Questions and answers about the Russian Throne of Succession
This paper is addressed to those who want to understand the intricacies of the Russian succession to the throne. Over the past 100 years after the fall of the monarchy in Russia in 1917, a lot of literature discussing the single topic of the succession to the Russian throne has been published. Several fundamental antagonistic groups have clearly formed on this issue, and they either support the idea of restoring the rights of the House of Romanov and their heirs, or totally oppose it and foster other, sometimes chimerical and utopian plans to create a new Imperial Russian Dynasty "from scratch".
These monarchist groups can be classified as follows:
1 - monarchists-legitimists, who are people or monarchical communities that act clearly within the framework of the Main State Laws of the Russian Empire without any exclusions. Two groups of monarchists belong to the "legitimists": supporters of Prince Nikolai Kirillovich Leiningen-Romanov and supporters of Princess Maria Vladimirovna Romanova. The difference between them lies only in different approaches to and assessments of the origins of Maria Vladimirovna's mother, Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani. While the former insist that the marriage was morganatic, the latter consider it to be legal, since the status of the Bagration-Mukhrani as those of the Royal House of Georgia was recognized by Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich.
2 - monarchists-soborniks, who are people or communities that advocate convention of an All-Russian Zemsky Sobor to define the future Russian monarch, while the Sobor direction encompasses both "broad legitimists" who support the entire Romanov Line both without giving preference to any person as a potential successor to the Throne and without following the Pauline Laws, and the so-called fundamentalists-soborniks also known as monarchial meritocrats, who are convinced that the crown should be given to "the most worthy" regardless of the degree of kinship with the House of Romanov or any other family of monarchs of Europe or the Russian nobility. However, no one has come up with or has suggested the criteria, so it means that the ultimate personal judgment of the electors at the Sobor will determine the figure of the Russian monarch;
3 - monarchists-bonapartists, who are a large group of both political loyalists ready to recognize the incumbent president of the Russian Federation as the Tsar and a group of neo-Stalinists who are confident that the future dictator, who is also the "savior of Russia", without regard to his origin, may become a new monarch. Naturally, this group of people believe that the standard of such a "Tsar from the people" is J. Stalin being a version of a "red Bonaparte".
4 - monarchists-apocalyptics, or eschatologists. These are groups of people who are very close to the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, and who repeat various "revelations," their favorite being one of the dozens of revelations which mentions a "Tsar-Redeemer" with "will of iron, genius of mind and firm faith", i.e. it is a clear image of a Wonder Bogatyr or a Hero Tsar who will wave his hand and free Russia of all its problems, calamities and enemies. This group of people call themselves monarchists with clearly prevalent childish, infantile attitudes to both the world and its history, and to the real political processes taking place.
The author of this brochure has not once in his articles and his two monographs "Law and Crown of the Russian Empire" 2012, and "Imperial throne and the House of Romanov" 2016 written about the Russian system of Succession in a careful and detailed way as well as about who may be considered as the Successor to the Throne under the laws of the Russian Empire and even become the Emperor of All Russia de jure. Unfortunately, these books were published in limited editions and few read them. Therefore, in order to popularize the ideas of a legitimate monarchy, it is time to write a brochure as a Question-and-Answer dialogue with the analysis of those claims and that torrent of slander that was unleashed in the 20th century and continues to pour over the Imperial House of Romanov today. Previously, those were Bolshevik propagandists and agents of Soviet influence within the first wave of Russian emigration who were busy with this black PR aimed at discrediting the regal Dynasty of the Russian Emperors, now these are liberal and some pseudo-monarchical media in Russia and abroad who have joined in this process.
The discussion about the Russian Throne unfolded a long time ago and dates back to 1924, when Grand Duke Kirill, the cousin of the murdered Tsar-Martyr, announced that having ascertained the death of his cousins - Emperor Nicholas II, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and his first cousin once removed Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, he, by virtue of the laws of the Russian Empire, took over the title and duties of the Emperor of All-Russia in exile. Since that moment, disputes and squabbles have spread among supporters of the restoration of the monarchy in Russia for 90 years.
Below, we are listing all the main issues related to the Russian Succession to the throne and the rights of certain representatives of the House or the Line of Romanov to the Russian crown.
Chapter 1. Why is it the House of Romanov that monarchists-legitimists support?
Question: Why do you, as legitimists, advocate the restoration of the House of Romanov on the Russian throne? Perhaps it would be better to elect a Tsar from our own environment by popular vote?
Answer: First, we refer all the ideas of an "elective Tsar" to the decision of the historic All-Russian Zemsky Sobor of 1613, which, after February 26, 1613, swore on the Holy Scripture and through kissing a cross that Russia would be faithful to the House of Romanov "to the end of times", i.e. a Sobor oath was given from all the people for the eternal allegiance to the House of Romanov. This is the religious and legal aspect of the matter. The historical side is, and this is the second argument in favor of the House of Romanov, that it was this regal Dynasty that managed to create the Russian Empire, which neither the Rurik dynasty nor the Godunovs were able to do. We also see Divine Providence here, because nothing happens on Earth without God's blessing or will. Third, it was the care of the monarchs and members of the Romanov Dynasty that created the enormous historical and cultural heritage which Russia is so proud of, its excellent and brilliant Saint Petersburg, its vast collections of paintings, sculptures which were started since the time of Catherine the Great and had been always increasing with new masterpieces, "golden" and "silver" ages of Russian culture - all of that is also connected with the House of Romanov.
And fourth. The Russian Imperial Throne was stolen from the House of Romanov as a result of the plot and coup d’état in February-March, 1917, and we, as Russian monarchists, should return it to those who were the rightful owners of the Throne. If you believe yourselves to be honest Christians, then restoring justice and giving the Crown of the Russian Empire to the rightful successor of the House of Romanov is our sacred duty, and through this sacred act we will close the ring of timelessness and ahistoric movement of Russia which has been launched by the overthrow of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II from the Throne.
Question: Why do you propose to choose only from the Romanovs, why not allow the descendants of the Rurik dynasty or the Gediminids to take part as candidates for the Throne?
Answer: I do not really understand how the Imperial Throne of the Russian Empire is connected with the descendants of Prince Rurik and Prince Gedimin. For 300 years, they had been subjects of the Russian Tsars and Emperors, and why, having the living descendants of the Imperial Family, Russian princes of imperial blood, should we trade them for the descendants of apanage princes with unclear ancestry, who do not even know the eldest in their bloodline? Just because someone likes it? Or because someone is lobbying someone's interests? In other words, the House of Romanov has a dynastic Law according to which we can clearly identify who of the Dynasty's descendants is the eldest in genealogical seniority, and therefore may be the Emperor. There were no similar laws either in the Rurik Family or in the Gedimin Family. In this way, these arguments resemble "talks to feed the poor."
Chapter 2. The systems of succession in Europe and Russia from the fall of the Roman Empire to the 20th century.
Question: How was the Throne passed in Ancient Rus' and the Tsardom of Muscovy? How do these traditions differ from the written legislation created by Emperor Paul I?
