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

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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.

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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.

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© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 November 2018

2018 Ekaterinburg Tsar’s Route Project

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Increased interest in the era of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II is celebrated in the Russia-My History Multimedia Museum in the Ural city of Ekaterinburg, where one of the halls in the Romanov section is dedicated to the reign of Nicholas II (1894-1917). 

With the blessing of the Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Cyril in the year of the 100th anniversary marking the death and martyrdom of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, the History Park has been designated as the starting point for the Ekaterinburg Tsar’s Route – a spiritual and educational project which connects places that preserve the memory of the Imperial family, their faithful servants, as well as well as the members of the House of Romanov who were victims of the Alapaevsk murders. These include holy places, churches and monasteries in Ekaterinburg, Verkhoturye and Alapaevsk.

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Route of the project:

1. Russia-My History Multimedia Museum. Sverdlovsk Region

Ekaterinburg, People’s Will, 49

Several rooms of the museum are dedicated to the reign and epoch of Nicholas II, based on the research by Russian historians of documents discovered in archives since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and debunking many negative myths about his rule. The exposition make it possible to form an idea of ​​the culture, reformist activity, and outstanding people during the reign of Russia’s last sovereign.

2. Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land

Sverdlovsk region., Ekaterinburg, ul. Tsarskaya str., 10

The church was built in 2003 on the site of the Ipatiev House, where the August Family and their four servants were held under arrest, and murdered on the night of 16/17 July 1918. From this place, called the Russian Golgotha, every year on the night of 16/17 July, many-thousands of Orthodox Christians, monarchists, and adherents to Nicholas II take part in a 13 mile (21 km) procession to Ganina Yama. The Divine Liturgy and pilgrimage in memory of the Imperial Family attracts pilgrims from across Russia and around the world.

3. Chapel in Honour of the Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna

Ekaterinburg, Tsarskaya, 10b

In 1992, the consecration of the wooden chapel was built in the name of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. The chapel was constructed more than ten years before that of the Church on the Blood. Prayers were held here for the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and the Alapayevsk martyrs long before their canonization on 20th August 2000, by the Moscow Patriarchate.

4. Church of the Ascension of the Lord

Ekaterinburg, Clara Zetkin, 11

Situated on the Ascension Hill, opposite the Ipatiev House, where the Holy Royal Passion-bearers were kept under house arrest. The view of the domes and the bell ringing of one of the oldest churches in Ekaterinburg, consecrated in 1818, comforted the August prisoners during their imprisonment.

5. Church of the Sovereign Icon of the Mother of God

city ​​of Ekaterinburg, per. Nevyanskiy, 1

The Church of the Sovereign Icon of the Mother of God was built next to the historic building of the old railway station, where a train arrived from Tyumen, bearing Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, their daughter Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, and four faithful servants. The miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary Derzhavnaya was revealed on 15th (O.S. 2nd) March 1917, the day of the Emperor’s abdication from the throne.

6.  Church of the Port Arthur Icon of the Mother of God

Ekaterinburg, Eastern, 30a

The church was built at the place of disembarkation of the Imperial prisoners from the train, which had arrived from Tyumen. Twice a month, on the 17th and 29th of the month, prayers with akathists to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and the Port Arthur Icon of the Mother of God are performed in the church – the first icon of the Holy Virgin, revealed in the twentieth century, one of the three miraculous icons revealed during the reign of the Emperor Nicholas II.

7. Alexander Nevsky Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent

Ekaterinburg, Green Grove, 1

During the Imperial Family’s internment in the Ipatiev House, the sisters of the Novo-Tikhvin Monastery brought food for them. On 16th July 1918, while making their daily visit, the nuns were told not to come any more. That night, the Tsar and his entire family perished as martyrs at the hands of the Bolsheviks. According to the oral testimony of one of the novices of the monastery, a few years later the nuns Maria and Antonina were shot for the help which they provided to the August family.

8. Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers

Yekaterinburg, Ganina Yama

On 17th July 1918, the murdered remains of the Imperial family and their four servants were brought to Ganina Yama, where they were thrown into an abandoned mine. On 23rd September 2000, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II visited this place and blessed the establishment of a monastery here. Sprinkled with the blood of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers, Ganina Yama has become a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world.

