Home World The Tsar’s heir marries 104 years after the revolution

The Tsar’s heir marries 104 years after the revolution

This is a first in Russia since the revolution of 1917: an heir to the last tsar, executed by the Bolsheviks, gets married on Friday in Saint Petersburg in the presence of several crowned heads from all over Europe.

Grand Duke Georgy Romanov, 40, married Italian Rebecca Bettarini, 39. The ceremony is held in the imposing Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, in the heart of the former imperial capital. The bride and groom advanced inside the building, each with a candle in hand, in front of Orthodox priests dressed in gold. The heir to the Tsar, with a thin gray beard and a confident look, appeared in a black suit and yellow jacket. His bride was dressed in a long white dress bearing the coat of arms of the Russian Empire embroidered in gold thread. Two wreaths were briefly held over their heads, in keeping with Orthodox tradition.

According to the organizers, 1,500 people are invited, including Queen Sofia of Spain, the deposed King of Bulgaria Simeon II and his wife Margarita, Princess Lea of ​​Belgium, as well as other representatives of European royal families. Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and her husband Gauthier Destenay are also invited, as is Russian diplomacy spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, however, told the press that the Russian president “does not plan to congratulate the newlyweds”. “This marriage is in no way linked to our agenda,” said Dmitry Peskov.

Galina Bobrova, a resident of St. Petersburg, observed Friday morning with curiosity the arrival of the first guests in front of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, where dozens of journalists are present. “I wish them to be happy. Of course, the monarchy is part of our past, but it’s interesting, ”she said.

History of russia

Born in Madrid and graduated from Oxford, Gueorgui Romanov is the son of Grand Duchess Maria Romanova, granddaughter of Grand Duke Kirill. The latter was the cousin of Nicholas II, the last tsar of the Romanov dynasty, who reigned in Russia for more than 300 years until the February 1917 revolution. The monarch had been taken prisoner by the Bolsheviks and then shot, one year later, in the Urals, with his wife Empress Alexandra, their four daughters and their son.

Buried after their execution in a place long kept secret by the Soviet authorities, their bodies and those of their children were transferred in 1998 to the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. They were then canonized in 2000 by the Russian Orthodox Church, and officially recognized in 2008 as victims of Bolshevism by the courts. Grand Duke Georgy Romanov, who lived most of his life in France, like many former members of the Russian royal family, met his fiancee in Brussels, where they worked together for the European institutions.

For him, Rebecca Bettarini, daughter of a diplomat, converted to orthodoxy and was renamed Victoria Romanovna. Installed in Moscow for three years, near the Kremlin, the Grand Duke claims to devote himself to charitable projects. In an interview with Russian media Fontanka published on Wednesday, he explained that he chose to get married in St. Petersburg for “a lot of reasons”: this city, he said, is “the history of Russia, the history of the Romanov house ”.

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