IOPS donates icon depicting Holy Royal Martyrs to parish in the village of Belousovo

PHOTO © Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS)

On 28th September, the Irkutsk branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), donated an icon depicting the Holy Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas II and Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, to the parish in the village of Belousovo, situated in the Zhukovsky District of Kaluga Oblast, Russia.

Since the middle of the 19th century, there has been a parish of the Church of St. Innocent, Bishop of Irkutsk in the village of Belousovo. During the Soviet years, the church was closed, and the building became a club for local communists.

The original wooden [beech] church building was destroyed by fire in the late 1990s. A new church was constructed in 2012, however, in 2021, it was also destroyed by fire, the interior of which included an icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs.

The new icon was donated to the parish, Vadim Fisenko, a member of the Irkutsk branch of the IOPS, and comrade of the Ataman of the Irkutsk Cossack Army of the Union of Cossacks.

In honour of the transfer of the icon to the parish, a religious procession was held in the village, led by the Cossacks of the Irkutsk Branch of the Cossack Convoy of the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II. The Divine Liturgy took place on the site of the burnt church and in the parish’s Sunday school – and temporary building of the Church of St. Innocent, Bishop of Irkutsk.

© Paul Gilbert. 29 September 2022

Act of historical justice: restored bust of Nicholas II returned to Livadia

PHOTO: the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II, installed and consecrated on 27th September 2022, on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia

On the morning of 27th September, a restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled and consecrated on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross – the home church of the Russian Imperial Family, at Livadia Palace in Crimea. The event is dedicated to the 111th anniversary of the Grand Livadia Palace.

The sculptural image was discovered at Livadia in 1994 by Oleg Anatolyevich Permyakov, a representative of the Foundation for Slavic Literature and Culture. Due to the extensive damage, which consisted of extensive mold and bullet holes, Permyakov was unaware of the identity of the bust, however, he was convinced that it was that of an important statesman from the Tsarist era.

He contacted People’s Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Klykov (1939-2006) who, after conducting a comparative analysis of historic photographs and portraits of the Russian Imperial Family from the late 19th to early 20th centuries, Klykov came to the conclusion that this was a bust of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II.

The restoration of the bust was financed by the Russian philanthropist, and honorary member of the board of trustees of the Public International Foundation for Slavic Literature and Culture Sergei Kozubenko. Klykov removed the mold and repaired the damage inflicted by Bolshevik bullets.

PHOTO: detail of the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II, installed and consecrated on 27th September 2022, on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia

A new bust was cast from the restored bust, and installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Love in Kursk. The bust marked the historic visit and stay of Emperor Nicholas II and members of the Imperial Family at the large military maneuvers, held on the outskirts of the city in August-September 1902.

A plaster copy of the bust was also installed in the central columned hall of the Fund for Slavic Literature and Culture in Moscow.

According to the restoration plan of the sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov, the bust had to return to its’ historical place, the Livadia Palace, the residence of Emperor Nicholas II, situated on the southern coast of Crimea. This return was supposed to symbolize the restoration of the connection between the generations of Russians, broken as a result of the revolution and the Civil War. To become a symbol of repentance and the return of modern Russia to its historical roots, the origins of its cultural identity.

Sadly, the great sculptor did not live to see the realization of his plan. Klykov’s idea was implemented by his friend, Sergey Pavlovich Kozubenko, who organized the return of the bust to Livadia Palace.

PHOTO: Sergei Kozubenko (left), and Oleg Anatolyevich Permyakov (second from right), at the unveiling of the restored bust of Emperor Nicholas II on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia,

The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Crimea Tatyana Manezhina , noting the importance of a respectful attitude to the historical and cultural heritage of the country.

“Each monument of history and culture embodies a tangible connection between the past and the present, which allows for the study of national history for future generations. It is especially important and significant that public organizations and individuals take part in the preservation and popularization of Russia’s cultural heritage. I am sure that our joint efforts will contribute to the preservation of the traditions and rich spiritual heritage of Russia,” the minister stated.

PHOTO: view of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, which is connected by a gallery to the palace

Tatyana Manezhina also expressed her gratitude to the staff of the Republican Museum, representatives of the Public International Fund for Slavic Culture and Literature, personally to Sergei Kozubenko for his initiative and assistance in finding and restoring the lost and damaged sculptural image of the former owner of the Livadia Palace, Emperor Nicholas II.

