‘Nicholas II: The Last Orthodox Tsar of Russia’ with Paul Gilbert

Emperor Nicholas II reigned for 22 years. With his murder, the last Orthodox Christian monarch, along with the thousand-year history of thrones and crowns in Russia, ended, ushering in an era of lawlessness, apostasy, and confusion, one which would sweep Holy Orthodox Russia into an abyss which would last more than 70 years.

This new video production is based on the research of our project colleague and independent researcher Paul Gilbert, who also presents this video.

This 20-minute video is presented in the framework of the production of the book The Romanov Royal Martyrs: What Silence Could Not Conceal published by Mesa Potamos Publications in 2019.

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The Romanov Royal Martyrs is an impressive 512-page book, featuring nearly 200 black & white photographs, and a 56-page photo insert of more than 80 high-quality images, colourized by the acclaimed Russian artist Olga Shirnina (Klimbim), and appearing here in print for the first time.

Click HERE to read my review Romanov Book of the Year: The Romanov Royal Martyrs

Click HERE to explore the book. Click HERE to order the book

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I am truly honoured to be a research colleague of this important publishing project. I am most grateful to Father Prodromos Nikolaou and the Holy Monastery of St. John the Forerunner of Mesa Potamos in Cyprus for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this new video which tells the story about Russia’s last Orthodox Christian monarch.

This is my second video produced within the framework of the production of the book The Romanov Royal Martyrs: What Silence Could Not Conceal published by Mesa Potamos Publications in 2019. My first video The Conspiracy Against Nicholas II was released in 2018 with more than 32,000 views to date:

© Paul Gilbert / Holy Monastery of St. John the Forerunner of Mesa Potamos. 9 July 2020

The Emperor on Vacation – Set of 3 Albums

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Tucked away for decades in the Yalta Historical and Literary Museum in Crimea, are three little known photograph albums of the family of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. The albums were found in Livadia and confiscated by the regional Soviet after the Imperial residences were nationalized by the Bolsheviks in 1917.

I was made aware of the existence of these albums during my visit to Yalta and Crimea in 2000, however, it was not possible to view them at the time.

The albums were published last year by the N. Orianda Publishing House in Simferopol, Crimea under the title Император на отдыхе / The Emperor on Vacation in three handsome hard cover volumes. Each album is filled with photographs of the Imperial family during their stay in Crimea in 1902, 1912 and 1913 respectively. The albums are packaged in a handsome slip case. Text and captions are in Russian.

This collection of photographs are indeed special, as there are no staged portraits, they reflect the private, home life of the Imperial family: walks, picnics, excursions, family and friendly meetings – all set against the backdrop of picturesque Crimean nature, and the region’s historical and architectural monuments. Also included are a few images taken during official meetings and parades.

These albums will be indispensable to historians and any one interested in the life of Russia’s last tsar and his family. The photographs have not been published in any of the pictorials published by Western publishers over the past decades – they are new to us! What makes these albums even more unique and valuable is that only 100 sets were printed! The price is 10,000 rubles ($150 USD).

Volume I (1902) Августейшие дачники / August Summer Residents

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Volume II (1912) Земной рай Романовых / Romanovs Earthly Paradise

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Volume III (1913) Царский альбом в стиле репортажа

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Published by the N. Orianda Publishing House in Simferopol, Crimea.

ISBN: 9785604293164. Click HERE to order your set of these magnificent albums!

© Paul Gilbert. 16 June 2020

‘Royal Russia’ – the return of an old favourite

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CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Full-colour covers, 122 pages + 99 black & white photos. Price: $25 + postage

I am pleased to announce that the No. 15 issue of Royal Russia is now available for purchase from my online bookshop. This is the first issue to be published in more than a year!

The past year has allowed me to rethink the future of this popular journal, and during that time, I have made several changes to the publication.

Aside from a new font and page numbering, I have also made a slight change in the wording of the subtitle of Royal Russia, which now reads A Celebration of the History of the Romanov Dynasty in Words and Photographs.

The No. 15 issue, and all future issues will only feature full-length articles on the history of the Romanov dynasty: biographies, events in their respective lives, their residences among other like-minded topics.

I have eliminated all advertising and Royal Russia News, thus devoting more space to more full-length articles, many of which will be first English translations of works by Russian historians, providing readers with fresh, new facts and information from a variety of Russian media and archival sources.

I am also pleased to note that each new issue will contain more photographs of the Russian Imperial Family, their residences, as well as those of life in Pre-Revolutionary Russia.

