Romanoff

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.

 

The 100th Anniversary of the Abdication of HM the Emperor Nicholas II

The Abdication of Nicholas II

 

 

 

The anniversary of the abdication of His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas II  (March 3/15 1917) will be observed with commemorations and solemnities in Russia and abroad.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia has said that he will observe the important date in prayer and commemoration; the day will be marked by a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy, as established by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its March 9th meeting in Moscow. (Read about it here).  The date of the abdication is also the feast of the “Reigning” or “Enthroned” Icon of the Mother of God which miraculously appeared in the village of Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, on the same day as the Emperor’s abdication.

Russian Legitimist is pleased to present a new research paper on the topic of the abdication which is now on our site here, in our Research section.  The paper is a careful Legitimist interpretation the Fundamental Laws which are pertinent to the abdication, and it addresses several issues regarding the act of Abdication and the subsequent Manifesto of deferral, seen within the context of the Fundamental Laws.

To read the article. Click HERE.

 

2017-01-04. The Russian Imperial House launches complete website redesign

2017-01-04. The Russian Imperial House launches complete website redesign

The Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House quietly launched a complete redesign of the website of the House of Romanoff in time for the New Year.

The revised bilingual website lavishly illustrated with historical images and documents is a more interactive and accessible version of the previous site.  While all the information on the previous site appears to be available, the new organization of dropdown menus and choices makes the 2017 relaunch more accessible to supporters and other interested parties, such as academics and the press, eager for new information and scholarly materials about the Dynasty today.

The fresh site shows that the Imperial House takes 21st century communication methods with the public seriously, and has taken a big step forward.

To vist the new Imperial House website:

CLICK HERE

2016-12-23 The Russian Legitimist Sends Birthday Wishes to the Head of the Imperial House.

The Russian Legitimist extends its best wishes to Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, Head of the Russian Imperial House, on her birthday (December 23).  We also respectfully extend to the Grand Duchess sincere best wishes for a happy Christmas and healthy and productive New Year 2017.  

We note that during 2017, Russia will observe the centenary of the Russian Revolution (and thus of the fall of the Russian monarchy) as well as the 25th anniversary of the Grand Duchess Maria's succession as Head of the Imperial House (and thus the 25th anniversary of the passing of her beloved Father, His Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Wladimir, head of the dynasty for more than 53 years). 

Многая лета!

2016-12-19 The Head of the House of Romanoff offers her condolences on the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Gennadievich Karlov

2016-12-19 The Head of the House of Romanoff offers her condolences on the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Gennadievich Karlov

FROM THE HEAD OF THE RUSSIAN IMPERIAL HOUSE

I was shocked to learn the news of the murder of Andrei Gennadievich Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey.

I and my son, the Grand Duke George of Russia, extend our deepest condolences to Ambassador Karlov’s family, friends, and colleagues. We pray fervently for the repose of the soul of this servant of Russia, killed so viciously in the line of duty.

I hope that this heinous crime will be fully investigated by authorities, and that all those responsible for aiding and abetting this act of terrorism will be apprehended and swiftly brought to justice.

H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

Madrid, December 19, 2016

2016-12-19 Глава Дома Романовых выразила соболезнование в связи со злодейским убийством Посла Российской Федерации в Турции А.Г. Карлова

ОТ ГЛАВЫ РОССИЙСКОГО ИМПЕРАТОРСКОГО ДОМА

Потрясена известием о злодейском убийстве Посла Российской Федерации в Турции Андрея Геннадьевича Карлова.

Я и мой сын Великий Князь Георгий Михайлович выражаем наши глубокие соболезнования родным, друзьям и коллегам дипломата, принявшего смерть при исполнении своего долга, и молимся о упокоении его души.

Надеюсь, что это отвратительное преступление будет тщательно расследовано, и виновные в организации террористического акта будут найдены и подвергнутся заслуженной каре.

Е.И.В. ВЕЛИКАЯ КНЯГИНЯ МАРИЯ ВЛАДИМИРОВНА

Мадрид, 19 декабря 2016 года

2016-09-30 An Appeal from the Imperial House to donate to the construction of the Cathedral of Ss. Cyril and Methodius

 

For the original Russian article from "Monarkhist", click here

2016-09-30.  The House of Romanoff urges all those who wish to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the birth of Emperor-in-Exile Kirill Vladimirovich to donate to the construction of the Cathedral of Ss. Cyril and Methodius

September 30/October 13, 2016, marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of Emperor-in-Exile Kirill Vladimirovich (1876-1938), the grandfather of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia.

By the mercy of God, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia made an official visit to the Republic of Kalmykia shortly before the date of this significant anniversary, touring the construction site in the city of Elista where a new Cathedral of the Holy and Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius is being built.

On September 21, 2016, on the Feast Day of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God, the Head of the House of Romanoff, after attending services in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan with His Eminence Archbishop Justinian of Elista and Kalmykia, went to the 7th borough of Elista, where the new cathedral is being built.  There, the Grand Duchess toured the construction site and surveyed the progress to date with the Head of the Eparchial Office for Church Construction, Sergei Sholokhov. 

