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Monday, 7 December 2015
Monument to Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Dismantled in Odessa
Topic: Constantine Constantinovich, GD

Monument to Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich was established in 1999 at the Military Academy in Odessa
On 27 November a monument to Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich - a cousin of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II - was dismantled at the Military Academy in Odessa. Despite the protests of teachers and students of the institution, the decision to remove the monument was made by the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak.

The removal of his monument is part of the decommunization process which has swept across Ukraine in recent months. The new laws came into effect in April 2015 which outlawed communist and Soviet symbols. Ukrainian authorities have since declared war on the legacy of the Russian Empire as well. 

The monument of the highly respected grand duke was established in 1999 at the initiative of the then chief of the Odessa Institute of Land Forces Anatoly Trots. The monument was not protected by the state, and according to local media “had no cultural value”. The bronze bust has been stored in a warehouse, to be replaced with a monument honouring Ukrainian soldiers who died in the Donbass region of the country.

Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (1858-1915) served in the Izmailovsky Regiment of the Imperial Guard, as inspector general of military schools, president of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, and is also known as a poet, translator and playwright. 

The Cadet Corps in Odessa was established on 16 April, 1899 to provide secondary and military education for boys intending to become officers. The Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Russia (1858-1915), who was inspector of military educational institutions, attended the blessing of the School of St. Cyril and St. Methodius Chapel on 6 October 1902. Upon the death of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich in 1915, the school was renamed in his honour and functioned up until 1917.

During the 1917 revolution, the Cadet Corps in Odessa remained loyal to Emperor Nicholas II. In May 1917 they refused to participate in a military parade attended by Minister Guchkov. On 31 August, 1917, the school was evacuated to Rostov-on-Don and then to Novocherkassk and later dissolved. Some students returned to their families, while others joined the White Army to fight the Bolsheviks. Of the 1196 graduates of the institution, 446 took part in the fight against Bolshevism. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 07 December, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:44 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 7 December 2015 5:56 AM EST
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Wednesday, 28 October 2015
St. Petersburg Mark Centenary of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich's Death
Topic: Constantine Constantinovich, GD

The year of 2015 marks the centennial of death of the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Romanov (1858-1915), a Russian patriot who held senior government and military posts in the Russian Empire. He was the infantry general, the inspector general of military schools, the president of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. But most of all, the Grand Duke is known to posterity as a poet, translator and playwright who wrote under the pen name "K. R."

The centennial commemorates the vivid and distinctive personality as well as a rich literary heritage of the Grand Duke. It is obvious that this date should be an event in the cultural life of St. Petersburg.

Guided by this idea, a number of museums and institutions associated with the name of the Grand Duke took the initiative of celebrating "Konstantin Days in St. Petersburg. Commemorating the centennial of death K. R." The organizing committee of the commemorative events included representatives from the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House), Russian Academy of Sciences, a branch of the State Russian Museum (Marble Palace), Alexander Suvorov Museum, Synodal Naval Sector of the Russian Orthodox Church, St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Museum-Apartment.

The uniqueness of the Konstantin Days is that for three days in St. Petersburg will be held various events - conferences, exhibitions, concerts, tours, film screenings, religious services united by the identity of the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Romanov, which will appear to our contemporaries in different images.

October 27, the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) will host the grand opening of the Konstantin Days. It will include a unique exhibition featuring the Grand Duke, and Konstantin readings - the first scientific conference on the legacy of K. R.

The Pushkin House holds manuscripts, personal belongings, desktop of the august poet, which the institution received by his will. These rarities will be first displayed at the exhibition to open October 27th in the Literary Museum of the Pushkin House.

October 28th, the Konstantin Palace in Strelna (Palais des Congres) will host "Konstantin Readings" devoted to the activities of a branch of the Romanov dynasty – the Konstantinovichi, including Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich. This year the readings will mark their 10th anniversary.

At the end of the "Konstantin Days in St. Petersburg," on October 29th the White Hall of Marble Palace will host the Konstantin literary-musical evening in commemoration of the Grand Duke.

The "Konstantin Days in St. Petersburg" will not be limited to the three days. It will continue with a historical exhibition "Father of all the Cadets", featuring the activities of the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich as the inspector general of military educational institutions of Russia, which will open in the Museum of Artillery November 25, 2015.

In addition, a memorial plaque in memory of the Grand Duke as one of the founders of the Pushkin House, the repository of manuscripts of the Russian classics, will be inaugurated in the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) in December this year.

© Presidential Library. 28 October, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:23 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 28 October 2015 6:50 AM EDT
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Thursday, 9 July 2015
Princess Irina Bagration, 1926-2015
Topic: Constantine Constantinovich, GD

Princess Irina S. Bagration passed away this morning July 9th at 2 am in New York. The funeral will be at 10 am on Saturday, July 11th at Holy Trinity ROC in Astoria, NY. Burial will be at the Novo Diveevo Convent in Nanuet, New York. following the service.

Born Irina Czernysheva-Besobrasova on 21 Sep 1926, at Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, the daughter of Sergei Aleksandrovich Besobrasov and Countess Elizabeta Cheremeteva. 

She became the second wife of Prince Teymuraz Constantinovich Bagration, at the age of 23 in 1949.

