Help Preserve the Romanov Legacy and Imperial Russian History in 2019

inside by xmas tree

Nicholas II and his family marked their last Christmas in Tobolsk, 1917

Royal Russia to mark its’ 25th anniversary in 2019!

If you enjoy all the FREE articles, photographs, and videos on Royal Russia, please help support my work in 2019 by making an online donation in *USD

* Donations can also be made by check or money order in Canadian or US dollars, by filling in the form (see below), and remitting by mail – PG

Dear Friends of Royal Russia:

This month, I am launching my annual Christmas appeal to Romanov enthusiasts and lovers of Imperial Russian history.

What a truly remarkable year 2018 was for me! I was honoured to take part in the Tsar’s Days events held in Ekaterinburg in July, and hosting the Nicholas II Conference in Colchester, England in October. No less than 4 issues of Sovereign, and 2 issues of Royal Russia were published in 2018. 

In 2019, I will continue to make translations a priority, devoting many hours each day browsing Russian language media sites to bring you the latest news on the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, exhibitions, restorations and more. Articles and news stories of interest will be translated from Russian, supplemented with photographs and videos, for posting my Royal Russia News blog and Facebook pages.

I will also be launching a new campaign to help clear the name of the much slandered tsar Nicholas II. This will include a new web site, book projects, and most importantly the translation of articles by Russian historians, who base their research on new documents discovered since the fall of the Soviet Union, from state and private archival sources. 

If you enjoy all the FREE articles, photographs, and videos on Royal Russia, as well as my weekly news and blog updates, please help support my work in the coming year ahead by making a donation.

Click on the link below to make a credit card donation to my Christmas 2019 appeal:



Please note that there certainly is no obligation, this is merely a request for you to help by showing your personal support of my work and keeping the memories of old Russia alive.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support of Royal Russia. I look forward to bringing you many more years of articles, news stories, videos and photographs of the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia.

Sincerely Yours, 
Royal Russia Founder / Website Administrator
1 December 2018
NOTE: If you have recently made a donation, please accept my most sincere thanks for support of my work. You will receive confirmation and thanks by e-mail or regular post.

Chandeliers, Vases and Sculptures: Treasures of the Livadia Palace


On 1st November, 25 years ago, the Livadia Palace received the status of a museum. In 1974, the palace in which the Livadia sanatorium was located, opened its doors for the first time to visitors – an exhibition complex was created here that included recreated interiors of the Yalta conference of 1945 and various related exhibitions.

In 1985, Livadia marked the 40th anniversary of the Yalta Conference of the “big three: Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt”. The exhibition “The Crimean Conference of the Leaders of the Three Powers: the USSR, the USA and Great Britain” was held in the palace.

In July 1994, the museum exposition “The Romanovs in Livadia” opened in the halls of the second floor.

On the anniversary of the establishment of RIA Novosti, Crimea prepared a selection of photographs of the most valuable exhibits from the museum’s collection.


Livadia Palace

© RIA Novosti / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 7 December 2018

The Romanovs: Family of Faith and Charity



In this day and age, when children are exposed to more and more violence on television, distracted by video games and texting on their mobiles, it is still a blessing that we have books to enlighten them.

Holy Trinity Publications, the publishing arm of Holy Trinity Monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Jordanville, New York, have released a new publication in honor of the Royal Martyrs, for children aged 7-12, or for parents to read to their children of younger age.

The Romanovs: Family of Faith and Charity by Maria Maximova, shares the story of the last Russian emperor and his family. Their life was not necessarily what one would expect;  there was much more than fancy clothes and  delicious food. They shared happy memories but also great hardships. They nursed the sick, ate porridge, kayaked along the Finnish coastline, and cared for chickens. Today we know them as the Royal Martyrs — deeply pious Orthodox Christians who laid down their lives for the Faith and role models of Christian virtue who showed kindness even to the guards who taunted them.  


Beautiful colour illustrations by Victoria Kitavina


The author Maria Maximova is an expert on the history of Russian literary culture. She has authored a number of books retelling the lives of Orthodox Christian saints for children.

This thought provoking, hard cover book features 56 pages, with beautiful colour illustrations by Victoria Kitavina. Translated from Russian into English by Nicholas Kotar. The price is $9.95 USD.


