75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Peterhof


Ruined Grand Peterhof Palace and Grand Cascade, 1942

On 19th January 1944, troops of the 2nd Shock Army of the Leningrad Front broke through the blockade of New Peterhof and liberated the city from Nazi occupation. As a result of the January Thunder offensive in the days which followed, all the suburban Imperial palace-museums of Leningrad were liberated: Peterhof, Pushkin (Catherine and Alexander Palaces at Tsarskoye Selo), Pavlovsk, and Gatchina. The Peterhof Museum-Reserve was in sheer ruin. During it’s two year occupation, New Peterhof was on the front line, under constant artillery shelling and aerial bombardment from both German and Soviet forces.


Soviet soldiers survey the ruins of the Grand Palace, Peterhof in 1944

The eloquent testimony of liberated Peterhof was left by the senior researcher and museum curator M.A. Tikhomirova. According to Tikhomirova, who visited the city on 31 January 1944, “Peterhof is in an horrific state. The Grand Palace gives the impression of ancient ruins. The center part of the palace is completely destroyed, the wings of the building still stand, but inside there are no ceilings. There are no domes on the church, while the Neptune and Samson statues have been stolen. In Alexandria, the cottage is intact, but the entire decoration of the walls has been stripped and the furniture has been stolen.” 


German soldier in the Upper Garden of Peterhof, September 1943

The same hard impressions of the destruction seen in Peterhof were also noted by the and well-known writer, front-line correspondent P.N. Luknitsky.  “Walking around the Grand Palace, a narrow path displays a red cord and many landmines. There are no traces of fire on the remains of the walls. No roofs, no rooms, no ceilings, no rafters – nothing. Piles of stone and brick are covered with snow … The Germans turned the Samson Canal into an anti-tank ditch. The lower park looks like a neglected forest, part of it has been cut down.”

Red army soldiers with recovered paintings stolen from the peterhof palace (petrodvorets) and pushkin palace (tsarskoye selo) by the germans, abandoned in east prussia during the nazi retreat, world war 2, 1945.

Soviet soldiers discover paintings, stolen by the Germans from the Peterhof Palace, 1945

Immediately after the liberation of the suburban palaces, a large public discussion about their restoration was launched, in which the resolution of the State Defense Committee “On priority measures to restore industry and the urban economy of Leningrad in 1944”, adopted on 29th March 1944, played a major role. It determined that the suburban palaces in Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo), Petrodvorets (Peterhof) and Pavlovsk should be restored. In accordance with the decision of the State Defense Committee, on 23rd April 1944, the Leningrad Executive Committee adopted an historic decision – “On priority measures for the preservation of suburban palaces and museum parks”. According to the decree, it was necessary to carry out the cleaning and elementary improvement of the territory of the Upper and Lower parks of Petrodvorets. It was also necessary to organize the protection of palaces, pavilions, and parks.


View of the ruined Grand Palace and Lower Park, 1948

During the second half of 1944, the Directorate of palace museums and parks of Petrodvorets actively carried out work on de-mining and clearing the territory of the Lower Park, Upper Gardens and Alexandria Park from debris, as well as preserving buildings and searching for museum objects. To carry out work on clearing the Peterhof parks, the local population was widely involved, who participated on Saturdays and Sundays in July 1944. As a result, by the autumn of 1944, work on clearing the territory of the parks at Petrodvorets had been fully completed.


Locals help clear the parks at Peterhof in the summer of 1944

On 17th January 2019, a press tour dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Peterhof was held in the Lower Park of the palace complex. Elena Y. Kalnitskaya, Director General of the Peterhof State Museum-Reserve, and Pavel Vladimirovich Petrov, Head of the Museum Studies Department, spoke at the “Lessons in History” memorial on the significance of this historic date, and those who dedicated their lives to restoring and preserving one of Russia’s national monuments. 


The Grand Peterhof Palace and Cascade as they look today

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 January 2019


1.2 Billion Rubles Allocated for Restoration of the Alexander Palace


A recent photo of the facade of the Alexander Palace

On 18th January, an announcement was made that more than 1.2 billion rubles ($18 million USD) will be allocated for the restoration of the Alexander Palace and the Imperial Farm at the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve in 2019

The Government of the Russian Federation has finalized a draft decree which will allocate the necessary funding to complete the restoration of the Alexander Palace, ensuring that it will be open to visitors in 2020. In a previous news article, I noted that a partial reopening of the palace would take place in late 2019.

