Moscow Artist Presents Portrait of Nicholas II and Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna to Pavlovsk

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Emperor Nicholas II passes the gymnasium in Pavlovsk, under the patronage of his younger sister the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna. Artist: AV Sokolov, 2018

The Olginskaya Gymnasium is a secondary school situated in the center of Pavlovsk. The building has a unique history associated with the Romanov family. In 1913, on the orders of Emperor Nicholas II, the school was transferred under the auspices of his younger sister, the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna.

By Imperial order His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas II on 4th November 1913, “had the grace to accept Pavlovsk Gymnasium for Girls, of Voronezh region under the patronage of Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, and name the Gymnasium after Her Highness as Olginskaya”, notes the document, which is stored in the “Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire”.  

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Olginskaya as it looks today

This summer, the Moscow artist Alexei Viktorovich Sokolov, an associate professor of the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts (MGHPA), painted a portrait of Emperor Nicholas II passing the gymnasium in Pavlovsk under the auspices of the Grand Duchess Olga Aleksandrovna.

The opening of the portrait in the gymnasium building took place after a Divine Liturgy was held in the Kazan Cathedral of Pavlovsk on 21st July 2018, attended by the school and city administration. The portrait was blessed by the bishop of Rossoshansk and Ostrogozhsky Andrew, who served a brief prayer to the Royal Passion-Bearers

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Memorial plaque to Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna

On 4th November 2017, a special plaque was unveiled on the facade of the gymnasium in honour of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 31 July 2018

From the Presidential Library Collections: To the Centenary of the Tragic Death of Nicholas II and his Family

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NOTE: all documents in the links below are in Russian only

July 2018 marks the centenary of the death of the last Russian emperor from the House of Romanov – Nicholas II and his family: the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, their children, as well as their entourage. They were shot on the night of July 16 to July 17, 1918 in Yekaterinburg in the basement of the house of mining engineer Nikolai Ipatiev.

The Presidential Library has digitized emigrant publications from 1920s and 1930s, many of which are devoted to the murder of the royal family. The e-format converts memories of the White Guards, emigres – contemporaries of the revolution, as well as portraits of Bolsheviks and statesmen of the early period of Soviet regime. Among the publications, for example, is the work by V. Rudnev “The Truth about the Royal Family and the Dark Forces” and the “Murder of the Royal Family” by investigator N. Sokolov (he was investigating the murder of the Romanovs) – these rare books are available in the Presidential Library electronic reading room.

The Presidential Library portal features publications that reveal the events that preceded the death of the royal family. The electronic copy of the book by S. Shtraikh and S. Yakovlev “The Last Days of Nicholas II: Official Documents. Stories of Eyewitnesses” (1917) gives the text of a telegram sent by the chairman of the State Duma, M. V. Rodzianko, to the tsar on February 26, 1917: “Anarchy is in the capital. The government is paralyzed. There is random shooting on the streets … It is necessary to immediately instruct the person using the country’s confidence to form a new government. Any delay is death. I pray to God that at this hour the responsibility will not fall on tsar”.

March 2, according to the old style, under the pressure of the leadership of the State Duma and the general who betrayed the emperor, Nicholas II signed an abdication of the throne for himself and his son Alexei in favor of his younger brother Mikhail Alexandrovich. The text of the abdication written by the Tsar is available in an electronic copy of the publication “The Chamber-Fourier Journal of March 2, 1917 with a record of the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II from the throne” (1917). The “Deprivation of liberty of the abdicated Nicholas II and other members of the royal family” (1917) from the Presidential Library illustrates one more letter from Nicholas which was hastily written by hand with the request “to take under the protection of the government all the members of the imperial house, since in such difficult times, all sorts of surprises are always possible”.

Immediately after the October Revolution, the royal family was arrested and sent to Tobolsk. The fact of secrecy of the exile is noted in Nicholas II’s diaries, who writes that they will be taken to one of the cities in the interior of the country. In the plans of the Bolshevik leadership was an open trial of the former emperor – for this expressed, in particular, V. I. Lenin, and the main prosecutor was supposed to make Leo Trotsky. However, there was information about the existence of “whiteguard conspiracy” for the purpose of kidnapping the emperor, and the Romanov family was transferred to Yekaterinburg and placed in the house of Ipatiev.