The event was attended by Sergey Kozubenko, Head of the Yalta city administration Yanina Pavlenko , local government officials, members of the clergy, and the general public.

VIDEO: unveiling and consecration of the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia. Click to watch.

A total of four monuments to Emperor Nicholas II have now been installed in Crimea: two on the grounds of Livadia Palace, one in Evpatoria and one in Alushta.

© Paul Gilbert. 27 September 2022

Plans for Nicholas II Conference in 2023

I am now at the half-way mark of my chemotherapy – my eighth and final cycle ends on 21st December. During the past 3 months, the chemo has really knocked the wind out of my sail, leaving me very weak and sick. Despite this, I look forward to starting off the new year, both chemo and cancer free! It is now time, to start making some long term plans.

I am pleased to announce that the 2nd International Nicholas II Conference, will now be held at St. John’s Orthodox Church in Colchester, England in September of next year.

As many of you may recall, the 2nd Conference was originally scheduled to take place at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York on Saturday, 15th May 2021. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled dur to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While I am still hopeful of holding a similar conference in the United States (or Canada) at some point, after further consideration, I have decided against holding such an event in Jordanville.

Some of you may be wondering, why I am making an announcement for the 2nd Conference a year in advance? Please bear in mind, that such events require a lot of time and planning, especially from the other side of the Atlantic. I must now set to work on the preliminary preparations, which include booking speakers, discussing their respective topics of their lectures, etc.

PLEASE NOTE: that the date for the 2nd International Nicholas II Conference in Colchester, full details and tickets to the event, will be announced in January 2023.

Click HERE to read a summary of the 1st International Nicholas II Conference, held in Colchester, England on 27th October 2018

© Paul Gilbert. 27 September 2022

The Lost World of Imperial Russia: The Russian Empire During the Reign of Emperor Nicholas II

*This title is available from AMAZON in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia,
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Large 8-1/2″ x 11″ format, 242 pages, featuring
400+ black & white photos printed on glossy stock

This richly illustrated pictorial is a celebration of the beauty and splendour of a lost world: Imperial Russia during the reign of Emperor Nicholas II, from 1894 to 1917.

More than 400+ black and white photographs, printed on glossy paper, showcase Imperial residences, country estates and manor houses, dachas, churches, government buildings, hotels, restaurants, historic events, people and much more.

The Lost World of Imperial Russia, is a remarkable photographic record of one of the world’s greatest empires—one that both attracts and eludes description.

While many of the architectural gems of Imperial Russia have survived to the present day, many others have been lost to history: revolution, civil war, two world wars and 70+ years of Soviet dogma have each taken their toll on Russia’s rich architectural heritage. Many of the photographs in this album remain the only evidence of their existence.

Paul Gilbert’s Romanov Bookshop on AMAZON

I have published nearly 30 titles to date through AMAZON – featuring one of the largest selections of books on Nicholas II, the Romanov dynasty and the history of Imperial Russia.

Please CLICK on the BANNER or LINK above to review my current selection of titles in hardcover, paperback and ebook editions. Listings provide a full description for each title, pricing and a Look inside feature.

© Paul Gilbert. 26 September 2022

Nicholas II and Tsesarevich Alexei to be featured in monument in Grozny, Chechnya

PHOTO: information stand about the Caucasian Native Cavalry Division,
formed by order of Emperor Nicholas II, in 1914

A unique exhibit dedicated to the Caucasian Native Cavalry Division, is currently on display at the Akhmat Kadyrov Museum, in Grozny, Chechnya. The Heritage of the Empire exhibit is a project of the Grozny branch of the Union of Historical and Educational Societies.

In the center of the exhibit is a model of the future monument to the Caucasian Native Cavalry Division, to be installed in the Chechen capital of Grozny. The sculptural composition includes the figures of Emperor Nicholas II, his son Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich – both of whom visited the regiment during World War I – and Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich.

An information stand featuring photos, archival documents, and list of horsemen of the regiment is also presented, prepared by the senior researcher of the museum, candidate of historical sciences Isa Saidovich Khamurzaev.

PHOTO: model of the future monument to the Caucasian Native Cavalry Division

PHOTO: detail of Emperor Nicholas II, his son Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich
and Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich of the sculptural composition

The Caucasian Native Cavalry Division, also known as the “Savage Division” was a cavalry division of the Imperial Russian Army.