Answer: It is known for sure that there had been no written law in Russia before Peter the Great regulating the issue of transfer of the monarch power and the Throne within the ruling House of Rurik. The Byzantine Nomocanon, a collection of religious rules covering all legal issues, including inheritance of rights and property, was applied in the Tsardom of Russia. In the 13th century, Nomocanon formed the basis of Kórmchaia Book to become the basis of legal rules in the church sphere and, since all subjects of the Russian Tsars were members of the Church, this very book regulated the laws of the communities behind the church fence.
Question: How did this affect the Russian succession to the throne before the Romanovs?
Answer: According to Nomocanon, the closest person to the inheritance of property, including the State, was the closest relative. According to this rule, after the death of the last lawful son of Ivan the Terrible, Tsar Feodor Ioannovich, the legacy could be transferred, and this was taken into account by the Zemsky Sobor of 1597, to the closest relative and brother-in-law of the deceased Tsar - boyar Boris Godunov.
Question: But there were other lines of the House of Rurik, why they did not claim the right to the throne?
Answer: First of all, because other lines of the House of Rurik were not related to the House of Grand Dukes of Moscow, they were perceived on a par with foreign princes, i.e. distant relatives were considered further from inheritance than the closest ones. For example, Princes Shuyskys had every reason to claim rights to the Throne according to the European traditions, but according to the Moscow-Byzantine tradition the Godunovs and the Romanovs as the closest relatives in-law were closer to succession than the descendants of the brother of St. Alexander Nevsky - Prince Andrey Yaroslavovich.
Question: Does it mean that Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov has been chosen for this exact reason…?
Answer: Yes, it was he, as a cousin once removed of Tsar Feodor Ioannovich, who was a more legitimate Heir than the distant Rurikid blood relatives according to Nomocanon.
Question: But the rota system prevailed in Ancient Rus', why is it worse than the primogeniture system adopted by Emperor Paul?
Answer: Indeed, from the first Kievan Princes in the federation of principalities forming Ancient Rus', and I believe that the ancient Russian state was a federation where all principalities-states were bound together by one ruling dynasty — the Rurikid Princes. According to the rota system, the Grand ducal throne passed from father to the eldest son, and from him to the next eldest brother, and so on until the youngest of the sons of Prince-father and only after that to the children of his elder brother. But if one of prince brothers died in a war or from illness and he had not ascended to the Grand ducal throne in Kiev, then all his descendants were excluded from the right to inherit the Throne. After the congress of princes from the House of Rurik in Lyubich in 1097, each of them began to hold "patrimony" until the Great ducal throne in Kiev became vacant. Then a hierarchy of princely thrones was established, when a prince from the older branch was succeeded by his blood brother or by his cousin, or second cousin, but not his children and grandchildren. The Galicia-Volhynia principality did not have its own princely dynasty until the 13th century, when Daniel of Galicia dynasty was established. Even later, after the invasion of the Mongols, each of the Russian principalities began developing their apanage dynasties, the muscovite Daniil dynasty, descendants of the youngest son of Prince Alexander Nevsky known in the Russian history as the House of Kalita (Kalita dynasty), became such a dynasty in Moscow.
Question: But Peter the Great introduced a different system of succession to the Throne. What was wrong with it?
Answer: Take for example the fact that the ruling monarch interfered in God's providence. It was not God acting through natural right or by birth, but the reigning monarch who determined who should become a monarch under the Petrine Decree of 1722! Although extraordinary, but still human. And to err is human.
Question: This system proved to be...
Answer: Extremely ineffective. Between 1725 and 1801, there were six palace coups in Russia and as a result two people ascended to the Russian Throne, who under a normal system of succession could not had hoped for something more than a Regency, but they reigned as Autocrats, while pushing aside, usurping the rights of more legitimate heirs.
Question: Who exactly do you mean?
Answer: Catherines, both the First and the Second.
Question: Was Catherine the Great so bad? There were so many achievements and victories during her reign.
Answer: We are not assessing her qualities as a female monarch; we are just saying that the Petrine system of inheritance law gave rise to usurpative moods in the Petersburg elite who stopped viewing the monarchs as sacred figures. It was a natural consequence after Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich was killed, after the whole monarch Family, Anna Leopoldovna with her spouse and children, were imprisoned, then the murder of Emperors Peter III and Ivan VI Antonovich. Without exaggeration the Throne became a toy in the hands of court "parties" and the imperial guard, who perceived themselves as new Praetorians changing Caesars at their sole discretion. All this weakened the Russian monarchy and made the idea of dynasticism insignificant in the eyes of the elite.
Question: Does it mean that good intentions of Peter the Great did not lead the state to what he was striving for?
Answer: In fact, the Petrine Decree of 1722 placed the Dynasty on the verge of extinction, and turned the Sovereign monarchy into an aristocratic oligarchy with a monarchical element. Thank God there were strong-willed and purposeful Empresses who, despite everything, did not allow to be fully manipulated. But the fact that the Supreme Power was dependent on the social groups of the nobility and the guards was, of course, a manifestation of the apparent weakness of the Russian monarchy in the 18th century.
Question: And what systems of succession to monarchal Thrones exist now, at least in Europe?
Answer: In general, we can name several systems of succession or, in scientific terms, primogenitures. 1. Absolute; 2. Patrilineal, or Salic; 3. Mixed (patrilineal-matrilineal), or semi-Salic; 4. Matrilineal system, the one unknown in Europe and Russia.
Question: What are the differences and in what countries were they established?
Answer: Under the influence of liberalism and emancipatory doctrines, most of the remaining monarchies in modern Europe have accepted absolute primogeniture, or the Swedish system of succession to the throne, according to which the eldest child of the reigning monarch inherits the Throne regardless of the gender. The only exceptions so far, as of 2016, are Spain, Monaco and Liechtenstein.
The patrilineal system, also the Salic system, was typical of France and a number of German states, including Brandenburg and Prussia, and now it exists in Saudi Arabia and Japan only. In this system, the Throne can only be occupied by a man; according to the principle of primogeniture, women are completely excluded from the succession to the throne.
The mixed system, also known as semi-Salic or patrilineal-matrilineal, was widespread in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and established in Russia after Emperor Paul I. According to this system, the right to succession is given predominantly to men, but if no male representative remains in the Dynasty or the surviving male representatives of the House will not meet all the criteria of the requirements of the Law, the right to the Throne may pass to female representatives of the dynasty in the manner prescribed by law. This was how the House of the Habsburg-Lorraine was established in the Holy Roman Empire, and the House of Holstein-Gottorp, a branch of the Great Oldenburg House, was established in Russia in 1762. Now it is applied in Monaco and Liechtenstein.
Cognatic primogeniture, also known as the Castilian succession. According to this system, a male descendant from several children of the monarch gets to inherit, but if there are only girls, like in the case of King George VI of Great Britain, or King Philip VI of Spain nowadays, then the eldest daughter gets to inherit although there are male members of the Dynasty in the branches of the monarch's brothers, but they are not regarded as closest to the Throne. In contrast to this system, even a man from the youngest branch of the dynasty in the semi-Salic system has more rights to the crown than a daughter of the Emperor.
Question: Which system is the most effective?