On the portal of the Presidential Library, you can open the digitized book by S. Yakovlev “The Last Days of Emperor Nicholas II: Official Documents. Stories of Eyewitnesses” (1917), the Berlin edition of E. Levin “Nicholas II. Revelation” (1914), and also get familiar with other sources that represent a tragic picture of the murder of the imperial couple and their children: the Grand Duchesses of Olga, Tatyana, Maria, Anastasia, the heir Tsarevich Alexei, and the people accompanying the royal family.

Long decades, it was not accepted to speak out loud about this tragedy. Today there is an opportunity to restore the events of that night thanks to electronic copies of such books as “Murder of the Royal Family and Its Entourage: Official Documents“, published by “Russkaya Mysl” publishing house in Constantinople in 1920. There is the following entry from the words of the inhabitant of Yekaterinburg, Kapitolina Agafonova there, whose brother, the Red Army soldier Anatoly Yakimov, guarded the house of Ipatiev: “One month in July Anatoly came to his sister, having an extremely exhausted look. When asked what had happened, he said in great agitation that last night “Nicholas Romanov, his whole family, the doctor, the maid of honor and the footman were killed”. According to Anatoly, who was present at the shooting, at 1 o’clock in the morning all the prisoners were awakened and asked to come down. Here they were told that an enemy would soon arrive in Yekaterinburg, and therefore they must be killed. Commandant Yurovsky, who had read the paper, fired a shot at Nicholas, then the Latvians shot and some “major” who came from the council. Those who did not immediately die from the shots, had to be “shot”, finish off with rifle butts and pin up bayonets”.

The burial place it was said of the Romanovs was first near Yekaterinburg, and then they were taken away and buried in different places, but where exactly, they did not inform. “Someone from the speakers, – according to the memories of Anatoly Yakimov – listed their names “Nikolasha, Sasha, Tatyana, heir” and some other names that he did not hear, and it was still said: “the thirteenth doctor”. This was Dr. Botkin”.

A very short protocol № 159 of the meeting of the Council of People’s Commissars of July 18, 1918 notes: “We heard the trial of the murder of Nicholas II. Resolved – take notice”. There were no other resolutions regarding this case.

The remains of Nicholas II and his relatives, as well as persons from the entourage of the monarch, shot in the house of Ipatiev, were found in July 1991 near Yekaterinburg. On July 17, 1998, the Romanovs were buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

In 1981, the Russian Orthodox Church abroad listed them as holy “martyrs”. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate of the murdered members of the royal family ranked the “passion-bearers” as holy.

In October 2008, the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation decided to rehabilitate the Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family members.

© Presidential Library. 30 July 2018

‘Last Days of the Last Tsar’ Exhibit Opens in Jordanville

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On July 17th, 2018, an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Tsar Nicholas II and his family opened at the Russian History Museum on the grounds of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York.

On the night of July 17, 1918, Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, their five children, and four loyal attendants were led to the basement of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, Siberia. There they were brutally murdered by their Bolshevik captors. Last Days of the Last Tsar narrates the events leading up to this grim finale and portrays the family whose life and tragic fate have fascinated the world for a century. This is the first exhibition in North America dedicated exclusively to the final months of Nicholas II and his family.   

The exhibition follows the royal family from the opulence of the imperial court to the increasing austerity and confinement under house arrest and in exile. Beginning with Nicholas’s magnificent coronation, the exhibition depicts the Romanov dynasty at the turn of the 20th century and offers a glimpse into the life of the Tsar’s close-knit family. It goes on to present a chain of somber and fateful events: the outbreak of World War I, the upheaval of the February Revolution, and Nicholas’s abdication. The family’s time in the Alexander Palace under house arrest, their exile in Siberia, and, finally, their death are illustrated by objects and materials that they took with them and were recovered during the investigation of their murder. While the family’s quality of life deteriorated and material possessions steadily diminished, their ideals and core values of faith, family, and service to the fatherland remained constant until the end. The exhibition concludes with the murder’s aftermath and the memorialization of these historic events.   

Drawn from the rich museum, archival and library collections of the Russian History Foundation, the exhibition highlights the unique objects and documents collected by Nikolai Sokolov during the 1918-1919 investigation of the royal family’s murder. The Foundation’s artifacts are supplemented by loans from a dozen U.S. collections, which range from splendid coronation gifts and luxurious objets d’art by Fabergé to modest personal effects found during Sokolov’s investigation. After being dispersed for a century, these objects are brought together, many of them displayed for the first time. The exhibition is also the first to publicly present recent findings of a DNA analysis conducted by the FBI that shed light upon the ongoing investigation into the identification of the remains of Nicholas II, his family, and their faithful attendants. 

