Happy Orthodox Christmas

January 7

Today – 7th January – Orthodox Christians around the world
celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Merry Christmas to my Orthodox friends!

Счастливого Рождества моим православным друзьям!

Срећан Божић мојим православним пријатељима!

Καλά Χριστούγεννα στους Ορθόδοξους φίλους μου!

PAUL GILBERT
7 January 2020

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The End of Royal Russia

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Please take a moment to review my new professional page,
which includes photos, a video and links

After 25+ years, Royal Russia is no more. I have permanently closed my Royal Russia web site and news blog. My Royal Russia Facebook page will automatically be deleted on 12th January. I will, however, continue to publish my popular semi-annual journal Royal Russia.

I will now be devoting my time and resources to the full-time study of the life, reign and era of Russia’s last emperor and tsar. You can follow my research on my ‘Nicholas II’ blog, and my personal Facebook page. I will also continue to publish my semi-annual journal Sovereign as well as new book titles.

My blog ‘Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint’ received more than 70,000 hits in 2019. I will continue to post articles and news from Russian media sources throughout 2020.

I am also looking forward to hosting the 2nd International Nicholas II Conference on Saturday 15th May 2021, at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have followed and supported me and my work over the past 25 years. Today marks the beginning of the next page of my personal journey, please join me!

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© Paul Gilbert. 3 January 2020

 

‘Nicholas II 2020 Calendar’ – only a few copies left!

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CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO ORDER MY 2020 CALENDAR

I am reaching out to friends and followers of my 25+ years of researching and writing about the Romanovs, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia.

If you appreciate my efforts in keeping the memories of old Russia alive, please support me in the coming new year, by purchasing a copy of ‘Nicholas II 2020 Calendar‘ – only a few copies left!

Each month features an iconic full-page photograph of Nicholas II (see images below), printed on glossy stock.

Each month features an iconic full-page photo
of Nicholas II printed on glossy stock

Each month features an iconic full-page photo
of Nicholas II printed on glossy stock

The net proceeds from the sale of each calendar will go towards my research from Russian media and archival sources, including translation costs, and more.

The price is only $10 + postage. Payment can be made by credit card or PayPal online or by personal check or money order (order forms can be downloaded and printed from the order page at the link provided on this page)

THANK YOU to those of you who have already purchased a copy,
your interest and support of my research is much appreciated – PG

© Paul Gilbert. 19 December 2019

‘The Conspiracy Against Nicholas II’, with Paul Gilbert

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO WATCH VIDEO

NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 8 August 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

The Conspiracy Against Nicholas II is a short seven minute interview with researcher Paul Gilbert, produced by the Monastery of St John the Forerunner Mesa Potamos in Cyprus.

Paul speaks about the Emperor’s abdication on 15th March [O.S. 2nd March] 1917, and the ‘treachery, cowardice and deceit’ which surrounded him.

He further discusses the main plots which aimed to overthrow Nicholas II from his throne, by his ministers, and even members of his own family. He then discusses some of the myths regarding Nicholas’ II alleged weakness as a ruler, and allegations that his death was met with indifference by the Russian people.

The video includes coloured pictures of the Romanovs and other historical figures, by acclaimed Russian colourist Olga Shirnina, from the forthcoming book The Romanov Royal Martyrs: What Silence Could Not Conceal, published in 2019.

The Conspiracy Against Nicholas II is the fifth of a special multi-episode tribute featuring exclusive interviews with Mesa Potamos Monastery research colleagues: Helen Azar, Helen Rappaport, Nicholas B.A. Nicholson and Paul Gilbert. Click HERE to view ALL six episodes.

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Paul Gilbert is an independent researcher specializing in the life, reign and era of Emperor Nicholas II, and who is dedicated to clearing the name of Russia’s much slandered Tsar through his news blog Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint., his semi-annual journal Sovereign, and Conferences. The 1st International Nicholas II Conference was held on 27th October 2018, in St. John of Shanghai Church in Colchester, England; the 2nd International Nicholas II Conference will be held at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York on Saturday, 15 May 2021.

© Paul Gilbert. 6 December 2019

Summary of Nicholas II Conference in England – 27 October 2018

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Archpriest Andrew Phillips and Paul Gilbert, St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Church

NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally published on 31 October 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

On Saturday 27th October, more than 100 people from 11 countries attended the 1st International Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint. Conference in England.