Answer: It depends on the goals. If it is for asserting the dynasty's authority, then the Salic system and a pragmatic sanction are the most effective; if it is for normalization of the functioning of the monarchy as such, then the cognatic system is the most rational, but absolute primogeniture certainly profanes the idea of a dynastic monarchy most, since it is unclear why it could be better to remove the representative of the former Dynasty from the Throne in order to replace it with a new one? I see this as a simple tribute to the modern liberal fashion towards aligning the sexes in all their social rights.
Chapter 3. The basic principles of Russian dynastic law from Emperor Paul I to Emperor Nicholas II.
Question: What legal and state principles did Emperor Paul lay down in his Imperial Decree of 1797 On the Succession to the Throne?
Answer: It should be recalled that the Act On the Succession to the All-Russian Imperial Throne was prepared by Emperor Paul and his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna back in 1788, when they were Tsesarevich and Tsesarevna, and this is because Pavel Petrovich’s mother, Catherine the Great, was planning to bypass the rights of her son and Heir and to transfer the Russian Throne to her grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich.
There were several main principles and they subsequently entered the Main State Laws of the Russian Empire.
The Imperial Throne of Russia is hereditary and is inherited directly according to the principle of primogeniture with the advantage of male members of the Dynasty before women. Article 25 FSLRE (Fundamental State Laws of the Russian Empire);
The Imperial Throne of Russia is inherited by the descending male lines from father to son, grandson, and so on, in the case of the absence of a son, it is inherited by a blood brother, cousin, second cousin or uncle, or nephew, while there is at least one male representative born in a legal marriage in the Dynasty. Articles 27 - 29 FSLRE.
The Imperial Throne is occupied by its Heir, who may not even be mentioned in the Oath of allegiance, by virtue of the very law of succession, from the date of the death of the former Emperor; the same was prescribed in Art.53 FSLRE.
The Emperor of All Russia cannot profess any other faith, except for Orthodox Christianity which is stated in Art.63 FSLRE.
The Imperial Throne may be occupied by both male and female representatives of the Imperial Family, but only if all male lines of the Imperial Family are interrupted. This system is called "pragmatic sanction" or semi-Salic law in European monarchies. This is governed by Articles 30-32 FSLRE.
The reigning Emperor or the Head of the Russian Imperial Family acts as the guarantor of the dynastic laws of the Russian Empire as stated in Art.39 FSLRE.
Question: What about the prohibition of morganatic marriages?
Answer: This condition was added by Emperor Alexander I in 1820 after the intentions of Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich to marry Polish noblewoman Joanna Grudzinska became known. After that, this prohibition was extended to all members of the Imperial Family of Russia. Later on, in 1906, this requirement to ban morganatic marriages was upheld in articles 36 and 188 of the FSLRE. An exception was made for the Princes of the Imperial Blood, but this did not mean that the offspring of these marriages could inherit the Imperial Throne. It was just that for Grand Dukes morganatic marriages were completely banned, while Princes of the Imperial Blood had an indulgence, but both these categories unequivocally were to lose the right of succession to the Throne of the Russian Empire in case of a morganatic marriage.
Question: Some descendants of the House of Romanov now call themselves "Princes Romanovs", to what extent does this title correspond to the rules of the Russian imperial law?
Answer: Yes, unfortunately, some descendants of the Imperial Dynasty use this self-designation, which is by no means provided for by the laws of the Russian Empire and the House of Romanov. There were only four degrees of titles in the Dynasty for its representatives: 1) The reigning Emperor or Empress and his or her spouse; 2) Tsesarevich or Tsesarevna and his or her spouse; 3) Grand Duke and his wife or Grand Duchess, and the last 4) title adopted in the House of Romanov - Prince or Princess of the Imperial Blood or Princess of the Imperial Blood - Prince's spouse. All these rules of socialization were stated in articles 144 - 148 of the FSLRE. None of the "Princes Romanovs" were provided for by the Russian dynastic law. There could be special imperial awards for some descendants of the Dynasty from morganatic marriages, for example the Princes Romanovsky-Ilyinskys, mentioned earlier, or their Serenity Princes Yuryevskys. Those people who cannot be attributed to the Imperial House on the basis of the FSLRE due to the loss of such rights are ordinary relatives of the Imperial Dynasty. That is why they united in a certain "Union of Descendants of the Romanov Family". But according to the FSLRE, the representatives of the Romanov Family who are now alive have no titles and even more so - no rights to the Russian Throne.
Question: Had any changes been made to the laws after 1797, when Emperor Paul approved the new rules of succession to the throne in Russia?
Indeed, twice after the establishment of the dynastic monarchy in 1797 the reigning monarchs, Alexander I in 1820 and Alexander III the Peacemaker in 1886 accordingly made changes to the Fundamental State Laws and the Provision on the Imperial Family. In 1820, as already mentioned previously, Alexander I approved the articles according to which the descendants of members of the Imperial Family born in morganatic marriages could not inherit the Imperial Throne of Russia under any conditions, and in 1886 Emperor Alexander III divided the House of Romanovs into two groups of people: 1) the children and grandchildren of the Emperors - Grand Dukes of Russia and 2) Princes of the Imperial Blood - great-grandchildren and subsequent generations of All-Russian Emperors. At the same time, Princes of the Imperial Blood were divided into "Highnesses" and "Serenities". The first are all the great-grandchildren of any Emperor through the male inheritance line and each senior descendant in each of the lines, and the second are younger children and their descendants from Prince of the Imperial blood — grandson of the Emperor.
Chapter 4. The dispute about the Russian Throne after 1917.
Question: Why did the system of the Russian succession to the throne created by Emperor Paul I begin to cause controversy even in monarchist circles right after 1917? What is the reason?
Answer: This is due to the loss by many Russian people of the understanding of basic principles of the dynastic monarchy, in particular, the simple fact that the Russian Throne cannot be empty, vacant ceased to be obvious and actually it was the main the goal of Emperor Paul I - to eliminate the cause of palace coups and to introduce a system of primogeniture as a basis for defining the future emperor. Unfortunately, too many political populists and adventurers appeared in the 20th century and they, taking advantage of the weakness of the ruling dynasties of Europe and Russia, began to climb to the vacant Thrones, arguing that the Dynasties discredited themselves, although these "leaders from the crowd" represented the hidden powers that tried to replace the legitimate monarchies with proxy republican regimes.
Question: How did this affect the monarchical consciousness of people?
Answer: Negatively. Many began to identify any plebiscitary dictator or self-styled tyrant as an analogue of the monarch. It means that from a number of characteristics that exist in dynastic monarchies they remember only "monarchy is the rule of one." The fact that on top of that a monarch should be engaged in a certain political and historical tradition, have a certain origin, or simply be a guarantor of certain historical, cultural and religious archetypes inherent to a certain state, etc., all this remains behind the brackets of mundane consciousness.
Question: In your opinion, what is the reason for this primitive understanding of a monarchy?
Answer: First of all, it is due to poor historical education and the fact that modern people try to simplify and unify everything to make this or that phenomenon more understandable and accessible to them. The same is true for a monarchy. As a result, the meaning of a monarchy as a historical and state institution has been distorted.