9. Holy Cross Cathedral of St. Nicholas Monastery

Verkhoturye, st. Voinskaya, 1a

The cathedral was built to mark the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, and the expected, but cancelled visit of Nicholas II in 1913. In July 1914 the pilgrimage to Verkhoturye was performed by the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. The relics of the Saint Simeon of Verkhoturye rest in the cathedral.

10. Monastery of the New Martyrs of Russia

Alapaevsk, 66th km, Nizhnyaya Salda-Upper Sinyachikha a / d

The monastery of the New Martyrs of Russia is situated on the place where the bodies of the Alapaevsk martyrs were thrown into the mine on the night of 17/18 July 1918. In the monastery church are relics of the saints of the Holy Martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and the nun Varvara.

11. Holy Trinity Cathedral

Alapaevsk, ul. Tchaikovsky, 32

In 1918, the Holy Trinity Cathedral received the remains of the Alapaevsk martyrs. Their remains were placed in a chapel in the lower section of the church. As the Bolsheviks advanced on the town, the remains were evacuated. In the summer of 2017, a monument to Grand Duchess Elizabeth was established on the square in front of the cathedral.

12. Outdoor School. Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna Monastery

Alapaevsk, ul. Lenina, 79

The outdoor school is the only fully preserved place of suffering of the Alapayevsk martyrs. In the summer of 1918, the Grand Duchess Elisaveta Feodorovna, her cell-mate in nun Varvara (Yakovleva), Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich, princes of the Imperial House Ioann, Konstantin and Igor Konstantinovichi, Prince Vladimir Paley and Secretary Fedor Remez were held here. In 1998, a women’s community was founded here in the name of the Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.

Click HERE for more information about the Ekaterinburg Tsar’s Route

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© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 8 June 2018

Tsar’s Days Granted Governor’s Program Status in Ekaterinburg

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Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Evgeny Kuyvashev

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2018

The governor of the Sverdlovsk region Evgeny Kuyvashev has signed a decree on granting the status of the governor’s program to the events marking the 100th anniversary of the memory of the holy Royal Passion-Bearers to be held in Ekaterinburg and the Middle Urals.

According to the department of regional information policy, the governor has instructed the specially created working group, as well as the authorities of Alapayevsk, Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Verkhoturye and Ekaterinburg to develop plans for the Tsar’s Days events.

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Up to 120,000 people are expected to attend this years Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg

The Sverdlovsk Region Department of Information Policy, have announced plans which includes 34 events.

In particular, in Ekaterinburg the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum will present a series of exhibitions and multimedia projects: The Tragedy of the Family … The Tragedy of the Motherland; and The Joy of Heaven and Cover the Sorrow of the Earth. Other exhibitions include The Reigning House of the Romanovs and Verkhoturye at the Beginning of the 20th Century in the Verkhoturye State Historical and Architectural Museum- Reserve, and August Children in the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local History, which is a joint project with the Livadia Palace Museum.

Also the Sverdlovsk Children’s Philharmonic will present the play The Tsar’s Family with the participation of the students of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers Gymnasium; the Sverdlovsk State Academic Philharmonic will participate in the international music festival The Road to the Temple, and the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local History will host the XVI Romanov Readings Conference.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 March 2018

Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg Calls Upon Citizens to Support Tsar’s Days

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Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2018

Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill, who highly appreciates being given the status of the governor’s program marking the 2018 Tsar’s Days events, has called upon every inhabitant of the region to make a feasible contribution to the preparation for the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Russia’s last Imperial Family.

Earlier this week the governor of the Sverdlovsk region Evgeny Kuyvashev signed a decree according to which the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the memory of the saints Royal Passion-Bearers held in the Middle Urals were granted the status of a governor’s program. “The coming of 2018 is marked by a symbolic and tragic date: the 100th anniversary of the death of the family of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II. We remember the tragic events of July 1918 and are preparing for this date,” said Evgeny Kuyvashev.

“The decision by the head of the region corresponds to the importance and significance of the event,” – said the Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill. – “The Tsar’s Days dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the deaths of the holy royal family, their relatives, companions and faithful servants, are a significant event not only for residents throughout the Urals, but for millions of people around the world. Many of them are going to take part in the solemn divine litrurgy on the night of July 16/17. We look forward to the participation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in this year’s Tsar’s Days.

