Monument to Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich established in Bulgaria


Monument to Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich in the Bulgarian city of Pavel-Banya

A monument to Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich (1860-1919), the youngest son of Emperor Alexander II, was established this week in the Bulgarian city of Pavel-Banya.

The opening of the monument was timed to coincide with the day – 29th June – when the Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates the day of the holy apostles Peter and Paul. “As our teachers and parents raised us to respect the memory of the heroes, so we must give the children the behests of our glorious past. There is no future for the people who do not remember and do not respect their history, “- said Deputy Prime Minister Iliyana Yotova at the opening ceremony of the monument.

The bronze monument by sculptor Tamer Khalil is 2.4 m in height, and weighs 360 kg. It is installed on a 2-meter granite pedestal in the city park. The Grand Duke is depicted in uniform, holding in his hand the decree on the creation of the city of Pavel-Banya.


Monument to Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich in the Bulgarian city of Pavel-Banya

At the age of 16, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich entered the Russian Army, serving as a general in the Cavalry and adjutant general to his brother Emperor Alexander III, and a Knight of the Order of St. Andrew. He participated in the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878. With the outbreak of  World War I, he was appointed in command of the first corps of the Imperial Guard.

During the last days of the Tsarist period, he was one of the few members of the Romanov family who remained close to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna. It fell upon Grand Duke Paul to inform Alexandra of Nicholas II’s abdication.

After the Bolsheviks seized power, they and determined to round up the last Grand Dukes remaining on Russia soil, they arrested Grand Duke Paul on 13 August  [O.S. 31 July] 1918. On 29th January 1919, he was transferred to the Peter and Paul Fortress, where his cousins ​​- the Grand Dukes Dmitry Konstantinovich, Nikolai Mikhailovich and Georgy Mikhailovich were already imprisoned. All four were shot early the following morning as hostages “in response to the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in Germany.”

According to eyewitnesses, the Grand Dukes were taken to an area behind the Mint, where a common grave had been dug near the fortress wall opposite the Peter and Paul Cathedral. The prisoners were forced to stand at the edge of the grave, whereupon the Bolshevik guards opened fire on them. The fusillade of shots sent them reeling into the trench, joining thirteen other bodies in the mass grave. A moment before the shots, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich said: “Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” 

In 1981, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) as a holy martyr. And later in 1999, he was rehabilitated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 30 June 2018

Divine Liturgy for Two Other Loyal Servants of Nicholas II Performed in Ekaterinburg


This article has been researched and written from Russian media sources by Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert © 2018

Thursday 28th June 2018,  marked the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of two faithful servants to Emperor Nicholas II and his family – Ivan Dmitriyevich Sednev (left) and Klimenty Grigorievich Nagorny (right).

A Divine Liturgy was performed on 28th June 2018, in the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, situated in the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent in Ekaterinburg. 

Ivan Sednev and Klimenty Nagorny selflessly served the Tsar’s children. Nagorny in particular, lay the great responsibility of protecting the Tsesarevich, even the slightest injury could put the heir to the Russian throne in danger, due to his hemophilia. Alexei was very fond of Nagorny, who in turn showed complete devotion to the Tsesarevich, faithfully sharing with him all the joys and sorrows.


Nagorny and Tsesarevich Alexei in Tsarskoe Selo, 1907

Klimenty Nagorny and Ivan Sednev voluntarily stayed with the Tsar’s family during their house arrest in Tsarskoe Selo, and then followed them to Tobolsk, where Nagorny shared a room with the Tsesarevich, serving him day and night. Together with the Imperial family, Nagorny also attended all the divine services, and the only member of the family’s retinue who was a member of the choir organized by the Empress: he sang and read for the Imperial family during services held in the house church. 

