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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

Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the clubs website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBAs and Capital Legal Services event Arctic Expedition this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



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