Her Imperial Highness in her statements at the time noted the importance of building a new cathedral in honour of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in the capital of Kalmykia, and expressed her best wishes to all on completing the construction, promising to return for the consecration of this magnificent cathedral.

Once, during their far-ranging missionary work, the two sainted brothers traveled through the land of present-day Kalmykia.  It is thus especially appropriate that this new cathedral in Elista should be dedicated in their honour.  Ss. Cyril and Methodius, regarded by the Church as being Equal-to-the-Apostles for their missionary work among the Slavs, were the creators of the Slavic written language and were great enlighteners of the Faith among many pagan peoples.  The younger of the two, St. Cyril, is the Heavenly patron of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia and of the Emperor Kirill I Vladimirovich, of blessed memory.

The Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, urges all her countrymen to pray for the soul of her grandfather, and also expresses her hope that all those who desire to do good works in his memory make a donation to the construction of the Cathedral of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Elista.

In this connection, the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House calls on all traditionalist and monarchist organizations and on all our countrymen who honour the heritage of our country, to arrange for memorial services, or panikhidas, to be served on October 13, 2016, or on the nearest Sunday, for Emperor-in-Exile Kirill Vladimirovich, after which donations can be collected for the construction of the Cathedral of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Elista.  Sums collected at that time should be sent directly to the Board of Trustees of the Elista and Kalmykia Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church for the Fund for the Construction of this Cathedral.

Of course, donations for the construction of the Cathedral of Ss. Cyril and Methodius can be made not only by groups but by individuals, as well.

When donating as part of a group, we recommend that you include a list of individual donors—last name, first name, and (where appropriate) patronymic.  A model for how to compile a donor list can be found below.

Those who respond to this call for donations from Grand Duchess Maria of Russia are encouraged to send a copy of the list of donors and the receipt of the money transfer to the email address:  keiv@mail.ru.

Russian and foreign donors who have most generously given to this cause will receive a personal note of thanks from the Head of the Russian Imperial House.

 

Account information for the Fund for the Construction of the Cathedral in the City of Elista

Account number:  40703810360300100653

Stavropol Branch № 5230 Sberbank Stavropol

Correspondent Account:  30101810907020000615

BIK (Bank Identification Code): 040702615

Religious Organization “Elistinskaia i Kalmytskaia Eparkhiia Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi (Moskovskii Patriarkhat) [The Elista and Kalmykia Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate]

Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN):  0814062969 Registration Reason Code (KPP):  081601001

The website of the Board of Trustees of the Elista and Kalmykia Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church for the Fund for the Construction of the Cathedral of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Elista:  http://fond-hram.pravorg.ru/

A Sample Donors List:

Donors List

Donors and Donations in Memory of Emperor-in-Exile Kirill I Vladimirovich toward the Construction of the Cathedral of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius in the City of Elista

 

 

City:  _____________________, Church:  ____________________,

13 October 2016

 

№№    Surname, First Name, Patronymic   Donation (amount in numbers and written out)  Signature

1                                 

2                                 

3                                 

…                                

99                              

100                            

Итог:

100 лиц

 

                        Общая сумма (цифрой и прописью):     

 

Kirill Vladimirovich—Grand Duke; after July 4/17, 1918, senior most member of the Russian Imperial House; Curator of the Imperial Throne from 1922 to 1924; Emperor-in-Exile from 1924 to 1938.

 

H.I.H. Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich was born on September 30/October 13, 1876, at Tsarskoe Selo, of the marriage of H.I.H. Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (the brother of Emperor Alexander III the Peace-Maker) and H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (née Princess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin).

In 1891, the young Grand Duke entered the Naval Cadets Corps, and afterward all his military service was spent in the navy. 

In 1897, he raised the Russian flag over Port Arthur—the Russian naval enclave in the Chinese Empire. 

At the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, the Grand Duke was quickly deployed to the war theater.  As the chief-of-staff to Admiral Stepan Makarov, Grand Duke Kirill was next to him on the bridge of the battleship Petropavlovsk when it hit a Japanese mine and quickly sank.  Nearly the entire crew went down with the ship, but Grand Duke Kirill, semi-conscious and badly burned, was among the few who managed to swim away from the sinking hulk and wait for rescue.  When his rescuers finally noticed him in the water, he is reported to have called out them:  “I’m alright.  Save the others!”  It is perhaps significant that the day the Grand Duke was rescued from the waters off Port Arthur—March 31/April 13, 1904—is the Feast Day of St. Ipatii, Bishop of the Ganges—the Heavenly patron of Holy Trinity-Ipatievsky Monastery, where the first tsar of the House of Romanoff, Mikhail I Fedorovich, was when he was called to the throne by the representatives of the Assembly of the Land. 