In the spring of 1918 Nagorny and Sednev once again, voluntarily followed the Imperial family to Ekaterinburg. They spent only a few days in the Ipatiev House, and then were separated from the Imperial prisoners. They were arrested and imprisoned, their sole crime had been their inability to hide their indignation on seeing the Bolshevik commissaries seize the little gold chain from which the holy images hung over the sick bed of the Tsesarevich.

On 28th June 1918, they were shot in the back by the Bolsheviks, in a small wooded area behind the Yekaterinburg-2 railway station (modern name – Shartash). Nagorny and Sednev were “killed for betraying the cause of the revolution” – as indicated in the resolution on their execution. The murderers left their bodies unburied.

When Ekaterinburg was occupied by the Whites, the the half-decayed bodies of Nagorny and Sednev, were found and solemnly buried near the Church of All the Afflicted (demolished). Witnesses at the funeral recall that the graves of the former sailors of the Imperial yacht Shtandart were strewn with white flowers. Their graves were not preserved – they were destroyed when the Soviet authorities built a city park on the site of the cemetery.

Both Nagorny and Sednev were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) on 14 November 1981, and both rehabilitated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation on 16 October 2009.


Nagorny and Alexeei Nikolaevich, in the Finnish skerries, 1914 

Nagorny, Klementy Grigorovich (1887—1918) – from 1909, he served on the Imperial yacht Shtandart and appointed as a footman to the imperial children. He received the Court title Garderobshik (wardrobe keeper) in 1909 and accompanied the Imperial family on every tour. In November 1913, he was appointed assistant dyadka to guard the Imperial children. He travelled with the Tsesarevich Alexei to Mogilev during 1914-16. After the Tsar’s abdication, he lived under detention with the Imperial family in Tsarskoe Selo, Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg. 

Sednev, Ivan Dmitrievich (1881—1918) – was recruited into the Russian Imperial Navy in 1911, where he began as a machinist on the Polyarnaya Zvezda then transferred onto the Imperial yacht Shtandart. By invitation became a Lakei (liveried footman) to the Grand Duchesses, and subsequently to the Tsesarevich. Ivan lived under detention with the Imperial family in Tsarskoe Selo, Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 30 June 2018

Nicholas II in July issue of Majesty Magazine


Courtesy: Majesty Magazine

There are two good reasons to pick up a copy of the July 2018 issue of Majesty Magazine 

The issue features a 5 page article To Free the Romanovs by royal historian and author Coryne Hall. In this article, Hall writes about the attempts made by Europe’s crowned heads to rescue Emperor Nicholas II and his family, all of which proved woefully inadequate, though other family members did manage to escape Bolshevik Russia.

Ms Hall’s article ties in with her new book, both marking the centenary of the murder of Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra and their five children.

Her latest book To Free the Romanovs: Royal Kinship and Betrayal in Europe 1917-1919, tells the story of the end of the Romanov dynasty, the role of George V in this family tragedy and the guilt felt in the royal houses of Europe. To Free the Romanovs is Majesty Magazine’s Book of the Month title for July.

Published by Amberley Publishing (UK) in June 2018, available in Canada and the United States in October 2018.




Our full-page colour advert promoting SOVEREIGN and the Nicholas II Conference

SOVEREIGN is a bi-annual journal which presents a revisionist history on the life and reign of Russia’s last emperor and tsar Nicholas II.

The articles featured in SOVEREIGN are not a rehash of everything written over the past century about his life and reign. There are no conspiracy theories, nor does SOVEREIGN attempt to sweep history under the rug, or whitewash Russia’s last emperor and tsar.

Instead, SOVEREIGN features many first English language works by Russian historians and experts, based on new archival documents discovered since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. 

All current and back issues of SOVEREIGN are available from the Royal Russia Bookshop.

Special offer to Majesty Magazine readers in the United Kingdom. All six issues + shipping from Canada to UK (by surface post, delivery 4-6 weeks) for £130.00. Offer expires on 31 October 2018.