Question: Nevertheless, one would like to understand and sort the wheat from the chaff, what in this mass of facts, or better to say information about the House of Romanov, is true and what is false and simply black PR made up by enemies of the Dynasty and monarchy?
Answer: It is impossible to answer all the questions at once, so let us go step by step, from myth to myth. I propose to start with Emperor Alexander I and that drama with succession to the throne which culminated in the famous events of December 14, 1825, on the Senate Square in St. Petersburg.
Question: Well, then tell us please is the legend of Fyodor Kuzmich is just a myth or there is a gain of historical truth there?
Answer: It is impossible to say for sure and unequivocally since there is too little evidence and witnesses on this topic. It is known that the great-nephew of Alexander I, Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich (1859-1919) was deeply engaged in the study of this question and despite the fact that he had access to all the family archives of the reigning house, he left the question open. Since then, the ratio of versions "for" and "against" the abdication of Alexander Pavlovich remains at a stable 50/50. But from the standpoint of Orthodox eschatology, the act of Emperor Alexander I is quite logical and consistent, since he simply was not physically able to bear the burden of the events of March 11, 1801. Perhaps he felt it unbearable for himself to perform one of the functions of an Orthodox Tsar "to be the guarantor of deanery with the Orthodox Church". It is likely that this logic is justified, but then the question arises: why did Alexander I leave the denial of Tsarevich Konstantin Pavlovich without publication? He surely understood that this could cause a political and dynastic crisis?! But since he did not publish the abdication of his brother, he obviously believed that he had time to do it and then his sudden death in Taganrog explains his inaction on this issue.
Question: You said that in 1820 Emperor Alexander I of Russia introduced an additional requirement in the laws of succession, in particular the one stating that the Russian Imperial Throne cannot be inherited by members of the Imperial Family who made a morganatic marriage, is it really true?
Answer: No, this is a delusion. Members of the Imperial Family do not lose their right to the succession in the event of a morganatic marriage, but their wives and offspring from these marriages could not be members of the Dynasty and had no rights to inherit the Throne. This was the case of the brother of Sovereign Nicholas II, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich. He was not deprived of the right to the throne, but his wife was never accepted at the High Court, and his son from Countess Brasova remained Count George Brasov, without any chances of ascending to the Throne of the Russian Empire. A similar situation was that of the sister of Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, she could theoretically become the Heir to the Throne, but her children from Captain Nikolai Kulikovsky had no right to this.
Question: However, many so-called "ultra-Orthodox" monarchists are convinced that articles on morganatic marriages were borrowed from the dynastic law of German states, and it is hardly worth observing them in Orthodox Russia, especially in the 21st century. Do you think they are right?
Answer: I do not really understand what is meant by ultra-Orthodox, but perhaps you were referring to monarchists who stand on the positions of the priesthood in the old dispute about "Tsardom and priesthood" and believe that the State and the Emperor should bow before the authority and power of the Church and clergy?! My opinion is that these people delve in spiritual deception because they go beyond the tradition of the imperial Orthodox doctrine of monarchical and ecclesiastical authority. The power of the Emperor extends equally to the Church and to its ministers regardless of their rank in the church hierarchy. That's why Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich could relegate Patriarch Nikon from his patriarchal throne, but Patriarch Nikon could not have performed a similar procedure against the Tsar. In General, all actions in the field of Church reforms and policies of Patriarch Nikon testified that he was getting more inclined to the Catholic model and sought to exalt the Church and its Primate above the Tsar — the Lord's Anointed, which is a manifestation of papistry heresy. Our Orthodox fundamentalists prefer to "forget" about it and not to recall it any more for some reason. Actually, these Nikon's encroachments on the secular prerogatives of the Tsar led to the complete abolition of the patriarchate and the creation of the Holy Synod by Peter the Great.
Question: Nevertheless, what do you think about morganatic marriages in the Russian Imperial House, and their relevance now, when all European monarchies abandoned intermarriages and began to marry "for love" which touches philistines so deeply?
They are philistines and that is why they are prone to be touched by all sorts of stupidity. Refusal to practice intermarriages is the right of every governing monarchy, but if for the reigning monarchs this refusal does not entail any legal consequences for them and their children, if they will remain princes and princesses with all the inherent rights and prerogatives, then to observe the laws of a specific House which were applicable at the moment of their abdication becomes for royal (or those who were royal at a certain moment) and sovereign dynasties a matter of their status and the legality of their claims to the succession to the throne in their country and their royal House.
Question: But is it principally possible to abolish the articles of the laws of succession to the Throne prohibiting marrying women or men of unequal status? In Russia, for example?
Answer: Nothing is impossible, but it is obvious that this can only be done by a lawful and crowned Emperor, or maybe, but again with reservations, by an All-Russian Zemsky Sobor being a forum which represents the concentrated will of the entire nation. In my opinion, it is better not to change anything in the Main State Laws of the Russian Empire until the restoration of monarchy and not to create additional difficulties for the restoration of the monarchy and the Dynasty.
Question: But you proposed to conduct some kind of internal Russian mediatization similar to the one that was done in the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. Can we dwell on this idea in more detail?
Answer: It is just a hypothesis, some kind of free assumption about how to preserve the face and authority of the reigning House and at the same time not to be dependent on European dynasties that are further away from the traditional and conservative values of the old, Christian Europe. Europe is becoming increasingly americanized and liberalized and eventually a marriage with a foreign European princess could lead to a change in mental code of the House reigning in Russia. In my opinion it is right to use an Imperial manifesto to outline a circle of aristocratic families of Russia whose marriages would be equated to dynastic ones, and would give no reason for depriving descendants from these marriages of their rights to the throne. First of all, this refers to the descendants of Rurik and Gedimin, I am sure that they, as descendants of the princes of Russia, are not inferior in nobility to certain petty imperial princes of Germany or Italy. But again, until the monarchy in Russia is restored it is only possible to speak about this concept of intra-Russian mediatizaton as an abstract theory, nothing more.
Question: But how do you personally feel about the marriages of princes with "Cinderellas", girls who are not from noble families?
Answer: Extremely negative. I think that marriages with commoners desacralize those Dynasties in which this practice has begun to gain popularity. I cannot understand how you can make the Prince Consort of the future Queen of Sweden from a fitness coach, and the Queen of Spain from a TV presenter with an anarchic background?! All this is some kind of postmodern surrealism, the theater of the absurd.
Question: One cannot ignore the traditional threadbare questions about Grand Duke Kirill and his descendants. Actually there are a lot of questions since the dispute has been going on for 90 years, since 1924. Let us go to the very beginning. Mother of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, getting married in 1874, did not convert to Orthodox Christianity which was later blamed on her son and made him, according to some researchers, not suitable for succession to the Russian Throne. Is it true or is it inaccurately conveyed information?
