Romanov Family

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:


2017-01-01. The Head of the House of Romanoff and the Tsesarevich mourn the death of Dimitri Romanovich Romanoff.

2017-01-01. The Head of the House of Romanoff and the Tsesarevich mourn the death of Dimitri Romanovich Romanoff. 

The Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House is sad to announce the death on December 31, 2016, in Denmark, of the second oldest of the relatives of the Imperial House, Dimitri Romanovich Romanoff. He was 91 years old.

HH Prince Roman Petrovich of Russia, with his wife Praskovia and his sons, Nicholas and Dimitri.

HH Prince Roman Petrovich of Russia, with his wife Praskovia and his sons, Nicholas and Dimitri.

Dimitri Romanovich Romanoff was born on May 17, 1926, in Antibes, France. He was the son of His Highness Prince of the Imperial Blood Roman Petrovich (1896-1978) and his morganatic wife, Countess Praskovia Dmitrievna Sheremeteva (1901-1980). With his death, the male line of morganatic descendants of the third son of Emperor Nicholas I, Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich the Elder, becomes extinct.

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, mourn the passing of Dimitri Romanovich Romanoff, and express their condolences to his widow.  They ask all their countrymen to join them in praying for the soul of the newly-reposed Dimitri.


2017-01-01 Глава Дома Романовых и Цесаревич скорбят в связи с кончиной Д.Р. Романова

Канцелярия Главы Российского Императорского Дома с глубоким прискорбиемизвещает, что 31 декабря 2016 года в Дании на 91-м году жизни скончался второй по старшинству из родственников Российского Императорского Дома Дмитрий Романович Романов.

Покойный Д.Р. Романов родился 17 мая 1926 года в Антибе. Он - сын Е.В. Князя Императорской Крови Романа Петровича (1896-1978) от его морганатического брака с графиней П.Д. Шереметевой (1901-1980). С его кончиной угасла в мужском поколении морганатическая линия, исходящая от третьего сына Императора Николая I Великого князя Николая Николаевича Старшего.

Глава Российского Императорского Дома Е.И.В. Государыня Великая Княгиня Мария Владимировна и ее сын и наследник Е.И.В. Государь Цесаревич и Великий Князь Георгий Михайлович скорбят в связи с кончиной Д.Р. Романова, выражают соболезнования вдове покойного и просят всех соотечественников вместе с ними вознести молитвы о упокоении души новопреставленного Димитрия.


2016-12-25. The Head of the Imperial House expresses her condolences on the loss of life in the crash of the Russian military aircraft near Sochi

2016-12-25. The Head of the House of Romanoff expresses her condolences on the loss of life in the crash of the Russian military aircraft near Sochi



It was with enormous sorrow that I learned of the news of the crash of the Russian military transport airplane, with the loss of 92 of our countrymen.

I and my son and heir, the Grand Duke George of Russia, express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this tragedy.  We pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives, and that God will grant strength and comfort to their families and friends.  I had the pleasure of knowing many of the victims personally, and I knew from many of our friends in Russia of the accomplishments and service of many others on board this flight.  All who perished were gifted and talented people, deeply concerned about the suffering of others, courageous, charitable, and utterly selfless.

May the Lord grant them rest in His Kingdom! 

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


Madrid, December 12/25, 2016



С глубокой скорбью восприняла я известие о катастрофе самолета Ту-154, унесшей жизни 92 соотечественников.

Я и мой сын и наследник Великий Князь Георгий Михайлович выражаем соболезнования родным и близким жертв этой трагедии. Молимся о упокоении новопреставленных и об укреплении духа членов их семей и друзей. Некоторых из погибших мы имели счастье знать лично, о служении других получали сведения от наших друзей в России. Все они были светлыми и одаренными людьми, неравнодушными к страданиям ближних, мужественными, милосердными и самоотверженными.

Да приимет их Господь во Царствии Своем!


Мадрид, 12/25 декабря 2016 года

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!

2016-09-30 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:

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:

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








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

2016-08-10 An Interview with the Head of the House of Romanoff in "Monarkhist"

A recent interview with the Head of the House of Romanoff touches upon important topics in Russian history, and in an insightful conversation, HIH the Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna notes the problems surrounding the study of Russian history and the complexities surrounding Russian historical interpretation.

Touching on topics of interest to Russians in the homeland as well as in the diaspora, the Grand Duchess expresses important views on the Church, education, family life, as well as the importance and dangers of myth and legend in the creation of a National identity.

Read the interview in English here.