The venue for the event was St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Church in Colchester, Essex, which is situated about an hour’s train journey from London. It was truly meaningful and appropriate that the conference should take place at the Church of St John of Shanghai, who did so much for the glorification of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers.

This historic event brought people from no less than 11 countries: England, Wales, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Vatican City, Russia and from as far away as Canada, America and Australia.

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More than 100 people from 11 countries attended the Nicholas II Conference

Among the guests was Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen), who travelled from Washington, DC for the event. His Eminence is a retired American Orthodox bishop who served as the primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) with the title The Most Blessed Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada from his election on November 12, 2008, until his resignation on July 7, 2012. Metropolitan Jonah was the first convert to the Orthodox faith to have been elected as the primate of the OCA.

On June 15, 2015, Metropolitan Jonah was released from the Orthodox Church in America in order for him to be accepted as a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

Greetings for the conference and its attendees were received by letter from Vice-Chairman of the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Archimandrite Philaret; Head of the Russian Imperial House Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna; and His eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.

The conference featured 5 speakers, who presented 7 papers, some of which were dedicated to clearing the name of the much slandered tsar.

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‘Romanovs During the First World War: Charity and Heroism’ exhibit

The Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society UK provided 10 exhibit banners from the society’s exhibition Romanovs During the First World War: Charity and Heroism. The exhibit featured photos, post cards and documents from the Russian archives and private collections. The exhibition was produced by GDER society, St Tichon’s Theological University, Moscow, and The Society of Card Collectors. All the information in English.

Holy Trinity Publications set up a table offering copies for sale of ‘The Romanovs’ Under House Arrest‘, co-authored by Marilyn Swezey, and ‘The Romanovs: Family of Faith and Charity‘, a children’s book by Maria Maximova.

Royal Russia Publications also set up a table offering copies of ALL current and back issues of ‘Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II‘.

Special thanks to Father Andrew Phillips rector of St John of Shanghai Orthodox Church, for his enthusiasm and support of this event, and for the opportunity to use St John of Shanghai Church as the venue for this historic conference.

To my dearest friends Mike and Julia Carr, and David Clark for all their dedication and hard work in helping to set up the church and meeting hall, assisting with registration, book sales, lunch, teas and coffee, etc.

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The Nicholas II Conference proceedings have been published in a special ‘limited edition’ issue of Sovereign. The No. 9 Conference issue includes all seven papers + photographs. Copies are available from the Royal Russia Bookshop. Price: $25.00 CAD + postage.

Given that the conference was held in England, it seemed only fitting the the cover photo of this special issue should feature Tsar Nicholas II, who served as Colonel in Chief of The Royal Scots Greys from 1894-1918.

NOTE: the 2nd International Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint. Conference will be held on Saturday 15th May 2021, at the Holy Trinity in Jordanville, New York

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© Paul Gilbert. 1 December 2019

The Truth About Nicholas II

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ANNUAL CHRISTMAS APPEAL

I am reaching out to friends and supporters for donations to support me in my personal mission to clear the name of Nicholas II, and to those who share an interest in Russia’s last Imperial family.

Your donation helps support my work, including research, the cost of translations, maintenance of my news blog: Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint., the organization and promotion of the 2nd International Nicholas II Conference in the United States (Spring 2021), other events, and more!

If you enjoy all the articles, news, photos, and videos, please help support my work in the coming year ahead by making a donation.

Click HERE to make a donation by CREDIT CARD or PAYPAL

or Click HERE to make a donation by GOFUNDME

Click HERE to make a donation by PERSONAL CHECK

Thank you for your consideration.

PAUL GILBERT. 1 December 2019

Paul Gilbert: “Yekaterinburg is my favorite Russian city”

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Paul Gilbert at the monument to Nicholas II, Ganina Yama

Last week, Russian journalist Olga Koshkina asked me for an interview, the article of which was published in the October 22nd 2019 issue of ‘Oblastnaya Gazeta,’ a daily newspaper published in Ekaterinburg.

Oblastnaya Gazeta’ is the official publication of state authorities of the Sverdlovsk Region, the founders of whom are the Governor and the Legislative Assembly of the Sverdlovsk Region.