Special offer to Majesty Magazine readers in the United Kingdom

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 June 2018


Holy Synod to discuss Ekaterinburg Remains next month


Monument to Nicholas II and his family, Church on the Blood, Ekaterinburg

This article has been researched and written from Russian media sources by Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert © 2018

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will hold a meeting of the Holy Synod in Ekaterinburg from July 14 to 17. 

Will the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) finally make an announcement on the Ekaterinburg remains? The visiting session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church will take place during the Tsar’s Days marking the 100th anniversary of the deaths and martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. Alexander Volkov, a spokesperson for the Synodal Department for Church’s Relations with Society and Mass Media of the Moscow Patriarchate noted: “With a high degree of probability, we can say that the main topic of this meeting will be the issue of recognition of the royal remains that were discovered near Ekaterinburg.” See The Fate of the Ekaterinburg Remains by Paul Gilbert

Unrecognized remains

In 1979, on the north-western outskirts of Sverdlovsk (Ekaterinburg), the remains were found by a group headed by Ural geologist Alexander Avdonin. The find was hidden until 1991, and after the fall of the USSR the remains were excavated. In 2007, a group of archaeologists led by Sergei Pogorelov, representative of the Protection and Use of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Sverdlovsk Region, discovered more remains near the original burial site. 

Bone fragments discovered at the so-called Porosenkov Log, according to the results of several examinations, were determined to be the remains of Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, three of their five children and four servants, who were all shot on the night of 16/17 July 1918. However, the ROC did not recognize them. The church claimed that the bodies of the Romanovs were destroyed by the Bolsheviks in the area of ​​the former mines of the Isetsky mine, which later became known as Ganina Yana. 

The distance between Porosenkov Log and Ganina Yama is only 3.8 kilometers. In 2000, the Bishops’ Council of the ROC founded the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs, and virtually ignored the Porosenkov Log.


Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) has great influence in the ROC

“The struggle to recognize the remains unfolded”

Scientists have confirmed the authenticity of the remains unequivocally, however, the issue of their recognition by the church has yet to be resolved. In the spring of this year, the spokesman for Patriarch Kirill noted that all visiting meetings of the Holy Synod in 2018 “will have a planned nature” and “no emergency solutions are planned.” 

However, back in October 2017, during the Dilettante Readings in Ekaterinburg, the editor-in-chief of a local radio station Alexei Venediktov, hinted at sources in the presidential administration that on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the murder of the Imperial family, “the church will recognize the Ekaterinburg remains”. The other day Venediktov wrote in his telegram channel: “The struggle for the recognition of the Imperial remains has unfolded. Kirill – against, Tikhon – for.” 

Venediktov is referring to Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov). The latter, being considered the confessor of President Vladimir Putin, is Head of the Patriarchal Council for Culture. It was under the authority of this body that the order for a new examination of the Ekaterinburg remains as a new criminal case, conducted under the supervision of the ROC was initiated. In 2015, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation was created to launch a new investigation into the deaths of the Imperial family. It should be noted that a criminal investigation had previously been carried out from 1993 to 2008, by the investigative division of the Prosecutor’s Office.

Dangerous for the patriarch

Earlier this week, the President of the Center for Political Technologies, Igor Bunin, noted a comment made by political analyst Alexei Makarkin who said: “The division of the ROC into supporters and opponents of the recognition of the Ekaterinburg remains as Holy relics is associated with specific interests.” 

“All the main public figures of the ROC understand that the remains are real. However, for Patriarch Kirill to take responsibility for such recognition – means to provoke sharp criticism in his address from the church’s extreme conservatives, who had already reacted negatively to his meeting with the pope. 


Investigator-criminologist Vladimir Soloviev (left)

From the situation there is an end

Interlocutors note that the leadership of the country insists that the ROC recognize the Ekaterinburg remains. “[Vladimir] Putin really wants to resolve this issue and has made every effort to persuade the ROC, which continues to resist. This is not related to [presidential] elections, this is based on his idea of ​​bringing all parties to reconciliation,” stressed Igor Bunin, President of the Center for Political Technologies.  