© Holy Trinity Monastery. 30 July 2018  

Serbs celebrate Royal Martyrs with Liturgy and procession in Belgrade

Tsar Nicholas II was “one of the greatest rulers and tsars of Russia in his moral and spiritual qualities,” the Serbian patriarch said.

While 100,000 Orthodox faithful gathered in Ekaterinburg on the night of 16/17 July to honor the 100th anniversary of the Royal Martyrs, they were honored with another Divine Liturgy and procession in Belgrade the following morning.

During the events, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia praised Tsar Nicholas as one of the greatest Russian rulers, of high moral and spiritual character.

The day began with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the courtyard of the Russian Church of the Holy Trinity in Belgrade, after which a festive procession passed through the capital city’s central streets.

The procession was announced in all Belgrade churches last Sunday, and according to police estimates, the procession gathered about 10,000 faithful, including clergy, representatives of Russian-Serbian friendship organizations, and citizens of Serbia and Russia participated in the march. As the procession moved past the Serbian Parliament building, the choir sang “God Save the Tsar.”

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The procession came to an end at Belgrade’s monument to the slain Russian Tsar, where Pat. Irinej celebrated a festive moleben and addressed the gathered faithful, in which he referred to the Tsar-Martyr’s Orthodox character.

“All his life, he was accompanied by distrust, slander, and underestimation of his personality. And this happened, if we look at the time when tsarist Russia had numerous enemies, as it does now,” the Serbian primate said. In his words, the entire Romanov family behaved in a “deeply Christian manner” to the very end.

“No one knows what would have happened with Serbia and the Serbian people if he had not entered into the First World War,” the patriarch also added.

Then wreaths were laid at the monument to Tsar Nicholas II, with the participation of representations from the Russian embassy, Serbian politicians, priests, and public figures.

The monument to Tsar Nicholas was unveiled in November 2014 by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and former President Tomislav Nikolic. On the pedestal is quoted in Russian and Serbian Tsar Nicholas’ telegram to King Alexander of Serbia, saying, “All my efforts will be directed towards maintaining the dignity of Serbia… In any case, Russia will not remain indifferent to Serbia’s fate.”

© Serbian Orthodox Church. 29 July 2018

This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia

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Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert in Ekaterinburg for Tsar’s Days, 14-20 July 2018

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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 – now, with more than 147,000 followers from around the world!

Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following 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 28 July 2018:

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CLICK ON THE BANNER ABOVE FOR MORE DETAILS

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

“Such beautiful faces…” Nearly 90 rare photographs of the Imperial Family from six family albums

I feel truly blessed that I was able to be in Ekaterinburg to attend the Divine Liturgy for Nicholas II and his family on the night of 16/17 July, at the Church on the Bllod – PG

Remains Definitely Belong to Tsar Nicholas II and Family According to Investigative Committee

The ongoing comprehensive examination on the remains possibly belonging to Tsar-Martyr Nicholas and his family has confirmed that the remains do indeed belong to them, said the official representative of the Russian Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko.

We Continue to Participate in the Sin of Regicide

One day a woman called in to a live program on Radio Radonezh and reproached the commentator Viktor Saulkin for his words about repentance: “Do you think that all of us should gather in Red Square and kneel down? That’s really too much!” But Viktor Saulkin answered kindly and calmly: “No, it does not matter. What really matters is what we have in our hearts.” About twenty years have passed and today is the centenary of the Royal Family’s martyrdom.

Fr Nicholas Gibbes: The First English Disciple of Tsar Nicholas II and the First English Priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

A talk given by Archpriest Andrew Phillips at Barton Manor near Osborne House on the Isle of Wight on 7 July 2018.

NOTE: Fr Andrew is one of five speakers scheduled to talk at the Nicholas II Conference at St John’s Orthodox Church, in Colchester, England, on Saturday, 27th October 2018

#Romanovs100 top 10 clips on Nicholas II, Royal Family & Rasputin (VIDEOS)

100 years after the execution of the Romanov family, #Romanovs100 dedicated to the Empire’s last reigning royals came to a close. We look at the top 10 videos produced using 4,000 rare photographs the Romanovs took themselves.

