specialise not exclusively in representing the interests of Russian and Eastern European corporations and public interests within the European Union.

I am also working on the charitable side with the creation of The Russian Imperial Foundation for Cancer Research. It is a foundation that aims to give the opportunity to fight what is nowadays one of the greatest plagues worldwide and a major cause of mortality in Russia. We are now in the process of gathering medical experts from around the world to help us find the best way to focus our efforts. I am also hoping to give a chance to our Russian medical experts and students to be as prominent as they once were. With a little luck and God’s help we can maybe do our part to put in check this great evil of our times. 

Do you have any contact with the English or the Spanish royal families?

Of course, we are in touch with our relatives. We correspond with each other regularly .We congratulate each other during the holiday seasons - there are various dynastic ceremonies. It is an integral part of the social work of the imperial house. 

In Europe, there are monarchical countries that show a more modern image to the public. What do you think about this change of mentality?

A monarchy is an expression of values and traditions, but it must not remain frozen in time. Monarchs are the maximum expression of a state’s institutions and are deeply linked to the various aspects of their nation and of their societies. Each historical period has had an evolution and monarchs are the ones who in many cases have driven this process. I’m thinking about Peter the Great and his big commitment in modernising Russia, or Catherine the Great who brought into her nation the ideals of the era of the enlightenment. Considering the enormous processes of liberalisation and globalisation, I believe monarchy has evolved as well. It has become more modern though still being representative of its nations and citizens, without discarding the historical and traditional values and traditions that it embodies. 
© New Europe. 20 January, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:00 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 20 January 2014 7:07 AM EST
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Thursday, 16 January 2014
Q&A: Romanov Descendant Getting to Know Russia
Topic: Russian Imperial House

HIH Grand Duke George Mikhailovich
The Moscow Times has published an interview with HIH Grand Duke George Mikhailovich by Anatoly Medetsky. The son of HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, talks candidly about his opportunity to work for a major Russian company; his travels and impressions of modern-day Russia; the people who inspire him and much more.
To read the entire interview, click on the following link;

Q&A: Romanov Descendant Getting to Know Russia

© The Moscow Times. 16 January, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:30 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 16 January 2014 3:43 PM EST
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Saturday, 27 July 2013
Interview with Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia
Topic: Russian Imperial House

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich was born in Madrid 13 March, 1981, the son of Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia (at the time styled HIH Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich of Russia) and Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, only child of Vladimir Cyrillovich, Grand Duke of Russia. He was baptised on 6 May 1981, in Madrid; his godfather is King Constantine II of Greece. Also present at the baptism were King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain and King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria.
An Interview with Grand Duke George Mikhailovich in (Newspaper Monarkist), by M.N. Kulybin earlier this month. 
Click Here to Read the Interview (English)

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 July, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:28 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 27 July 2013 5:41 PM EDT
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