As a result of his head injuries, Grand Duke Kirill was forced temporarily to take a medical leave from his naval duties, and he left for treatment in Europe.  On September 26/October 8, 1905, in Bavaria, he married H.R.H. Princess Victoria-Melita of Great Britain and Ireland, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (who, after conversion to Orthodoxy, took the name Victoria Feodorovna).  Inasmuch as Victoria-Melita’s first husband had been the brother of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (Emperor Nicholas II’s wife), the Russian empress did not at first approve of the marriage, and for a time, Emperor Nicholas II also refused to acknowledge officially Kirill Vladimirovich’s marriage.  But in 1907, the Emperor realized the injustice of his earlier attitude toward this marriage, and on July 15/28, 1907, he issued a decree formally recognizing the marriage of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna.  As a result, the relationship between the Imperial Family (the Emperor and Empress) and the Grand Duke and his wife, which had become strained since 1905, was fully restored.   

During the First World War, Grand Duke Kirill was appointed to the Staff of the Supreme Commander of the Naval Department.  On February 23/March 7, 1916, Nicholas II promoted him to Vice-Admiral. 

Up until the February Revolution, Grand Duke Kirill commanded the Navy Guards.  The Grand Duke was in the capital at the time of the uprising in St. Petersburg.  Together with his uncle, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich, Grand Duke Kirill risked his life making a courageous attempt to save the throne of his cousin, Emperor Nicholas II.  But his efforts were unsuccessful because of the disloyalty of some generals and of some members of the State Duma.  Deeply disturbed and alarmed by the abdication and arrest of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, he resigned his commissions and, in June, left St. Petersburg for Finland with his pregnant wife and two daughters, Maria and Kira.  Kirill’s son, Wladimir, was born after the family’s arrival in Finland. 

After the Bolsheviks had executed Nicholas II, the Heir Aleksei Nikolaevich, and Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich in 1918—that is, the entire male line of descent from Emperor Alexander III—the succession to the throne passed to the descendants of Emperor Alexander II.  The most senior of remaining members of the dynasty was now Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich. 

In 1922, when the Grand Duke was still not certain of the deaths of those members of the dynasty who were more senior to him, Kirill declared himself merely the Curator of the Imperial Throne.  When the last remaining doubts about the fate of the Royal Martyrs had finally been put away, Kirill Vladimirovich, in full accord with the provisions of the Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire, assumed the title of Emperor in Exile on August 31/September 13, 1924. 

Kirill I did a great deal to alleviate the plight and suffering of his countrymen in exile, but his main focus was always on the situation in Russia.  Kirill I strongly condemned foreign intervention in Russia and always asserted that the Russian people themselves would overthrow the Communist regime and restore Russia to its proper, historical path of development.  The main task, as Kirill I saw it, was to preserve the monarchical traditions of the Russian nation and the legal foundations of the Russian Imperial House, so that there would always be a legitimate successor to the Russian throne, raised in the Orthodox faith, instilled with love for the homeland, and ready to heed the call if ever the People of Russia should wish the return of the monarchy. 

After 1928, the Emperor in Exile and his family spent most of their time at Ker Argonid, the home in St.-Briac (Brittany, France) that they had purchased.  The death of Empress Victoria Feodorovna in 1936 came as a heavy blow to Kirill I.  The injuries he sustained on the Petropavlovsk on March 31/April 13, 1904, plus the powerful yearning he felt for his homeland all his life in exile, all took a toll on his health.  In September 1938, it was discovered that the Emperor had gangrene on his feet, which resisted all treatment. 

Emperor Kirill I died on the eve of his birthday, in a hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris.  On October 6/19, 1938, he was buried in the Family Crypt of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in Coburg, but he left instructions that he should be reburied in Russia as soon as that should become possible. 

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the late Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna of Russia, on February 22/March 7, 1995, the remains of Emperor Kirill I and Empress Victoria Feodorovna were moved to the Family resting place of the House of Romanoff, the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.  When the grave of the Emperor was opened in Coburg, it was discovered that the remains were incorrupt. 

In the history of Russia, Kirill Vladimirovich will always be known as the Tsar-Confessor, who, in the harshest conditions imaginable, preserved the holy traditions of the legitimate Orthodox monarchy

2016-07-15. The Head of the House of Romanoff and the Tsesarevich mourn the loss of life in the terror attack in Nice, France

2016-07-15

The Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia are shocked and saddened by the loss of life and many injuries suffered in the terror attack in Nice, France. Their Imperial Highnesses extend their deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and friends of those who have perished, and pray for the repose of souls of those who lost their lives and for a quick recovery of those injured.

The response to this heinous and brutal crime, committed in a city that has such cultural and historical importance to both France and Russia, must be an even greater rallying of our peoples together in the global struggle against the evil of ungodly and inhuman terrorism.

15 июля 2016 года

Глава Российского Императорского Дома Е.И.В. Государыня Великая Княгиня Мария Владимировна и Е.И.В. Государь Наследник Цесаревич и Великий Князь Георгий Михайлович скорбят в связи с террористическим актом в Ницце. Их Императорские Высочества выражают глубокие соболезнования родным и близким погибших, молятся о упокоении убиенных и о скорейшем исцелении раненых.

Ответом на очередное отвратительное и зверское преступление, совершенное в городе, имеющем особое культурно-историческое значение и для Франции, и для России, должно стать еще большее сплочение наших народов во всеобщей борьбе с всемирным злом безбожного и бесчеловечного терроризма.

