Siberian Gastronomic Festival Honours Nicholas II and Family


An Imperial family cake and macaroons offered at the Tyumen Gastronomic Festival

Events marking the centenary of the deaths of the Russian Imperial family have been held across Russia this year, and have included exhibitions, documentaries, concerts, forums, and more.

On 18th November, the Great Dessert Ball (Большой десертный бал), one of the most unusual events was held in the Siberian city of Tyumen, as part of the city’s annual gastronomic festival, at which the best pastry chefs presented their sweet creations. This year, the centenary marking the deaths of Emperor Nicholas II and his family was the central theme of the culinary event. 

The chefs created rich and royally decorated desserts honouring the members of the Imperial family. Special attention was given to each dessert. One chef recreated the Imperial train in the form of a chocolate cake. Another created coconut macaroons (see photo) marked with portraits of the last emperor Nicholas II and members of his family. Another cake was made in the form of a book (see photo) titled  The Imperial Route (императорский маршрут).

It should come as no surprise that some visitors to the festival viewed the depiction of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers on cakes as blasphemous. The office of the Tobolsk Diocese issued a statement criticizing the cakes as “inappropriate”.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 November 2018

Monument to Four Faithful Subjects of Nicholas II to be Established in Ekaterinburg

A monument to four faithful subjects who followed Emperor Nicholas II and his family into exile in 1917, and later murdered by the Bolsheviks will be established on the grounds of the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent in Ekaterinburg.

Craftsmen from the Glyptica-Stone Company in St. Petersburg are currently working on a stone stele monument, which will depict life-sized images of the four loyal subjects of the Imperial family.

Adjutant General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev (1858-1918), Marshall of the Imperial Court Prince Vasiliy Aleksandrovich Dolgorukov (1868-1918), sailor Klimentiy Grigorievich Nagorny (1887-1918) and boatswain Ivan Dmitrievich Sednev (1881-1918). All of them were buried in the territory of the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent. 

– Now the place of their burial is unknown. All the graves at the convent cemetery were destroyed during the Soviet years. But for the sake of preserving historical memory, with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, a stele will be installed on the territory of the monastery to these selfless noble people, said a spokesperson for the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent.


Adjutant General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev is one of four subjects depicted in the monument

The manufacture of the 4-meter monument, designed to perpetuate the memory of the martyrdom of the Royal Passion-bearers, was ordered by the Alexander Nevsky Novo-Tikhvin Convent in Ekaterinburg.

“It is a great honour that we received such an order, such an opportunity, ” said Mikhail Sergeyevich Parfentiev, general director of the Glyptica-Stone Company. – This is a piece of Russia’s history.

As Mikhail Sergeevich notes, this project is a great responsibility for all participants in the process.

Among the images of the subjects of Nicholas II, who voluntarily followed the sovereign into exile, first to Tobolsk, and then Ekaterinburg, the sculptors portray Adjutant-General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchevas- a man full of nobility and love for his neighbors, who loved the Gospel and knew it by heart.

The figure of Tatishchev, is depicted holding the gospel in his hands. He received this as a gift from his mother and carried it with him throughout his life. 

The monument of the four loyal Imperial subjects, will take place next year, on the territory of the Alexander Nevsky Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent. Thus, this monument will remind people for centuries of the martyrdom of the saints of the Royal Martyrs and their loyal subjects.

A Divine Liturgy was performed in Ekaterinburg on 10th June 2018 for General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev and Prince Vasili Alexandrovich Dolgorukov. Tatishchev and Dolgorukov were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in October 1981. Click HERE to read more.

A Divine Liturgy was performed in Ekaterinburg on 28th June 2018 for Ivan Dmitriyevich Sednev and Klimenty Grigorievich Nagorny.  Nagorny and Sednev were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) on 14 November 1981. Click HERE to read more.

They were listed among 52 confidants of the Imperial family, who were rehabilitated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation on 16 October 2009, as victims of political repression.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 9 November 2018

On This Day – the Premiere Issue of SOVEREIGN was Launched


Three years ago today, on 9th November 2015, the premiere issue of SOVEREIGN, a new journal dedicated to the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia was launched.

There are few world leaders in history about whom opinion has been more divided than the last Emperor and Tsar of Russia. Vilified by Western historians and biographers, he remains one of the most documented, maligned and misunderstood monarchs in history.