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Paul Gilbert at the Church on the Blood during Tsars Days 2018’in Ekaterinburg

Koshkina’s article ‘Пол Гилберт: «Екатеринбург – мой любимый российский город»’ – ‘Paul Gilbert: “Ekaterinburg – My Favourite Russian City,” describes my love of the Ural city, my interest in the Romanov dynasty, my efforts to clear the name of Nicholas II, and the ‘Imperial Route’ project.

NOTE: this article is only in Russian. If you use Google Translate, you can still get the gist of the article in English

© Paul Gilbert. 22 October 2019

NICHOLAS II 2020 CALENDAR

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LIMITED PRINTING OF ONLY 200 COPIES!

I am pleased to offer copies of my 2020 calendar, dedicated to Emperor, Tsar and Saint Nicholas II, with a limited printing of only 200 copies!

Each month features an iconic full-page black and white photograph of Russia’s last monarch, printed on quality glossy stock.

Nearly 70 major holidays in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Russia are featured, with room to write in your own special dates and events.

ALL net proceeds from the sale of each calendar will go into my research, including the cost of translating articles and news from Russian archival and media sources.

The price of each calendar is $10 + postage (rates are noted on the order page, link below). I can ship to any country by Canada Post

NOTE: the postage rates quoted are for SINGLE copies ONLY! If you want to order more than one calendar, then please contact me by email at royalrussia@yahoo.com

Payment can be made securely online with a credit card or PayPal or by personal check, money order or cash – click HERE to download and print a mail order form

Thank you for your support of my research and dedication to clearing the name of Russia’s much slandered tsar

© Paul Gilbert. 21 August 2019

Controversy over portrait of Empress Alexandra Fedorovna in Pavlovsk

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Portrait of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Artist: A. Muller-Norden. Canvas, oil. 1896

This lovely portrait of the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna is among my favourites. It reflects the Empress’s youth and beauty, years before the burdens of Court life and her son’s illness took their toll on her health.

Before the 1917 Revolution, the portrait hung in the Tsar’s Reception Room in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. It is currently in the collection of the Pavlovsk State Museum.

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Muller-Norden originally hung in the tsar’s Reception Room in the Alexander Palace

Given that neither Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna lived at Pavlovsk, how did this portrait end up the palace-museum collection?

‘In 1951 a government decision handed the Alexander Palace to the Ministry of Defense. The Naval Department used the building as a top-secret, submarine tracking research institute of the Baltic Fleet. As a result, the former palace would be strictly off-limits to visitors for the next 45 years.

‘The palace’s stocks that were among the evacuated items in the Central Repository of Museum Stocks from the Suburban Palace-Museums passed to the Pavlovsk Palace Museum. A total of 5,615 items were moved from the palace to Pavlovsk. Of these, nearly 200 pieces were originally from the Alexander Palaces’ three ceremonial halls: the Portrait, Semi-Circular and Marble Halls. These include 39 pieces of porcelain, 41 paintings, 73 decorative bronze pieces, and 28 pieces of furniture.’

Source: ‘My Russia. The Rebirth of the Alexander Palace’ by Paul Gilbert. Published in ‘Royal Russia No. 3 (2013), pgs. 1-11

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and in particular since the restoration of the Alexander Palace, the return of these objects has been a bone of contention between the two palace-museums. During a visit to Pavlovsk several years ago, I raised the subject with one of the Directors at Pavlovsk. “If we return these exhibits to the Alexander Palace, then we [Pavlovsk] will have nothing,” he declared.

Personally, I believe that Pavlovsk have a moral responsibility to return all of the items transferred there in 1951. Their history belongs to the Alexander Palace. It seems that the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky will have the final say. Let us hope that he does the right thing, and order the return of these items to the Alexander Palace, where they can be put on display in the rooms from which they originated.

© Paul Gilbert. 20 August 2019

The Alexander Palace as a Museum 1918-1951

During the Soviet years, the Alexander Palace was established as a museum. This video shows a group walking through the former rooms of Nicholas II and his family. The year of 1918 is noted in the video, however, this is incorrect – PG

In 1918 the former residence of Tsar Nicholas II and his family was established as a museum and open to the public. The exhibit included the historical interiors
in the central part of the building and the private apartments of the last tsar and his family located in the east wing of the palace.

