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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

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburgs answer to the United States popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genres authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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