Prince Teymuraz was born at Pavlovsk on 21 August 1912. His father, Prince Constantine Bagration-Mukhransky (1889–1915), a member of the Mukhrani branch of the Bagrationi family, formerly a royal dynasty of Georgia, was an Imperial Russian Army officer and was killed in World War I. Teymuraz's mother, Princess Tatiana Constantinovna of Russia (1890–1979), was the third child and oldest daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia and his wife, Elisabeth Mavrikievna, née Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg.

After her children were grown and married, Princess Tatiana took the veil at Geneva in 1946. She died as Mother Tamara (named so after the medieval Georgian queen Tamar, a remote ancestor of Tatiana’s first husband) Abbess of the Mount of Olives Convent on 28 August 1979 in Jerusalem.

Teymuraz Bagration left Russia after the 1917 Revolution. During World War II, he served in the Royal Yugoslav Army. After the war, he emigrated to the United States and joined the Tolstoy Foundation in 1949. His marriage to Princess Irina took place on 27 November 1949 at New York. They had no issue. He became Executive Director in 1979 and led the organization from 1986 until his death at New York on 10 April 1992. 

On 5 July 2007, Princess Irina presented her husbands’ unique archive to the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. 

I made the acquaintance of Princess Irina in the late 1990s, and enjoyed numerous telephone chats, in which she shared her memories of her cousins, Grand Duke Gabriel Constaninovich (1887-1955), author of Memories in the Marble Palace, and Princess Vera Constantinovna (1906-2001) - both children of Grand Duke Constantine and Grand Duchess Elisabeth. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 09 July, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:22 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 9 July 2015 4:57 PM EDT
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Thursday, 28 August 2014
Romanov Readings Dedicated to Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich at Ostashevo
Topic: Constantine Constantinovich, GD

Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (1858-1915)
On August 23, the XXII Annual Romanov Reading was held at Ostashevo and dedicated to the estate's former owner, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (1858-1915). The event coincided with the 156th birthday of the Romanov grand duke, popularly known by his pseudonym “KR”.  Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, was an honorary member of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) - one of the organizers of the event. From 1903, Ostashevo, served as a residence of the grand duke and his family. The estate is situated near Moscow on the banks of the River Ruza 

KR was a cousin and close friend of the first chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (1857-1905) and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (1864-1918). Konstantin was an outstanding personality who served as Adjutant General, General of Infantry, inspector general of military schools, the president of the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences, poet, musician, translator and playwright. As a result, this year’s Romanov Readings attracted not only historians, and researchers, but also fans of his poetry and theatrical works. His diaries have just recently been published in Russian.

The readings were confined to the 100th anniversary of the First World War, so it was impossible not to remember the grand duke’s son, Prince Oleg Konstantinovich (1892-1914). Oleg was also a member of the IOPS, who died three months after the outbreak of the First World War and was buried at Ostashevo, a memorial church was built at his grave. The fate of Prince Oleg Konstantinovich and his entourage was recalled in a report by the historian G.I. Shevtsova. 

In attendance at Prince Oleg’s funeral was the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, who served as the IOPS Chairman from 1905 to 1917. A review of her charitable activities during the First World War was presented by L.V. Shumsky, a spokesman for the "Elisabeth-Sergivskoe Society”. 

Many other speakers paid tribute to the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, reflecting on his life and his rich contribution to Russia’s history, art and culture.

Abbot Seraphim (St. Nicholas), of the Provost Church of Volokolamsk district thanked everyone who continue to keep the memory of the members of the imperial family near to their hearts, and remembering the forgotten pages of Russian history. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 28 August, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:28 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 31 August 2014 8:38 AM EDT
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Thursday, 10 January 2013
25th Wedding Anniversary Gift to Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna
Topic: Constantine Constantinovich, GD


In 1909, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (KR) and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna (nee Princess Elizabeth of Saxe-Altenburg) celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

Konstantin presented his wife with this beautiful silver frame containing his image at the top and the dates 1884-1909, marking their 25 years of marriage.

Below are the images of their 8 children: Ioann, Gavriil, Tatiana, Konstantine, Oleg, Igor, Georgi and Vera.

Also depicted are their 4 residences: the Marble Palace, Strelna, Pavlovsk, and Ostashevo.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 January, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:04 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2013 9:17 AM EST
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Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 hour, 1 minute, 41 seconds
Topic: Constantine Constantinovich, GD

The Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich (1858-1915) is one of the most beloved and highly respected members of the Russian Imperial Family.

A grandson of the Emperor Nicholas I, he is more commonly known by his pen name "KR", taken from his transliterated name, Konstantin Romanov.

Not only was he a patron of the arts, he was an artist in his own right. He was a talented pianist and a man of letters, including poet and playwright. He was Chairman of the Russian Musical Society and founded several Russian literary societies.

Grand Duke Constantine served in the Russian Imperial Navy, and later joined the elite Izmailovsky Regiment of the Imperial Guard.

His devotion to duty and Russia endeared him to both Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II. The former appointed him President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and later as Chief of All Military Colleges. 

In 1884, he married Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg. Upon her marriage, she became the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna. He was a devoted to his wife and their nine children, and a loving father.

He and his family made their home at Pavlovsk, and the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg. He and his wife were among the few members of the Romanov family on intimate terms with Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

KR died on 15 June, 1915. His death spared him the horrendous suffering visited upon his family during the Russian Revolution a few years later.

This one-hour documentary explores the life of the grand duke and includes a wonderful collection of vintage photographs and rare film footage of him in the various stages of his life.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 April, 212


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:27 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2012 7:03 AM EDT
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