This vintage newsreel captures events of the historic visit to Riga in the summer of 1910 by Emperor Nicholas II.
At the beginning of the newsreel we see the Imperial Yacht Standart sailing into the harbour. It is one thing to admire the Standart in photographs, however, it is only when one views it in a moving image, that one can put into perspective the sheer size of this magnificent “floating palace” – 128 m (420 feet) in length and 5557 tons standard in weight. It was the envy of all the royal houses of Europe and Great Britain.
Nicholas II’s visited Riga with his family for three days – from 3 to 5 July 1910. The Imperial Family arrived for the celebration marking the 200th anniversary of the capture of Riga from Sweden by Russian troops, making it part of the Russian Empire.
The highlight of the visit was the grand opening and consecration of the monument to Emperor Peter I on the Alexander Boulevard in Riga, which is also featured in this video.
Alexandre Spiridovitch writes about the tsar’s 1910 visit to Riga in his memoirs Last Years of the Court at Tsarskoe Selo Volume II (1910-1914) – first English language edition published in 2017 [now out of print].
© Paul Gilbert. 8 April 2020