The Romanovs: Family of Faith and Charity is one of two new titles published by Holy Trinity Publications, in time for the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Tsar Nicholas II and his holy family, on July 17, 2018. The other title The Romanovs Under House Arrest: from the 1917 Diary of a Palace Priest by Archpriest Afanasy Belyaev, rector of the Tsar’s Feodorovsky Cathedral at Tsarskoye Selo, and subsequently the father confessor of the Russian Imperial family during their first five months of confinement following Nicholas II’s abdication in early 1917.

© Holy Trinity Publications, Jordanville, NY / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 September  2018

Bust of Nicholas II to be Established in Zlatoust


Sculptor Alexander Sadovsky poses next to his Nicholas II bust

On 19th September 2018, the forum of the World Russian People’s Council will take place in the Ural city of Zlatoust, situated about 160 km west of Chelyabinsk, or 266 km southwest of Ekaterinburg.

The theme of this year’s forum is: “Emperor Nicholas II and Russia. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow”. The forum is timed to the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Nicholas II and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the diocese in Chelyabinsk region. 

The plenary session that will take place on this day will be attended by invited bishops and clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church, representatives of the scientific community and the delegation of municipalities of the Chelyabinsk region.

A large-scale event is being announced with the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers. According to the Zlatoust eparchy, the goal of the public forum is to consolidate society on the basis of the millennial historical, spiritual and cultural traditions of Russia, to reveal the significance of the sacrificial exploit of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers for the revival of the state.

A Divine Liturgy will be performed at the Cathedral of St. Seraphim in Zlatoust on the opening day of the forum. It will be headed by the permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, Head of the Central Asian Metropolitan District – Metropolitan of Tashkent and Uzbekistan Vikenty. 

The Divine Liturgy will be followed by the unveiling and consecration of the monument to the Emperor Nicholas II. The monument is based on original drawings created in 1904 for the creation of the monument to Nicholas II in the city, and after more than a century, will finally become a reality.

Nicholas II visited Zlatoust on 30 June 1904 – see photos above – where he attended a Divine Liturgy in the Holy Trinity Cathedral, hosted a military parade in the station area, and instructed regiments, going to the front during the Russo-Japanese War.

“Undoubtedly, I have a positive attitude to the idea of ​​installing a monument to Emperor Nicholas II ,” historical justice will triumph, “ said Yury Okuntsov, the head of the history department at the Zlatoust Museum of Local History– “The fact is that right after the Tsar’s visit to Zlatoust, the city duma decided to build and install a monument to him, but the event remained on paper. Apparently, we, the descendants, are now given an opportunity to keep their word.”

It was in May 2013, that a photograph album which once belonged to Emperor Nicholas II was discovered in the vaults of the Municipal Regional Studies Museum in Zlatoust. The grey calico album, containing 210 photographs dated from 1913-1916, was discovered in an old cigar box in the vault of the museum storage rooms. A multimedia virtual mode copy of the album is currently on display in the Museum and Exhibition Center, which is located in the Church of the Reigning Mother of God at Ganina Yama. Click HERE to read more about this historic discovery. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 September 2018

Alexander Palace will partially open in late 2019


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

On This Day: Carl Fabergé Was Born, 30 May 1846

The VIDEO (in Russian) Fabergé. The Jeweller of his Imperial Majesty, chronicles the life of Peter Carl Fabergé, featuring a rich collection of historic and vintage photos of his magnificent creations. Courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg


Peter Carl Fabergé is best known for his magnificent Imperial Easter Eggs

On 30 May (O.S. 18 May) 1846, Peter Carl Fabergé was born in St. Petersburg, to the Baltic German jeweller Gustav Fabergé and his Danish wife Charlotte Jungstedt.

On 1st May 1881, the Emperor Alexander III assigned Fabergé the title Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown. It was in the same year that Fabergé moved his business to larger street-level premises at 16/18 Bolshaya Morskaya in St. Petersburg.

The name Fabergé would become the embodiment of grace, beauty and luxury. In 1916, the House of Fabergé became a joint-stock company with a capital of 3-million rubles.

Although today the House of Fabergé is famed for its Imperial Easter eggs, it made many more objects ranging from silver tableware to fine jewelry which were also of exceptional quality and beauty, and until its departure from Russia during the revolution, Fabergé’s company became the largest jewelry business in the country. In addition to its St. Petersburg headquarters, it had branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev, and London. It produced some 150,000 to 200,000 objects from 1882 until 1917.