Metropolitan Kirill noted the importance of preparation for such a significant event – the co-operation of the Ekaterinburg metropolis with the regional and city authorities.

The ruling bishop urged every inhabitant of the region to contribute to the preparation of the Tsar’s Days and thus honour the memory of the emperor and his family, which is an example of Christian love for their neighbour, for their people and the Fatherland.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 March 2018

1,800-mile, 4-month Procession in Honour of Holy Royal Martyrs Begins

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The Cross procession left Pskov on March 15, and will arrive in Ekaterinburg on July 14, having covered a span of about 1,800 miles over the course of four months.

This article was originally published by Pravoslavie.ru on 16 March 2018

A cross procession in memory of the murder of the Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas II and his family began in the north-western Russian city of Pskov on March 15. The procession will wind its way through various Russian cities and holy sites, arriving in Ekaterinburg to celebrate the centenary of the family’s martyrdom, which took place on July 4/17, 1918, reports the official site of the city of Pskov.

The procession began in the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky and will pass through St. Petersburg, Vologda, Tikhvin, Vyatka, Kungur, and the cities and villages of the Kostroma, Yaroslavl, and Kirov Provinces, and of Perm Krai, and will arrive in Ekaterinburg on July 14, having covered a span of about 1,800 miles over the course of four months.

The event will end on July 17 with a night time Liturgy in the Church on the Blood, which was built on the site of the former Ipatiev House, where the Royal Martyrs were slain.

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The procession began in the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky, Pskov

The procession began in Pskov because it was there, on March 2, 1917, that Royal Martyr Tsar Nicholas signed a manifesto of abdication for himself, and then on behalf of his son Royal Martyr Tsarevich Alexei in favor of the tsar’s younger brother Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich.

Pilgrims on the memorial route will be able to see the Ekaterinburg Church-on-the-Blood, built on the spot of the Romanovs’ martyrdom, visit the monastery in honour of the Royal Martyrs in Ganina Yama, where their holy bodies were discarded, visit the house for receiving honoured guests in Verkhoturye which was built for the tsar’s planned visit, visit Tobolsk, where the Royal Martyrs spent the last months of their lives, and visit the village of Pokrov.

© Pravoslavie.ru. 16 March 2018

Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg 15-17 July 2018

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This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2018

This year’s Tsar’s Days events marking the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II and his family will be held in Ekaterinburg from 15th to 17th July 2018. Organizers are anticipating more than 100,000 Orthodox Christians, monarchists, and others from across Russia and around the world to participate in the Divine Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July, and to join the 21 km Cross procession from the Church on the Blood to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama.

The press service of the Ekaterinburg City Hall has announced that the 2018 Tsar’s Days will have its own website, scheduled for activation on 15th March. The site will host a program of events held within the framework of the festival, an historical outline of the events that preceded the tragedy which occurred in the Ipatiev House in 1918, photo reports, commentaries by historians and clergymen, and much more.

The new Tsar’s Days site will complement two additional sites dedicated to the last Russian emperor and related events: Царским-маршрутом.рф and Царская-семья.рф both of which are already functioning.

Click HERE to read more about the 2017 Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg, which includes 17 colour photos + VIDEO.  Click HERE to review nearly 70 additional articles, news stories, and photographs about the Holy Royal Martyrs. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 March 2018

Ekaterinburg Prepares for Record Number of Pilgrims During Tsar’s Days

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An estimated 60,000 people took part in Tsar’s Days in 2017

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2018

The administration of Ekaterinburg anticipate that the number of people attending the Tsar’s Days in July, will be comparable to those attending the FIFA World Cup games in June. The administration announced this week the possible construction of a tent city for pilgrims in Kharitonovsky Park, which is situated opposite the Church on the Blood. The temporary town would be constructed in July 2018, to accommodate thousands of Orthodox pilgrims who will come from across Russia.

Religious celebrations dedicated to the Romanov family have been held in the city every year since 1992. But in 2018, the Tsar’s Days will be special – marking the 100th anniversary of the murder and martyrdom of the Imperial family. Thousands of Orthodox Christians, members of the clergy, descendants of the Romanov family, monarchists, and the patriarch of all Russia will attend the Divine Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July, at the Church on the Blood (built on the site of the Ipatiev House).