During a press conference held last Friday, Olga Taratynova, Director of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum, noted that several rooms of the Alexander Palace, where Emperor Nicholas II and his family lived, where planned to open in 2018, the year marking the 100th anniversary of the their murders on 17th July 1918. Unfortunately, their goal was not realized due to lack of funding. The initial estimate for the restoration of the historical interiors of the palace was estimated at 2 billion rubles ($30 million USD), but the federal budget only transferred 827 million rubles ($12 million USD), leaving the museum to look independently for the remaining balance. Ticket and excursion sales by the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Reserve raised 279 million rubles ($4.2 million USD). The Russian Government have promised to allocate 1,027,930,000 rubles (15 million USD) in 2019.


Vintage postcard of the Imperial Farm situated in the Alexander Park, Tsarskoye Selo

The Russian Government have also confirmed that an additional 187 million rubles ($2.8 million USD) have been allocated for the reconstruction of the Imperial Farm in 2019. This cost to complete this project is estimated at 713 million rubles ($10.8 million USD). Over the past few years, the Russian Government have invested 418 million rubles ($6.3 million USD) in the Imperial Farm, while the Central Scientific Research Geological Museum in St. Petersburg, contributed an additional 108 million rubles ($1.6 million USD).

The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve also have plans for the reconstruction of the Chinese Theatre and Mount Parnassus, both of which are situated in the Alexander Park.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 January 2019

This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia


PHOTO: Christie’s (London)

PHOTO: This bisque porcelain bust of Count Vladimir Borisovich Frederiks (1838-1927), was made by the Imperial Porcelain Factory, St. Petersburg in 1906. It sold for GBP 10,000, at a Christie’s (London) auction on 30 November 2015.

Frederiks served as Imperial Household Minister between 1897 and 1917 under Nicholas II. He was responsible for the administration of the Imperial family’s personal affairs and living arrangements, as well as the awarding of Imperial honors and medals. He was praised in his role as ‘the very personification of court life’.

He is often seen in photographs, easily recognizable by his large drooping white moustache, and always shadowing the tsar.

Count Frederiks was widely respected by Nicholas II. His long tenure, gracious manners, helped establish a close relationship with the Tsar and the Tsaritsa, calling them ‘mes enfants’ in private. He was one of the very few men at Court whom the tsar could trust.

* * *

This Week in the News includes a link and brief summary to full-length articles published in the past week from English language media and internet sources.

This initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page.

Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following 2 full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 19 January 2019:



THIS WEEKS’ ARTICLES – click on the red headline text below to read the respective articles

Exhibition on Russian Royal Family Opens in Prague

A new exhibition on the Russian royal family, “The Romanovs: Royal Service,” opened in Prague’s Russian Centre for Science and Culture on January 14, 2019.

Georgia Museum of Art exhibit features Russian aristocracy

Two exhibitions at the University of Georgia are in part stories of journeys.

“The Reluctant Autocrat: Tsar Nicholas II” will be up through March 17; the smaller “One Heart, One Way: The Journey of a Princely Art Collection” exhibition went up earlier and will come down sooner, on Feb. 10.

* * *


PHOTO: Livadia State Museum Preserve

PHOTO: Winter view of Livadia Palace

Having been to Livadia, which enjoys a Mediterranean-style climate for much of the year, and surrounded by palm trees, this beautiful photo puts the palace into a whole new perspective for me.

The residence of Nicholas II and his family in the Crimea, with a dusting of snow gives it a surreal magical quality.

* * *

Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia

This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia


PHOTO: OTMAA: A Photobiography of the Children of Tsar Nicholas II

After much delay, the first in a new series of titles from Royal Russia will be published in late 2019. Click HERE for more information about this highly anticipated title.

* * *

This Week in the News includes a link and brief summary to full-length articles published in the past week from English language media and internet sources.

This initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page.

Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following 12 full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 12 January 2019:


Click on the above image to follow our new Facebook page dedicated to Nicholas II

THIS WEEKS’ ARTICLES – click on the red headline text below to read the respective articles

Fabergé eggs go on display at the New Jerusalem Museum + VIDEO (in English)

Some of Fabergés’ most famous works are being exhibited at the New Jerusalem Museum, northwest of Moscow. The display includes an egg designed for the 10th wedding anniversary of Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra. It’s made of gold, diamonds, coloured enamel, velvet and ivory.

