What is Her Imperial Highness’s Chancellery and what functions does it perform in Russia?
The current Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House was formed by Grand Duchess Maria of Russia on December 19, 2002, and was formally registered with the Russian government on January 17, 2003, as a “Nonprofit organization” (registration № 1037725002842). The Chancellery performs the clerical and organizational work of the Russian Imperial House and carries out the directives of the Head of the Imperial House. The Chancellery is located in Moscow and its Director presently is Dr. Alexander N. Zakatov.
The Chancellery includes a number of “offices” performing a range of duties on behalf of the Russian Imperial House. These include separate offices for Heraldry, Inter-regional Affairs, Church Relations, Foreign Media and Communications, and Legal Affairs. Included among the many duties performed by the Chancellery are: drafting correspondence and other documents to be approved by the Head of the Imperial House, establishing and maintain contacts with governmental agencies and regional officials, supporting research into the history of the House of Romanoff and Imperial Russia generally, distributing information on the biographies and current activities of members of the Imperial House, hosting cultural and academic events on themes related to the Imperial House, supporting the publication of books and articles on the history and current activities of the Imperial House, and maintaining the official webpage of the Head of the Russian Imperial House (www.imperialhouse.ru).
The current Chancellery is the successor to His Imperial Majesty’s Own Privy Chancellery, which existed during the Russian Empire until the Revolution of 1917, and is the continuation of the Chancelleries established by the successive Heads of the Russian Empire in exile: Emperor de jure Kirill Wladimirovich and Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich. Among Dr. Zakatov’s predecessors are such distinguished legitimists as Admiral H.G. Graf, private secretary from the 1920s to 1941 first of Emperor Kirill and then of Grand Duke Wladimir; Count Nikolai Wouytch, chancellor for Grand Duke Wladimir until 1976; and Ivan Bilibin, chancellor for Grand Duke Wladimir and then for Grand Duchess Maria until the 1990s.