Answer: Truth and lies are mixed in this matter. The truth is that, in fact, when in 1874 a marriage was concluded between Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich and his wife, Duchess Maria-Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, she refused to convert from Lutheranism to Orthodox Christianity which is why this marriage was postponed for two years, but finally on April 16, 1874, a Family Act was signed by Emperor Alexander II, by Tsesarevich Alexander Alexandrovich (future Alexander III) and Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich himself, this "Act" contained only 4 points, which we are going to enumerate here: "1.If by the inscrutable will of God, the legacy of the throne had passed to my son Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich and his wife before that time had remained in the Lutheran confession, my son Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, by reason of Art.142 of the Fundamental Laws, would not otherwise be entitled to the succession to the Throne as by the conversion of his spouse to the Orthodox confession; 2. If the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich had not converted to the Orthodox confession upon the passage to him of the rights of succession to the Throne, he would have been recognized as having voluntarily renounced this right, strictly observing the instructions stated in Art. 15 and 16 of the Fundamental Laws; 3. If by the inscrutable will of God, the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich had ended her life without converting to the Orthodox faith before the passage of the rights of succession to the Throne to him, then, due to the termination of his marriage with a person of an unorthodox confession, he would have retained the right to inherit the throne; 4. In the case specified in Art. 2 above on the abdication of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, if by the inscrutable will of God Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich had finished his life before his spouse converted to the Orthodox confession, then the children born in this marriage would have retained all the rights of the succession to the Throne inherent to members of the Imperial House, in the order established in the Fundamental Laws".
Question: Does it mean, if one understands these points correctly, that the refusal to convert to Orthodox Christianity by Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna was more of an obstacle to the succession by her husband Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, and not their children?
Answer: Yes, if you follow the first paragraph of this Act. But the third paragraph states right away that if the spouse of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich was to die earlier than her spouse, he could also be considered the Heir to the Throne in that certain order according to the principle of primogeniture after all the male descendants of his elder brother, Emperor Alexander III. The fourth paragraph fully confirms that all children from this marriage had rights to the succession of the Russian Empire from birth, and therefore further discussion of articles 184 and 185 of the Fundamental Laws makes no sense.
Question: And yet, what do they state and what is the essence of the dispute?
Answer: It is simple. Article 184 of the FSLRE states that "By the consent of the reigning Emperor, Members of the Imperial House can marry, both with people of the Orthodox confession and with the unorthodox", and article 185 stated that "A man of the Imperial House, who can be entitled to inherit the Throne, can marry a person of a different faith only subject to the conversion of the latter to the Orthodox confession". Then it was time of interpretations and debates about these articles. Opponents of Grand Duke Kirill argued that Art.184 applies only to female representatives of the Dynasty, i.e. Grand Duchesses and Princesses of the Imperial blood could marry both Orthodox and unorthodox princes, while male representatives of the Dynasty could marry only women who converted to Orthodox Christianity. However, we see that Article 184 and the "Family Act" of 1874 allow the marriage of a Russian Grand Duke with a princess who did not convert to Orthodox Christianity before the marriage and it had no consequences for their descendants, including the fact that the children of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich had never been deprived of their rights to the Throne. Yes, and Article 185 is about those people who directly have the right to the Throne, i.e. this is the reigning Emperor and the Heir to the Throne.
Question: Thank you. It is clear for Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich and his marriage, and what do you say about those charges that are put forward against his son Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich? I will repeat them one by one: 1. He entered into a morganatic marriage with a cousin and it was forbidden by the Church; 2. He was deprived of the rights to the Russian Throne because of his marriage with Victoria Feodorovna; 3. He and his descendants received the name and title of "Princes of Kirillovski`s".
Answer: I will answer following the same points. 1. Stating that the marriage of Grand Duke Kirill with Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is morganatic comes from profound incompetence and ignorance of the history of the European Royal dynasties. Certainly, this marriage was equal and no one at that time could say that it was morganatic! A marriage of a grandson of Emperor Alexander II with a granddaughter of Queen Victoria is certainly an equal union of the two royal houses of the Russian and British empires. Regarding the so-called "cousin marriages" there was a lot of broken lances, but now there is no reason to believe that they were forbidden by the Ecumenical Councils, while they were rather not encouraged, but there was no direct, canonical ban on them, this is what Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev and Galicia (Khrapovitsky), the Primate of the ROCA, wrote about in a letter to Count Yu.P. Grabbe; I will not give it in full, just some excerpts: "Dear Count Yuri Pavlovich! You asked me where I learned that a marriage with a cousin is not a direct violation of the canons of the Ecumenical Councils. <...> just recently our best Russian canonist, Professor of Subotitsky University, S.V. Troitsky told me that there is no such prohibition in the resolutions of the Ecumenical and Local Councils. The level of kinship forbidden for marriage is described in the 54th rule of Ecumenical Council VI and I, having really carefully read this rule, deduced that such prohibition is not there, though as I heard before, and recalled only now, some canonists try to prove that the word "jeskadelfi" referred to in the regulations means not only a niece but a cousin. The late professor of the Mos[сow] Spir[itual] Academy Lavrov, later the archbishop of Lithuania Alexis, wrote about this word a lot. But the question remains open, and even more - canonic study remains convinced that there is no prohibition to marry a cousin in the Council rules." So as one can see from this letter, the canons of the Orthodox Church represented by its higher canonical instances, Ecumenical Councils, do not prevent marriages between cousins, which in fact explains the numerous cousin marriages in European monarchical dynasties, since they as well as the Orthodox Church used the decrees of the 7th Ecumenical Councils which were equally obligatory and canonical for the whole Christian Church until the "Great Schism" and the church dissent in 1054.
2. No one has ever seen a Manifesto or a Supreme Decree by Emperor Nicholas II in which the Emperor deprived his cousin Kirill Vladimirovich of the rights to the Russian throne; there is a private opinion of the Emperor which he left on the margins of the journal of the Special Meeting assembled in 1906 to decide the fate of Grand Duke Kirill, his wife and their descendants, and it was exactly this action that gave rise to the version that the Sovereign decided to bestow the wife and daughters of Grand Duke Kirill with the title of "Most Serene Princesses of Kirill", but this private opinion of the Emperor never took on a legal form, since it was not issued as a Highest Decree which would have been endorsed and included in the Code of State Laws of the Russian Empire by the Governing Senate and would have been published in government media. On the contrary, we know about another document dated July 15, 1907, in which Supreme Decree Nicholas II bestows the wife of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, Victoria Feodorovna, with the title of Grand Duchess of Russia, and their eldest daughter Maria Kirilovna was granted the title of Princess of the Imperial Blood...
Question: As opponents of Grand Duke Kirill say Emperor Nicholas II returned his brother the titles and allowance from the Ministry of the Court only, but he did not return the right of succession to the throne!
Answer: This is an absolutely absurd statement! How could the Emperor return what he never took away from his cousin? We have established that there was never any official, legally formalized deprivation of the right of Grand Duke Kirill to the Throne, so what is the point to tread water any further?
Question: But were any sanctions applied to Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich because of his marriage? He was sent abroad and was banned from entering the Russian Empire!