In 1918 The House of Fabergé was nationalised by the Bolsheviks. In early October the stock was confiscated. The House of Fabergé was no more.

After the nationalisation of the business, Carl Fabergé left St. Petersburg on the last diplomatic train for Riga. In mid-November, the Revolution having reached Latvia, he fled to Germany and first settled in Bad Homburg and then in Wiesbaden. In June 1920, Carl, along with his eldest arrived in Switzerland where other members of the family had taken refuge at the Bellevue Hotel in Pully, near Lausanne.


Peter Carl Fabergé’s grave in the Cimetière du Grand Jas in Cannes, France

Peter Carl Fabergé never recovered from the shock of the Russian Revolution. He died in Switzerland on 24th September 1920. His family believed he died of a broken heart. His wife, Augusta, died in 1925. The two were reunited in 1929 when Eugène Fabergé took his father’s ashes from Lausanne and buried them in his mother’s grave at the Cimetière du Grand Jas in Cannes, France.


Peter Carl Fabergé (seated left) with his four sons. Artist: V.M. Brikulets, 2009

Fabergé had four sons: Eugène (1874–1960), Agathon (1876–1951), Alexander (1877–1952) and Nicholas (1884–1939). Descendants of Peter Carl Fabergé today live in mainland Europe, Scandinavia and South America.

Click HERE to review 120 articles on Fabergé, richly illustrated with photographs and videos from the old Royal Russia News blog

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 30 May 2018


This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia


Prince Harry and Emperor Nicholas II wearing the frock coat of the Scots Greys

Since posting this image on the Royal Russia Facebook page on 24th May, it has been viewed by 51,930 people around the world, making it the most popular photo in Royal Russia history!

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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 143,000 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 26 May 2018:


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

Serov portrait of Nicholas II goes on display at the Scottish National Gallery

A new painting has gone on display at the Scottish National Gallery today. It is on loan to the Gallery from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Regiment Trust and it shows the last Tsar of Russia in the uniform of the Royal Scots Greys.

Diary of Last Russian Tsar’s Final Days Published in US

The publication of the book, titled “The Romanovs Under House Arrest: From the 1917 Diary of a Palace Priest,” coincides with two anniversaries, including the 150th year since the birth of Nicholas II on May 18, and one century since the last tsar and his family were massacred by the Bolsheviks on July 17.

‘Oldest’ known photograph of ‘mad monk’ Grigory Rasputin goes on display in Siberia

Haunting image of the holy man – who exerted an extraordinary hold on the Russian royals – has never been seen before

Attack on Repin’s Ivan the Terrible Painting in Tretyakov Gallery

On Friday evening at the Tretyakov Gallery just five minutes before closing time, a man dashed past a group of gallery guards doing a last walk-through of the museum, ran into the empty hall of works by Ilya Repin, and used a metal stanchion to bash the painting “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan 16 November 1581.”

More Faberge Discoveries!

Pair of incredibly-rare Faberge flowers stored in a shoe box for 40 years are set to fetch £500,000 at auction after the owner saw a similar piece on Antiques Roadshow

Exalted exile: Suzdal’s Intercession Convent + 11 PHOTOS

Architectural historian and photographer William Brumfield writes in RBTH, about an architectural marvel with a complex history.

Faberge Eggs: Art Charting Romanov Rule

Annalisa D’Alessio writes in ‘Arts & Collections International’

Holy Children: On the Rearing of the Romanov Children at Tsarskoe Selo

Emperor Nicholas II (1868-1918) was an ideal family man, husband, and father, and the empress the model of a loving wife and caring mother. Marina Kravtsova writes in

#Romanovs100 colorization contest with Marina Amaral well underway (PHOTOS)

Colorization superstar, artist Marina Amaral, teamed up with #Romanovs100 to judge an online competition for aspiring and professional artists, and a week into the contest, some amazing works are coming in.

A little known painting of Russia’s last Tsarina?

Royal historian Elizabeth Jane Timms writes about an oil portrait, said to be of Russia’s last Empress, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, when she was Princess Alix of Hesse. The painting is the property of the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre and was made by the Irish artist John Lavery. (1856-1941).

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Declaration of the Monarchist Movement of Russia

Adopted on May 19, 2013 at a conference of Russian national-patriotic organizations. The conference was timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Nicholas II.

