Today, marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Russia’s last emperor and tsar Nicholas II.
Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov was born 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1868, in the Blue Boudoir of his mother, situated in West wing of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. Nicholas was the eldest son of Emperor Alexander III (1845-1894) and Empress Maria Feodorovna (formerly Princess Dagmar of Denmark, 1847-1928). He had five younger siblings: Alexander (1869–1870), George (1871–1899), Xenia (1875–1960), Michael (1878–1918) and Olga (1882–1960).
In honour of this historic day, I am pleased to announce the launch of my new discussion group Царебожники / Tsarebozhniki on the Royal Russia Facebook page.
My idea for the name was inspired by an article ‘Inside Russia’s secretive cult of Tsar worship: How royalism is thriving 100 years after murder of Nicholas II‘, published in the November 3, 2017 edition of The Independent.
Oliver Carroll, who is the Moscow correspondent for The Independent writes: “The Russian Orthodox Church’s inflexible position has given rise to a culture of ignorance and hysteria around the Romanovs . . . and at its extremes is a movement that has come to be known as tsarebozhniki or Russia’s “tsar worshippers”, who go one step further to sanctify everything the tsar did.”
While my discussion group falls short of the above description, I felt that the term Tsarebozhniki was an appropriate snub towards Nicholas II’s detractors.
For more than a century, the life and reign of Nicholas II has been smeared by historians and biographers. The negative portrait which they created of Nicholas II is largely based on the seeds of descent planted during his reign from 1894-1917. These were cultivated from a variety of sources: malicious gossip in the salons of St Petersburg’s nobility, anti-monarchist, revolutionary, Bolshevik sentiment and propaganda; the memoirs of White Russian and even members of the Russian Imperial family in exile.
Since the release of Robert K. Massie’s bestselling Nicholas and Alexandra in 1967, a plethora of books have been published on the life and reign of Nicholas II in both Russia and the West. It is the Western historians and biographers in particular, who have remained content in upholding the popular Soviet myths and lies about Nicholas II.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, a cache of new documents have been unearthed in archives, museums, and from private collections across Russia. A new generation of Russian historian has since taken it upon themselves to research these new resources, making many new discoveries and shattering many old myths.
Over the past 25 years, I have often been accused of hagiography or whitewashing the life and reign of Nicholas II. These accusations, plus the books and documentaries produced in the United States and Great Britain over the past two decades compelled me to address the issue.
In 2015, I launched Sovereign, a bi-annual periodical dedicated to the life and reign of Nicholas II. I wanted to give Russian historians and other experts an opportunity to have their say, by translating their works and thus making them available in English for the first time. Their works are based on new documents, diaries, including first hand and eye witness accounts of the events which shaped the reign of Emperor Nicholas II (1894-1917). Not only do their works challenge those of their Western counterparts, they provide facts and sources which dispute many popular held myths on some of the more controversial events of Nicholas II’s reign: the Khodynka tragedy (1894), Bloody Sunday (1905); the infamous bread “shortages” (1917), and many more.
Tsarebozhniki is a discussion group for adherents of Russia’s last emperor and tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918). It is for those of us who wish to take a stand against the popular negative image which has been held in the West for the past century. It is important to stress that Tsarebozhniki is not attempting to sweep history under the rug. There are no conspiracy theories, nor is my discussion group attempting to white wash Russia’s last emperor and tsar.
The Tsarebozhniki will discuss the life and reign of Nicholas II, current news, review books and documentaries, share photos, videos, and more. This group is open to Russophiles, Romanovphiles, Orthodox Christians, monarchists, and others who share an interest in Russia’s last sovereign and Christian monarch.
On October 27th 2016, I announced that I would semi-retire, noting that I would be devoting more time to pursuing issues which are important to me personally, particularly the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II. My promotion of Sovereign (watch for my full page ad in the July 2018 issue of Majesty Magazine), the launch of the Tsarebozhniki discussion group and the Nicholas II Conference which I will host in Colchester, England, are just the beginning!
Click HERE to join my new discussion group Царебожники / Tsarebozhniki, and take part in the discussions, and sharing of information, opinions, photos, and more! Please note that you must have a Facebook account to join this discussion group.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 May 2018