Saturday, 16 October, 2021

Lavish Russian wedding for Tsar's descendant

Lavish Russian wedding for Tsar's descendant

A descendent of Russia's Romanov monarchy, which was toppled in the 1917 revolution, has married in a lavish ceremony in St Petersburg, reports BBC. Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and his fiancée Rebecca Virginia Bettarini tied the knot on Friday.

Foreign guests included Prince Rudolph and Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein, and former Bulgarian royalty.

Mikhailovich's great-grandfather, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, fled Russia during the Bolshevik revolution. Vladimirovich was a cousin of Russia's last Tsar, Nicholas II, who was killed by a revolutionary firing squad with his wife and five children in 1918.

The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia for more than three centuries before Nicholas II abdicated in early 1917. This paved the way for the Bolshevik revolution and 70 years of Communist rule.

Russian Orthodox clergy conducted the elaborate ceremony at Saint Isaac's cathedral.

The guest list of around 1,500 people included other prominent names like Konstantin Malofeyev, a monarchist and billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin, and Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Romanov, 40, studied in Oxford but has spent the majority of his life in France. He has worked at the European Parliament and Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel.

The couple moved to Russia three years ago.

Local resident Galina Bobrova said she wished the new couple "happiness". "For us the monarchy is something from a past life, of course, but it's interesting," she told the AFP news agency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman told reporters that the Kremlin wishes all newlyweds well, but added: "This marriage does not belong on our agenda in any way."