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Saturday, 16 April 2016
On This Day: Emperor Paul I Enacts Act of Succession to the Throne
Topic: Paul I, Emperor

Note: this article has been edited and updated from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia

On 16 April (O.S. 5 April), 1797 on the day of his coronation Emperor Paul I promulgated the Act of Succession or the Pauline Laws which abolished Emperor Peter I’s Decree on succession of 16 February (O.S. 5 February), 1722. The Act with slight amendments had been in effect until 1917.

Back in 1788 Tsesarevich Pavel Petrovich developed and signed together with his wife the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna the Act of Succession to the throne. Paul’s intention was to exclude any possibility of removing from the throne from the rightful heirs of the Romanov dynasty. Tsesarevich introduced the succession according to the law. The Act ran: ‘in order that the state always has a heir, that the heir is always appointed by the law itself, that there is not any doubt about who should inherit the throne, that the families’ right to succession is not violated and to avoid the troubles while passing from one kin to another’. Paul established the majority for emperors and heirs the age of 16; for other members of the imperial family the age of 20. If a heir under age was to ascend the throne, a ruler and a regent must be assigned. The Act also included an important provision declaring that a person who did not belong to the Orthodox Church could not ascend the Russian throne. 

After his coronation on 16 April (O.S. 5 April), 1797 Paul I himself swore to the issued Act which was then placed in the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin and preserved there.

On the same day the Emperor issued another Act, the Regulations on the Imperial family, which determined the members of the imperial family, their hierarchy, the civil rights of the Imperial House members, their duties to the Emperor; it also established the coats of arms, titles and the size of stipend.

In 1820 Emperor Alexander I supplemented the Act on succession with the requirement of kin equality in marriage as indispensable condition for succession to the throne by the children of the Imperial family members.

The Act of Succession to the throne of Paul I along with subsequent acts regarding this issue was included in all the editions of the Code of Laws of the Russian Empire.

© Presidential Library / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:39 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 April 2016 6:09 AM EDT
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Friday, 4 March 2016
Bust of Emperor Paul I Unveiled in St. Petersburg
Topic: Paul I, Emperor

Bust of Emperor Paul I by the sculptor - Alexander A. Apollonov
On 2nd March a bust of Emperor Paul I (1754-1801) was unveiled at the No. 209 Pavlovskaya Gymnasium in St. Petersburg. The opening ceremony honoured the emperor, and founder of the historic Women's Institute of Pavlovsk. The solemn ceremony which took place in the main staircase of the gymnasium, was attended by the students, members of the education community, local social organizations, and members of the Orthodox clergy.

The bust of Emperor Paul I is a gift to the No. 209 Pavlovskaya Gymnasium from the Alley of Russian Glory Fund, headed by Mikhail Leonidovich Serdyukov, and the Russian Military-Historical. The bust was created by the sculptor - Alexander A. Apollonov, Honoured Artist of Russia, and member of the Russian Academy of Arts. The bust of Paul I is the first monument donated by the Foundation and educational organization dedicated to the Russian monarch.

Emperor Paul I had a great love for children. Evidence of this would be his large family of 10 children, and whose charities that he founded. One of them - the Imperial Military Orphanage, the predecessor of the Pavlovsk Women's Institute, was originally housed in the No. 209 Pavlovskaya Gymnasium in St. Petersburg.

Since January 2009, the grammar school has honoured the memory of Emperor Paul I with a series of events, including the 210th anniversary of the founding of the Pavlovsk Women's Institute, a historical conference dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the birth of Empress Maria Feodorovna (1759-1828), and the 255th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Paul I. On 12 October 2011, the portraits of Emperor Paul I and Empress Maria Feodorovna by the artist Elena Vladimirovna Petrusenko, were unveiled in the historic assembly hall of the grammar school. On 19th April, 2012 in the historic assembly hall of the gymnasium ceremony of entering the name of the Emperor Paul I in Commemorative Sheets Golden Book of St. Petersburg.

Emperor Paul I, who reigned from 1796 to 1801, was dedicated to serving God, the Fatherland and his people. He has been unfairly judged by history, particularly in the West, where he has often been demonized. Paul I’s serious attempts at internal reform and international peace entitle him to greater recognition. On the night of 23 March [O.S. 11 March] 1801, Paul was murdered in his bedroom in the newly built St Michael's Castle by a group of conspirators.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:32 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 4 March 2016 8:44 AM EST
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Saturday, 13 December 2014
Exhibition: Grand Duke Paul Petrovich to Open in St. Petersburg
Topic: Paul I, Emperor

The Moscow Kremlin Museums will take part in the exhibition project carried out by the State Russian Museum, which is dedicated to the childhood and adolescence of the future Emperor Paul I. The St. Michael's Castle, built by the order of the Emperor Paul I at the turn of the 18th century, houses the exposition. The castle tragically became the place of the Emperor’s murder on the night of March 12, 1801.