Rostov’s Savior Frescoes: Fire and brimstone in a brilliant setting + PHOTOS

Architectural historian and photographer William Brumfield writes in RBTH, about a complex expression of the early church’s wealth and power.

The Romanovs’ Twilight – a TASS News Agency project

‘The Romanovs’ Twilight’ features a family tree, with arrows which highlight descendants; another page reflects their years of life; a map which details the journeys of each of the 45 members of the Russian Imperial family who escaped Bolshevik Russia, seeking refuge abroad. Note: use your cursor to move around the page for more information

Locked up, lost, or looted: 5 Romanov treasures that have suffered different fates

The story of the Romanov crown jewelry collection is as mysterious as the family’s tragic death. While some of their gems were sold or lost, some survive to this day and are locked in the state vaults.

The Romanovs

Artists’ brushes have immortalised wintry scenes, ice, the snows of Russia, glittering Marriage Ceremonies, powerful Russian Emperors resplendent in uniform and Empresses in great finery with jewels. They painted a mother, surrounded by her children, who knew not of their approaching doom. A new genre was born; war photography, which captured the horrors of the Napoleonic and Crimean Wars which brought death and desolation.

Explore Britain’s relationship with Russia through art gallery at Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace hosts rotating exhibitions of art and treasure from the Royal Collection held in trust by the queen for the public.

Currently on display at the gallery are two exhibitions focusing on Britain’s relationship with Russia over the past 300 years through diplomatic alliances, linked dynasties and war.

Exhibition: The Reluctant Autocrat: Tsar Nicholas II

22 Dec 2018 — 17 Mar 2019 at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, United States

Life of Nicholas II of Russia on view at museum

Hillary Brown writes about a new exhibition “The Reluctant Autocrat: Tsar Nicholas II,” organized by the Georgia Museum of Art and on view through March 17.

The madness of 3 Russian tsars, and the truth behind it

Was Ivan the Terrible, who killed his son, truly mad? Did Peter the Great suffer from psychotic episodes? Was Paul of Russia mentally retarded? Let’s investigate.

10 of Russia’s most beautiful churches + PHOTOS

There are thousands of churches in this huge country, but rbth have (with difficulty!) selected the ones you absolutely must visit at least once in your life.

Orthodox Christmas and New Year’s greetings from the Russian Imperial House

From the Head of the Russian Imperial House HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, and her son Grand Duke George. *Orthodox Christians mark Christmas Day this year on 7th January, and New Years Day on 14th January

Ukrainian Diaspora Churches Under Constantinople Don’t Accept Sainthood of Tsar Nicholas II and His Family

It is fine if the Russian Orthodox Church wants to venerate Tsar Nicholas II and his martyred family as saints, but the Ukrainian Church abroad does not accept this canonization, according to Archbishop Daniel of Pamphylia, one of the two Constantinople Exarchs to Kiev.

* * *


PHOTO: Aerial winter view of the Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg – absolutely stunning!

* * *

Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia

Orthodox Christmas Celebrated in St. Nicholas Church, Shanghai


St. Nicholas Church in Shanghai, China

The solemn liturgy on the occasion of the Nativity of Christ was held on Monday in St. Nicholas Church in Shanghai, China. The liturgy was performed by the priest of the local Orthodox community, Father Ioann Shchelokov.

The Christmas liturgy was attended by members of Shanghai’s Chinese and Russian Orthodox communities, as well as many foreigners in the local Orthodox community: Belarus, Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Romania, the USA, Serbia, Ukraine and Ethiopia.


Father Ioann Shchelokov performs solemn liturgy on the occasion of the Nativity of Christ

St. Nicholas Church was built in 1932 by Cossack general Thaddeus Lvovich Glebov (1887-1945), in the former French Concession of Shanghai at 16 rue Corneille, now known as Gāolán Lù. It was designed by the architect Alexander Ivanovich Yaron (1875-1935), and funded by White Russians who settled in China in the 1920s-1930s after the Russian Civil War.

The church was consecrated in 1934 in honour of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, patron saint of Nicholas II. St. Nicholas church was the first church monument to Russia’s last tsar in the history of Russian emigration.