 


 

 

 

2016-05-20. The Head of the House of Romanoff and the Heir visit Crimea and Sevastopol

2016-05-20. The Head of the House of Romanoff and the Heir visit Crimea and Sevastopol, May 15-20, 2016

From May 15 to May 20, 2016, 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, traveled to Crimea and Sevastopol, a trip that coincides with the 100th anniversary of the last visit of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers Emperor Nicholas II and his family to Crimea. Their Imperial Highnesses arrived in Crimea on the invitation of the Speaker of the State Assembly of the Republic of Crimea, Vladimir Andreevich Konstantinov. This visit of the Head of the House of Romanoff and the Tsesarevich is their first visit since the unification of Crimea with Russia. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia had previously been to Crimea as part of her visits to Ukraine in 2011 and 2013. Grand Duke George visited Crimea for the first time in 2013 together with his mother.

Accompanying Their Imperial Highness were the Director of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Alexander N. Zakatov; the advisor to the Chancellery for Interregional and International Relations, Prince Vadim O. Lopukhin; the Chief of Heraldry, Stanislaw V. Dumin, and the advisors to the Chancellery Vladislav V. Pilkevich and Kirill K. Nemirovich-Danchenko.

On May 15, Their Imperial Highnesses arrived in Moscow. First, Grand Duke George of Russia arrived from Brussels, and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia arrived later from Madrid. They were met at Sheremetevo Airport by the Permanent Representative in Moscow of the Republic of Crimea, by members of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, and by other members of the public.

That same day, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, her Heir, and those accompanying them during this trip, departed from Moscow for Simferopol, where they were met by Sergei Pavlovich Tsekov, a member of the Federation Council for the Republic of Crimea; Andrei Dmitrievich Kozenko, the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly of the Republic of Crimea; Efim Zisievich Fiks, the Chairman of the Committee for State Construction and Local Self-Government of the State Assembly of the Republic of Crimea; Iurii Vikotorovich Averin, a staff advisor to the Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Crimean Federal District; Archpriest Ioann Mikhailovich Shimon, the Dean of the Second Simferopol Deanery; and by Vladislav Valerievich Pilkevich, advisor to the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House for Relations with the Organs of Government, and Religious and Civil organizations in the Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.

See the official press reports released by the State Assembly of the Republic of Crimea here: http://crimea.gov.ru/news/16_05_16.

For other photos, see here: https://vk.com/photo-1323320_415998095.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During their visit, Their Imperial Highnesses stayed at the Hotel Ukraine.

On May 16, the Grand Duchess and the Tsesarevich went to Yevpatoria, where they were greeted by Sergei Nikolaevich Kudrin, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea to the President of the Russian Federation, and by Elmar Izetovich Mambetov, the Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Yevpatoria.

Their Imperial Highnesses began their visit to the city by going to the Karaite Kenesa. They were greeted in the Vineyard Courtyard (Vinogradnyi dvore) by the Chairman of the Spiritual Council of the Karaites, by Hazzan (Cantor) David Zakharovich Tiriyaki, who delivered a welcoming speech describing the history of the Karaite community and its service to the nation, and by the Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Yevpatoria, Elmar Izetovich Mambetov. David Zakharovich Tiriyaki then described for the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess the project to build a memorial fountain to commemorate the visit of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearer Emperor Nicholas II to the Kenesa.

Their Imperial Highnesses then participated in the unveiling of a memorial plaque commemorating Nicholas II’s visit 100 years ago.

See photos here: : http://my-evp.ru/knyaginya-romanova-otkryla- memorialnuyu-dosku-nikolaya-ii-v-karaimskix-kenasax/.

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess also placed flowers in the Memorial Courtyard.

Afterward, in the Marble Courtyard, Their Imperial Highnesses visited the stele in honour of Emperor Alexander I, who was the special patron of the Karaite community and had exempted them from compulsory military service. In the Courtyard of Waiting for the Prayer Ritual, the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke were told of the many privileges that had been given to the Karaite community by Russia’s emperors. And when they made their way to the portico of the Kenesa, the Grand Duchess and the Heir learned about the historical details of the restoration work of these and other buildings in the Kenesa complex.

Their Imperial Highnesses passed through the Royal Gates and into the Kenesa and listened as prayers for the Imperial House were raised to Heaven. Then they toured the building and visited the school and museum attached to the Kenesa. In the museum, Their Imperial Highnesses were shown footage of the visit in 1916 to Yevpatoria of the Holy Royal Passion- Bearers. The Head of the Russian Imperial House awarded the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislaw II Class and the Imperial Commemorative Medal of the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanoff, 1613-2013” to D. Z. Tiriyaki, and the Imperial Order of St. Anna III Class to the Honorary Chairman of the Spiritual Council of Karaites, David Moiseevich El, and to the philanthropist Solomon Borisovich Sinani. Their Imperial Highness ended their visit to the Kenesa with tea and a sampling of some traditional Karaite dishes.