Russia’s best jokes about the Romanovs

The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia for 300 years; people used to fear and adore their emperors – but that didn’t stop them telling stories (respectful or rude) about them. Oleg Yegorov writes in RBTH

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I highly recommend Helen Rappaport’s new book The Race to Save the Romanovs – PG

‘Many people failed them!’ Helen Rappaport talks #Romanovs100 and the race to save Imperial Family

July 17, 2018 marked 100 years since the Russian Royal Family was executed by Bolsheviks. #Romanovs100 spoke to historian Helen Rappaport about whether the tragic events of those days have been acknowledged in Russia and abroad.

Speech at the Centenary Observance of the Martyrdom of the Holy Royal Martyr the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna at the Russian Church of Saint Mary Magdalene Gethsemane

Speech by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem

60,000 faithful venerated relics of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr in Urals

This year’s Royal Days celebrations in the Urals were especially important and festive, with the 100th anniversary of the execution of the holy Royal Martyrs being celebrated on July 17, and the execution of St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess and sister of Tsarina Alexandra, the Nun Barbara, and Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov, the Princes Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich, and Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, and Grand Duke Sergei’s secretary Fyodor Remez being celebrated on July 18.

At the Crucible of History: The Centenary of the Romanov Family’s Murder

Many of you already know who the people in this photograph are, but for those who do not, let me tell you why I am featuring them, and what they represent to me. Above all else, in terms of my thinking, keep in mind the premise that “Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it…” Ryan Hunter writes in Pravoslavie.ru

She Followed After Christ: Holy Martyr, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna

“O Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” was the final prayer of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna before the black abyss of an abandoned mine swallowed her.

A Hundred Years Later

Today the Tsar is with Sts. Boris and Gleb, with St. Sergius, with Blessed Ksenia, with St. Seraphim. There is neither treason nor flattery around him. He has much more power and strength.

“He dared to serve a panikhida for Tsar Nicholas” – On the Fate of the New Martyr Neophyte Lyubimov

On July 19, the newspaper Izvestia reported “a message from the Ural Provincial Council on the shooting of the former Tsar Nicholas Romanov.”

On July 21,1918, Fr. Neophyte served a panikhida for “the newly-reposed, murdered former Tsar Nicholas” in the Church of St. Spyridon in Moscow, where he had been the rector after 1914. He was arrested that same night.

Elizaveta Fedorovna, the true saint of the Romanovs

Commemorating one hundred years since the massacre of the tsar and his family, many pilgrims focused especially on the relics of the Aunt of Tsar Nicholas II. She was a descendant of Elisabeth of Thuringia. Married to Prince Sergei Aleksandrovich, from Lutheran she became Orthodox. A saint not only of charity, but also of ecumenism and the multicultural world.

Russian Revenants: The Romanov Murders 100 Years On

Whatever factual mystery still surrounds the fate of the Russian royal family in 1918 may finally have been resolved by its centenary last week, but how their deaths will be understood by Russians themselves seems more unclear by the moment. Priscilla M. Jensen writes in ‘The Weekly Standard’

Was Nicholas II really one of the richest men in history?

Tsar Nicholas II ranks 4th, with an estimated net worth of $250 to $300 billion based on a 2010 exchange rate, however, was not as wealthy as many believe, and we’ll explain why. Georgy Manaev writes in RBTH

Royal Cousins and Imperial Russia

Princess Alix of Hesse (future Empress Alexandra Feodorovna) visited Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park on several occasions.

She was extremely fond of her Schleswig-Holstein cousins, of which the roots of this association began long before Princess Alix married into the Russian Imperial House. Royal historian Elizabeth Jane Timms writes in ‘Royal Central’

From Russia with l’Oeuf: why the Fabergé phenomenon lives on

From imperial St Petersburg to Mayfair and North Wales, the legend of Fabergé has captivated generations of aesthetes, writes Olenka Hamilton

Russian Communist Party seeks major probe into Bolshevik role in Romanovs’ killing

A Russian Communist Party MP has asked for the deaths of Russian tsars and other royals to be investigated, saying that the probe of the 1918 killing of the Romanovs is currently being used for propaganda purposes.