In 1936, Yaron wrote: “… how much this holy building is a monument to the Russian heart, a monument to the sufferings endured by the Russian people during the revolution, the symbol of which is the torment and death of Tsar Martyr and His August Family”

Local authorities only permit worship in the church on Orthodox holidays. The rest of the time, the church which is listed as a state-protected historical building is not used as a place of worship.

The last time that a liturgy was held in the church was on 19th December 2018, on the occasion of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker’s Day. From 2015, no services were held until April 2018, when the Easter service was held, attended by more than 300 faithful.

In 1949, most of the Russian émigrés left Shanghai. The church was closed in 1955. It was first converted into a warehouse and then a laundry. It was spared desecration during the Cultural Revolution by a portrait of Mao Zedong, hung strategically from the dome. From May to October during EXPO 2010, its loft was reconsecrated to allow Russian Orthodox services to be held there. The church later hosted a French restaurant, Ashanti Dome, on the upper floor, and a Spanish tapas bar on the ground floor called Boca. The building was declared a protected monument in 1994.

Initially, the central dome of the mosaic work at the church was turquoise in colour, the four domes on the sides were dark blue with gold stars, and the dome under the bell tower was of the three colors of the Romanov house (white, orange and black). There are currently no crosses on the church, which were once gilded. Inside the church was notable for its rich decoration and carved iconostasis, the top row of icons of which were painted by icon painter Andrei Stepanovich Berezin. The original frescoes are believed to be preserved under layers of plaster.

During a recent interview, the Russian Consul General in Shanghai Alexey Evsikov,  noted that local authorities have plans for the restoration of the church interiors in the near future. He noted that the building could be used as a platform for Russian-Chinese cultural exchanges.


Icon of the Holy Royal Passion Bearers, St. Nicholas Church in Shanghai, China

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 7 January 2019


ROC Issues Statement on Recognition of Ekaterinburg Remains


Members of the ROC participate in the new investigation of the Ekaterinburg remains in 2015

On 5th January, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow) issued a statement regarding the Russian Orthodox Church’s (ROC) position on the authenticity of the remains of Nicholas II and his family discovered in Porosenkov Meadow near Ekaterinburg. He made the statement during an interview on the telecast “Church and the World” on the TV channel “Russia 24”.

“We will make a decision only when neither the hierarchy, nor the clergy, nor the church people have any doubts that these are really the remains of the Imperial family,” said Metropolitan Hilarion. “Only such recognition will enable them to be solemnly reburied and revered as holy relics,” he added. 

It is important to note that the ROC had not been invited to take part in the examinations conducted by Western experts in the 1990s. Not only did the church not agree with the findings, the ROC still had many unanswered questions, which the original team of scientists failed to answer. See The Investigation into the Deaths of the Russian Royal Family and Persons of Their Entourage by Archpriest Oleg Mitrov, published in Sovereign No. 2, Spring 2016 (pg. 7-29).

Metropolitan Hilarion explained that for the Church, “the canonization of the Imperial family attaches particular importance to the investigation: if the remains are recognized as authentic, they become the relics of saints recognized by the Church, which is why the Church is so careful and cautious in this matter,” explained Metropolitan Hilarion,”

The Ekaterinburg remains were identified with maximum scientific certainty as those belonging to Nicholas II, members of his family, and four retainers at least twice. In the mid-2000s, a presentation of genetic studies was carried out in Ekaterinburg, which carried out DNA molecular analysis, which showed the absolute affiliation of samples to the genetic profile of the Romanov dynasty, including those living today. 

In the summer of 2018, on the eve of the centenary marking the murders, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation issued a statement with similar results, that the remains of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II and members of his family, found in Porosenkov Meadow, near Ekaterinburg, were authentic.

Nevertheless, the thesis put forward by Metropolitan Hilarion during his interview, was also formulated by the Holy Synod at a meeting held in Ekaterinburg in the summer of 2018. Apparently, members of the committee expressed doubts regarding the examinations.

Sadly, the matter remains unresolved, and the world continues to wait for the day when the Imperial family will be reunited and left to rest in peace, and closing the book on one of the darkest pages in Russian history.

Click HERE to read my article The Fate of the Ekaterinburg Remains, published on 4th January 2017.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 6 January 2019

This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia


PHOTO: I came across this photo of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna only this morning, I do not recall having ever seen it before, and am so taken by it, that I wanted to share it with every one.