From the Kenesa the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke went to the Church of St. Nicholas in Yevpatoria, where, at the invitation of the Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin, they took part in the unveiling of a memorial bust to the Holy Royal Passion- Bearer Emperor Nicholas II. Their Imperial Highnesses were greeted at the entrance to the church by the Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin; by S. P. Tsekov, a member of the Federation Council of the Republic of Crimea; by Andrei Vladimirovich Filonov, the Mayor (Head of Administration) of the city; and by Olesya Viktorovna Kharitonenko, the Chairwoman of the Yevpatoria City Council.

 

The memorial bust was blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea, His Eminence Metropolitan Platon of Feodosia and Kerch, and by other clergy.

For photos, see here: http://my-evp.ru/v-evpatorii-otkryli-byust-nikolaya-ii- fotoreportazh/.

After the completion of the ceremony, S. V. Stepashin awarded the Head of the Russian Imperial House the Order of the Bethlehem Starthe highest award of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, of which the Grand Duchess is an honorary member. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia awarded Metropolitan Lazar and Metropolitan Platon the Imperial Medal “In Memory of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, 1914-1918,” and S. V. Stepashin the “Imperial Commemorative Medal of the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanoff, 1613-2013,” and the Imperial Commemorative Medals “Anniversary of the Nation’s Victory, 1613-2013,” and “In Memory of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, 1914-1918.Several Imperial Commemorative Medals were likewise awarded to other members of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society.

 

Afterward Their Imperial Highnesses attended a lunch in honour of the dedication of the monument, which was hosted by the Mayor’s Office of the city of Yevpatoria and by the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society. Also attending the lunch were S. V. Stepashin, His Eminence Metropolitan Platon, Andrei V. Filonov, Olesya V. Kharitonenko, members of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, the organizers of the project to erect the monument, A. N. Panin and S. Ya. Vaksman, other members of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, and members of the public in Crimea.

Their Imperial Highnesses then took a short tour of the seacoast and city of Yevpatoria.

In the afternoon, Their Imperial Highness visited the Juma-Jami Mosque in Yevpatoria, where the Grand Duchess awarded the “Imperial Commemorative Medal of the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanoff, 1613-2013,” to the regional Imam of Yevpatoria, Eskender Memetov.

For photos, see here: http://qmdi.org/index.php/ru/glavnye-novosti/2594- glava-imperatorskogo-doma-romanovykh-posetila-khan-dzhami-v-evpatorii.

After leaving the mosque, Their Imperial Highnesses participated in the opening of a new tourist hotel and park visitor center named “Romanoff.”

For photos, see here: http://my-evp.ru/knyaginya-romanova-otkryla- memorialnuyu-dosku-nikolaya-ii-v-karaimskix-kenasax/.

After returning to Simferopol, the Head of the House of Romanoff and her Heir met with the Chairman of the Spiritual Council of the Moslem Community in Crimea and Sevastopol, Mufti Emerali Seitigraimovich Ablaev. The Grand Duchess awarded the Mufti the Imperial Order of St. Anna and

 

the “Imperial Commemorative Medal of the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanoff, 1613-2013.”

During her meeting with Muslim religious leaders in Crimea, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, shared her impressions about her visit to Crimea, emphasizing her view that the peninsula is a unique place in the worlda place where members of different religions and nationalities live together in peace and harmony.

“This region should be an example to the entire world,” she said. “We must respect and understand each other. We must instill in the younger generation a respect and knowledge of other cultures and traditions, so that Crimea remains one of the places in our world where peace and mutual understanding reign.”

Mufti Emerali Ablaev in turn remarked that the chief goal of Muslim religious leaders in Crimea today is to help revive religious traditions in the community.

“What is most important,” Mufti Ablaev said, “is to revive our traditions. This is vitally important to us right now. Religion is the stone upon which human society is built.”

The leader of the Crimean Muslim community then presented the Grand Duchess and the Grand Duke a picture of the mosque built by Emperor Alexander I in the Horse Guards Regiment, which was made up entirely of Crimean Tatars. Mufti Ablaev underscored in his comments that the Crimean Tatars had always been loyal to the Emperor. The Crimean Tatars had been in the most elite units of the Horse Guards, and served as the Emperors’ personal escort.

It will be remembered that Emperor Alexander I built a mosque in Moscow to commemorate the heroism of this Regiment. In 1909 the Regiment was named after Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, memorializing how it had met and escorted her when she was still the bride-to-be of the heir to the throne, the future Emperor Nicholas II. After 1917, the Crimean Tatar Horse Guards Regiment remained the only military unit on the peninsula that refused to betray its oath of allegiance to the Emperor.

Building the mosque in the barracks of the Imperial Horse Guards was a truly great gesture of respect and affection by the Emperor for the Muslims who served in the Imperial Army,” Mufti Emerali Ablaev said.

The Grand Duchess noted that, during this trip, she had participated in deeply moving events marking the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars and commemorating the many lives lost at that time.

“I can understand your pain,” she said, “because the wounds are still fresh. Many are still alive today who witnessed the genocide of your people. We must never forget the history of what happened here. We need to remember it in order to build our future together.” The Mufti echoed her words: “We must never forget our history. Those who perpetrated this genocide are no longer alive and therefore cannot answer for their crimes. So it is for us now to remember and to make sure that it never happens again.”