Last year Chief Major Crimes investigator Vladimir Soloviev, who headed an investigation into the murder of the Imperial family from 1991 to 2015, explained why the ROC still resists in recognizing the Ekaterinburg remains. In his opinion, it is not so much about the disagreements on the issue that arose between the ROC and the investigation team appointed by the first president of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin, but rather about the decisions taken by the hierarchs in the 1930s.  

“Since 1928, all the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) believed that the Imperial family had been killed and their remains were burned.  Everyone was sure that the conclusions of Nikolai Sokolov, the investigator appointed by Admiral Alexander Kolchak, who was engaged in an investigation into the murder of the Tsar’s family in 1919, were correct. In the church there is a tradition: when all the hierarchs said “yes”, it is very difficult to say “no” to other hierarchs afterwards. Now, knowing the fighting nature of our patriarch, it seems that he wanted to finally understand the matter once and for all. That’s why there is a full investigation from the very beginning,” – said  Soloviev.


The Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama

Another question is what to do with the church complex at Ganina Yama, if the ROC admit that the remains of the Imperial family were still found elsewhere. Does this mean that all this time that the faithful prayed in the wrong place? The best possible solution will be the recognition of both places (Ganina Yama and Porosenkov Log), both sacred to believers. 

Soloviev noted: “Both these places are sacred in themselves. There lay members of the Imperial family, their murderers spilled these places in their blood. The bodies lay for a day in the Ganina Pit, and yet they lay for a long time at Porosenkov Log!”  According to the memoirs of the archaeologists who participated in 1991 in extracting the first part of the skeleton from the burial site, they failed to extract a large amount of fat from the earth that was released during the decomposition of the bodies. Thus, the soil in the area of ​​the Porosenkov Log is literally imbued with the remains of the Romanovs, ranked among the Orthodox saints by the Church. 

It can be said that in March 2016 the Russian Orthodox Church began preparations for such a development of events. At a meeting with the first vice-premier of the Sverdlovsk government Vladimir Vlasov, the metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill voiced the position of believers that if the remains were nevertheless recognized as authentic, that a church would be constructed at Porosenkov Log, similar to that at Ganina Yama. See ROC Seeks Claim to Site of Royal Remains Grave Near Ekaterinburg 

Because of this position, the implementation of the project, which was then carried out by the regional authorities, was stalled. They had planned to transfer the lands of the Porosenkov Log (about 3.7 hectares) to the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore and create there a commemorative museum complex for the 100th anniversary of the shooting of the Romanovs. See Ekaterinburg Eparchy and Local Museum Argue Over Future of Porosenkov Log


Porosenkov Log is 3.8 km from Ganina Yama

Murder of the Romanovs and the discovery of remains

The family of the Emperor Nicholas II who abdicated in 1917 from the Russian throne, along with his family the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, the Tsesarevich Alexei, the Grand Duchesses – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and their four faithful retainers Dr. Eugene Botkin, the maid Anna Demidova, the cook Ivan Kharitonov, and the valet Aloysius Trupp were all shot on the night of 16/17 July 17 1918 in the house of engineer Ipatiev, situated in the area of ​​the Ascension Hill in the center of Ekaterinburg.

Their remains lay hidden in a forested area for more than 60 years before their initial discovery. It is believed that the first discoverer of this place in the Porosenkov Log on the Koptyakovskaya Road on the northwestern outskirts of Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) in the summer of 1979 was the Ural geologist Alexander Avdonin with M. Kochurov, G. Vasiliev, and G. Ryabov. However, the remains then had to be reburied. The political climate at the time did not allow them to be revealed to the world. It was not until the summer of 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, that the remains were dug up. Only nine skeletons out of eleven were discovered. Not only did this give grounds for doubting the authenticity of the remains, it also led to conspiracy theories that perhaps two of the children had survived.