What intrigues me personally about this photo, is that it depicts the Imperial couple in a relaxed pose, Alexandra is resting her hands on Nicholas’ shoulders. It is rare to see members of the Imperial family touching one another. This has to be one of the loveliest photos of the Imperial couple that I have seen to date.

* * *

This Week in the News includes a link and brief summary to full-length articles published in the past week from English language media and internet sources.

This initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page.

Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following 5 full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 6 January 2019:

THIS WEEKS’ ARTICLES – click on the red headline text below to read the respective articles



On January 1st, I launched a new Facebook page ‘NICHOLAS II. EMPEROR. TSAR. SAINT’, featuring news, videos, and photos from Russian media sources.

Follow the link above to join. Please click ‘LIKE‘ and ‘FOLLOW‘ to receive instant updates – thank you for supporting this important new project in researching the life and reign of Nicholas II

Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs: an intimate portrait of a doomed family

David V. Barrett writes in ‘The Catholic Herald’ about the exhibitions ‘Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs’ and ‘Shadows of War: Photographs of the Crimea’ at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, until April 28, 2019

10 of Russia’s most beautiful monasteries (PHOTOS)

RBTH have compiled a list of must-visit (or at least must-see) monasteries across the country, ranging from the grandiose to the cozily intimate, from the gloomy to the reverentially resplendent . . . BEAUTIFUL!

Russia searches for Napoleon’s gold

A Russian historian has come up with a new theory about the legend that the French Emperor Napoleon hid wagonloads of stolen treasure during his disastrous retreat from Moscow in 1812.

Russian Royals: Australia’s secret links to the Tsars, and why mystery remains over the Romanovs’ execution, a century on

I was consulted and quoted by journalist Sarah Swain in this article, published on 2nd January 2019, in 9NEWS in Sydney, Australia. The article features a few interesting photos and video.


1909 Alexander III Commemorative Egg

Lost Easter eggs of the tsars

According to Live Science Contributor Owen Jarus, between 1885 and 1916, the jewelry company Fabergé crafted about 50 ornately decorated Easter eggs for the Russian royal family. In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, some of these eggs went missing.

In 2017, Live Science revealed the existence of documents that show that two massive hoards of art and antiques were sent to New Orleans from the Soviet Union and Turkey in 1991 and 1992. The combined value of the two shipments was $164 million, which amounts to $285 million today. While the documents don’t state precisely what was in those shipments, it’s possible that one of the missing Easter eggs was among the treasures sent to the United States. There have been rumors over the years that some of the eggs made their way to private collections in the United States, and, in 2019, we may see one of the missing eggs come out of hiding.

* * *


PHOTO: The image of the icon of the Mother of God projected onto the dome of the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg – absolutely stunning!


Wishing you all healthy and happiness in 2019

Royal Russia Founder
Celebrating 25 years in 2019

* * *

Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia

Royal Russia – Memories of 2018 and Plans for 2019


Paul Gilbert at St John of Shanghai Orthodox Church, Colchester, England


2018 has been one of the busiest, most productive and memorable in Royal Russia’s 24 year history! On a personal note, it has been a truly remarkable year.

My journey to Russia in July, to take part in the Tsar’s Days events in Ekaterinburg was one which I will never forget. The memory of Emperor Nicholas II and his family were glorified in the city’s churches, the subject of exhibitions, and other events held throughout the city. The Patriarchal Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July, and my personal pilgrimage to Ganina Yama and Porosenkov Log touched the very core of my heart and soul. I am so grateful to have made the journey, bearing witness to an important page in Russia’s history.

In October, I hosted the Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint. Conference, at St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Church, in Colchester, England. More than 100 people came from 11 countries, to hear five speakers present seven papers on the life, reign, and sainthood of Russia’s last emperor and tsar. The event was a smashing success!

In 2018, I published no less than six new journals: 2 issues of Royal Russia (No. 13 Winter and No. 14 Summer) , and 4 issues of Sovereign (No. 6 Spring and No. 8 Autumn) , including 2 SPECIAL ISSUES (No. 7 Tsar’s Days and No. 9 Conference Proceedings).

I also took part in a a special 6-part video series commemorating the Romanovs Martyrdom Centennial, prepared by the Monastery of St John the Forerunner Mesa Potamos. Click on the following link to watch part 5, my interview The Conspiracy Against Nicholas II.