Mufti Ablaev said that in the 30 years since the return of the Crimean Tatars from exile, there have been 70 mosques restored, and as many new ones constructed. Madrassas now have been established. Mosques now are places where the language of the Crimean Tatars is taught, the Koran is studied, and the basic teachings of Islam are introduced to members of the community. Every year, a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is organized for Crimean Muslims, and the construction of a main mosque has begun.

Grand Duchess Maria ended her meeting with the clergy of the Crimean Muslim community by wishing them all peace, happiness, fortitude, and patience, and she pledged to attend the opening of the main mosque when construction is completed.

(For more information, see: http://www.islamsng.com/sng/news/10726) On May 17, The Grand Duchess and the Heir traveled to Sevastopol.

Their Imperial Highnessesvisit to Sevastopol began with a stop at St. Nicholas Church and to the Brotherhood Cemetery, and they placed flowers at the monuments to the soldiers and Sisters of Mercy of the Crimean War and Second World War.

The Grand Duchess awarded the “Imperial Commemorative Medal of the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanoff, 1613-2013” and the Imperial Medal In Memory of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, 1914-1918to the rector of St. Nicholas Church, the well-known Church historian Archpriest Georgii Poliakov. Afterward, the Grand Duchess, the Grand Duke, and their party had tea with Fr. Georgii.

Then the Grand Duchess went to Balaklava, where she toured the exhibits in the Submarine Museum. She then visited several other sites in the city.

Meanwhile, Grand Duke George of Russia, Alexander N. Zakatov, and Vladislav V. Pilkevich, along with Anton R. Titsky, the president of the youth organization “Bastion,” went to nearby Cape Fiolent, where, together with trained divers and Archimandrite Tikhon (Maslennikov), who oversees the site, they dove to the Cross placed on the seafloor just off the coast. For photos, see here: http://nts-tv.com/rubriki/obshhestvo/10917/12387/.

At 12:30 PM, the Head of the Russian Imperial House met with the Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Government of Sevastopol, Alexander Gennadievich Pushkarev, and with the Acting Chairwoman of the Legislative Assembly of the City of Sevastopol, Ekaterina Borisovna Altabaeva. They then together placed flowers at the Eternal Flame and at the monument to Empress Catherine II the Great. Afterward, Her Imperial Highness attended a luncheon held in her honour by the Governor of Sevastopol. Grand Duke George and those accompanying him returned from their dive at Cape Fiolent in time to join the Grand Duchess at lunch.

Also present at lunch were the Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Rear Admiral Iurii Ivanovich Olekhovsky, Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Government of Sevastopol, Alexander Gennadievich Pushkarev, the Acting Chairwoman of the Legislative Council of the City of Sevastopol, Ekaterina Borisovna Altabaeva, the Dean of the Sevastopol Deanery, Archpriest Sergii Mikhailovich Khaliuta, and members of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House.

Then Their Imperial Highnesses attended services at the St. Vladimir Cathedral. The Grand Duchess awarded Imperial and Royal Orders and Imperial Medals to government and civic figures. The Chairman of the Sevastopol Naval Assembly, Viktor Pavlovich Kot, awarded the Head of the

House of Romanoff a certificate recognizing her as an honorary member of this organization.

That evening, the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke visited the Vadim Elizarov Academic Theatre of Dance, where a concert was performed in their honour. After the concert, Their Imperial Highnesses were the special guests at a dinner attended also by Aleksei Mikhailovich Chalyi, a Deputy in (and former Chairman of) the Legislative Council of the City of Sevastopol; Alexander Ivanovich Korolev, the former Vice-President of the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic; members of the Grand Duchess’s Chancellery; Alima Abelevna Belialova, the Director of the Imperial Cultural Center; Elena Alexandrovna Krasnenkova, a member of the Board of the Imperial Cultural Center; and Andrei Konstantinovich Ushakov, the President of the Crimean Nobility Association, with his wife.

After dinner, Their Imperial Highnesses returned to Simferopol.

On May 18, the Head of the House of Romanoff and the Heir placed flowers at the memorial to the victims of the deportation of Crimean Tatars, located in Park Salgirka in Simferopol, then departed for Bakhchisaray.

In Bakhchisaray, Their Imperial Highnesses toured the Khan’s Palace, then visited an exhibit of the photographs of Alexandra Blaginina. Then the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke went to the Devlet-Sarai Museum Complex, where they took an extensive tour of the buildings and grounds.

After a formal luncheon given in their honour by the Founder and Director of the Devlet-Sarai Museum Complex, Guliver Rustemovich Altin, Their Imperial Highnesses visited the exhibit “Tears of Memory” by the Crimean artist V. Sorokin, which commemorates the deportation of Crimean Tatars. They then met with Chief Imam of the Bakhchisaray region, Ramazan Asanov, and with intellectuals and other representatives of local society. Then the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke attended a conference “BakhchisarayA History of the City of Peace and Harmony.” Afterward they met with reporters and attended a concert.