The declaration states: “Monarchy is the best and the only legitimate and morally justified form of government for Russia, its restoration will be a blessing for the people and the state.”

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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

English Edition of ‘The Romanov Royal Martyrs’ to be Published Early 2019


The English edition of The Romanov Royal Martyrs will be available in early 2019

The Monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos, Cyprus, wishes to announce that soon, by God’s grace, an English version of its recently published book The Romanov Royal Martyrs will be available.

The book was originally published in Greek in January 2018 and it has been received with great enthusiasm. Following multiple requests from English-speaking readers, the book will be published in English in early 2019 by St Vladimir’s Seminary Press.

Based strictly on primary sources, the book offers previously unpublished texts in English, such as excerpts from the testimonies of the Novo-Tikhvin nuns, who were taking provisions to the Imperial Family at the Ipatiev house, and from the testimonies of Ipatiev guards, as well as other important materials.

Among the historians who worked together with the fathers on the project are Nicholas B.A. Nicholson, Helen Azar, and Helen Rappaport, all noted specialists in Romanov history.

The monastery writes of the Royal Martyrs and the book:

“The Orthodox Church has never claimed infallibility for any of its saints. On the contrary, sanctity, according to Orthodox doctrine is a dynamic procedure, in the course of which those who struggle spiritually do fall repeatedly, only to time and again rise to their feet and continue their journey in repentance and humility, acquired through the realization of their human weaknesses. That then becomes unfailing trust in God’s will, a spiritual property of the most noble spirits, which is in the sight of God of great price.

“Nevertheless, this unique spiritual virtue they acquired was wrongfully viewed as religious fatalism by those unable to understand the true essence of the Orthodox faith. The Royal Martyrs surrendered themselves and their whole lives to the will of God, even unto death, in the most spiritually perfect degree and thus, regardless of their human errors, unavoidable for all created beings, they reached the level of that kind of faith which overcomes death and renders the bearers of it living vessels of the grace of God in eternity, in a word: saints.”

The book, “approaches the life of the Royal Martyrs through an Orthodox prism, presenting to the readers a hagiographical work, set in the context of modern writing, while preserving utter respect to true historical facts. It also sheds light on distorted chapters from the life of the Royal Martyrs, such as the events of Bloody Sunday 1905, which have sadly managed to be established as true historical facts in their distorted form. Finally, the book includes an abundance of original writings by the Royal Martyrs, taken from their diaries and correspondences, offering to the readers the experience of an immediate encounter with the Martyrs themselves, and thus, helping them acquire a personal understanding of their spiritual values.”

The book also features a full-color photo insert, including high-quality colorized pictures of the Royal Martyrs, published for the first time in printed form. The colorization was made by the acclaimed Russian artist Olga Shirnina.

The Monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos, Cyprus has opened a new high-quality website dedicated to the publication of the first biography of the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his family,


The Monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos dates back to the Byzantine period, and more precisely to the 12th century. Its long journey took a significant pause after 1821 due to the massacres and persecutions during the Greek War of Independence. The monastery was restored in 2003 under the guidance of His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, who is also the elder of the monastery. The holy habitation follows the Athonite typikon. 

© Monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos. 23 May 2018

con news

Barton Manor to Host the Cross of the Romanovs Events this Summer


The Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society (UK) will be hosting a Centenary Commemorative Programme on 6th – 8th of July 2018 in East Cowes, Isle of Wight. 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the brutal murder of the Russian Imperial Family. The programme includes the unveiling of a monument to the memory of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, including the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, widow of the Grand Duke Sergius of Russia.

The Russian Imperial Family was closely related to the British Royal Family and paid several visits to Cowes. The Town Council of East Cowes is co-organizing the commemoration.

Apart from the unveiling of the monument to the Imperial Family, who have been glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church as “New Martyrs and Passion-Bearers”, which will take place near Osborne House in East Cowes, the packed and varied programme will include an exhibition – THE CROSS OF THE ROMANOVS – dedicated to their last days and to their connections and exchange of visits with the Windsors. 


The exhibition at Barton Manor, which the Romanovs visited in 1909, will include many Romanov personal belongings, photographs and holy objects on loan from different countries. 

You are cordially invited to join us at this historic event. For further information on these events, please contact the Society at the email and/or telephone number shown in the poster above. 

© Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society (UK). 14 May 2018