Head of the House of Romanoff and the Tsesarevich mourn the loss of life and injuries in the terrorist attack in Barcelona 

2017-08-17. The Head of the House of Romanoff and the Tsesarevich mourn the loss of life and injuries in the terrorist attack in Barcelona

The Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and her son and heir, H.I.H. The Tsesarevich and Grand Duke George of Russia, are profoundly saddened by the loss of life in the terror attack that struck Barcelona today. They pray for the repose of the souls of those who perished and for the quick recovery of those who were injured. Their Imperial Highnesses extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of all those who lost their lives, to His Majesty King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and to all the people of Spain.

There is no justification for terrorism, no matter where it takes place, what form it may take, or what causes it purports to support. In the face of this evil, whatever conflicts in national politics or international relations there may be all fade into the background. All citizens, all governments, and all countries must work together not only to prevent future atrocities like the one today and to bring the guilty to justice, but also to eradicate, decisively and successfully, the very sources that breed this kind of ungodly and inhumane phenomenon of our times.


2017-08-17 Глава Дома Романовых и Цесаревич скорбят в связи с терактом в Барселоне

Глава Российского Императорского Дома Е.И.В. Государыня Великая Княгиня Мария Владимировна и её сын и наследник Е.И.В. Государь Цесаревич и Великий Князь Георгий Михайлович скорбят в связи с террористическим актом в Барселоне, молятся о упокоении убиенных и о выздоровлении раненых и выражают глубокие соболезнования родным и друзьям погибших, Их Величествам Королю Филиппу VI и Королеве Летиции и всему народу Испании.

Терроризм никогда и нигде не может иметь никакого оправдания, в каких бы формах он ни проявлялся и какими бы лозунгами ни прикрывался. Перед лицом этого зла отходят на задний план любые противоречия внутренней политики и международных отношений. Необходимо сотрудничество всех граждан, всех государств и наций, чтобы не только предотвращать готовящиеся злодеяния и выявлять непосредственных исполнителей террористических атак, но беспощадно и эффективно искоренять сами источники этого безбожного и бесчеловечного явления.

Important Social and Political Figure in the Republic of Malta Receives an Imperial Award

2017-08-14. A Long-Time Leading Social and Political Figure in the Republic of Malta Receives an Imperial Award 

By a Decree of the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, one of the oldest social and political figures in the Republic of Malta, Victor Emanuel Ragonesi, J.D., aged 93, was raised to the dignity of knight of the Imperial Order of St. Anna.  Dr. Ragonesi was awarded this distinguished honour for his significant contributions to the development of good relations between Russia and Malta, and for his many efforts on behalf of Russian orphan children.

The device of the Imperial Order of St. Anna II Class was presented to Dr. Ragonesi on August 14, 2017, by Hieromonk Nikon (Levachev-Belavenets), advisor to the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House for historical and memorial activities.  Among those attending the investiture ceremony was the Director of the Malta Branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and the official representative of the Russian Nobility Association in the Republic of Malta, Irina V. Malikova.  

Dr. Victor Emanuel Ragonesi was born on September 7, 1924.  He was a leading figure in the effort to secure Malta’s independence from Great Britain (1964) and became one of the authors of Malta’s Constitution.  He was the First Secretary of Prime Minister George Borg Olivier, and for many years was General Secretary of the ruling Nationalist Party of Malta.  As one of the most experienced and respected attorneys on Malta, Dr. Ragonesi regularly appeared in the media in Malta giving legal analyses and commentaries on legal and political questions of the day.  Since 1998 he has served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Charity Society (ICS), which enjoys the patronage of the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia.  Most recently, he actively helped with preparations for the first visit of the Head of the House of Romanoff to Malta in June 2017.

Dr. Ragonesi has over many years assembled a large private collection of engravings, geographical maps, and literature from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—all related to Russia.  In the first decade of this century, he donated a large part of his collection to the State Historical Museum in Moscow.  For this generous act of friendship, he received a personal letter of thanks from President Vladimir Putin.

Romanov Family Association Spokesperson Ivan Artsyshevsky Insults Church, Imperial House

Ivan Artsishevsky, who styles himself "Director of the Romanov Family Association in Russia," granted an interview on 10 July to "Interfax," which was then distributed by various Russian press organizations.  In it, Artsishevsky made statements insulting the patriarch and the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, prompting a quick response from the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House.