It was the enduring negative assessment of Nicholas II which compelled me to launch SOVEREIGN in 2015. Published bi-annually, SOVEREIGN is dedicated to clearing the name of Russia’s much slandered tsar.

It is important to note that the articles published in SOVEREIGN are not a rehashing of what has already been written, there are no conspiracy theories, no hagiography, and no attempt to whitewash the life and reign of Russia’s last emperor.

Instead, SOVEREIGN gives voice to a new generation of post-Soviet historians. Each issue features first English translations of articles by Russian historians and experts, who have gained access to new documents from archival sources which have been discovered since the fall of the Soviet Union. At long last, they can interpret their own country’s history, putting to rest all the popular negative assessments rehashed by their Western counterparts, many of which are based on gossip and propaganda.

In the past 3 years, a total of 7 seven issues have been published, with 2 new issues – No. 8 and No. 9 – currently in production. In the past year, SOVEREIGN has now become more popular that our official magazine ROYAL RUSSIA. This is partially due to the fact that 2018 marks the centenary of Nicholas II’s death and martyrdom, publicity and advertising of this unique publication.

SOVEREIGN: THE LIFE AND REIGN OF EMPEROR NICHOLAS II is published twice a year – offering Spring and Autumn issues. All current and back issues are available from the Royal Russia Bookshop (We ship WORLDWIDE); Bookseller van Hoogstraten (Den Haag, Netherlands); Librairie Galignani (Paris, France); and Amazon (USA).

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 9 November 2018

Nicholas II Gifts Jasper Vase to Peace Palace in The Hague


Jasper vase gift of Emperor Nicholas II to the Peace Palace in 1908

In 1907, the countries represented at the Second Hague Peace Conference were invited to contribute to the construction or interior of the future Peace Palace. Many countries responded to this call and donated works of art or a national product to decorate the building. 

Monarchs and heads of state lavished the Peace Palace with gifts. In 1908, Emperor Nicholas II donated an impressive green jasper vase measuring over 11 feet in height, and weighing more than three tons and required the floors to be strengthened. The massive vase stands on a pedestal of gray-purple porphyry, decorated with gilded ornaments: lion masks and a two-headed eagle, and the Romanov coat of arms. The inscription in French on the pedestal reads: “Don de s. m. l’emperevr de Russie Nicolas II” – A gift from His Majesty Emperor Nicholas II of Russia.

Russian writer N. M. Mavrodina notes in her book Искусство русских камнерезов 18–19 вв (The Art of Russian Stone Cutters of the 18th – 19th Centuries), that the vase was made by masters of the Imperial Kolyvan Stone-Cutting Factory (now the I. I. Polzunov Stone-Cutting Plant in the village of Kolyvan, Kuryinsky District, Altai Territory). The cost of the vase was 24,289 rubles.

The vase stands today under the palace tower. In the next room is one of the last portraits to be painted of Nicholas II. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 8 November 2018


Sovereign No. 7 – SPECIAL Tsar’s Days 2018 Issue NOW IN STOCK!


The No. 7 issue of Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II is now available from the Royal Russia Bookshop. Price $25.00 CAD + postage. We ship worldwide by Canada Post.


The first copies were recently made available at the International Nicholas II Conference on 27th October, in Colchester, England – selling out almost immediately!

This SPECIAL ISSUE is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Russia’s last emperor and tsar. It features 143 pages, 7 articles, and richly illustrated with more than 150 photographs.

This issue includes a summary of my trip to Ekaterinburg for the Tsar’s Days events in July 2018, with a 30-page album containing 50 of my own photographs of the Divine Liturgy held on the night of 16/17 July, Ganina Yama, Porosenkov Log, exhibitions, churches, and much more!

Click HERE to for more details on the content of this issue, and to place your order.


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 November 2018

Summary of Nicholas II Conference in England


Archpriest Andrew Phillips and Paul Gilbert, St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Church

On Saturday 27th October, more than 100 people from 11 countries attended the Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint. Conference in England.

The venue for the event was St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Church in Colchester, Essex, which is situated about an hour’s train journey from London. It was truly meaningful and appropriate that the conference should take place at the Church of St John of Shanghai, who did so much for the glorification of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers.

This historic event brought people from no less than 11 countries: England, Wales, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Vatican City, Russia and from as far away as Canada, America and Australia.

