Topic: Nicholas Nicholayevich, GD
Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich (1856-1929)
The Russian government announced this week that the remains of the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich (Jr.) and his wife Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholayevna will be transported from France to Russia and buried with full military honours in the Chapel of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in the Bratsk military cemetery in Moscow in 2015 (date yet to be determined).
Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich (1856-1929) was an uncle of Emperor Nicholas II. At the beginning of the First World War, in 1914-1915, he commanded the land and naval forces of Russia, and then up to the February Revolution, was the governor of the Caucasus. In the army, he was nicknamed “the evil one,” and called “Nikolasha” by members of the Russian Imperial family. In 1919, he emigrated with members of his family to France, where he lived in Cannes. He died in 1929, and was buried at the St. Michael the Archangel Church in Cannes.
Recently, the issue regarding the reburial of the grand ducal remains was discussed at a meeting held in the State Duma’s Interagency Task Force, headed by Sergei Naryshkin, chairman of the State Duma, and head of the Russian Historical Society. Naryshkin noted that "descendants of the Grand Duke Nicholas claim that the reburial is based on the grand duke’s last wish - that some day his remains would be buried in his native land, next to his soldiers," - said the speaker of the State Duma. "We have spent almost half of the year discussing all aspects of the reinterment - including legal and financial. In October, Naryshkin was appointed head of a Government established inter-ministerial group. According to him, the main goal was "to restore one of the long-forgotten names of our history."
Chapel of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in the Bratsk military cemetery in Moscow
According to Andrei Petrov, Head of the Analytical Department of the State Duma, and executive secretary of the Russian Historical Society, confirmed that the idea for the reinterment of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich’s remains was prompted by an appeal by Nicholas and Dmitry Romanovich Romanov, direct descendants of Emperor Nicholas I. The brothers wrote to Mr. Naryshkin, because he led the organizing committee for the 100th anniversary of the First World War. "They appealed to both the Russian and the French authorities for the issuing of the necessary permits for the reburial," - said Mr. Petrov.
Alexander Orlov, Russian Ambassador to France stated this week in the Russian media that all the organizational matters had been "generally solved." According to Orlov, the proposal for reinterment was supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently discussed the proposal with French President Francois Hollande.
Alexander Kibovsky, Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage in Moscow said that the Bratsk military cemetery in Moscow is well known and frequently visited by members of public organizations associated with the history of the First World War and the White Russian movement. Kibovsky noted that the chapel is in good condition, and that final details have yet to be worked out, such as whether a replica of the sarcophagus in Cannes would be made.
The Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk warned "about possible difficulties that may arise" from the reinterment. He points to the fact that the crypt of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Cannes "is the subject of litigation between three ecclesiastical jurisdictions." One of them involves the émigré Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which in 2007 became a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church. "The abbot of the church Archbishop Barnabas, was stripped of his rank, and the new priest was unable to begin his duties because his parishioners refused to recognize him," - said the Metropolitan. As a result, the church is currently closed, all services cancelled.
I have published several other articles over the past year on plans to reinter the remains of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich, to review these please refer to the links below:
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 December, 2014