On 17 July 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the death of the imperial family, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Church of the Vernicle in the Winter Palace with the Dean of the Prince Vladimir Cathedral, Archpriest Vladimir Sorokin, presiding.
Members of the choir of the clergy of the Saint Petersburg Metropolis sang at the service, which was attended by Georgy Poltavchenko, Governor of Saint Petersburg, and descendants of the Romanov family, including Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Olga Andreevna Romanoff (President of the Romanov Family Association), Prince Rostislav Rostislavovich Romanoff, and the widow of Prince Dimitri Romanovich Romanoff (1926-2016) Princess Theodora (Dorrit).
Anatoly Vilkov’s gift to the Hermitage – a portrait of Nicholas II by an unknown artist of the late 19th or early 20th century – was put on show in the cathedral. The portrait, which until 1918 was in the museum of the Semionovsky Guards Regiment, is to become part of the permanent display of the “Arsenal” Department.
After the Liturgy there was a formal ceremony for the handover of the icon of The Miracle of George and the Dragon, a Stroganov icon from the first third of the 17th century, in a precious setting from the early 20th century. The setting was made in the Feodor Mishukov’s workshop and stylized “in the ancient manner”. The history of this icon is closely bound up with the Old Believer tradition and it is said to have been among the family icons of the Romanovs. The Miracle of George and the Dragon is expected to be kept in the Church of the Vernicle in the Winter Palace.
© State Hermitage Museum / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 22 July 2018