Among the guests was Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen), who travelled from Washington, DC for the event. His Eminence is a retired American Orthodox bishop who served as the primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) with the title The Most Blessed Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada from his election on November 12, 2008, until his resignation on July 7, 2012. Metropolitan Jonah was the first convert to the Orthodox faith to have been elected as the primate of the OCA.

On June 15, 2015, Metropolitan Jonah was released from the Orthodox Church in America in order for him to be accepted as a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.


More than 100 people from 11 countries attended the Nicholas II Conference

Greetings for the conference and its attendees were received by letter from Vice-Chairman of the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate  Archimandrite Philaret; Head of the Russian Imperial House Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna; and His eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.

The conference featured 5 speakers, who presented 7 lectures, some of which were dedicated to clearing the name of the much slandered tsar.  The days programme is provided below:


09:30             Registration

10:00             Opening prayer . Welcome and Opening Address

10: 15           Paul Gilbert

                     – Topic: A Century of Treason, Cowardice and Lies

10:45             Archpriest Andrew Phillips

                      – Topic: Why Nicholas II is a Saint in the Russian Orthodox Church

11:25             Break

12:00             Igor Krasnov

                       – Topic: Nicholas II and the Sacredness of a Monarchy: Truth and Myth Behind the Relations Between the Power and Christianity

12:30             Luncheon + tea/coffee served in the Meeting Hall


 13:30             Marilyn Swezey

                        Topic: The Romanovs Under House Arrest. From the 1917 Diary of a Palace Priest

14:00             Archpriest Andrew Phillips

                        Topic: The Society of Tsar Nicholas II

14:20             Break

 14:40            Frances Welch

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

15:10             Paul Gilbert

                       Topic: Nicholas II in Post-Soviet Russia

15:45             Closing Words – Paul Gilbert

 16:00            ‘God, Save the Tsar!’


‘Romanovs During the First World War: Charity and Heroism’ exhibit

The Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society UK provided 10 exhibit banners from the society’s exhibition Romanovs During the First World War: Charity and Heroism. The exhibit featured photos, post cards and documents from the Russian archives and private collections. The exhibition was produced by GDER society, St Tichon’s Theological University, Moscow, and The Society of Card Collectors.  All the information in English. 

Holy Trinity Publications set up a table offering copies for sale of ‘The Romanovs’ Under House Arrest‘, co-authored by Marilyn Swezey, and ‘The Romanovs: Family of Faith and Charity‘, a children’s book by Maria Maximova. 

Royal Russia Publications also set up a table offering copies of ALL current and back issues of ‘Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II‘.

Special thanks to Father Andrew Phillips rector of St John of Shanghai Orthodox Church, for his enthusiasm and support of this event, and for the opportunity to use St John of Shanghai Church as the venue for this historic conference.

To my dearest friends Mike and Julia Carr, and David Clark for all their dedication and hard work in helping to set up the church and meeting hall, assisting with registration, book sales, lunch, teas and coffee, etc.


Please note that the Nicholas II Conference proceedings will be published in a special ‘limited edition’ of Sovereign next month. The No. 9 Conference issue will feature all seven papers + photographs. Copies will be available in late November from the Royal Russia Bookshop. Price: $25.00 CAD + postage.  NO advance orders or holds, sorry!

Given that the conference was held in England, it seemed only fitting the the cover photo of this special issue should feature Tsar Nicholas II, who served as Colonel in Chief of The Royal Scots Greys from 1894-1918.


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 31 October 2018

New English Language Web Site Dedicated to Nicholas II Launched


A new web site dedicated to the last Russian emperor and his family was officially launched on 14th October 2018 in the Ural city of Ekaterinburg.  The new English site was prepared by the Ekaterinburg branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society

The site offers reliable information about the last Russian emperor and the era of his rule in English. It chronicles the lives of Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and their five children – Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Tsesarevich Alexei.

The creators of the English version, including professional translators, historians, journalists and priests, note that the translation of materials into English was conceived a year ago when they launched the Russian language website of Tsarskaya-Semya.RF. The subsequent appeals about the need for such a site for an English speaking audience, many of whom took part in the Tsar’s Days in the year of the centenary marking the death of Nicholas II and his family, convinced the creators of the demand for reliable English language resources.

The great-great-grandson of Emperor Alexander III Paul Kulikovsky noted the relevance of truthful information about the sovereign Nicholas II and his family not only for Russian society, but also for foreign audiences, who lack reliable information about the latest Russian the emperor and the era of his rule.