Answer: Indeed, there were a few consequences for Grand Duke Kirill himself and his family due to the marriage. Emperor Nicholas II himself wrote about it in a letter to Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna: "This week there was a drama in the family about Kirill's unhappy marriage. You probably remember about my conversations with him as well as about the consequences he should have been subjected to: 1) expulsion from service; 2) prohibition to enter Russia; 3) deprivation of all allowance; 4) loss of the title of Grand Duke. <...> From that day on we had not heard anything from Tsarskoe, with the exception of a letter from Nicky (Prince Nikolai of Greece, brother-in-law of Grand Duke Kirill), who was desperate about all that had happened and begged to mitigate Kirill's punishment. The maritime order had already been issued, days passed, and the paper to deprive him of his title of Grand Duke was being constantly redrafted, as it had been the first case. At the same time, I was beginning to doubt whether it was good to punish a person publicly several times in a row and especially at the present time, when the family is treated generally with hostility. After much thought, <...> I decided to use the name day of your little grandson and telegraphed to Uncle Vladimir that I was returning Kirill's lost title ... ». It is clear from this letter that Grand Duke Kirill was deprived of his military rank and position of an aide-de-camp of H. I. M. Retinue, he was banned from entering the Russian Empire, and he was deprived of the rights for allowance as a member of the Imperial Family. But he did not lose the title of Grand Duke of the Russian Empire!
Question: I cannot help asking about the memorable "red bow" which Grand Duke Kirill put on his trench coat on the first day of March, 1917 and led a Guards crew to the State Duma. This is interpreted as a betrayal of the Oath and of his brother Nicholas II.
Answer: Yes, the fact of Grand Duke Kirill appearing with a part of the Guards Fleet's crew in the State Duma is known, but first of all it was not a crime yet because individual committees of the State Duma continued to function and after unsuccessful attempts to find at least some headquarters to resist the growing chaos in Petrograd, Kirill Vladimirovich went to the State Duma. Before that he went to S.S. Khabalov - the commander of the Petrograd Military District, and to A.P. Bulk - the mayor of Petrograd, and Grand Duke did not find in these official military people any intelligible proposals or an understanding of what to do. As a side note, the first editions by the same M.V. Rodzianko said about his counter-revolutionary intentions, and only afterwards the tone in relation to the Emperor in exile changed.
Question: I wonder what Rodzianko wrote in his first memoirs about Grand Duke Kirill?
Answer: The notes to the memoirs by M.V. Rodzianko "The Crash of the Empire" say: "During the February coup d’état (Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich) provided the most reliable parts from his crew to General Khabalov to suppress the revolutionary movement." But when it became clear that the monarchical idea began to gain popularity among the emigration, the same freemason Rodzianko began to accuse Grand Duke Kirill of the opposite claiming that he "betrayed the Emperor". The question is who is saying that? A locally venerated saint or an angel without wings and a nimbus? This is a statement by a man who along with A.I. Guchkov was at the origins of the conspiracy against Emperor Nicholas II and the Russian monarchy!
Question: Does it mean you do not believe the account given in the memoirs of M. Rodzianko?
Answer: Yes, who would believe that in their normal mind? Moreover, except for Rodzianko no one saw Grand Duke Kirill wearing a red bow: neither Voeikov, nor Polovtsov who later wrote about this "fact" were not present in Tauride Palace on March 1, 1917; on the contrary, there is other evidence. For example, the head of the revolutionary garrison of Petrograd, Colonel B.A. Engelgardt recalled how Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich entered his office in Tauride Palace: "Contrary to existing accounts, he did not have a red bow on his shoulder. He seemed dejected, depressed: obviously, it was not easy for the Tsar's cousin to take part in a revolutionary procession. He still decided in favor of this thinking that such a gesture will keep control of his unit. Even then he was conscious that his sacrifice was abortive." Other eyewitnesses also point out that Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich was in a black Admiral trench coat, with a hood under his shoulder straps, without any differences from the uniform. Rear Admiral R.D. Zelenetsky who was accompanying him recalled in his memoirs that even not a single sailor from the Fleet crew had a bow!
Question: Does what you just said mean that a planned campaign against Grand Duke Kirill and his successors to discredit them had place in exile and is still ongoing in the Russian Federation now? But what is the reason and what are the goals of those who started and continue this campaign today?
Answer: Obviously, both then and today it is beneficial for the powers that want to prevent the restoration of monarchical rule and the House of Romanov in Russia at any cost, since it will turn out to be a disaster for them.
Question: Can you name these powers? By alphabet or by the degree of their influence?
Answer: Of course I can. The global and the local plutocracy who are not interested in Russia having not a temporary ruler or a manager, but a real, and what is the most unbearable for them, legitimate Owner of the Russian State, i.e. the Emperor of Russia. Next - leftists and liberals of all sorts. This pleiad of people is nurtured on materialistic doctrines of the 20th century and the very idea of restoring a Christian monarchy in the vast Russia can completely break the trend towards building an uncivilized and stateless global world that they all have been dreaming of since the post-Yalta period. Of course, this goes more for liberal globalists but the Communists are not enthusiastic about this prospect either. Then they will be held liable for a lot of things, starting with the murder of the Regal martyrs and ending with politics: military communism, red terror, decossackization, persecution against the Russian Orthodox Church and collectivization. It is clear that the existence of a monarchical project and the existence of the Heir to the Throne are like a bugbear for these powers, that is why they are engaged in a campaign to discredit the House of Romanov and the very monarchical idea. Notably, against both the reigning monarchs, and the Dynasty in emigration.
Question: Does the campaign against the Romanovs unleashed in the Russian media in 2015 with the help of a part of the Russian nobility relate to the same source?
Answer: Yes, certainly. At the same time, the "instigators" somehow found that elderly gentlemen from Paris and London are more competent in the subject of the history of the House of Romanov, but alas this is not true. All these Lobanov-Rostovs, Sheremetevs and Trubetskoys are just high-born amateurs in history and nothing more. Most of all, it is shocking that they tell lies and do it without hesitation.
The most illustrious example. Count Pyotr Sheremetev repeatedly stated that Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich was an Ober-Gruppenfiihrer of the SS and even often visited the bunker of A. Hitler. That is pure and simple speculation and black PR to tease our Soviet patriots. But the historical truth is completely different. Since 1944 Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich was forced to leave France and move to Germany at the insistence of the German occupation authorities in Paris, where he lived with his elder sister Grand Dushess Maria of Russia, in marriage Princess Leiningen in the castle of Amorbach. Naturally, there was not a single meeting of Hitler with Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich and he could not have been a "secret" SS general since no such practice existed in the Third Reich. In addition, all the SS archives on promotion to SS generals survived and all the names of SS Obergruppenführers were recorded on the walls of the Wewelsburg Castle, the headquarters of the SS near Büren in Westphalia. Why doesn’t Mr. Sheremetev go and study those walls of the Westphalian SS castle? Then he would not talk that nonsense that he presents as truth.
Question: But still there was the address made by Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich on supporting the war of Germany against the USSR?
Answer: Yes, that is true. Such an address had place, but it does not change absolutely anything since the House of Romanov was in a state of open war with Bolshevism and supporting Germany in the war against the USSR refers to that section of relations when: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Perhaps it was better for him to remain neutral on this matter but in any case his position did not abolish his right to the Throne in the framework of the laws of Russia in force as of 1917.
Question: But as far as we know, the mother of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna financially supported the NSDAP in 1923.