In July 1998, the remains found in the Porosenkov Log were buried in St Catherine’s Chapel of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Despite a series of examinations, some of which were conducted in laboratories in the United States and England, the Moscow Patriarchate still did not recognize that the bodies found near the Koptyakovskaya Road were the Romanovs.

In 2007, thanks to the Ural specialists of local lore and archaeologists there in the Porosenkov Log area, a second grave was discovered near the original, which revealed the remains of the Tsesarevich Alexei and his sister the Grand Duchess Maria. The new examination confirmed their authenticity. However, the bones of the two children of Nicholas II are still not devoted to the earth. For some time they were kept in the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, then in the State Archives of the Russian Federation. They were then handed over to Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) and transferred to the Novospassky Monastery in Moscow. See Remains of Tsesarevich Alexey, Grand Duchess Maria Transferred to Novospassky Monastery

It is expected that closure of this issue rests with the results of the new criminal case, announced by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation on 23 September 2015. At a meeting of the Bishops’ Council in Moscow, which took place at the end of November 2017, members voiced a large array of their conclusions, generally acknowledging the validity of the initial examinations, thanks to which the Ekaterinburg remains were recognized. Nevertheless, the final judgment on this issue must be made by the Holy Synod.

Click HERE to review more articles, news and photos of Ganina Yama

Click HERE to review more articles, news and photos about the Ekaterinburg Remains

Click HERE to review more articles, news and photos about the Holy Royal Martyrs

Click HERE to review more articles, news and photos about Ekaterinburg and the Romanovs

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 28 June 2018

Nicholas II, Stalin and Lenin top popularity rating of Russian historical figures


Recent poll shows Nicholas II as the most popular figure in the 20th century Russian history

Note: this article has been edited and updated with additional information by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia

Public attitudes towards Nicholas II have undergone several shifts since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, with the most recent studies carried out during the last few years showing an increase in appreciation of the monarch. This is partially due to the the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church, and research by post Soviet Russian historians. Both have worked diligently by challenging the negative assessments of the life and reign of Russia’s last emperor and tsar, disproving the lies and myths which continue to be popular to this day, particularly by Western historians and biographers.

According to the most recent poll, Emperor Nicholas II, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin are the most popular figures among Russians from the 20th century.

Research conducted by the Russian state-run public opinion center VTSIOM showed that the last Russian emperor is now the most popular of all historical figures throughout the volatile 20th century – 54 percent of respondents said that they sympathize with the monarch. Joseph Stalin was second with 51 percent and the head of the Bolshevik party and the mastermind behind the 1917 revolution, Vladimir Lenin, was on the third place with 49 percent. Leader of the White Movement during the Russian Civil War, Alexander Kolchak was in fourth place with 36 percent, while general of the White Movement during the Russian Civil War Anton Denikin came in fifth place with 30 percent.

The share of respondents who told researchers that the feeling they had towards these people was strongly negative was 23 for Nicholas II, 28 for Stalin and 29 for Lenin. Most of the other prominent figures of the period, both among the revolutionaries and on the Tsarist sides, cause neither good nor bad emotions in the Russian public, research revealed.


Results of the poll show Nicholas II more popular among Russian than both Stalin and Lenin

The least liked figures were the leader of the Ukrainian anarchists Nestor Makhno, and the founder of the Red Army Leon Trotsky. 58 and 46 percent of Russians described their attitude to them as negative and only 12 and 20 percent confessed to sympathizing with them.

In the same poll researchers asked the Russian public what sources they used to get information about the October Revolution and the Civil War. 79 percent of respondents named schools and universities, 48 percent said they got information from books and 30 percent mentioned films and television series.