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Aerial view of Kharitonovsky Park

How many believers will come?

According to preliminary estimates, about 100,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s Tsar’s Days. Angela Tambova, a spokesperson for the Ekaterinburg diocese, notes that 60 thousand people took part in the procession in 2017. This year, Tambova estimates that there could be a record breaking 100,000 to 120,000 taking part.

In comparison, four football matches of the World Cup will be attended by half a million fans (according to the Tourism Development Center). This is equivalent to about 120,000 people for each day during the World Cup. This volume is comparable with the number anticipated for Tsar’s Days – the peak of number of people will be on the night of 16/17 July.

Where will they be housed?

Individual pilgrims from across Russia and around the world in the city’s hotels. Organized groups will be accommodated in hostels and homes, which are more affordable for many pilgrims. The pilgrimage department of the diocese confirms that they have already received applications to accommodate Orthodox groups from other cities – Kursk, Sarov, Voronezh, Astrakhan, Krasnoyarsk, Krasnodar, among others, who plan to stay in Ekaterinburg for a couple of days to a week.

Many students attending the diocese seminary will be volunteers during the Tsar’s Days, their rooms will be offered to Orthodox pilgrims. Visiting priests and high ranking guests will be guests at a hotel located on the grounds of the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Ganina Yama.

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Procession route from the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Ganima Yama

When will the processions take place?

The first will take place on 16th July, with a daytime procession from the Church of the Port Arthur Icon of the Mother of God to the Church on the Blood. The second, will take place in the evening at on Ulitsa Tolmachev (now – Tsarskaya Street), where tens of thousands will assemble for an outdoor liturgy at the Church on the Blood. The third, will take place in the early morning hours of 17th July, in which the streets will be blocked along the route of the procession to from the Church on the Blood to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Ganina Yama.

In addition, municipal cultural institutions have prepared an extensive program of educational and cultural events for the memorial date, including lectures, concerts, exhibitions, excursions, and film screenings.

Will the Patriarch attend?

According to the Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill (Nakonechny), the arrival of Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev) has already been confirmed. Due to security concerns, the details of his visit are kept secret. Most likely, he will arrive in Ekaterinburg on 16th July. The streets along the route of the motorcade of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church will be closed to traffic. His Holiness is expected to deliver the Divine Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July. His visit to Ekaterinburg is expected to last for several days.

In addition to the patriarch, descendants of the Romanov family will come to Ekaterinburg. Russian president Vladimir Putin – who will most certainly be re-elected in March 2018 – is also expected to attend Tsar’s Days.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 8 February 2018

Ekaterinburg Preparing for Large-Scale Events Marking Centenary of Tsarist Family Martyrdom

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The Church on the Blood, built on the site of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg

This article was originally published by Pravoslavie.ru on 31 January 2018

A meeting of the organizing committee for carrying out the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Tsar Nicholas II and his holy family was recently held under the chairmanship of the First Deputy Head of the Ekaterinburg city administration. More than 70 events between February and December are planned to commemorate this great crime that took place in Ekaterinburg and which has become one of the Russian Church’s most beloved celebrations, reports the official site of the Ekaterinburg city administration.

The meeting gathered the heads of municipal structural departments, law enforcement agencies, and the Ekaterinburg Diocese to discuss the plan of action for preparing the many large-scale celebrations in honor of the Royal Martyrs, including the organization of the cross procession in which 100,000 pilgrims from around the world are expected to participate.

City services will develop territories adjacent to event venues, as well as security measures and medical aid for participants in the celebrations. Municipal cultural institutions have prepared an extensive program of educational and cultural events for the memorial date, including lectures, concerts, exhibitions, excursions, and film screenings.

The local Ekaterinburg Diocese has proposed to deem the entirety of 2018 as the “Royal” or “Imperial” Year. The main event of the year will be the Church celebration of the Royal Martyrs on July 16 and 17, including the massive procession that takes place every year in their honor.

Another major development in honor of the centenary is the development of an All-Russian pilgrimage route that will pass through Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kirov, Perm, and Tobolsk, also bringing travelers to the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg, built over the spot of the Ipatiev House, where the family was martyred.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia intends to visit Ekaterinburg for the celebrations this year. The British royal family, which is blood-related to the Russian royal family, has also been invited to join in the celebrations.

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