I am making great efforts to find and publish photos which are rare or never seen before to the majority of readers. Don’t let any one convince you that there are “no new photos of the Romanovs” – there are many!

I must apologize for the quality of some of the photographs published in Royal Russia, however, this is something which I have no control over. Photos have been chosen for their visual impact, but historical accuracy has made it vital to include a number of photographs whose quality is poor, but whose value as historical documents is considerable. Sadly, during the Soviet years, many photographs of the Imperial family were stored under poor conditions and their standard is low

Please note that while I will make every effort to publish two issues per year, I can no longer guarantee such. Each new issue will be published only when I have enough full-length articles. Translations are both time consuming and costly, but I will work very hard to bring readers something fresh, new and interesting with each successive issue.

I must also stress, that when an issue has sold out, no further reprints will be issued. I can confirm that 5 of the 15 issues of Royal Russia published to date, are now out of print.

I trust that you will like the changes made to Royal Russia, that you will enjoy all the articles and photos, and that you will continue to be a dedicated reader in the years ahead.

Below, is a list of the 6 full-length articles and their respective authors, featured in Royal Russia No. 15:

MILESTONES IN THE LIFE OF GRAND DUKE MIKHAIL ALEXANDROVICH
by Yuri Alexandrovich Zhuk & Vladimir Mikhailovich Khrustalev – 1st English Translation

TIMOFEJ YASHCHIK: The Fate of Maria Feodorovna’s Bodyguard
by Andrei Razumov – 1st English Translation

QUEEN VICTORIA AND THE ROMANOVS
by Coryne Hall

THE BOLSHOI THEATRE AND THE ROMANOVS
by Alexander Anatolyevich Vaskin – 1st English Translation

PRINCESS TATIANA KONSTANTINOVNA: The Little Known Romanov
by Coryne Hall

ANNA VYRUBOVA: The Finnish Years in Exile
by Ludmila Khuktiniemi – 1st English Translation

plus, two collections of vintage photographs:

FROZEN IN TIME
Photographic Memories of the Russian Imperial Family

THE LOST WORLD OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA
Vintage Photographs of Russia Before the Revolution

Royal Russia No. 15 can be purchased from my online bookshop – thank you for your interest in my publications! 

© Paul Gilbert. 7 May 2020

NEW BOOK! Bones of Contention: The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ekaterinburg Remains

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CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Full-colour covers, 156 pages + 55 black & white photographs
Author: Paul Gilbert                     Price: $20 + postage

The reopening of the investigation into the death of Nicholas II and his family in 2015, caused a wave of indignation against the Russian Orthodox Church. This book presents the position of both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Investigation Committee.

This is the first English language title to explore the position of the Orthodox Church in Russia with regard to the Ekaterinburg remains. The author’s research for this book is based exclusively on documents from Russian media and archival sources.

This unique title features an introduction by the author, plus three essays and three interviews, on such topics as the grounds for the canonization of Nicholas II and his family by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000; comparative details of the Sokolov investigation in 1919, and the investigations carried out in the 1990s to the present; reluctance of the Moscow Patriarchate to officially recognize the remains as authentic; interesting findings of Russian journalist, producer and screenwriter Elena Chavchavadze in her documentary Regicide. A Century of Investigation; and the author’s own attempt to provide some answers to this ongoing and long drawn-out investigation for example: “Will Alexei and Maria be buried with the rest of their family?” and “Will the Imperial Family remains be reinterred in a new cathedral in Ekaterinburg?”.

Interviews with Vladimir Soloviev, Chief Major Crimes Investigator for the Central Investigate Department of the Public Prosecution Office of the Russian Federation and Archpriest Oleg Mitrov, a member of the Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints – BOTH key players in the Ekaterinburg remains case, reveal the political undertones of this to this ongoing and long drawn-out investigation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Independent researcher Paul Gilbert has spent more than 25+ years researching and writing about the Russian Imperial Family. His primary research is focused on the life, reign and era of Nicholas II. On 17th July 1998, he attended the tsar’s interment ceremony at the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Twenty years later, he attended the Patriarchal Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July 2018, held at the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg. Since his first visit to the Urals in 2012, he has brought prayers and flowers to both Ganina Yama and Porosenkov Log on numerous occasions.

© Paul Gilbert. 2 May 2020

NEW Romanov Books to be Published in 2020

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Independent researcher and publisher Paul Gilbert

March 25th marked the 1st anniversary of the publication of my book Nicholas II. Portraits. Aside from the Nicholas II 2020 Calendar, I have been unable to publish any additional books since.