Answer: Firstly, Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna supported conservative and monarchical organizations of both the Russian emigration and Germany, including the NSDAP. Back then Hitler constantly said that after the "national revolution" the Throne of Germany should return to the lawful dynasty - the Hohenzollern, i.e. that exact position of Hitler was close and understandable for Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna and she believed that having liberated Germany from its liberals, the restored monarchical Germany would help Russian emigrants to take the power in Russia back from the Bolsheviks. Details of the NSDAP ideology were of little interest to her.
Chapter 5. The Romanov Dynasty in the 20th and 21st centuries: myths and truth.
Question: Many monarchists are confused and interested by the fact that at the time of the biggest danger for the Emperor and the Dynasty many of its members remained indifferent to the fate of their Head and the future of the House of Romanov. Is this so and what is the reason for this?
Answer: We must honestly tell what the Romanov Dynasty was like in the 19th century. Those were the descendants of the four sons of Emperor Nicholas I who formed the four branches of the Imperial Family: the Alexandrovichs, the Konstantinovichs, the Nikolaevichs and the Mikhailovichs. The most influential and unquestionably regal was the branch of the Alexandrovichs which derives from Emperor Alexander II; it included the descendants of Alexander III, also the Aleksandrovichs, the descendants of Grand Duke Vladimir Aleksandrovich - the Vladimirovichs and the descendants of Grand Duke Pavel Aleksandrovich in the person of his daughter and son - the Pavlovichs.
Question: Then where is the line of the Kirillovichs which many are so critical about?
Answer: That is just the point that there is no line of the Kirillovichs, there is a continuation of the line of the Vladimirovichs represented by the descendants of the eldest son of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich - Sovereign Kirill Vladimirovich and his sister, daughter of Vladimir Alexandrovich - Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna, Princess of Greece and Denmark. It means that the Kirillovichs are just an offshoot of the Vladimirovich branch, but according to the genealogy rules the first child from the monarch and not his grandson is considered to be the ancestor, i.e. Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich began the branch, and it should be called after him, and not at all after the name of his elder son. But unfortunately our people are very illiterate in matters of history in general, and in applied historical disciplines such as genealogy and heraldry in particular.
Question: And did the other three lines of the House of Romanov also divide into smaller branches later on?
Answer: No, unfortunately or fortunately, but the three younger lines were not divided into smaller branches. This way the line of the Konstantinovichs, the descendants of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, the second son of Emperor Nicholas I, was continued only by his second son, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, while the other two sons of Admiral General Konstantin Nikolayevich did not leave any legitimate descendants. The first born son of Grand Duke Konstantin - Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich was deported to Turkestan due to a scandal involving the theft of a precious mounting from his mother's icon, and in Turkestan he gave birth to several illegitimate children and died there in 1918, while the younger son Grand Duke Dmitry Konstantinovich did not leave any descendants at all and was not even married.
The third line - the Nikolaevichs, was represented by two Grand Dukes in the 20th century - Nicholas Nikolaevich the Younger (Supreme Commander of the Russian Army in 1914-1915) and his brother Peter Nikolayevich. The first one did not have children and the second one following a marriage with Stana of Montenegro gave birth to Roman Petrovich, Prince of the Imperial Blood, and two daughters who concluded morganatic marriages. It is known that Prince Roman Petrovich gave birth to two sons: Nikolai Romanovich and Dmitri Romanovich from a morganatic marriage with Countess Praskovia Sheremeteva. The first one died in 2014, the younger one died on the last day of 2016, both of them presided at the "Association of descendants of the Romanov family."
Question: Does it mean that Prince Dmitri Romanovich was in a certain way the head of an alternative Imperial House which competes with the Prince Nicholay Kirillovich, Prince of Leiningen, and the family of Maria Vladimirovna Romanova?
Answer: No, this is a common misconception of various media and some interested persons and structures that try to prove that there is a supposedly "alternative Russian Imperial House" - that is not true. There can be only ONE legitimate House of Romanov. Under the laws of the Russian Empire the great-grandson of Emperor Kirill Vladimirovich - His Highness Prince Nikolay Kirillovich, Prince of Leiningen (de jure Emperor Nicholas III) is now the head of the Imperial House. Dmitri Romanovich Romanov who you mentioned, not only lost the rights to the Russian throne but also to any dynastic title and status because his father entered into a morganatic marriage.
Question: Then why is he called the "eldest" representative of the House of Romanov?
Answer: Through thoughtlessness and ignorance. At the same time, one should note the paradoxical fact that neither Russian philistines, nor the representatives of the House of Romanov know the laws of succession to the Russian Empire and the Romanov Dynasty. The members of the "Association of the descendants of the Romanov Family" somehow believe that the eldest among all the living Romanovs should be the head of the House, but this is nonsense, he might be called the "Patriarch of the Romanov Family", but seniority is not determined by age but by the seniority of dynastic line and as we know the Nikolaevichs are just the third line of the Russian imperial family and, indisputably, the descendants of Tsar Alexander II have all advantages over the descendants of the Konstantinovichs whose line interrupted in 2007, and the Nikolaevichs whose line interrupted after the death of Dmitri Romanovich Romanov in 2016.
Question: But still, Dmitri Romanovich Romanov was the oldest and one can say that he was the elder of the Romanov Family?
Answer: No, this is not true either. As of 2016, the oldest representative of the Romanov Family was Andrew Andreevich Romanov - a grandson of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich and the last living great-grandson of Alexander III, born in 1923; he was and remains three years older than Dmitri Romanovich who was born in 1926.
Question: Well, does it mean that there are only few people left from the numerous Romanov dynasty in early 21st century?
Answer: Yes, unfortunately, there are not many left. The Alexandrovichs include, apart from Prince Nikolay Kirillovich and Maria Vladimirovna, Princes Dmitry and also Michael Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, who are grandchildren of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich. After the death of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, they inherited the title of Duke of Holstein-Gottorp...
Question: Isn’t this title inherited along with the Russian throne?
Answer: No, the Imperial title was formed part by part, it grew along with the Russian Empire, but the title of the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp ended up in Russia after the grandson of Emperor Peter the Great, Prince Karl-Peter-Ulrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, known here as Emperor Peter III Fedorovich became Emperor of Russia. We know from history that the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp are an offshoot of the Great House of Oldenburg which has the Salic system of inheriting coats-of-arms and titles, i.e. Catherine the Great was Empress of All-Russia, but was not a Duchess of Holstein-Gottorp because this title passed from the father Peter III to his son Tsesarevich Pavel Petrovich and all of his heirs senior by primogeniture. The last male descendant who had the right to this title was Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich (1917-1992), and after his passing his second cousin Most Serene Prince Paul Dmitrievich Romanovsky-Ilyinsky (1928-2004), the only son of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich could claim it, and it was he who in the genealogical order was the eldest in the Romanov Family as the senior male descendant of Emperor Peter III. After his death his eldest son, Most Serene Prince Dimitri Pavlovich Romanovsky-Ilyinsky (born 1954) has all the rights to the title of the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp, but does not have rights to the Russian throne — such is the historical and legal conflict.
Question: Are these all the Aleksandrovichs who are alive as of 2018?
Answer: No, Most Serene Prince George Alexandrovich Yuryevsky is still alive, but anticipating the question I will say right away that the Princes Yuryevskys never entered the Imperial House of Romanov and have never had any rights to the Russian throne, and they do not have them now.