Before the firing squad: How the Romanovs lived out their last days 100 years ago

The deposed Russian royals lived in a heavily guarded Urals mansion, enduring constant mocking from their Bolshevik captors. With the White Army advancing towards the city, a decision was taken to summarily execute the family. Oleg Yegorov writes in RBTH

Why did Empress Catherine the Great invite so many foreigners to Russia?

Foreign fans with match tickets didn’t have to worry about visas for the World Cup in Russia, but this isn’t the first time the country’s migration laws have been relaxed. Over two centuries ago Catherine invited a whole load of Europeans to the country as part of a special manifesto, but why? Alexey Timofeychev writes in RBTH

Resistance during the Time of Troubles: The monastery at Borisoglebsky

Architectural historian and photographer William Brumfield writes in RBTH, about the architectural ensemble as a testament to early Muscovite masonry.

100th anniversary of New Martyrs Elizabeth, Barbara celebrated at their relics in Holy Land

A festive Divine Liturgy was held on 19th July at the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s St. Mary Magdalene Monastery in Gethsemane, where the holy martyrs’ relics repose, headed by His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, reports the site of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem.

Stamp in Honor of Centenary of Royal Martyrs Released in Russia

A stamp was released in Russia yesterday in honor of the 100th anniversary of the brutal murder of the last Russian Royal Family, Interfax-Religion reports.

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АЛАПАЕВСКИЕ МУЧЕНИКИ / Martyrs of Alapaevsk

Painting by artist I. Tokarev, created by order of the Urals community in Moscow and donated to the city of Alapaevsk on July 18, 2018.

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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

Alexander Palace will partially open in late 2019

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The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve have announced that the Alexander Palace will receive its first visitors after reconstruction in late 2019, in which a third of the palace will be opened, said Olga Taratynova, the Director of the State Museum.

“Initially, we wanted to open the Alexander Palace at the end of this year. Technical issues, however, have resulted in further delays, which prevent us from opening the palace this year. We can confidently say that the first stage will be completed at the end of next year, in which an entire wing – about 30-35% of the palace will be open to visitors,” she told journalists on Thursday.

“While the palace is currently closed to visitors, the building remains heated, somehow functioning, allowing the restoration process to move forward, forcing us and contractors to work faster,” added Taratynova.

The project provides for restoration repairs with the adaptation of the Alexander Palace to a multi-functional museum and exhibition complex.

To preserve the existing building, a staircase and one of the elevators will be dismantled, as well as a cargo platform and bathrooms on the first floor. Meanwhile, the interiors will be re-planned, for the sake of preserving the historical elements. 

The Alexander Palace was built between 1792-96 by Catherine II for her favorite grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, the future Emperor Alexander I. The two-story U-shaped building was built in the Neo-Classical Style. Its central part is marked by a protruding portico decorated with two rows of white Corinthian columns. The palace was designed by the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi.

The palace became a residence for a succession of Russian monarchs: each making changes to its appearance and interiors. It was here in March 1917, that Emperor Nicholas II and his family were held under house arrest until their exile to Siberia on 1st  August of the same year. During the Soviet era, the building was adapted to various needs – an orphanage, a sanatorium and, finally, a museum. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 July 2018

‘Point of No Return’ – Ekaterinburg Street Art in Memory of the Russian Imperial Family

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Unique street art in memory of the Russian Imperial Family has been created in an underground passage in the center of Ekaterinburg. The work entitled “Point of no return” depicts two groups of people on opposite walls of the passage.

On one side are depicted: Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, their five children, and four faithful retainers – all of whom were murdered on the night of 16/17 July 1918 in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg. 

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On the other side the murderers: the Ural Chekists and the guard of the “House of Special Purpose”, the participants in the murders of the Romanovs. Between the two images on the floor is a red circle – Точка невозврата (Point of no return), standing on which, one gets a sense of being in the line of fire.

The appearance of the street art is timed to the 100th anniversary of the deaths of the Imperial Family in Ekaterinburg. The underground passage is located in close proximity to the Church on the Blood, built on the site of the Ipatiev House. 

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The executor of the work was the GREAT Advertising Group (St. Petersburg), and the ZNAK Information Agency.

“The idea belongs to the GREAT Advertising Group. We liked it, and immediately accepted it. This work is a desire to recall the tragedy of the shooting in the basement of the Ipatiev House, which included the murder of innocent children and servants. It became a symbol of the tragedy of all Russia, a great tragedy of the twentieth century. This shooting really became a ‘point of no return’ for Russia. We believe it is important that a person can feel this point, literally stand on it, even for a moment,” said Dmitry Kolezev, deputy editor-in-chief of Znak.com.