Their Imperial Highnesses then returned to Simferopol and met with Aleksei Mikhailovich Chalyi, a Deputy in (and former Chairman of) the Legislative Council of the City of Sevastopol. The Grand Duchess awarded him the Order of St. Vladimir and the “Imperial Commemorative Medal of the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanoff, 1613-2013.” Their conversation touched on a number of topics, including the preservation of the region’s historical legacy and ways to memorialize the victims of the Revolution and the Civil War, while at the same time fostering reconciliation. The Grand

Duchess and Tsesarevich enthusiastically endorsed the idea of erecting a memorial to the forced Exodus from Sevastopol and Crimea of their countrymen in 1920.

On May 19, the Feast Day of the Holy Job the Long-Suffering and the birthday of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearer Emperor Nicholas II, the Head of the Russian Imperial House of Romanoff and the Heir, accompanied by E. Z. Fiks, the Chairman of the Committee for State Construction and Local Self- Government of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea, and Aleksei Iurievich Cherniak, Chairman of the Committee for Resorts and Tourism, placed flowers at the memorial complex “Red,” which is located on the site of a former Nazi death camp. The complex’s Director, Sergei Zhuchenko, presented Their Imperial Highnesses books and videos about the site. In the Church of All Saints of Crimea, the rector, Fr. Alexander Grin, and Hieromonk Nikon (Levachev-Belavenets), a member of Her Imperial Highness’s Chancellery who had come from Moscow, chanted the hymn “Memory Eternal” on behalf of those who had been martyred and murdered on this site.

Then the Grand Duchess went to St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Simferopol, where she met with His Eminence Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea.

After a moleben service, Metropolitan Lazar read the following formal greeting to the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke, and to the crowd gathered in the Cathedral:

“Your Imperial Highnesses, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and Grand Duke George of Russia,

Christ is Risen!

My heart was filled with joy when I learned that you would be visiting us in Crimea, a land that has been so very blessed by God. For many centuries, it has been the pearl of Orthodoxy. A Russian Athos. Its prayerful spirit has not been diminished over the years or by its many hardships. And we today have lifted our voices with you in prayer in this magnificent cathedral.

For the Imperial Family, Crimea was not merely some peninsula where their palaces were located. It was their favorite location in the Empire. An unofficial capital of the Empire. The Romanoff dynasty deeply cared for the development and prosperity of this Russian Riviera. Under their scepters, cities and roads were built. The Black Sea Fleet was created, vineyards were planted, and Orthodoxy was brought to this place. It would be no

exaggeration to say that it was thanks to the Imperial Family that Crimea became famous around the world. Crimea rivaled the other great tourist destinations in Europe. Crimea is a bearer of historical, cultural, and spiritual values that are significant to the entire world. All this bears witness to the genuine Christian love that the Imperial Family had for Crimea.

That same love for Crimea and for the people living here I see also in you, Grand Duchess Maria and Grand Duke George. I am very grateful to you for the reverence you hold for this land of ancient Tauris, which you display so plainly to all those you meet.

On this significant Feast Day, I pray you enjoy strength of body, spiritual joy, God’s help in all things, and success in all your many efforts and endeavours, for many years! Always remember our meetings and how we prayed together. May God bless you!”

The Grand Duchess and the Heir presented Metropolitan Lazar a copy of the Feodorovskaya Icon of the Mother of God, with inset icons of St. Alexander Nevsky and the Holy Royal Passion-Bearer Emperor Nicholas II. (See http://www.imperialhouse.ru/eng/allnews/news/2016/4485.html.) The Grand Duchess then awarded the Imperial Order of St. Vladimir and the Imperial Medal “In Memory of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, 1914-1918to S. P. Chekov, a member of the Federation Council of the Republic of Crimea. The Grand Duchess also presented Imperial and Royal Orders and Imperial Medals to a number of residents of Crimea, as well as other regions of Russia.

Their Imperial Highnesses then walked from St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to the building of the State Assembly of the Republic of Crimea, where the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess met with members of the Presidium: Efim Zisievich Fiks, the Chairman of the Committee for State Construction and Local Self-Government of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea; Aleksei Iurievich Cherniak, Chairman of the Committee for Resorts and Tourism; Edip Gafarov, Chairman of the Committee for International Relations; Yevgenia Aleksandrovna Dobrynia, Chairwoman of the Committee for Property and Land Matters; Sergei Anatolievich Trofimov, Chairman of the Committee for Legislative Affairs; as well as Oleg Georgievich Shishkov, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee for International Relations; and Alexander Aleksandrovich Shuvalov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Labor, Social Services, Health Care, and Veterans’ Affairs. Also participating in the meeting was Iurii Vikotorovich Averin, a staff advisor to the Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Crimean Federal District.

Among the topics discussed during the meeting was the situation on the peninsula since its incorporation into the Russian Federation. In particular, it was noted that, despite the efforts of some elements in Ukraine to destabilize the situation in Crimea by imposing a water, energy, and transportation blockade, the people of Crimea have remained resolute in their desire to be one with Russia.