Artsishevsky, who worked in the Leningrad Department of Goskominturist as the head of the Information Group and head of the Additional Services Group, became associated with the Romanov Family Association in the 1990's and has been their spokesperson and public face in Russia for many years, as none of the RFA members are resident in Russia or visit Russia regularly.  He is particularly active since the death of Dimitri Romanovich Romanoff early this year, because none of the active RFA members speaks Russian except for the 94-year-old Andrei Andreievich Romanoff, an American citizen who lives in California.  In the interview Artsishevsky stated:

"The patriarch had a meeting in June, during which all the experts present confirmed that the remains are genuine. The church is silent now, and it is difficult to understand why it remains silent."

"If this question is political, I do not understand what the politics are. We are unable to show a film [ed. note; the new film 'Matilda'] because it shows Nicholas II making out [with his mistress], but everyone remains silent about the fact that his children yet lie unburied,." 

The complicated theological, historical, and scientific issues concerning these identifications are well known, and the Orthodox Church has been extremely open in their discussions concerning these debates, with frequent announcements by Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov) and Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev).  If impugning the judgements and practice of the Patriarch and the senior hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad were not enough, Artsishevsky additionally chose to attack the Head of the Russian Imperial House, the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, referring to the Russian Imperial House as an "illegitimate organization":

"The Madrid House of Romanov does not exist, it's an absolutely illegitimate organization. If the Russian Orthodox Church works with an illegitimate organization, it's a problem of the Russian Orthodox Church. The whole world recognizes the real Romanovs [presumably, The Romanov Family Association], and the Church decides its own way. But as an Orthodox Christian, I can distinguish between the Church of Christ and a throng of bishops," 

The Russian Imperial House responded with a quick and measured statement, calling for members of the RFA to offer a rebuttal to this senseless criticism of the Church and unfounded attack against their relative:

The Chancellery of the Imperial House of Russia was, however, puzzled and perplexed to learn from reports in the media that a representative of “The Romanov Family Association,” Mr. I. Artsishevsky, had issued a statement on behalf of the “Romanov family” that called into question the position of the Russian Orthodox Church. 

Earlier, the Chancellery of the Imperial House of Russia had expressed the hope that the anti-Church pronouncements from Mr. Artsishevsky on behalf of this organization would cease, especially after the meeting between the Acting President of the “Romanov Family Association,” Mr. Dmitry R. Romanov, and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, which took place before Mr. Romanov’s death on December 31, 2016. Unfortunately, the pronouncements have not ceased. 

As for the recent highly political and anti-Church statements issued by Mr. Artsishevsky, it remains to be seen if the “Romanov Family Association” (of which Mr. Artsishevsky claims to be a representative) will issue a rebuttal. But if no rebuttal is issued, and if Mr. Artsishevsky remains in his position as an official representative of the organization, then we must conclude that the “Romanov Family Association” is endorsing this anti-Church position and so must bear full responsibility for the words and actions of those who have joined themselves to campaigns against the Russian Orthodox Church. 

In any event, neither statements like those from Mr. Artsishevsky nor the private opinions of some descendants of members of the Romanoff dynasty in any way reflect the views of the Russian Imperial House of Romanoff.

It is impossible to reconcile Artsishevsky's harsh words and slanderous accusations with the non-political, kind, and conciliatory remarks made recently by H.S.H. Prince Dmitri Pavlovich Romanoff Ilyinsky at the annual ball associated with the Russian Nobility Association in America.  It would appear that Artsishevsky has either overstepped his authority as a representative, or that the Romanov Family Association is divided between those who seek peace, and those who choose to keep old and irrelevant grudges alive.

It appears that Artsishevsky delights in any controversy or conflict that enhances his individual importance and therefore seeks vulgar publicity of any kind -- even if that publicity brings embarrassment and criticism to those he claims to serve with honor. As Artsishevsky is both an employee of the Romanov Family Association as well as the head of a for-profit "Etiquette School" in Saint Petersburg, one might think he would behave in a more dignified manner.


Restoring the Romanovs: An Interview with the Chancellor of the Russian Imperial House

Rachel Bailes with Alexander N. Zakatov, Head of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House.

Rachel Bailes with Alexander N. Zakatov, Head of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House.