I was also the subject of an interview for the English language Russia Beyond (a project/brand established by the TV-Novosti company owned by the Rossiya Segodnya which is a state news agency in Russia). Click on the following link to read Why does a Brit fight for the truth about Nicholas II and the Romanovs? by Alexandra Guzeva.


Royal Russia will mark its 25th anniversary in 2019


First, and a major milestone is that Royal Russia will mark its 25th anniversary in September 2019!

I have no plans to return to Russia any time in the near future. I might, however, be interested in returning to visit the Alexander Palace – after the restoration of the palace is complete – however, that could be years away! I would also be interested in returning to my favourite Russian city Ekaterinburg in 2023, when the Ural capital marks its’ 300th anniversary.

In the meantime, my travel plans will find me spending more time in England, visiting friends, and exploring areas of the country as a potential spot in which to settle (retire), once I make the move across the Atlantic. Britain is scheduled to gain independence from the EU on 29th March, and I very much look forward to replacing my old red EU passport with a new black UK passport later in the year.


There will be NO new issues of Royal Russia published in 2019


 In 2019, I will downsizing Royal Russia, in order to free up more time to devote to my primary interest: the life and reign of Nicholas II. Please note the following:

(1) There will NO new issues of my bi-annual journal Royal Russia: A Celebration of the Romanov Dynasty and Imperial Russia in Words and Photographs, published in 2019. The No. 15 Winter and No. 16 Summer 2019 issues have been cancelled. 

(2) My weekly news updates by email will cease on Sunday 30th December. This is a very time consuming task, sometimes taking up my entire Sunday morning or afternoon. My mailing list is so large, combined with limits placed by email servers on the number of emails which I can send in any given day, have forced me to utilize numerous email accounts to ensure that every one on the mailing list receives my weekly news update.

Please note, that I will continue to translate articles and news from Russian media sources, and post them on my Royal Russia News and Facebook pages on a daily basis. 

I will also issue special news reports (i.e. updates on the restoration of the Alexander Palace, the Ekaterinburg remains, major exhibitions), and new book titles.  These reports will be sent from my royalrussia@yahoo.com email address.

Followers also have the option to bookmark my Royal Russia News blog or follow me on Facebook, for the latest English language news from Russian media sources on the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia.

(3) I will be shutting down three of my email accounts, effective 1st January 2019.

ALL general queries should be sent to my attention at royalrussia@yahoo.com and ALL queries regarding book orders should be sent to my attention at royalrussiabooks@gmail.com

(4) The Royal Russia office will be CLOSED on weekends and holidays. My office hours will be 10 am – 4 pm Monday to Friday.


A new web site dedicated to Nicholas II will be launched in 2019


The Nicholas II Conference was the official launching of my personal commitment to clearing the name of Russia’s last emperor and tsar. I will be dedicating both my time and resources in the coming years ahead to researching and writing about Russia’s much slandered tsar, via the following projects:

(1) I will continue to publish my bi-annual journal Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II, offering 2 new issues in 2019 (No. 10 Spring and No. 11 Autumn) in 2019.

(2) I can now complete several book projects, which have been in the works for a number of years now, among these are Nicholas II. Portraits and Monuments; My Russia. Ekaterinburg; Nicholas II in Post-Soviet Russia; OTMAA. A Photobiography of the Children of Tsar Nicholas II, among others.

(3) On January 1st 2019, I will be launching a new web site and Facebook pages entitled Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint., which will feature news, videos, and photos from Russian media sources.

(4) I will also have more time to engage in discussions in my Царебожники / Tsarebozhniki Discussion Group, which now has more than 600 members.

(5) I will also offer my services for the planning and organization of the UK-based Imperial Movement: A Society of Nicholas II, proposed by Father Andrew Phillips, at the Nicholas II Conference, held on Saturday, 27th October 2018, at St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Church, in Colchester, England. For more information about this society, please refer to Father Andrew’s paper, published in Sovereign No. 9 Nicholas II Conference Proceedings issue.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 30 December 2018



This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia


PHOTO: Earlier this year, this handsome framed portrait of Nicholas II was sold at auction in Moscow. Portrait by the famous Imperial Court photographer V. Yasvoin. 1912-13. The frame of Karelian birch features bronze overlays of laurel crowns at the four corners and the imperial crown.