A different poll conducted by VTSIOM in late 2017, in connection with the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, revealed that 92 percent of Russians wanted similar events prevented at any cost, up from 78 percent five years ago. Only 5 percent of respondents told researchers that they considered a new revolution necessary (13 percent in 2012). 3 percent of respondents said that they had no opinion on the issue.

Still, 46 percent of the public agreed with the statement that the 1917 revolution was in the interests of the majority of Russians. 13 percent hold that the revolution benefited a minority and 33 percent said that only a small group of people managed to gain anything from the events of 1917.

38 percent of Russians currently think that the 1917 Revolution was a major stimulus for the social and economic development of the country. 23 percent agreed that the revolution “had opened a new era in Russia’s history.” At the same time, 14 percent of the poll participants said that the revolution had seriously impeded the development of Russia and 13 percent called the events a total disaster. 12 percent remained undecided over the role that the revolution had played in the Russian history. 

© Russia Today / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 June 2018


This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia

What is the truth about the last Romanovs? VIDEO in ENGLISH

Why, for more than a hundred years, have there been methodical efforts to distort the facts of their life, while the Orthodox Church has glorified them as saints?

The Monastery of St John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos, Cyprus, having made use of the primary sources, presents for the first time the biography of the Royal Martyrs through an Orthodox prism bringing to light what silence could not conceal.

The brotherhood of the Holy Monastery of St John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos wishes to express its deepest appreciation to Helen Azar, Helen Rappaport, Nick Nicholson, Olga Shirnina, Bob Atchison, Rob Moshein, Nicholas and Nina Chapman, Matthew Namee, Tatiana Zakharova, Father Ignatius Green, George Hawkins, Michael Perekrestov, Paul Gilbert, Maria Papaeftsathiou, Dr Mike Coble, as well as to all our friends and collaborators, without the contribution of whom it would not have been possible to complete the present project.

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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 144,000 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 23 June 2018:


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

The Last Days of the Romanovs | National Geographic in Russia VIDEO in ENGLISH

This short 2 minute video explores the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg, including the new Imperial Room in the Lower Church, as well as Ganina Yama. The woman being interviewed is Mrs Olga Kulikovsky, the widow of Tikhon Kulikovsky (1917-1993), eldest son of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960)

Unique film footage of Nicholas II and his family in Livadia VIDEO

I am delighted to share this short (5 minutes, 24 seconds) video featuring historic film footage of Emperor Nicholas II and his family in Livadia.

In the beginning, you can see the old wooden palace; followed by reviews and ceremonies; the grand duchesses and the tsesarevich on White Flower Day in the Italian Courtyard, on one of the balconies, and walking around the park; the Emperor offering Pascha greetings (1913) to the soldiers and officers in the Italian Courtyard, and more!

The video is provided by the Drevleshranilishche (Museum) in memory of the family of Emperor Nicholas II

“Painful Points” of Nicholas II’s Reign: Truth and Fiction

Was Emperor Nicholas II a weak-willed ruler who led Russia to a revolutionary catastrophe? Who was guilty in the shooting on January 9, 1905 and the Khodynka tragedy?

We spoke with doctor of historical sciences and associate professor in the department of history at Moscow State University Fedor Gaida about the most frequent claims against the last Russian Emperor and how fair and appropriate they are. Yuri Pushchaev interviews Theodore Gaida

#Romanovs100: Europe’s grandest car park owned by Nicholas II + VIDEO

Nicholas II owned Europe’s most lavish car park, with 56 cars in 1917 – more than any other European monarch. #Romanovs100 takes a closer look at the Tsar’s unique collection from 4-tonne limos to his son’s tiny Peugeot Bebe.

Historic events commemorating death of Imperial Russian Royal Family take place in East Cowes

A host of events are planned for 6th-8th July, including concerts, a two-day exhibition, a Russian market, screening of archival footage, Orthodox Vespers and the unveiling of an incredible monument.

5 Palaces of the Romanovs and the Nobility

Russia has a treasure trove of stunning locations apart from the Red Square in Moscow or the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg – wich once belonged to the late Tsar Nicholas II.