For her part, the Grand Duchess shared with the members of the Crimean parliament her impressions of her visit to so many cities and regions in Crimea, noting that press descriptions in the West of what is going on in Crimea diverge significantly from what she observed on the ground during this visit. In her words, in every place that she and her delegation have been she has been warmly received by the people of Crimea, who appear to be living in peace and harmony with each other. “While it may be that the problems here are not being resolved as quickly as many would like, I remain convinced that soon these problems will find their solution and this peninsula will again become the pearl of the Russian Federation,” the Grand Duchess said.

After the meeting, the Presidium hosted a formal lunch in honour of the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke.

That afternoon, Their Imperial Highnesses met with the plenipotentiary representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the Crimean Federal District, Oleg Yevgenievich Belaventsev. Also attending this meeting were Lieutenant-General Nikolai Georgievich Vodorezov and Vladimir Alekseevich Bobrovsky. The Grand Duchess awarded O. A. Belaventsev and N. G. Vodorezov the Imperial Medal “In Memory of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, 1914-1918,” and she presented copies of books on the history of the House of Romanoff to all those participating in the meeting.

After a press conference in the office of RIA-Novosti (see (http://www.newc.info/articles/17881/), Their Imperial Highnesses visited the city of Massandra, where they participated in the ceremony at the Massandra winery of adding new bottles of the red port wine “Crimea” to the wine collection, a wine that had in his day been especially praised by the Holy Royal Passion-Bearer Emperor Nicholas II. Also attending the ceremony was the Head of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Crimea, Oleg Efimovich Prikhodko, who formally greeted and welcomed Their Imperial Highnesses to the winery. The Grand Duchess presented the Director of the winery, Ya. P. Pavlenko, with a formal charter recognizing the Massandra winery as an official purveyor of wines for the Russian Imperial House. For more information, see http://nts-tv.com/rubriki/obshhestvo/10917/12423/

 

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From Massandra, the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke went to Livadia, where they placed flowers at the memorial bust of Emperor Nicholas II and attended a service in the Church of the Elevation of the Cross in Livadia Palace. The Grand Duchess awarded the Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislaw to the designers of the monument, A. N. Panin and S. Ya. Vaksman.

That evening, Their Imperial Highnesses visited the town of Alupka, where they participated in the opening of an exhibition entitled “The History of Russian Perfumes and Cosmetics” in the Vorontsov Palace. While there, Their Imperial Highnesses had the opportunity to speak with the Director of the Vorontsov Palace Museum, A. P. Balinchenko, with the museum staff, and with prominent figures in local society and with intellectuals. They then returned to Simferopol.

Back in Simferopol, the Grand Duchess and Tsesarevich met with Elena Aleksandrovna Aksyonova, the wife of the President of the Republic of Crimea, Sergei Valerievich Aksyonov, who arrived to welcome formally Their Imperial Highnesses to Crimea.

Elena Aleksandrovna Aksyonova conveyed greetings from her husband to Their Imperial Highnesses, and the Grand Duchess asked that Elena Aleksandrovna likewise convey to the President, her husband, their deepest appreciation for the warm greetings. They discussed together a range of social and cultural topics, including plans to erect a new monument in Simferopol to the Grand Duchess’s ancestor, Empress Catherine II the Great.

Grand Duchess Maria of Russia presented E. A. Aksyonova with the “Imperial Commemorative Medal of the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanoff, 1613-2013” and several books on the history of the House of Romanoff.

Also present at this meeting were the Director of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Alexander N. Zakatov; the advisor to the Chancellery for Interregional and International Relations, Prince Vadim O. Lopukhin; and the advisors to the Chancellery Vladislav V. Pilkevich and Kirill K. Nemirovich-Danchenko.

That evening Their Imperial Highnesses attended a farewell dinner, which was also attended by those who had helped to organize this visit to Crimea and Sevastopol, including: the Vice-President of the Imperial Cultural Center, Mikhail Alexandrovich Krasnenkov; the Director of the Imperial

Cultural Center, Alima Abelevna Belialova; and members of the Board of the Imperial Cultural Center, Elena Alexandrovna Krasnenkova and Igor Vyacheslavovich Kuzmin. Also attending the farewell dinner were members of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House; the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea to the President of the Russian Federation, Sergei Nikolaevich Kudrin; the Assistant to the Deputy Permanent Representative, Iurii Iurievich Didenko; the Director of the A. V. Suvorov State Memorial Museum in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Gennadievich Gronsky; the President of the Crimean Nobility Association, Andrei Konstantinovich Ushakov, and his wife Elena; and others.

On the morning of May 20, the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke left the Hotel Ukraine for the airport, where they were accompanied by Efim Zisievich Fiks, the Chairman of the Committee for State Construction and Local Self-Government of the State Assembly of the Republic of Crimea. After their arrival in Moscow, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia received in audience the Chairman of the Foundation for the Support and Development of Education, Art, and Culture, E. V. Bayakhchian; and Colonel V. P. Poterukhin and the Secretary of the Knights’ Council of the Imperial Military Order of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Colonel O. V. Kuznetskov. The Grand Duchess then departed for Madrid. The Grand Duke remained in Moscow in order to continue his travels in Russia, which include trips to Riazan and St. Petersburg.