On 23rd August, Emperor Nicholas II ordered the formation of the Caucasian Native Cavalry Division, simultaneously appointing his younger brother Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich as its commander. The Grand Duke’s appointment gave the unit an elite status and many foreigners in Russian service as well as Russian and Caucasian noblemen sought to join it.

On 6th March, Mikhail Alexandrovich personally led the division in an offensive on Tlumach, defeating two Austrian battalions and seizing the town. He was later awarded the Saint George Sword for the action.

The division consisted of three brigades, broken into six regiments, each of which numbered four sotnias. The 1st Brigade incorporated the 2nd Dagestan and Kabardin Regiments.

PHOTO: Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich (center),
commander of the Caucasian Native Cavalry Division

Ninety percent of the personnel were Muslim volunteers from the Caucasus, the rest belonged to various nationalities from across the Russian Empire; totaling over 60 different nationalities. Each regiment numbered 22–24 officers, 480–500 riders and 121–141 support personnel. The regiment took part in World War I, distinguishing itself in numerous engagements, including the Brusilov and Kerensky Offensives.

The February Revolution and the subsequent Abdication of Nicholas II did not negatively affect the division’s morale. In the middle of June 1917, the division joined the 12th Army Corps at Stanislavov in preparation of the Kerensky Offensive. On 8th July, the division launched an offensive on Kalush and Dolyna. On 12th July, the 1st Brigade and the 3rd Caucasus Cossack Division thwarted a German counter-offensive at Kalush.

During the course of the war, approximately 7,000 people served in the ranks of the division, 3,500 of whom received varying degrees of the Order of St. George and the Medal of St. George. Initially, non-Christians were awarded a different version of the order, which replaced St. George with the Imperial double-headed eagle. However upon the request of the riders the jigit was restored in the place of the “bird”. During the period of its operation the regiment did not record a single incident of desertion, while capturing a number of prisoners four times its own size. During the course of the Russian Civil War, many veterans of the Kabardin Regiment joined the ranks of the White Movement’s Volunteer Army. In contrast, veterans of the Ingush Regiment enlisted into the army of the Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus en masse.

© Paul Gilbert. 11 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II receives Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, 1959

PHOTO: Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, wearing the plain blue and white cotton dress and little blue straw hat, which she picked out specially for Queen Elizabeth II’s luncheon on the Royal Yacht Britannia, in June 1959

During her years in exile in Canada from1948 to 1960, the youngest sister of Russia’s last tsar Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960), maintained contact with European royalty and aristocracy. She dined with earls, countesses, duchesses, and princesses when they visited Canada, and received gifts from Finland, Denmark, and Japan on her name day and at Easter and Christmas.

In the 1950s, Olga lived in in Cooksville, Ontario[1]. Although She lived modestly, her tiny five room house on Camilla Road was the setting for visits from Olga’s British royal relatives. Among those were Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent[2] who visited Olga’s home between her royal engagements during her Canadian tour in August 1954, and Louis and Edwina Mountbatten[3], who on an official tour of Canada in August 1959, flew from Ottawa to see their cousin[4].

On the morning of 29th June 1959, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh sailed into Toronto harbour onboard HMY Britannia as part of their Canadian tour.

During their 2-day visit to Toronto, Her Majesty would be hosting a luncheon on HMY Britannia, and requested the presence of the the now widowed[5] Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna – her first cousin twice removed and a first cousin once removed, respectively[6] – and her elder son, Tikhon Kulikovsky [1917-1993].

PHOTO: HMY Britannia docked in Toronto Harbout, 29th June 1959

Olga’s neighbours in Cooksville were much excited about the impending royal visit. Olga complained to her biographer Ian Vorres, “They were at me morning, noon, and night, urging that I should buy a new frock . . .they do not see that I am far too old to start buying new clothes.”[7]

After endless argument and persuasion, Olga agreed to go to a dress shop in Toronto. Once there, however, she insisted on being given full liberty of choice. She picked out a plain blue and white cotton dress for $30 dollars. A friend who accompanied her suggested a little blue straw hat and one of two accessories. As it so happened, the dress was on sale, and Olga, feeling very happy about saving money on the purchase, agreed.

On the day of the luncheon, all of Olga’s neighbours gathered on Camilla Road to see her off that memorable morning. “All this fuss, just to go see Lizzie and Philip!” she said.