An Interview from May 2017 featured in "The Spectator" with Alexander Zakatov, Head of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House by author Rachel Bailes.  All copyright belongs to The Spectator.  A link to the original article is HERE


Restoring the Romanovs

By Rachel Bailes, "The Spectator" May 6, 2017

Since 1992, Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, has been Head of the Russian Imperial Family. She is the person who would probably be Tsarina had the monarchy not come to a bloody end in 1917. Alexander Zakatov is the Head of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House, the Grand Duchess’ Office. I am meeting with him in Moscow as a representative of the Australian Monarchist League to learn what is next for the Romanov dynasty in 2017, one hundred years after the revolution.

Once we’ve sat down in the grand Metropol hotel, Zakatov tells me he descends from a long line of clergymen. Although that line was broken with the Soviets, ‘religion was retained in my family, as was respect for the monarchy’.

Growing up, Zakatov never liked the reality Communist society presented under the USSR, whereby the country’s 300-year long Romanov history was only ever referenced sarcastically or in hushed tones. ‘In my family, there was a book… with portraits of the last royal family inside. My father would tell me the story of the family… and the tragedy which followed. I felt sympathy for them. They were lifelike characters for me.’

As he grew older, Zakatov discovered the Romanovs’ story had not ended with this event − there were royal heirs in exile all over the world. ‘I learned that there can be something else in history.’

The sense that that which made previous ages great can be restored is strong in some former monarchies that have gone through tumultuous social change. From the 1930s pro-Bourbon Carlism in Spain (which saw the Bourbons restored as a constitutional monarchy in 1978), Bavarian monarchist movements, and the Action Française, which last year celebrated its 117th birthday, calls for the restoration of deposed monarchies in the 20th century have been small but sustained.

For Russia, it took the period of glasnost and perestroika in the 1980s before formal monarchist associations could be established.

Then 14, Zakatov seized the chance to join the ranks. In November 1991, then Head of the Imperial House, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, was invited to Saint Petersburg by Mayor Anatoly Sobchak for the celebrations of the return of the city to its historical name. Zakatov was there. ‘It was a huge impression for me to see the Tsar alive.’ At age 74, it was the first and last time the Grand Duke laid eyes on his own country.

He died months later and his body returned to Russia to be buried in Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. Zakatov remembers ‘The square was filled with people: ordinary people. They wanted to see him’.After the burial, Zakatov met the Grand Duchess in Moscow as a 20-year old working in the University of Moscow archives. He asked if he might be of assistance in her own archives. That work led to his official appointment five years later.

The 25 years she has been at the helm have not been without questions from certain quarters. Because of strict rules concerning morganatic (socially ‘mismatched’) marriages, some question the parentage of her mother, Princess Leonida Bagration, who claimed to be descended patrilineally from former Kings of Georgia and Polish aristocracy. They claim Prince Andrew Andreevich Romanov, who is 94 and lives in London, is the rightful Head.

In 2016, a Saint Petersburg lawmaker wrote to both the Grand Duchess and then claimant, Dimitri Romanov, urging them both to return to Russia as soon as possible. ‘There should be only one heir,’ says Zakatov. ‘The law of succession says there cannot be two at the same time. The Imperial House has many relatives, and they are all accorded the same respect, but they cannot be considered to take the throne.’

Such overtures from government members are rare. So how would Zakatov describe the relationship between traditional monarchists and the federal government? ‘Well, there is improvement in that we are not being exiled or executed anymore. A great success!’ He grins. But what of the Imperial House’s relationship with Putin’s administration? ‘It can be described as politely neutral. They do not help, but they do not hinder.’

I am interested to know what relationship Zakatov sees between Putin’s leadership style and the ‘one strong man’ model many attribute to the Russian zeitgeist. What room could there be for new authority figures in a dualistic constitutional monarchy if the people already have their ‘ruler’ in the form of a politician? ‘Every country needs a strong ruler; a strong government. But that is any country − not only Russia.’

When I suggest Russians may not warm to the idea of a dualistic leadership split between a symbolic monarch and a counterbalanced politician, Zakatov reminds me that ‘in the Russian empire, there were elected governments in regions that were really successful − even more useful than the government of today.’

Zakatov is quick to assert they are not seeking the restoration of the monarchy. ‘The people do not accept it.’

He is right: a 2013 All-Russian Center for Public Opinion poll found just 28 per cent of Russians favour a return to Tsarist rule. Surprisingly, almost half of that number believe a future Tsar could be a current politician. ‘It is not possible to go back to the traditional monarchy that existed before 1917. We say the Imperial House should take part in the social life of the country. That’s not a revival of monarchy, it’s just participating in the historical… life of the country. It’s not about political rights, not about privileges, nor restitution of belongings. It is about the historical heritage of the Royal family and formally admitting of this heritage in Russia.’

