Russian Royals Want to Return
to Their Homeland

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Head of the Russian Imperial House

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The Moscow spokesman for the Imperial House of Romanov announced at a press conference Friday that members of the Russian imperial family want to live in Russia again, Gazeta.ru reports. Once residing in their ancestral homeland they will help in the restoration of civil society and the development of legal institutions.

“The Imperial House is the bearer of the monarchist idea, but it is not attempting to impose it on anyone,” Alexander Zakatov, director of the chancellery of the Russian Imperial House stated. “But to return to its country, to live and work here, to participate in cultural, philanthropic programs and other nonpolitical events that serve to reinforce civil society, the development of legal institutions of state, the return of traditions – in that sense, the imperial house should and can and wants to work, and we are certain that it will be that way in the future.”

The Imperial House of Romanov is led by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, a descendant of Tsar Alexander II. She now lives in Spain and France. Other members of the imperial family are her mother, Dowager Grand Duchess Leonida, her son, Grand Duke Georgii who lives in Luxembourg and has been working for the European Commission since 2001, and Princess Ekaterina Romanov, a granddaughter of Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich, who lives in Uruguay.

After years of lobbying by the House of Romanov, the royal family was politically rehabilitated by the presidium of the Russian Supreme Court in October 2008. In Russia, political rehabilitation is the acknowledgment that a past criminal sentence was politically motivated (that is, it was political repression) and not the result of criminal activity. Other Romanov family members who were killed separately by the Bolsheviks in 1918 were rehabilitated this year.

Zakatov said the government needed to put forward an official view on the Romanovs' role in Russian history so that they could return to the country on formal basis, not as individuals.

The tsar, his wife and children were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia in 1981 and by the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000. The royal remains were found in 1998 and 2007 and now rest in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Gazeta.ru. Moscow News, and RIANovosti
27 June, 2009