Katherine Keiler-Mackay, wife of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Lieutenant Colonel John Keiler-MacKay, had different concerns than Olga’s wardrobe. She told Patricia Phenix that prior to the luncheon, “[Olga] looked nervous . . .We were all afraid the Queen might overlook her and she might be hurt.”[8]

Keiler-Mackay need not have worried. Although there were 50 persons invited, Grand Duchess Olga was personally and warmly welcomed by the Queen, who personally escorted her to the head table.

She enjoyed lunching with the Queen, but we will never know what the royal cousins talked about that day. Was the subject of the failure and betrayal by Elizabeth’s grandfather King George V’s withdrawing asylum to the Imperial Family in 1917 ever brought up? Or the brutal murder of her brother and his family by the Bolsheviks in July 1918? Given the setting and festive mood of the event, it is hardly likely, however, we will never know.

Upon the death of Olga’s sister Grand Duchess Xenia in May 1960, a telegram of condolence was sent to Olga by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Paintings by Olga are today part of the collections of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

It is interesting to note, that in later years, Olga recalled her meeting Prince Philip, the future Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021) during a visit of Queen Olga of Greece, who left her own exile in Italy to see her god-daughter Olga and the Dowager Empress at Hvidore, Denmark. The Greek Queen brought Prince Philip, her six-year-old grandson along. “I remember young Philip as a wide-eyed youngster, with blue eyes sparkling with humour and mischief. Even then, when a mere child, he possessed a mind of his own, though he seemed rather subdued in the presence of my mother. I served him tea and cookies, which vanished in a split second. I could never have imagined then that this lovely child would one day be the consort of the Queen of England.”[9]

NOTES:

[1] Cooksville, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto (now amalgamated into the city of Mississauga). Olga’s house on Camilla Road, has survived to the present day

[2] Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark (1906-1968), later Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, was a Greek princess by birth and a British princess by marriage. She was a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia [both first cousins of Emperor Nicholas II], and a granddaughter of King George I and Queen Olga of Greece. Princess Marina married Prince George, Duke of Kent, fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary, in 1934. They had three children: Prince Edward, Princess Alexandra, and the current Prince Michael of Kent (born 1942).

[3] Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900-1979). was a maternal uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and a second cousin of King George VI.

[4] This would be Grand Duchess Olga’s last royal visit, she died in Toronto the following year on 24th November 1960. She was interred next to her husband, in York Cemetery, Toronto, on 30th November 1960

[5] Nikolai Kulikovsky died on 11th August 1958. When Olga married Nikolai (a commoner) in 1916, she was forced to renounce all rights to the Russian throne as well as those of her descendants.

[6] Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna was a cousin of the Queen’s grandfather, King George V.

[7] Vorres, Ian. The Last Grand Duchess, [Charles Scribners and Sons, New York] 1964., pg. 208-209

[8] Phenix, Patricia. Olga Romanov: Russia’s Last Grand Duchess [Penguin Books, Toronto] 1999, p. 239

[9] Vorres, Ian. The Last Grand Duchess, [Charles Scribners and Sons, New York] 1964., pg. 171

© Paul Gilbert. 9 September 2022

Photoshopped portrait of Nicholas II “an abomination!”

Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to photoshop Emperor Nicholas II out of this portrait, and replace him with the pompous and arrogant Prince George “Gosha” Mikhailovich Hohenzollern[1].

When I posted this dual image on my Facebook this morning, it caused outrage by more than 300 friends and followers, and more than 100 angry comments: “an abomination!”, wrote Elena Abramushkina, from Moscow.

While it is very doubtful that “Gosha” consented to this forgery, surely even he would agree that the image insults the memory of Russia’s last Emperor and Tsar?!

The ceremonial portrait of the Emperor was painted in 1914, by the famous Russian artist Ernst Karlovich Lipgardt (1847-1932).

During his years in St. Petersburg, Lipgardt painted at least ten portraits [known to this author] of Nicholas II. Lipgart was also a gifted decorater, taking on projects such as the palaces and theatres in the capital, including the stage curtain in the Hermitage Theatre.

