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Romanov Buried in City

Published: June 4, 2010 (Issue # 1579)



  • Mourners including the grand duchess daughter Maria (center) attend the funeral of Grand Duchess Leonida Romanova at the Peter and Paul Cathedral on Thursday.
    Photo: Alexander Belenky / The St. Petersburg Times

Grand Duchess Leonida Romanova, who died in Madrid on May 23 aged 95, was buried at the Grand Duke necropolis of the Peter and Paul Fortress on Thursday. Romanova was the oldest and one of the last representatives of the Romanov dynasty, Russias last imperial family.

Born in Tbilisi in 1914, Romanova fled Soviet Russia in 1931 with the protection of the prominent writer Maxim Gorky. She first traveled back in 1989 at the age of 75, in the wake of perestroika, and since then had made more than 30 trips to the country as she sought to support a number of charitable and cultural initiatives, many of them organized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Romanova was buried next to her late husband, Grand Duke Vladimir Romanov, the great-grandson of Alexander II.

The memorial lithurgy at the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral was led by the Metropolitan Vladimir of St. Petersburg and Ladoga.

More than 100 people attended the funeral, including Romanovas daughter Maria, the new head of the Romanov Imperial House, along with Marias son Georgy, a number of foreign diplomats, representatives of royal families of European countries and members of monarchist and Cossack organizations.

The ceremony was however boycotted by the Romanov Family Members Association, who denied the very right of Leonida Romanova to hold the title of the head of the Romanov Imperial House. In his interviews to the Russian media, Ivan Artsishevsky, the Russian representative of the Romanov Family Members Association, called Romanova a self-proclaimed empress. The association argued that although Romanova was a respected member of the imperial family, her status as the head of the house was illegitimate.

Alexander Zakatov, the official spokesman of the Romanov Imperial House, stressed that while being a strong and convinced monarchist and a dedicated Russian Orthodox believer, Leonida Romanova showed laudable tolerance to people of other political persuasions and religious orientation, refraining from any sorts of political campaigns.

Since her very first trip to Russia in 1989, she asserted the simple truth that she was not seeking any political power or retributions, Zakatov told reporters Thursday. On her last visit to Russia, the Grand Duchess took part in a consecration ceremony of a monument to unknown Soviet soldiers in Smolensk.

Zakatov said the funding for the funeral came entirely from private sources. Not a kopeck of state money was spent, he stressed, describing the funeral as solemn yet modest. According to Romanovas last will, the burial ceremony was conducted in the Orthodox tradition.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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