The Imperial Tea Party. Family, Politics and Betrayal – The Ill-Fated British and Russian Royal Alliance


On 24th April 2018, UK publisher Short Books will release a new book by Romanov expert author France Welch, entitled The Imperial Tea Party. Family, Politics and Betrayal – The Ill-Fated British and Russian Royal Alliance.

Russia and Britain were never natural bedfellows. But the marriage, in 1894, of Queen Victoria’s favourite granddaughter, Alicky, to the Tsarevich Nicholas marked the beginning of an uneasy Anglo-Russian entente that would last until the Russian Revolution of 1917. 

As Frances Welch recounts in her inimitable wry style, the three extraordinary meetings that took place during those years, although well-intentioned and generally hailed as successes, were beset by misunderstandings and misfortunes. Whether it was the Romanovs suffering the draughty rooms and wet hunting expeditions at Balmoral, or Queen Victoria complaining about the food on her first and only state visit to the Russian Empire at the port of Revel, or everyone succumbing to seasickness on arrival at Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight.

The two families could not know, as they waved each other fond goodbyes from their yachts at Cowes in 1909, that they would never meet again. King George infamously denied his Romanov cousins exile in Britain when the Bolsheviks were closing in in 1917, but the murder of the Tsar and his family horrified him, and whether or not things might have turned out differently if he had accepted their plea for refuge has been the subject of speculation ever since.

The British and Russian Royal Families met three times before the Romanovs’ tragic end in 1918. The Imperial Tea Party draws back the curtain on those pivotal encounters between these two great dynasties; encounters that had far reaching consequences for 19th century Europe and beyond.

© Short Books. 16 March 2018

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Frances Welch to speak at Nicholas II Conference on 27th October 2018 in Colchester, England 


Romanov expert and author Frances Welch will participate in the Nicholas II Conference, to be held on Saturday, 27th October 2018 at St John’s Orthodox Church, in Colchester, Essex, England.

Frances Welch is the author of five books on the Romanovs: The Imperial Tea Party. Family, Politics and Betrayal – the Ill-Fated British and Russian Royal Alliance (2018); Rasputin: A Short Life (2015); The Russian Court at Sea. The Last Days of a Great Dynasty: The Romanov’s Voyage into Exile (2011); A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson (2007); and The Romanovs and Mr Gibbes: The Story of the Englishman Who Taught the Children of the Last Tsar (2003).

Click HERE for more information about the Nicholas II Conference, and to purchase tickets to this event.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 March 2018