“We wanted to create something without any gadgets and technologies, something with simple and affordable means, which would allow people to get a sense of what it must have felt to face the murderers. To try to literally immerse yourself in a tragic moment, to become a part of it, to stand between the defenseless Imperial family and their murderers with revolvers,” said the creators from the GREAT Advertising Group.

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Sadly, the work is only temporary – the artwork was not done with paint, but with a film, making it easy to remove, and leaving the transition walls clean.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 July 2018

New Poll reveals nearly 60% of Russians believe murder of Tsar’s family as an atrocity

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Most Russians believe the murder of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family members in 1918 had no justification, describing it as a monstrous crime rather than an act of retribution, a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center ahead of the centenary of the murders of the Imperial family showed earlier this month.

“Most Russians (57%) believe that the murders of the Imperial family is a heinous unjustified crime (this number is bigger among people aged 35+ than among the younger generation aged between 18 and 34). Another 29% said the last Russian emperor paid too high a price for his mistakes. Nevertheless, young people believe that he had to be punished for them, with 46% among those aged between 18 and 24 more often expressing this point of view. Just 3% of those polled were certain that the Imperial family’s execution was the public’s just retribution for the emperor’s blunders,” the pollster said.

That said, Russians generally see Nicholas II in a positive light (43%). This viewpoint was expressed most often by people aged 45 (45-46%).

On the other hand, 22% tend to think of him negatively. Young people aged between 18 and 24 often said they disliked the last Russian emperor. However, 7% of the respondents stressed they were indifferent to Nicholas II, while 4% said they felt empathy for him.

“By now, the Soviet narrative, which claimed the murders of the Tsar’s family by their Bolshevik captors near Ekaterinburg during [Russia’s] Civil War was a necessary and fair act of revenge for the blunders and crimes committed by the Romanov family, has finally exhausted its credibility. Regardless of their political views and relations towards the tragic events that occurred a century ago, Russians consider that a crime, which has no justification whatsoever. Amid this sentiment, the last tsar, whatever his accomplishments or failures, is seen by today’s public as a nice person who deserves compassion, at the very least,” the pollster’s Director General Valery Fyodorov noted.

The survey was conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center on July 11, 2018, with 1,600 people aged 18 and above interviewed over the phone. The margin of error does not exceed 2.5% with a probability of 95%. 

© TASS News Agency / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 July 2018

More than 100,000 participate in Liturgy, all-night procession for 100th anniversary of Holy Royal Martyrs

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The Russian Orthodox Church has been celebrating the centenary of the martyrdom of the last Imperial family of Russia with numerous events throughout Russia all year, with the celebrations culminating in a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy in Ekaterinburg and all-night cross procession in their honor.

100,000 faithful Orthodox Christians, monarchists, among others from around the world, including Azerbaijan, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Serbia, USA, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, France, Estonia, South Korea, and Japan, gathered in Ekaterinburg on the night of 16/17 July for the liturgical celebrations.

 

The first Tsar’s Days procession took place in 1992, with the participation of but a few dozen.

The event began with the Divine Liturgy celebrated on the square in front of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg, built on the site where the Ipatiev House once stood, where the family was murdered. The service was headed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with more than 35 hierarchs and multiple clergy concelebrating.

The entire service was broadcasted live on the Orthodox TV station “Union:”

A special platform was erected for the Liturgy in front of the gates of the lower church, where the “Imperial Room” is located—a chapel in honor of the Royal Martyrs, built on specific site of their martyrdom.

Following the Liturgy, the patriarch led the traditional Royal Cross Procession from the place of martyrdom of the holy Royal Martyrs and their servants to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers at Ganina Yama ravine, covering a distance of 21 km (13 miles).

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According to law enforcement agencies, about 100,000 took part in the procession.

According to tradition, the faithful carried banners and icons in the procession, including a 6.5-ft. icon of the Tsar-Martyr, painted in 2017 for the Church of the “Reigning” Icon of the Mother of God at Ganina Yama. Together with the kiot, the icon weighs 330 lbs. A special bier on wheels was made to move the heavy icon.