Many of the country’s castles have been featured in Disney films (think of Anastasia and Cinderella), but have stayed hidden from the public eye until the last two decades

Siberian man gets drunk in Empress’ bedroom before stealing gold statue…then gets nicked himself

On June 16th, a man from Siberia’s Irkutsk Region, snuck into Pavlovsk Palace, broke a window, entered the museum, and stole a statue worth five million rubles ($80,000).

Patriarch Filaret, Romanov: How a priest founded a dynasty that ruled Russia for 300 years

Feodor Romanov, a 17th-century bon vivant nobleman, was forced to join a monastery and spent almost a decade in captivity; however, his son Mikhail became tsar of Russia – with his father behind the throne as a grey eminence.
Oleg Yegorov writes in RBTH.

The Cathedral Belfry: Centerpiece of Rostov’s great kremlin + 11 PHOTOS!

Architectural historian and photographer William Brumfield writes in RBTH about the complex and its bells which are recognized as a symbol of Russia.

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PHOTO: One of the paintings depicting the life of the Holy Royal Martyrs by Alexander Sokolov and his family in the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg 

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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

Princess Hisako Takamado visits Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg


Princess Hisako Takamado standing outside the Church on the Blood, Ekaterinburg

On 23rd June 2018, Japanese *Princess Hisako Takamado visited the Church on the Blood and the Tsarsky Spiritual and Educational Center during her official visit to Ekaterinburg. She is the first member of Japan’s Imperial family to visit Russia since 1916, the Kyodo news agency reported.


Princess Hisako was shown the renewed Imperial Room in the Lower Church

Her Highness was given a tour of the church, where she was told the story of the Imperial family’s last days in the city in 1918. Princess Hisako was shown the renewed Imperial Room in the Lower Church – altar chapel in honour of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, built on the site of the room where Emperor Nicholas II and his family were all murdered on the night of 16/17 July 1918. Special attention was drawn to the unique mosaic panel in the central part of the altar, depicting the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and their faithful retainers who suffered with them: Emperor Nikolai Alexandrovich, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsesarevich Alexei, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatyana, Maria, Anastasia, Saint Eugene Botkin, Alexei Trupp, Ivan Kharitonov, and Anna Demidova. The altar is adorned to the memorable date of the century of the feat of the Royal Family with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye.


Her Highness visited the upper church in the name of All Saints in the Russian Land

After viewing the exhibition dedicated to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and the Alapaevsk martyrs – Saint Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and the nun Varvara, Her Highness visited the upper church in the name of All Saints in the Russian Land. Here Princess Hisako, delighted with decoration of the cathedral, took up her camera, taking pictures of the vault and frescoes, on which the scenes of the life of the Passion-Bearer Tsar and his family are depicted.


Princess Hisako inside the Patriarchal Compound

Her Highness and her entourage then visited the Patriarchal Compound on the opposite side of the courtyard. Here, she visited the Tsarsky Spiritual and Educational Center, the Museum of the Holy Royal Martyrs, the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the exhibition of the Ural artists Alexei Efremov and Alexander Remezov. Her Highness also took great interest in the legendary grand piano of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, which she took with her when the Imperial family had gone into exile.


Princess Hisako visits the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker

At the end of the visit, Her Highness signed the Visitors’ Book, thanking her hosts for the inspirational journey through Russian history and noting the great importance of the preservation of the heritage of churches in the Urals.

Upon leaving the Patriarchal Compound, the Japanese princess thanked the representatives of the Ekaterinburg Diocese for their warm welcome, and speaking in Russian with special cordiality, she said: “This is a special place.”


Her Highness visits the Museum of the Holy Royal Martyrs

Princess Hisako Takamado of Japan arrived in the Ural capital on 22nd June. During her stay, she plans to attend a FIFA match between Japan and Senegal, which will be held on 24th June. 