“There is a great interest in the Nicholas II and his family outside of Russia, where the majority do not understand Russian, so the English version of the site will greatly help those who are looking for the truth about the Imperial Family,” said Kulikovsky.

“I also think that it will be very useful if, thanks to the site, English readers can learn more about Russia and, in particular, about the history of the reign of Emperor Nicholas II. Many, I believe, will be surprised at the achievements of Russia in the era of his rule. Perhaps this will change their perception of the Tsar, Russian history and Russia as a whole,” he added.

The first visitors to the portal, while operating in test mode, were citizens of Great Britain. The parishioners of a number of English Orthodox churches highly appreciated the new resource and are confident that it will be in demand by an English-speaking audience.

The creators of the site note that the portal , as well as earlier the site Tsarskaya-Sem.RF , will be updated with new information on a regular basis. The English site will continue to operate in a test mode up until Christmas. Working with foreign experts, articles will be updated, while additional documents will be translated and published. 


The Russian language site Tsarskaya-Sem.RF , was created in October 2017 with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye. It receives about 30,000 unique user visits per month.

According to users, the project is interesting because of the diaries, documents and eyewitness accounts about the Imperial family. The visitor enters into a dialogue with each member of the family by reading their respective diary entries and letters. A special section of the site is dedicated to the achievements of Russia during the reign of the last Russian emperor.

The project is generously illustrated with photographs, creative works of members of the imperial family – materials provided by the Ekaterinburg Museum of the Imperial Family, public and private archives, Orthodox Internet resources. Since its opening, the site has been updated with new materials every week.

The main page of the site features a full-color image of all the members of the Imperial family. The “colorization” of the illustrations will continue with the support of specialists, in particular, the Moscow photo artist Olga Shirnina; the works of her historical photo-reconstruction “The Tsar’s Family in Color: the Image Disclosure” were recently exhibited in Ekaterinburg at the May Forum and in Tsar’s Days-2018.

Click HERE for the English version, and HERE for the Русская версия.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 October 2018

Nicholas II Conference will include Romanov Exhibit


Photo Courtesy Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society UK

The upcoming Nicholas II Conference on Saturday, 27th October, in Colchester, England will now include a Romanov Exhibit, courtesy to the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society UK.

The exhibit will include photo material from the society’s exhibition Romanovs During the First World War: Charity and Heroism presented in 10 banners. It will feature  rear photos, post cards and documents from the Russian archives and private collections. The exhibition was produced by GDER society, St Tichon’s Theological University, Moscow, and The Society of Card Collectors.  All the information is in English. 

con news

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 6 October 2018


Royal Russia Founder to Host and Speak at Nicholas II Conference


Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert

On Saturday 27th October, Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert will both host and speak at the International Nicholas II Conference in Colchester, England.

The event will be held in St John’s Orthodox Church on Military Road in the city of Colchester, Essex (an hour’s train ride from London’s Liverpool Street Station). Gilbert is one of five speakers who will present seven lectures on the life, reign, and sainthood of Russia’s last emperor and tsar.

Paul Gilbert will present the following two lectures at the Conference: 

Topic: A Century of Treason, Cowardice and Lies

There are few monarchs in history about whom opinion has been more divided than the last emperor and tsar of Russia Nicholas II.

Myths about the “weak-willed”, “stupid”, “bloody” tsar, created on the basis of gossip, slanderous fabrications, and Bolshevik propaganda in the early 20th century, are deeply rooted in the minds of both Westerners and the Russian people, even to this day.

Sovereign editor and publisher Paul Gilbert discusses the negative assessment of Nicholas II, particularly in the West. He examines the impact of a century of lies and misinformation by Western historians, biographers, documentarians, and media has had on the legacy of Russia’s last emperor and tsar.

Topic: Nicholas II in Post-Soviet Russia

How do modern Russians view the imperial legacy and what are their perceptions of the last Tsar, Nicholas II? Public attitudes towards him have undergone several shifts since the collapse of the Soviet Union two decades ago, with the most recent studies showing an increase in appreciation of the monarch and his accomplishments.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the image of Nicholas II, whom historians have criticized as an ineffective leader – and who was demonized as the final ruler in a brutal, repressive system by Soviet ideology – has been undergoing a renaissance.