Precious items, relating to the life and activities of the Grand Duke, are being exposed for the first time. The exhibition is held within a large-scale project of the Russian Museum, The Romanov Family Saga. It incorporates articles from the Russian Museum’s and other collections, such as portraits of Paul Petrovich and members of his family, paintings representing the Grand Duke’s life events, graphic works, pieces of arts and craft, interior furnishings and utensils of that epoch.

At the exhibition the Moscow Kremlin Museums present an amazing masterpiece from its collection. The gold snuffbox, covered with purple enamel, is decorated with graphic works designed by Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna in 1790. Four pencil drawings are mounted into a large lid of the snuffbox. The images depict profiles of six older children of Emperor Paul I and Maria Feodorovna – Alexander (1777-1825), Konstantin (1779-1831), Alexandra (1783-1801), Elena (1784-1803), Maria (1786-1859), Ekaterina (1788-1819). The portraits are placed under glass and edged with a narrow white enamel frame with gold rims. A round carved gold rosette is placed in the center of the lid, among the portraits. The snuffbox bears a stamp of the well-known engraver Georges-François Amey. The very fact of the existence of this stamp is of interest as jewellers of that time never used to put personal stamps on their works.

The exhibition allows visitors to learn about the life of Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, and gives the opportunity to reconsider the still prevailing prejudiced attitude towards his personality.

The exhibition Grand Duke Paul Petrovich opens at the Engineer’s Castle in St. Petersburg on December 24, 2014 and runs till February 28, 2015. 
© Moscow Kremlin Museums. 13 December, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:21 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 13 December 2014 8:25 AM EST
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Monday, 23 September 2013
Crowned in a Far Country: The Daughters of Emperor Paul I
Topic: Paul I, Emperor

Emperor Paul I of Russia and his second wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna, née Princess Sophia Dorothea of Württemberg, had six daughters: Alexandra, Elena, Maria, Catherine, Olga, and Anna. All of the grand duchesses, with the exemption of Olga who died when she was only two years old, married into the royal houses of Europe. Shy and gentle Alexandra married the Archduke Joseph of Austria and lived in Hungary; sensitive and altruistic Elena became a Princess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin when she married Friedrich-Ludwig, Hereditary Prince of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; intelligent and artistic Maria married Grand Duke Karl Friedrich of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and presided over the cultural development of Weimar; vivacious and strong-willed Catherine was first married to Prince George of Oldenburg and after his death she married the future King William I of Württemberg; and the youngest and sombre Anna became a Dutch queen when she married King William II of the Netherlands.
Crowned in a Far Country by Gema Faye O. Nicdao, appears in the latest issue of Royal Russia Annual No. 4. Her article, which is 21-pages in length and illustrated throughout, explores the intimate lives of each grand duchess in succession of their respective births, providing the reader with many new anecdotes about the lives of these little known members of the Russian Imperial family, their marriages, their lives in their new homelands far from Russia, their deaths and the personal legacy that each left their adopted country. 

Click Here for More Information / Order Your Copy Online

© Royal Russia. 23 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:34 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 23 September 2013 6:54 AM EDT
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Saturday, 17 March 2012
Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna's Books on Display
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute, 59 seconds
Topic: Paul I, Emperor

A unique and rare collection of books from the library of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (1786-1859), have gone on display in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

The collection was given to the State Public Library in the Rostov in 1947, but it was not until many years later that the original owner of these books was found to be that of the grand duchess.

The books are bound in leather, their pages trimmed with gold leaf. It is believed that the grand duchess' library consisted of several thousand volumes, however, the library in Rostov retains only a fraction of the original collection. Many of the books are kept in special storage rooms and in need of repair. Experts estimate that the restoration would cost millions of rubles.

Born in 1786, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna was the third daughter of the Emperor Paul and the Empress Maria Feodorovna. In 1804, she married Charles Frederick, Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. The couple had four children together. The Grand Duchess retired from public life after the death of her husband in 1853. She died on 23 June, 1859, and was buried in a Russian style chapel at Weimar.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:53 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2012 11:15 AM EDT
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