Shortly after I returned from England last May, I began to develop complications of diabetes (which I have lived with for more than 30 years). These included neuropathy in my legs and feet, making if very difficult for me to walk, however, the worst of the complications affected my vision. As a result of the latter, it became increasingly difficult for me to read and write. While I was still able to create posts for my Nicholas II blog and my Facebook page, I was unable to work on any new publications without the aid of both computer glasses and a magnifying glass.

While I am happy to say that medication has helped relive the neuropathy in my legs and feet somewhat, the restoration of my vision has only slightly improved. I pray that over time, that this can be fully restored under the care of an ophthalmologist.

As a result of my personal health issues, all of my publishing projects have been delayed or put on hold by a year. It has also made it very difficult for me to stay on top of all the emails and messages I receive on a daily basis.

This year, I plan to only publish 5 new titles, while many others will be put on the back burner. I will continue to publish both Royal Russia and Sovereign, however, there will no longer be any set schedule to their publication. 

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Here is a list of the 5 titles planned for publication in 2020 – see my Note below for availability:

[1] Bones of Contention: The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ekaterinburg Remains by Paul Gilbert

[2] Royal Russia No. 15

[3] Sovereign No. 12

[4] Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint. 2021 Calendar

[5] Nicholas II. Monuments by Paul Gilbert

PLEASE NOTE that I cannot provide any publication dates for any of the titles listed above or that of any future book titles, nor any future issues of Royal Russia and Sovereign. If the title is NOT listed in my online bookshop, then it is not yet available. A listing will be added to my online shop + an email sent out, when each new title becomes available. I kindly ask that you refrain from phoning or emailing me with publication updates, because there will be delays. Under the present circumstances, I am doing the best I can. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and thank you for supported my research – PG

© Paul Gilbert. 30 March 2020

 

‘The Last Tsar’ – a tale of two books

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The Last Tsar by Larissa Yermilova, 1996 edition (left) and 1997 edition (right)

Back in 1996, The Last Tsar by Larissa Yermilova was published, a joint effort by Planeta (Russia) and the Parkstone (UK) publishers. The book was one of numerous pictorials published in the 1990s, after historians were permitted access to the Romanov archives, which housed thousands of never before seen photographs from the private albums on Russia’s last emperor and his family. A second edition was published the following year (1997) in a larger format.

The Last Tsar is a major photographic record of the three last Emperors of Russia: Alexander II (pg. 41-68), Alexander III (pg. 69-122), and Nicholas II (pg.123-255).

Up until its publication in 1996, the great majority of the photographs used in this book had never been published before, and have rarely been seen even by researchers from the West, having remained hidden in the archives for 70 years, since the 1917 Russian Revolution. The many contemporary photographs depict Russian royalty in ceremonial dress and at leisure in informal surroundings.

The Last Tsar is a large format hardcover, with 255 pages, text in English. The highlight of this book is the illustrations: nearly 300 colour and black and white photographs! 

Copies of both the 1996 and 1997 editions can be found on eBay and Amazon. The original 1996 edition is the better of the two – PG

© Paul Gilbert. 16 March 2020

Debt of Love . . . and devotion for Tsar Martyr Nicholas II and his family

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Paperback. 237 pages. 132 black and white photographs. Published 2019

“In order to understand Tsar Nicholas II, you have to be Orthodox . . . You have to be consistently Orthodox, consciously Orthodox, Orthodox in your essence, culture and world view”, writes Archpriest Andrew Phillips in his excellent article The Glimmer of Light on the Road Ahead: On Tsar Nicholas II and the Restoration of the Christian Imperium, published on his Orthodox England web site.

While there may be some truth to Father Andrew’s statement, Nicholas II is admired and respected by people of all faiths, who, together share one common belief, in that he has been unfairly judged by history. I myself, am living proof that one does not need to be Orthodox to understand Nicholas II. Born and baptized within the Church of England, I have worked tirelessly over the past 25+ years to clear the name of Russia’s much slandered tsar.

Having said that, it is the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his family, who are now leading me to Orthodoxy. My journey is far from complete, but after reading Debt of Love by Ariane Trifunovic Montemuro, I am now one step closer.

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Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II by Ariane Trifunovic Montemuro

Ariane Trifunovic Montemuro is a Serbian-American artist and author, who shares her private story in a unique personal way: her declaration of love and devotion for Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his Royal Martyr Family. Ariane pays back a “Debt of Love” to them for their holy lives and their martyrdom on behalf of Orthodox Christians everywhere. This heartfelt book shows us all how great these Saints truly are!