* * *

This Week in the News includes a link and brief summary to full-length articles published in the past week from English language media and internet sources.

This initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page.

Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following 2 full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 29 December 2018:


PHOTO: Grand Duchesses Olga (seated center) and Tatiana (seated right) Nikolaevna taking donations in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, 1914

Countess Natalia Fedorovna Karlova (1858-1921) is seated at the table (behind Olga), Mikhail Ivanovich Goremykin (1879-1927) is standing to the left.

During the First World War, Countess Karlova was a member of the St. Petersburg Special Committee of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, to assist the families of those called up to war. She also allocated money for the maintenance of hospitals, one of which was opened in her home on the Fontanka in St. Petersburg.

Goremykin served as a chamberlain. He was the eldest of two sons born to Ivan Lohgininovich Goremykin (1839-1917) – Russian statesman, Secretary of State (from 1910), Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire (1906 and 1914-1916), Minister of the Interior (1895-1899), member of the Council of State (from 1899), senator (from 1894),and the last valid Privy Councilor of the 1st class (1916).After the Revolution, Mikhail emigrated to France.

THIS WEEKS’ ARTICLES – click on the red headline text below to read the respective articles

Prince Charles ‘Completely Overwhelmed’ By Russian Orthodox Liturgy

According to a recent interview with HRH Prince Charles, one can imagine that the sounds of a Russian Orthodox service are heard across Buckingham Palace once in a while.

The Romanovs’ Last Christmas: Tobolsk, 1917

Marilyn Pfeifer Swezey, drawing on primary sources including the Royal Martyrs’ own letters, recounts the Romanov family’s final celebration of the Lord’s Nativity.

* * *


PHOTO: A beautiful Christmas view of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo

The combination of the gilded cupolas, snow, and illuminations make it look like a page out from a Russian fairy tale

* * *

Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia

Memorial for General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev Held in Ekaterinburg


General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev (1859-1918)

On 24th December 2018, with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, an evening dedicated to General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev was held at the Tsarsky Spiritual and Educational Center in Ekaterinburg. Tatishchev was one of the few who remained loyal to the Tsar and his family, following them into exile, and was murdered by the Bolsheviks.   

The memorial was timed to the general’s birthday, and began with a memorial service held in the Church in the name of Nicholas the Wonderworker, which is situated in the Patriarchal Compound, on the territory of the Church on the Blood. The service was performed by Archpriest Alexander Salautin.

As part of the evening’s program, Mother Eustafia, a resident of the Novo-Tikhvin Convent, and member of the commission for the canonization of saints of the Yekaterinburg Metropolitan, spoke about the life of General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev.


Mother Eustafia noted that with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, the commission has been working for several years to collect materials for the canonization of General Tatishchev.

– In the course of our work, very unexpectedly, even for us, we managed to find a lot of information about the piety of those loyal to the Tsar. They were people of great faith, with a deep devotion to the sovereign, and they went to their “Golgotha” along with Royal Family,” said Mother Eustafia.

Adjutant General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev served Emperor Nicholas II selflessly for many years. “Noble, ideally honest,” “a merciful Christian,” “a man of touching kindness,” was how his contemporaries spoke of him. Ilya Leonidovich had deep faith and piety. His parents gave Ilya Tatischev a good education, but, most importantly, they planted in his heart a love for the Holy Scriptures and taught him mercy. From childhood, Ilya loved the gospels. When he began military service at the age of 20, his mother presented him with four small Gospels, with which he never parted with.


One of the few loyal supporters, General Tatishchev, voluntarily followed the Royal Family into exile, first to Tobolsk and then Ekaterinburg. It was here on 10th June 1918, he accepted a martyr’s death at the hands of the Bolsheviks and was buried in the cemetery of the Novo-Tikhvin Convent. In his memory, one historian wrote: “If the Russian tsar had more such nobles as Tatishchev, the revolution would not have happened …”.

After the talk by Mother Eustafia, a concert of sacred music was performed for the guests by the Gorlitsa Choir of the Missionary Institute under the direction of the choir’s conductor Tatyana V. Gnuskova. 


To learn more about General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev, click HERE to read my article Divine Liturgy for Two Loyal Servants of Nicholas II Performed in Ekaterinburg, published in Royal Russia News on 12th June 2018

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 December 2018