In the past 25+ years, a series of significant events have taken place which have helped Russia re-evaluate the life and reign of the country’s last emperor Nicholas II.

Gilbert discusses the discovery of his remains in Ekaterinburg in 1991, his interment in St. Petersburg 1998, his canonization by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000, his rehabilitation in 2008, the position of the ROC with regard to the Ekaterinburg remains, the establishment of monuments and busts in post-Soviet Russia, and finally the centenary marking his death and martyrdom in 2018, of which Gilbert took part in.


Paul Gilbert at the monument of Nicholas II, Ganina Yama. 19th July 2018


Paul Gilbert was born in 1956 in Penzance, England. He has dedicated the last 25 years to researching and writing about the Romanov dynasty, and the history of the Imperial Russia. His primary interest is the life and reign of Nicholas II, and is committed to clearing the name of the much slandered emperor and tsar.

He has been a regular visitor to Russia since 1986, visiting palaces, museums, and archives in St Petersburg, Moscow, Ekaterinburg and Crimea. In July 1998, he travelled to St. Petersburg where he joined more than 50 Romanov descendants for the funeral of Nicholas II and members of his family. His most recent journey was to Ekaterinburg in July 2018, where he took part in the Tsar’s Days events, marking the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of the Holy Royal Passion Bearers.

He is the founder of the Royal Russia web site (est. 1994), news blog, and Facebook page with more than 160,000 followers.  

He is also the publisher of more than 40 books on the Russian Imperial family, including the first English translations of Memories in the Marble Palace by Grand Duke Gavriil Konstantinovich, and Last Years of the Court at Tsarskoe Selo in 2 volumes by General Alexandre Spiridovitch. 

He is also the publisher and editor of two bi-annual periodicals: Royal Russia: A Celebration of the Romanov Dynasty and Imperial Russia in Words and Photographs (14 issues in print) and Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II (7 issues in print). 

He is the author of two forthcoming titles: My Russia. Ekaterinburg (2018); and Nicholas II in Post-Soviet Russia (2019).

He currently lives in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, however, he has plans to eventually return to England, where he will retire. Click on the following link to read his full biography Paul Gilbert. Son of Old Russia with photos and video.

Paul Gilbert is the organizer and host of the Nicholas II Conference to be held on 27th October 2018, in Colchester, England. Click on the banner below for full details on the conference + to purchase tickets. 


© Royal Russia. 27 September 2018


Exhibition: ‘Family Album’ Opens in Kaluga


On September 15 a solo exhibition entitled Family Album opened at the Kaluga Museum of Fine Arts, presenting the works of the Honorary Academician of the Academy of Arts Evgeny Sheffer, known to the general public under the pseudonym ‘Zhenya Shef’.

The exhibition is dedicated to the centenary of the tragic death of Emperor Nicholas II and his family and the centennial anniversary of the Kaluga Museum of Fine Arts. The artist who now lives in Germany marked the terrible events that occurred in July 1918 in the basement of Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg by a series of paintings.

His work presented in Kaluga – portraits of the Imperial family – were previously  shown at the Venice Biennale in 2013, the year marking the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanov. The exhibition is organized by the Russian Noble Assembly with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Kaluga Region.

The chairman of the Kaluga branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) Vitaly Gorokhovatsky, opened the exhibition with a welcoming speech. He then awarded  Honorary Deeds to the artist Evgeny Sheffer and the director of the Kaluga Museum of Fine Arts Natalia Marchenko for their excellent organization of the exhibition.

The opening ceremony was attended by the head of the Russian Nobility Assembly  Oleg Shcherbachev, the head of the Department of Culture of the Kaluga diocese, priest Nikolai Zherzdev, the human rights commissioner for the Kaluga region Yuri Zelnikov , the president of the Russian Union of Philocratists Arsen Meltonyan among others.

In honour of the exhibition, the Russian postal service issued a special set of postcards featuring paintings presented at the exhibition. The artist took part to autograph them for guests at the exhibition.

The opening ceremony was followed by a concert, at which the Russian composer, pianist and violoncellist Victor Agranovich performed. His performance, a musical work was performed on the verses of Nina Kartasheva from the cantata Voices from the Skies, dedicated to the centenary of the tragic death of the Tsar’s family.

The Family Album Exhibition runs until November 4, at the Kaluga Museum of Fine Arts, and then in Novosibirsk, Tver and other Russian cities. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 September 2018