In 1919, the west wing was turned into a rest home for staff of the People’s commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), while on the second floor of the east wing the former rooms of Nicholas II’s children became an orphanage named after the “Young Communards”.

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Enfilade of ceremonial halls of the Alexander Palace. 1920s

The Soviet regime were hostile towards the ‘Romanov Museum,’ and made constant threats throughout the 1930s to close the museum and sell off its treasures. Luckily, the museum staff managed to dissuade the government from this step and the museum operated up until the beginning of the Second World War.

In the first months after the Nazi invasion chandeliers, carpets, some items of furniture, eighteenth-century marble and porcelain articles were evacuated from the Alexander Palace. Most of the palace furnishings remained in the halls.

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A cemetery for members of the SS was established in front of the Alexander Palace 

During the occupation of Pushkin the palace housed the German army staff and the Gestapo. The cellars became a prison and the square in front of the palace a cemetery for members of the SS.

The palace survived World War II with minor damage, according to military records—unlike the Catherine Palace, the Palace of Pavlovsk and the Grand Palace of Peterhof, which were almost completely destroyed during the German occupation. Although the exterior was damaged, the majority of the interiors were reported as unharmed, with the exception of some rooms which received moderate to serious shell damage.

The palace had been looted by the retreating Nazi’s which resulted in many of the palaces works of art, furniture and other items being stolen. According to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of the Russian Federation, registered inventory for the Alexander Palace had—30,382 items, of which 22,628 items were recorded as lost or stolen at the end of World War II.

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Representatives of the State Emergency Commission and museum workers examine the destruction of the large central hall of the Alexander Palace. Photo by S. G. Gasilov. May 1944.

At the end of the war the Alexander Palace was mothballed. Conservation work was carried out in the palace and in 1946 it was handed over to the USSR Academy of Sciences for the storage of the collections of its Institute of Russian Literature and to house a display of the All-Union Pushkin Museum. As a consequence in 1947-51 refurbishment began in the palace, in the course of which it was intended to restore the surviving Quarenghi interiors and extant fragments of décor and also to recreate the interiors from the time of Nicholas I and Nicholas II. However, during the work many elements in the décor of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s Maple and Palisander Drawing-Rooms, as well as Nicholas II’s (Moresque) Dressing-Room were actually destroyed. These rooms of the palace were recreated to a project by the architect L.M. Bezverkhny (1908–1963) “in accordance with the architectural norms of the time of Quarenghi and Pushkin”.

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Opening day of the All-Union Museum of A. S. Pushkin (Alexander Palace), on
10th June 1949

In 1951 a government decision handed the Alexander Palace to the Ministry of Defense. The Naval Department used the building as a top-secret, submarine tracking research institute of the Baltic Fleet. As a result, the former palace would be strictly off-limits to visitors for the next 45 years.

The palace’s stocks that were among the evacuated items in the Central Repository of Museum Stocks from the Suburban Palace-Museums passed to the Pavlovsk Palace Museum. A total of 5,615 items were moved from the palace to Pavlovsk. Of these, nearly 200 pieces were originally from the Alexander Palaces’ three ceremonial halls: the Portrait, Semi-Circular and Marble Halls. These include 39 pieces of porcelain, 41 paintings, 73 decorative bronze pieces, and 28 pieces of furniture.

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Pavlovsk’s collection today includes Imperial gowns originally from the Alexander Palace

It is also interesting to note that the Pavlovsk Palace Museum also have a large number of elegant evening gowns, dresses, shoes, hats, umbrellas, gloves, handbags, fans among other personal items of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, neither of whom ever resided in Pavlovsk. They are from the Alexander Palace, however, they are now on permanent display in the Museum of the Emperor’s Dress, which is located on the ground floor, of the northern semicircular wing of Pavlovsk Palace, the ground floor.

NOTE: this text has been excerpted from ’My Russia. The Rebirth of the Alexander Palace,’ published in Royal Russia No. 3 (2013), pgs. 1-11.

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The Museum of the Russian Imperial Family in the Alexander Palace is expected to reopen at the end of 2019, or early 2020. Under restoration since August 2015, the new multi-museum complex will feature a number of reconstructed historic interiors of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. 

© Paul Gilbert. 8 August 2019