Zakatov concedes the imperative nature of a popular monarchist spirit, quoting the Grand Duchess: ‘the Imperial House, separated from the idea of monarchism, is like a church without God.’

But he has hope: ‘The idea of monarchism… is related to the social interests of the whole country. It will be alive forever.’


Rachel Bailes is a speech writer and a member of the National Council of the Australian Monarchist League.  Again, this piece is full copyright of the author and of "The Spectator" A link to the original article is HERE

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich's Visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg, May 2017

From May 25 until June 4th, HIH the Grand Duke and Tsesarevich George Mikhailovich made a visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg.  During the trip, His Imperial Highness participated in the services of Pentecost with the Patriarch, as well as commemorating the name day of his great Grandfather the Emperor-In-Exile Kirill I Vladimirovich, and also visiting the grave of his Grandmother, the Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna.

For a full description of the visit of His Imperial HIghness to Russia, click here

Grand Duke & Tsesarevich George Mikhailovich commemorates the name day of Grand Duke Kirill Wladimirovich in St. Petersburg.

The St. Petersburg Naval Cadets hold the flag of the Russian Imperial Navy in the Grand Ducal Mausoleum of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg.

The St. Petersburg Naval Cadets hold the flag of the Russian Imperial Navy in the Grand Ducal Mausoleum of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg.

On Wednesday, May 11/24 in St. Petersburg, HIH the Grand Duke and Tsesarevich George Mikhailovich of Russia commemorated the name day of his august Great-Grandfather, Emperor-in-Exile Kirill I Wladmirovich of Russia.  The Grand Duke was in Russia on an official visit, and was on his way to Moscow to celebrate the Feast of the Ascension at the invitation of Patriarch Kirill, 

Grand Duke and Emperor in Exile Krill was born 13 October, 1876 at Tsarskoye Selo, the oldest son of Grand Duke Wladimir Alexandovich and his wife, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna.  His happy childhood came to an end in 1892, when, at the age of 16, he finished his education, and went to sea as a member of the Russian Imperial Navy.  After graduating from the Corps of the Sea Cadets and the Nikolaevsky Naval Academy, on 1 January 1904, Kirill was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Russian Imperial Fleet. With the start of the Russo-Japanese war, he was assigned to serve as First Officer on the battleship Petropavlovsk, but the ship was blown up at Port Arthur in 1904. The Grand Duke was given a hero's discharge and the date of his miraculous survival was added to the list of commemorations on the Court Calendar.

Because of the naval connections of the Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, a Naval Escort was present at the pannikhida (memorial service), and the Tsesarevich and Grand Duke presented several awards on behalf of his mother, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna.  The Grand Duke Awarded the Order of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (established by Grand Duke Krill in exile) to several young naval cadets.

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna & HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrate the birthday of their relative HI&RH Archduchess Helen of Austria

HM Queen Elizabeth II and HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia chat at the Ivy, London. (Image from Facebook)

HM Queen Elizabeth II and HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia chat at the Ivy, London. (Image from Facebook)

On May 18, a private Royal birthday party occurred in London, when HI&RH Archduchess Helen of Austria celebrated her eightieth birthday in the company of friends and relatives at the exclusive Ivy restaurant in the private room.  An honored guest was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Archduchess Helen is the widow of HI&RH Archduke Ferdinand of Austria (1918-2004), eldest son of Archduke Maximilian (1895-1952) and of his wife Princess Franziska zu Hohelonhe-Schillingsfürst.   The couple had three children: Elisabeth (1957-1983), Sophie (b. 1959) and Maximilian (b. 1961).  The family retains close relationships with most of their royal relations around the world, particularly with King Constantine II of the Hellenes and Queen Sophie of Spain, as well as with Helen's first cousins of Yugoslavia and Kent, and her second cousins of Russia and of Prussia.

Archduchess Helen is the second child of Count Carl Theodor zu Toerring-Jettenbach and of his wife, Princess Elisabeth of Greece, daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece (1872-1938) and Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia (1882-1957). This makes Archduchess Helen a second cousin of the Grand Duchess, an in-law of HM the Queen though the late Princess Marina of Kent, and a first cousin of Prince Michael of Kent.

Senior Member of the Romanoff Family Makes a Plea for Unity.