Ariane presents a fresh account of the lives of Tsar Nicholas and his family, and their tragic murders in this touching, photo filled narrative. She sets the record straight by revealing the true spiritual beauty of this family. The author’s art depicting the Holy Royal Martyrs – which is represented in the book (and video below) – is not only beautiful, but adds so much to the effect of the story.

What I particularly liked about this book, is that while reading Debt of Love, I felt as if was sitting with the author, listening contently to her personal story. There are no fancy words or terms, she speaks from the depths of her soul, making it a wonderful read.

This book will appeal to Orthodox Christians, monarchists, but also the many adherents of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who wish to pay homage to the much slandered Tsar-Martyr, regardless of their respective faith.

All the proceeds from the sales of this new devotional book go to support the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, New York.

You can purchase copies of Debt of Love by Ariane Trifunovic Montemuro, from Amazon, Book Depository or your favourite independent bookseller.

© Paul Gilbert. 4 March 2020

Russia, here I come . . . again!

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The Church on the Blood, Ekaterinburg

I am very pleased to announce that I will be returning to Russia in September, where I will spend 10 days in Ekaterinburg and Tobolsk.

I have booked my flights on Aeroflot from Toronto-New York (JFK)-Moscow-Ekaterinburg, 19th – 29th September. This journey marks my 30th visit to Russia since 1986, my 4th visit to Ekaterinburg since 2012, and my 1st visit to Tobolsk!

The purpose of this journey is to complete research on my forthcoming book My Russia. Ekaterinburg. I began researching and writing this book in 2018, with plans to publish it prior to the centenary of the deaths of Nicholas II and his family. Instead, I delayed the publication, due to the fact that I attended the Tsars Days events held in Ekaterinburg in July 2018. In hindsight, I am happy that I made the decision to delay the books publication, as I was able to collect a lot of additional material for the book, as well as hundreds of photographs, many of which will be featured in my book.

I will spend 5 days in Ekaterinburg, revisiting the many places associated with the last days of the Imperial Family, including the Church on the Blood, the Novo-Tikhvin Convent, Ganina Yama, Porosenkov Log, as well as three museums dedicated to the Holy Royal Martyrs: Museum of the Holy Royal Family (Patriarchal Compound), Romanov Memorial Hall (Museum of History and Archaeology in the Urals); and Museum and Exhibition Center (Ganina Yama).

Once a bastion of Bolshevism, Ekaterinburg has slowly shed its status as the “capital of atheism”. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Urals has experienced a revival of faith, with Ekaterinburg at the into the center of Orthodox Russia in the Urals. Ekaterinburg has done more to honour Nicholas II and his family than any other city in Russia.

Thanks to my previous visits to Ekaterinburg in 2012, 2016 and 2018, it is a city which I have grown to admire and love.

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The Museum of the Family of Emperor Nicholas II, Tobolsk

From there, I will travel by train to Tobolsk – a 10-hour journey – and spend 3 days exploring this beautiful historic city and former capital of Siberia. The city is known for its 18th-century snow-white coloured Kremlin, Orthodox churches and many buildings dating from the Tsarist period, which have thankfully been preserved to this day.

My primary interest will, of course, be the former Governors Mansion, where the Imperial Family lived under house arrest from August 1917 to April 1918. Following the October Revolution, it was renamed the ‘House of Freedom’.

Today, the former Governors Mansion houses the Museum of the Family of Emperor Nicholas II. The museum was opened in 2018, the year marking the 100th anniversary of the deaths of the Imperial family. 

Thirteen rooms have been recreated in the building, many of which have preserved many historic elements and details from the time of the Imperial Family’s stay here. The museum features more than 900 artefacts, including memorial and personal items related to Nicholas II and his family.

Not only am I looking forward to meeting up with old friends and making new acquaintances in my favourite Russian city Ekaterinburg, I am also very much looking forward to exploring Tobolsk for the very first time. An added bonus to this journey, will be the opportunity to see the Urals decked out in the beautiful colours of autumn.

Upon my return from Russia, I will publish a summary of my visit in an issue of Sovereign, and put the finishing touches on my book My Russia. Ekaterinburg, adding additional text and photographs.