*Born on 10 July 1953, Princess Hisako Takamado is a member of the Japanese Imperial Family as the widow of Norihito, Prince Takamado (1954-2002). Prince Takamado was the third son of Takahito, Prince Mikasa and Yuriko, Princess Mikasa. He was a first cousin of Emperor Akihito, and was seventh in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.


Princess Hisako stops to take a photo after leaving the Patriarchal Compound

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 June 2018

Ekaterinburg Diocese confirms visit of Patriarch Kirill to the Ural capital


The press service of the Ekaterinburg Diocese have confirmed that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will arrive in the Ural capital on 13th July, to participate in commemorative events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. The press service added that the head of the ROC will bring to the city the relics of the Holy New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna from the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow.

The reliquary will be solemnly met at 17:00 in the Church on the Blood, followed by an all-night vigil. 

Then, as expected, Patriarch Kirill will take part in the main events of the Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg on 16th and 17th July. On 16th July he will attend the Divine Liturgy in the side-chapel of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers of the Church on the Blood. On the same day at 13:00, he will participate in a procession along the Ekaterinburg Path of Sorrows (which marks the route of the Royal Passion-Bearers in Ekaterinburg) – from Shartash Station to the Church on the Blood. At 15:00 he will participate in a small vespers with an akathist to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers. At 16:30 an all-night vigil will begin in the courtyard in front of the Church on the Blood, in which His Holiness will attend. 

At 23:30 Patriarch Kirill will lead the main service of the Tsar’s Days – the night Divine Liturgy on the site near the Church on the Blood. The Divine Liturgy will end in the early hours of 17th July, after which, at 02:30 the 21 km royal procession from the Church on the Blood to the Monastery of the Royal Passion-Bearers at Ganina Yama will commence. Upon the arrival of the procession at Ganima Yama, a prayer will be offered to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers.

The Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna took a martyr’s death along with the nun Varvara and representatives of the House of Romanov in Alapaevsk on 18th July, 1918. In this regard, according to the program of the Imperial Days on 18th July, at 02:00,  a Divine Liturgy will be performed at the Holy Trinity Bishop’s Compound in Alapaevsk and at 04:00 – a moleben at the mine, where they were murdered. His Holiness will take part in these events, and will perform the act of consecration of the Church of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 22 June 2018

Nicholas II. Portraits & Monuments – COMING SOON!


Available from the Royal Russia Bookshop late July 2018 

The publication of Nicholas II. Portraits & Monuments in late July 2018, will mark both the 150th anniversary of the birth, and the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Russia’s last emperor and tsar.

This special commemorative book is a memorial to Nicholas II, one which spans a century, through portraits and monuments, created both during his reign, and a century later in post-Soviet Russia. The introduction, text and captions have been researched from Russian sources by Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert. Richly illustrated with 170 black and white photographs, this title will become a welcome addition to the library of any one who has an interest in Nicholas II.

It features portraits painted during the late 19th and early 20th century, complemented with exceptional works by contemporary Russian artists. During his 22-year reign (1894-1917), Nicholas II was commemorated in a number of superb portraits, many of which have survived to this day, and are now on display in some of Russia’s finest museums and former Imperial residences. Several of them have an interesting history.

While few monuments to Nicholas II were established in the Russian Empire during his reign, dozens of monuments, busts, and memorial plaques have been established in post-Soviet Russia. From Tsarskoye Selo to Vladivostock, Russia’s last emperor and tsar has been immortalized in marble, granite, and bronze. Each one is documented in this book, each with descriptive details. Further, monuments have also been established outside Russia: Serbia, Bosnia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Thailand, even Australia!

The monuments themselves are testament to the changing attitude among Russian society towards the life and reign of Nicholas II.

Large soft cover format, full colour covers, 170 pages, 200 black and white photos.

Available from the Royal Russia Bookshop late July 2018 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 June 2018