In a recent speech in New York City, the senior member of the Romanoff family called on the branches of the Romanoff family to stop fighting and to unite.  H.S.H. Prince Dmitri Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, whose name in the United States is Dmitri Romanoff Ilyinsky, issued his call for family unity on May 5, 2017, weeks after the 100th anniversary of the fall of the Russian monarchy in March 1917.  He delivered the message in a short speech to the attendees of the Russian Nobility Ball, the annual fundraising gala of the Russian Nobility Association in New York.

Princes Dmitri and Michael Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, together  with Princess Michael (Debra) Romanovsky-Ilyinsky at the 2016 ball.

Princes Dmitri and Michael Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, together  with Princess Michael (Debra) Romanovsky-Ilyinsky at the 2016 ball.

For those who understand the genealogy of the Romanoff family, it is particularly significant that Prince Dmitri should be the one to call for the branches of the Romanoff family to stop arguing and to unite.  He is the genealogically senior living male descendant of the Romanoff family.  His grandfather, Grand Duke Dmitri of Russia (son of the Grand Duke Paul, a brother of Emperor Alexander III), married an American, Audrey Emery, when he was in exile in France after the Revolution.  Due to the strict dynastic marriage laws which required members of the dynasty to marry royal wives, Grand Duke Dmitri's only child, Paul, and his descendants became a non-dynastic branch of the family and received the title of Princes Romanovsky-Ilyinsky.

In his speech, which alluded to disputes within the family going back to the 19th century, Prince Dmitri mentioned three individuals by name:  his cousin Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, his brother Prince Michael Romanoff Ilyinsky, and his cousin Paul Kulikovsky.

Grand Duchess Maria, who was born in 1953 in Spain, is the head of the Romanoff dynasty, which is called the Russian Imperial House.  Prince Michael Romanoff Ilyinsky, who was born in 1960 in the United States, is the vice president of the Romanoff Family Association (RFA), which groups together the non-dynastic branches of the Romanoff clan.  (Because the elected position of RFA president is vacant pending a new election, he is at present the leader of the RFA.)  Mr. Kulikovsky, who was born in 1960 in Canada, is not a Romanoff but is related to the Romanoffs, as a great-grandson of Colonel Nikolai Kulikovsky and his wife Grand Duchess Olga of Russia.  He lives in Russia and has devoted himself to making Russians aware of the Romanoff heritage.

If The Russian Legitimist is interpreting the speech correctly, it appears that the senior male descendant of the Romanoffs has publicly called upon the members of the Russian Imperial House (Grand Duchess Maria and her son Grand Duke George), the members of the Romanoff Family Association (male line Romanoff descendants of the many non-dynastic marriages which occurred after the Revolution), and non-Romanoffs who are related to the Romanoffs to cast aside past differences and work together.

In referring to Grand Duchess Maria and to his brother Michael, the 63 year old Prince said as follows:

"It is time for the Romanoff family to set aside 19th century arguments and work together to do what the family can to help Modern Russia.

It is time to thank our Cousin Maria for all her efforts in Russia and all the goodwill she has generated.  Amazingly,  Cousin Maria has visited Russia over 100 times in 25 years and has painstakingly continued the great traditions of her family line.  

It is time to thank my brother Michael Pavlovich for all he has done, and for the Romanoff Family Association to respect the fact that he is the current elected head."

He also warmly thanked Mr. Kulikovsky, "who continues to educate our family, and all those who are interested, in Romanoff family history."    

The Russian Legitimist applauds Prince Dmitri Romanovsky-Ilyinsky both for his message and for timing it at the centenary of the end of the monarchy.  Nobody is alive today in Russia who remembers the monarchy.  Russians now going about their everyday lives have very limited time to absorb information about the Romanoff sovereigns, such as Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Alexander II, who during the 300 years of Romanoff rule were responsible for making Russia a world power.  Russians today have a natural respect and interest in Romanoff descendants, but the message should be about what unites them rather than what divides them.  Too often, attention in the Russian press that might be given to the accomplishments of Catherine the Great or Alexander II is instead taken up by the story of current family divisions.

What will be the result of this noble call for unity?  What will be the reaction of the Head of the Russian Imperial House?  What will be the reaction of Prince Michael Romanoff Ilyinsky, leader of the RFA, and of various Romanoffs  in the RFA, like cousins Olga Andreievna and Rostislav Rostislavich?  What will be the reaction of various non-Romanoff relatives?  We hope the reactions will be positive.  People of good will, even under difficult circumstances, often find a way to work together.  And when cousins who do not really know each other finally meet and start to spend time together, sometimes the results can be surprising, and friendships are formed.