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My Russia. Ekaterinburg – front and back covers

The present draft of My Russia. Ekaterinburg, already contains an Introduction, plus illustrated chapters on the Churches of Ekaterinburg; a History of the Ipatiev House; the Church on the Blood; the Patriarchal Compound and the Museum of the Holy Royal Family; the Novo-Tikhvin Convent; the Romanov Memorial Hall in the Museum of History and Archaeology in the Urals; Tsar’s Days; Ganina Yama, the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs and the Museum and Exhibition Center; Porosenkov Log; Alapaevsk; Tyumen; Tobolsk and the Museum of the Family of Emperor Nicholas II; helpful Visitor Information and much more.

With 250 pages, and richly illustrated with 300 black and white photos – many taken by me during my visits to the Urals – My Russia. Ekaterinburg  will be my largest publishing project to date. God willing, my book will be available before Christmas.

© Paul Gilbert. 26 February 2020

Queen Victoria and The Romanovs: Sixty Years of Mutual Distrust

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Queen Victoria and the Romanovs, a NEW book by royal historian Coryne Hall

Despite their frequent visits to England, Queen Victoria never quite trusted the Romanovs. In her letters she referred to ‘horrid Russia’ and was adamant that she did not wish her granddaughters to marry into that barbaric country. ‘Russia I could not wish for any of you,’ she said. She distrusted Tsar Nicholas I but as a young woman she was bowled over by his son, the future Alexander II, although there could be no question of a marriage. Political questions loomed large and the Crimean War did nothing to improve relations.

This distrust started with the story of the Queen’s ‘Aunt Julie’, Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and her disastrous Russian marriage. Starting with this marital catastrophe, Romanov expert Coryne Hall traces sixty years of family feuding that include outright war, inter-marriages, assassination, and the Great Game in Afghanistan, when Alexander III called Victoria ‘a pampered, sentimental, selfish old woman’. In the fateful year of 1894, Victoria must come to terms with the fact that her granddaughter has become Nicholas II’s wife, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Eventually, distrust of the German Kaiser brings Victoria and the Tsar closer together.

Permission has kindly been granted by the Royal Archives at Windsor to use extracts from Queen Victoria’s journals to tell this fascinating story of family relations played out on the world stage.

Hard cover. 287 pages, illustrated
Book Depository in the UK offer FREE DELIVERY WORLDWIDE!

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Coryne Hall is an historian, broadcaster and consultant specialising in the Romanovs and British and European royalty. She was born in Ealing, West London and developed a fascination for Imperial Russia in childhood when she learnt that her great-grandmother was born in St Petersburg, an almost exact contemporary of Nicholas II. The author of many books, she is a regular contributor to Majesty Magazine, The European Royal History Journal, Royal Russia, Sovereign and Royalty Digest Quarterly. She acted as consultant on the Danish television documentaries “A Royal Family” and “The Royal Jewels.”

Coryne has lectured at royalty conferences in England, Denmark, Russia and America. Her media appearances include Woman’s Hour, BBC South Today, the documentaries “Russia’s Lost Princesses” and “13 Moments of Fate”, live coverage of Charles and Camilla’s wedding for Canadian television and co-hosting live coverage of Prince William’s wedding alongside John Moore for Newstalk 1010, Canada. She was also the last person to have a private audience with Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. She lives in Hampshire.

© Coryne Hall / Amberley Publishing (UK). 25 February 2020

Nicholas II. The Tsarist Feat

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Illustration © V. Volynets

Николай II. Царский подвиг. Автор: Наталья Иртенина / Nicholas II. The Tsarist Feat. Author: Natalya Irtenina, with illustration by V. Volynets is a new book for children age 6+, published in Russia in February 2020. 60 pg. Illustrated. Available in Russian ONLY!

The book tells children about the life of the last Russian emperor, whose fate is inextricably linked with the tragic events which affected Russia.

For many people, Nicholas II was and remains a mystery. Some people still consider him weak-willed and heartless, a traitor to the Motherland, while other see him as a selfless and merciful ruler who hated bloodshed and did much to improve the life of his people.

This book tells in a lively, fascinating way what kind of person the emperor was. What he loved, how he passed his childhood, proving an exemplary father to his children, how he carried out his duties to both his subjects and to Russia, how he endured the trials that his whole family suffered, and what kind of feats, both royal and Christian, he accomplished in his life.

It is so important that children learn the truth about Nicholas II. This tiny book is yet one more in a growing list of titles aimed at children. This is a book in which the entire family can read together. The colourful illustrations by V. Volynets will no doubt arouse the curiosity of children, prompting many questions about the life of the Holy Royal Martyr Nicholas II and his family.

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Illustration © V. Volynets

© Paul Gilbert. 23 February 2022