The procession was also accompanied by 25 mobile groups from an Orthodox charity service, consisting of clergy, representatives of the Dormition Orthodox Brotherhood of Ekaterinburg, sisters of mercy, and volunteers, who provided assistance to those who could not walk the entire route of the procession. Field kitchens and tests were also set up at the Royal Passion-Bearers Monastery for the pilgrims to rest.

His Holiness and the procession arrived at the monastery in the morning, where the patriarch served a moleben to the Royal Martyrs in front of the memorial cross erected at Mine #7, where the bodies of the Royal Martyrs were abused and disposed of. His Holiness Patriarch Alexei II thus referred to Ganina Yama as “a living antimens, permeated with particles of the burnt holy relics.”

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His Holiness then addressed the sea of faithful with a primatial word:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

Your Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine! Fellow archpastors! Dear brothers and sisters, gathered in a multitude this night before the place where one hundred years ago was committed a terrible crime—wholly innocent people, who had committed their lives to the service of their Motherland, were killed by the evil will of man!

This atrocity still chafes our conscience, still causes us to mentally return to that time and try to understand what happened to our country and to our people. Where did this insanity, this attack come from? Looking from a distance of one hundred years, even if we want to we cannot see all the nuances of the national life of our people, which fade from memory and are missed by even the most penetrating gaze. But such crimes, as were committed here, cannot be accidental. Something stood behind this crime; behind it is the collective guilt of our people, a turn in the historical life of Holy Rus’, which led the people into a heavy, terrible impasse.

What happened to our people? After all, the country was covered with churches and monasteries, an absolute majority of the people were baptized, and the churches were filled with people. Why did it happen? Why did the murderers squeeze the trigger, without trembling at what they were doing? It means not everything was favorable. It means the sunlight reflected in the gilded domes was not always refracted into human hearts to strengthen faith in the Lord in them. And we know how over the course of at least 200 years preceding the tragedy of the Ipatiev House some changes occurred in the people’s consciousness that gradually but steadily led many to a departure from God, neglect of the commandments, and a loss of spiritual connection with the Church and the centuries-old spiritual tradition.

Why did this happen to our people? Why did they at some point become like a train whose engineer didn’t calculate its speed and heads into a steep turn, rushing towards an imminent catastrophe? When did we as people start this turn? We entered when alien thoughts, alien ideals, and an alien worldview, formed under the influence of philosophical and political theories, having nothing in common either with Christianity or our national tradition and culture, began to be perceived by the intelligentsia and aristocracy and even part of the clergy as advanced thoughts by which it was possible to change the people’s lives for the better.

Indeed, the idea of changing the life of the people for the better arises whenever there is a plan to abruptly change the course of history. We know that the worst and bloodiest revolutions have always occurred in view of people’s aspirations for a better life. The leaders of these revolutions instilled in the people that there is no other way to make life better—only by blood, only through death, only through the destruction of the existing way of life. And at some point, having abandoned their spiritual birthright, having lost their true connection with the Church and God, the intelligentsia, aristocracy, and even, as I have already said, part of the clergy were darkened in mind and infected with the thought of the need to drastically change the course of our national history and to try to build as quickly as possible a world where justice reigns, where there is no bygone separation according to material indicators, where people live peacefully and happily. As a result, many of those captured by this idea reach the point of committing crimes.

A question arises: “Is it possible through crime, through blood, through violence, and through the destruction of holy sites to build a happy life?” History clearly testifies: It is impossible! And, perhaps, the first and most important lesson that we should learn today from the tragedy of a century ago is that no promises of a happy life, no hope for help from outside, from some supposedly more educated and advanced people should seduce our people. We must remember the tragedy of the past. We must develop an immunity to any call to attain to human happiness through the destruction of that which is.

Hardly did anyone who called for the destruction of the people’s lives destroy their own lives, renouncing their own wellbeing. But with what fury they proposed to do it to everyone! And the people absorbed this lie; and the crowning act of departure from the most sacred and valuable that they had was the hideous execution of the Royal Family—innocent people who had not violated the law. And what kind of law could we even be talking about if it was necessary to kill the Tsar and his family to build a happy life? We know that nothing turned out well, and taught by bitter experience, we must build a robust rejection of any ideas and any leaders who propose to strive for some obscure “happy future” through the destruction of the life of the people, our traditions, and our faith.