He also took on more unusual requests, including decorating menus for the Nicholas II’s coronation in Moscow in May of 1896. He also painted 100 figures on a piano, telling the story of Orpheus. The piano was a present from the Tsar to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

“Gosha” is the son of Princess Maria Vladimirovna[2], one of two claimants[3] to the non-existent Russian throne. He styles himself as Его Императорскому Высочеству Государю Наследник Цесаревичу и Великому Князю / His Imperial Highness Sovereign Heir Tsesarevich[4] and Grand Duke. In reality, he is nothing more than a Spanish-born businessman, who now lives and works in Moscow.

American Legitimists continually mislead others with claims that “Gosha” and his mother are very popular in Russia these days, however, nothing could be further from the truth!

The idea of restoring monarchy in post-Soviet Russia is not popular with most Russians. In the summer of 2019, a poll conducted by REGNUM of some 35,000 Russian citizens showed that only 28% supported the idea of restoring the monarchy, more than half (52%) of which would NOT support placing a “Romanov” on the throne!

Furthermore, according to the abbot of the Archangel Michael Monastery of the Alexander Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, Father Afanasy Selichev: “If we carefully read the latest edition of the law on succession to the throne, it becomes absolutely clear that the current Romanovs have no right to occupy the Russian throne.”

NOTES:

[1] George is the son of the Prussian Prince Franz Wilhelm of Hohenzollern [born 1943], and a great-grandson of Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941). He is legitimately a German prince, and has much more rights to the German throne than that of Russia. But George, albeit very conditional, is still Romanov on the female side, it is absolutely unrealistic to imagine that Russia, would ever accept him as their Tsar.

[2] Maria Vladimirovna is a Princess, not a Grand Duchess. The last grand duchess of Russia was Nicholas II’s younger sister Olga Alexandrovna, who died on 24th November 1960, in Toronto, Canada.

[3] The other claimant is the lesser known grandson of Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna (1907-1951) Prince Nikolai Kirillovich, Prince of Leiningen (born 1952). Both he and Maria Vladimirovna are direct descendants of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich – the traitor to Nicholas II. Neither one of them have any legal claim to the Russian crown.

[4] The title “tsesarevich” is most often confused with “tsarevich”, which is a distinct word with a different meaning: “Tsarevich” was the title for any son of a tsar, including sons of non-Russian rulers accorded that title, e.g. Crimea, Siberia, Georgia, whereas “Tsesarevich” was the title reserved for the heirs of the Emperors of Russia after Peter I.

“Gosha’s” use of the title “Sovereign Heir Tsesarevich” implies that he is heir to the Russian throne, which of course, he is not!

© Paul Gilbert. 7 September 2022

Proceedings of the 1st International Nicholas II Conference

*This title is available from AMAZON in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia,
France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Japan

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE PAPERBACK EDITION @ $30.00 USD

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I am pleased to offer the proceedings of the 1st International Nicholas II Conference, in both hard cover and paperback editions, available exclusively from AMAZON.

The original edition of these proceedings published in 2018 is out of print. This NEW edition, has been revised and updated, featuring three additional articles, plus a comprehensive bibliography featuring more than 100 English-language titles on the life, reign and era of Russia’s much slandered Tsar.

In addition, this new edition also features full-colour photographs of the event, illustrated with 50 colour and black and white photographs.

* * * * *

In the autumn of 2018, people from nearly a dozen countries gathered in Colchester, England for a conference marking the 150th anniversary of the birth and the 100th anniversary of the death martyrdom of Russia’s last Tsar.

Five speakers, including Paul Gilbert, Archpriest Andrew Philips (ROCOR), Nikolai Krasnov, authors Frances Welch and Marilyn Swezey presented seven papers on Nicholas II.

Lectures included “A Century of Treason, Cowardice and Lies,” “Why Nicholas II is a Saint in the Russian Orthodox Church,” “Nicholas II and the Sacredness of a Monarchy,” “Nicholas II in Post-Soviet Russia,” among others.

The Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society UK were kind enough to provide 10 exhibit banners from the society’s mobile exhibition Romanovs During the First World War: Charity and Heroism. Click HERE to read a short summary of the Nicholas II Conference, held in Colchester, England on 27th October 2018.

The conference was timed to coincide with two exhibitions, held in London: The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution at the Science Museum and Russia: Royalty and the Romanovs at the Queen’ Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

© Paul Gilbert. 6 September 2022

Taking a stand against social media trolls

I can truly understand why some people get so fed up with the drama acted out by narcissistic trolls on Facebook and other social media outlets. During the past 30 years of researching and writing about the history of the Romanov dynasty and Imperial Russia, my name and work have been a regular target for their nasty comments and criticisms. As far as I was concerned, most of these criticisms were water off a duck’s back. Having said that, however, I was forced to grow a thick skin against some of the more hostile attempts to discredit my work.

While Dodinsky’s comments above are indeed true, they also beg the question: where exactly is one expected to draw the line between constructive criticism and outright libel and slander, made by toxic narcissictic social media trolls?

Last month, it came to my attention that Nick Nicholson, had accused me of “ripping off” Romanov writer Helen Azar, and even going as far as accusing me of committing “plagiarism” of all things!

Not only did Nick tell an outright lie, he also committed libel in the process. Given that many people who follow me on Facebook, also follow either Helen and/or Nick, I decided to take the matter in hand and set the record straight once and for all.

Nick was referring to my article What kind of ice cream was served to Nicholas II?, which I published on my Nicholas II blog on 2nd August 2022. It was this article, which he claims I “ripped off” from Azar. The idea for this article was in fact inspired by a short article, which I found on Russian media: Какое мороженое подавали Николаю II?, published on 20th July 2022.

Nick’s post on Helen Azar’s Romanov Facebook group generated a flurry of nasty comments by Helen Azar and Marlene Eilers-Koenig, among several others. Nick continued to fan the flames, from which a flurry of spiteful jibes ensued, many of them made by Azar herself. Nick even referred to me as “a jerk”. I laugh, because I have been called much worse, and by better people.

Such immature and childish behaviour by this trio of toxic trolls is nothing short of laughable! I suppose I should take some solace in knowing that by attacking and bullying me on social media, they spared some other poor soul of their toxic behaviour.

I think what was most hurtful and disappointing was to discover that several of my so-called FB “friends” took part in Nick’s attack. Needless to say, I “unfriended” them.

I am not quite sure what Helen’s problem with me is, as I have never had anything to do with this egotistical woman. I have never taken any interest in her work, or followed her on Facebook, nor purchased or promoted any of her books. Quite frankly, I find her crude and vulgar, I don’t like her, and never have.

Back in the days when I administered my popular Royal Russia Facebook group – which at its peak had more than 175,000 followers – Helen took numerous liberties by posting and promoting herself on my FB page without my permission. Perhaps my rebuff and my declining her friend requests over the years was reason enough for her to belittle me and my work?

As far as Marlene Eilers-Koenig goes, I have no idea why she decided to stick her oar in the water? This toxic woman has been around for a long time, and is well known for her acid tongue and poison pen. I, like so many others, absolutely despise her.

Getting back to Nick’s post, which he later deleted [I made a copy of the post beforehand], and then issued an apology to Azar’s Romanov group, citing that he did so because he did not think it proper to encourage an “argument” on a group page. Another lie, to spare embarrassment. The post was in fact removed by Facebook, because I reported it! My action then prompted Helen Azar to block me from her Romanov Facebook page.

Nick Nicholson is well known among the tightknit “Romanov circuit” on Facebook and other socia media. From April 2020 to September 2021, he served as Curator of the Russian History Museum in Jordanville, NY. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Russian Nobility Association In America.

Nick has had an axe to grind against me ever since I terminated our friendship of many years in April 2018. I unfriended and blocked him from my Facebook page, simply because I was sick and tired of his patronizing and condenscending attitude towards others. He has now made it his mission to discredit both myself and my work at every opportunity, and to any one who will lend him an ear. Helen Azar is no better.

Nick Nicholson is NO gentleman! In addition, his slanderous attacks against me are unbecoming of the good and caring Orthodox Christian, which he so desperately tries to portray to others. Quite frankly, I am so tired of people like Nick Nicholson, running around with a mouthful of scripture and a heart full of hate. May God forgive this man for his behaviour.

So, let me conclude by saying, I believe that my record of 30+ years speaks for itself. Not every one has to agree with my articles and posts, but that does not give them any right to attack me or my work on social media. Most people would tell me to ignore them, but again, and in my own defence, just where does one draw the line?

Dear reader, if you read any further toxic posts penned by Nicholson or Azar, I ask you to first give me the benefit of the doubt, and then to look at the source of these nasty spiteful comments: if you didn’t hear it from the horse’s mouth, stop listening to the ass who told you! And always remember . . . rumours are carried by haters, spread by fools and accepted by idiots.

© Paul Gilbert. 5 September 2022