Today, gathered here in such a great number, we remember the tragedy of the Ipatiev House. We have lifted up prayers to the Lord, we have prayed to the Emperor and Passion-Bearer Nicholas and those who suffered with him, that they would pray in Heaven for our earthly Fatherland and for our people and strengthen the Orthodox faith in every subsequent generation of Russians; that faithfulness to God and love for the Fatherland would accompany the lives of the youth and subsequent generations, and that no tragedy of this kind would ever happen again in our land.

May the Lord preserve our Russian land and the Russian people who today live in various countries; and although they are called by various names, are the same people who came out of the Kievan baptismal font, and passing though the most severe historical circumstances, have retained the Orthodox faith until today. May God’s blessing be upon our people, upon our Fatherland, and upon our martyric Russian Orthodox Church. May the life of our people be transfigured by the prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church—without any upheavals or blood, but upon the firm foundation of faith and hope that God is with us! May the Lord save us all by the prayers of the holy Royal Passion-Bearers and all the New Martyrs!

Amen. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 July 2018

London to Host ‘The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution’ Exhibition this Fall

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The exhibition will feature Fabergé’s Steel Military Egg, delivered to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna on Easter Eve of 1916. PHOTO: Moscow Kremlin Museums

A new exhibition, opening at the Science Museum in London, England this September, will investigate the role of science in the extraordinary lives and deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and take visitors behind the scenes of one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.

Set against a turbulent backdrop of social upheaval and war between 1900 and 1918, The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution will explore the significant influence of medicine on the private lives of the imperial family during this period and the advances in medicine and forensic science over 70 years later that transformed the investigation into their sudden disappearance.

PHOTO: The exhibition will feature X-rays of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna
© Harvard Medical Library in the Frances A. Countway Library of Medicine

Rare artefacts, including the family’s personal diaries, private possessions and jewellery found at the scene of their murder, and an Imperial Fabergé Egg presented by the Tsarina to her husband just a year before the fall of the imperial house, will help bring the personal lives of autocrat Nicholas II and his family to life. For the first time, photographic albums created by an English tutor to the imperial family, and now part of the Science Museum Group collection, will be on public display, providing a fascinating glimpse into their daily lives.

From the treatment of their only son and heir Alexei’s life-threatening haemophilia B, a rare blood condition and infamous ‘royal disease’ passed down from Queen Victoria, to the Tsarina’s fertility and the Red Cross medical training of the Tsar’s daughters, this exhibition will explore the imperial family’s contrasting reliance on both the latest medical discoveries of the time as well as traditional and spiritual healers. The family’s determination to keep Alexei’s illness a secret, as well as their unorthodox approach to providing relief, compelled them to take controversial measures that ultimately contributed to the fall of the 300-year-old dynasty.

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, said: “This exhibition marks 100 years since the end of the Romanov dynasty and explores one of the most dramatic periods in Russian history, all through the unique lens of science. Our curatorial team have brought together an exceptional, rare and poignant collection to tell this remarkable story. I want to thank all our lenders in the UK, Russia and America for making this exhibition possible.”

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Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s pregnancy outfit, 1904
© State Hermitage Museum

The investigation into the disappearance of Tsar Nicholas II, his family and entourage, following the revolutions of 1917, started in July 1918 and the case remains open today. One hundred years later, this exhibition will take visitors behind the scenes to uncover the science behind the investigation into one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.

Visitors will be able to examine evidence from the scene of the execution, from the dentures of the imperial physician and a single diamond earring belonging to the Tsarina, to an icon peppered with bullet holes, and delve into the remarkable modern forensic investigation which set out to piece together the events of that night.

This investigation was one of the first occasions that forensic DNA analysis was used to solve a historic case, involving the best British experts under the direction of Dr Peter Gill from the Forensic Science Service. Blood samples from relatives, including His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and advances in DNA profiling and 3D reconstruction, helped to positively identify the remains of the imperial family and enabled the investigation to reach convincing conclusions. Formal identification of the remains of the last members of the imperial family is expected to be announced this week, which will finally and decisively bring closure to this historic case.

Admission is FREE, but booking is required. Click HERE to book.

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The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution will open at the Science Museum in London, England on 21 September 2018 and runs until 24 March 2019

Combine this exhibition with the exhibition Russia: Royalty and the Romanovs and the Nicholas II Conference, to be held on 27 October 2018, at St John’s Orthodox Church, in Colchester, England. 

© Science Museum / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 July 2018