Question: We forgot about the Mikhailovichs. Should we conclude that they are also just sirs Romanovs, without dynastic titles and rights to the Russian Succession to the Throne?
Answer: Yes, all other male descendants from the line of the Mikhailovichs derive from the marriage of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Emperor Alexander III. As you know, of the six sons of Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich (1832-1909) only his fourth and fifth sons - George and Alexander left descendants from dynastic marriages, while elder brothers Nikolai, Mikhail and younger Sergei either concluded morganatic marriages like Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich who married Countess de Torby, or died childless, like Grand Dukes Nikolai Mikhailovich, Sergei Mikhailovich, or Alexei Mikhailovich. Of the six sons of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich as of 2018 there are no survivors left, the last and youngest son Prince of the Imperial blood Vasily Alexandrovich died in 1989, and since then until the year 2013 the Russian Imperial House was vacant (empty), i.e. the Imperial House existed as a historical Institute but there was no legitimate member or the Head of the House.
Question: Who can be referred to the line of the Mikhailovichs of the Romanov Family today, in 2018?
Answer: There are several dozens of such people in the world today, but if we talk about male descendants, in male lines, there are only nine of them left: the elder of the Romanov Family, Andrei Andreevich the Elder (born in 1923), his three sons Alexei Andreevich (born in 1953), Pyotr Andreevich (born in 1961) and Andrei Andreevich the Younger (born in 1963). Except for these descendants of Prince of the Imperial Blood Andrei Alexandrovich (1897-1981), there are only the descendants of the fifth son of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, Prince of the Imperial Blood Rostislav Aleksandrovich (1902-1978), his grandsons: Rostislav Rostislavovich (born 1985) and Nikita Rostislavovich (born in 1987) and their cousins Nikolay Nikolaevich (born 1968) and Daniil Nikolayevich (born in 1972), the latter has a son from Korean woman Su Kim Jackson-Daniilovich (born in 2009), but whether the marriage was concluded in the Orthodox tradition or there was only a civil registration remains unknown. Actually these are all representatives of the male part of the now living Romanov Family, not of the Russian Imperial House but of the Family!
Question: Yet, who is currently the legitimate Heir to the Russian throne and why?
Answer: As we established above, none of the male descendants of the Romanov Family can claim the throne of Russia because they are either born from morganatic marriages as Princes Ilyinskys and Yuryevskys, or from illegal marriages as all other male Romanovs since their ancestors did not ask permission to marry from the Emperors in exile or from the Heads of the Imperial House, which is legally equivalent, so their descendants, of course, from the point of view of the dynastic laws of the Dynasty and Empire are illegitimate. Not to mention the fact that their mothers and grandmothers also did not belong to any royal or sovereign Houses of Europe.
Question: Why could not we apply the same criteria to acknowledge the claims to the Throne and Headship in the Imperial House of Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, daughter of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich!?
Answer: Yes, we believe that the marriage of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich was of a morganatic nature, and therefore the right to the Russian throne passed to his elder sister - Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna, Princess Leiningen.
Question: Who from the House of Leinningen has the right to the Russian throne now? All the princes and princesses or a few people?
Answer: As stated in Article 35 of the FSLRE: "When the inheritance reaches such a generation of women that reigns already on another Throne, then the heir is given the choice of faith and the Throne, and to renounce together with the Heir from the other faith and the Throne, if such a Throne is connected with the law; when there is no renunciation of faith then the person to inherit is the one who is closer after him in order." Thus, the eldest grandson of Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna, Princess Leiningen, Prince Karl Emich of Leiningen as the senior descendant of Emperor Alexander II the Liberator born in a legal and dynastic marriage, converted to Orthodox Christianity in 2013 and began to be titled as a great-grandson of Emperor Kirill Vladimirovich - Prince of the Imperial blood Nikolay Kirillovich, Prince of Leiningen. In this manner, he is the legitimate Heir to the Russian Throne at the present time.
Question: But some supporters of Maria Vladimirovna said that he did not comply with all the requirements of Article 35 because he did not convert to Orthodox Christianity with his son and Heir.
Answer: These are Maria Vladimirovna's adherents who exaggerate things and interpret the laws of the Russian Empire too freely. Article 35 of the FSLRE talks about a person who already reigns on another Throne, and who has an official Heir to that Throne with whom he must renounce from the held Throne and convert to Orthodox Christianity. Prince Nikolai Kirillovich was not the Head of the Leiningen House and did not occupy any other Throne in 2013. That is why he had no official Heir and for the same reason there was no one to renounce and convert to Orthodox Christianity except for Prince Nikolai Kirillovich himself.
Question: But Article 30 of the Main State Laws of the Russian Empire says that the right to the Succession to the Throne can pass to women's generations when there are no male representatives of the Dynasty, but they exist. What can be done about it?
Answer: Asking such a question would have been correct if at least one male legitimate representative of the Russian Imperial House in a male line had been alive. But as we found out earlier Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, who died in 1992, and all of the current male descendants of the Dynasty are not members of the Imperial House; i.e. de jure from the point of view of the laws of the Empire these people do not exist, although de facto, like the Romanov Family they exist and no one can deprive them of their kinship with the Russian Emperors. But these people are not fit for the succession to the Russian Throne for the above reasons.
Chapter 6. The future monarchy in Russia: restoration or institution?
Question: Do you think the people of the Russian Federation will choose the institution of a monarchy or its restoration? And what is the mechanism or technology to restore the monarchical rule as you see it?
Answer: I will start from the beginning. The people of the Russian Federation will not choose anything, because following 100 years of Bolshevik upbringing and propaganda which was continued by liberal globalists, they have a perverse view of the monarchy in general and of the Russian monarchy in particular. The main achievement for the majority of the Russian population is the "Soviet minimum of success": a dacha, a car, an apartment, a stable and well-paid job, and successful spouses and children for some. Actually, this is the "happiness of a philistine". He does not care at all who will provide him this happiness and at what cost, the main thing is that "it has to be there"! Questions of religion, philosophy, values of higher order, politics and everything that has to do with public life is interesting for the active minority of the population of the Russian Federation - from 5 to 15%, all the others are "silent", as in the last scene of "Boris Godunov" by Alexander Pushkin.
Question: And yet, what option do you think the people will support?
Answer: Obviously, the one to which they are pushed by laziness and inertia. The simplest thing is to establish a monarchy from scratch and declare the president a Tsar.
Question: But it really is the simplest way.
Answer: Simple and right are not the same thing. A monarchy is an institution of a traditional society and state that has undergone a series of evolutionary changes and it has a 1000-year political record in Russia. The achievements of the Russian monarchy are abundant, as the saying goes: all you need to do is start... But the most important thing for us, the Russian monarchist-legitimists, is that the Russian monarchy has created one of the greatest Dynasties in the history of Europe and Russia: the Romanovs. It seems to me that abandoning the oath of the Sobor of 1613 and the three centuries of the rule of the House of Romanov is absolutely senseless and stupid. It will be as stupid to refuse the entire Byzantine heritage. To create a new monarch dynasty from scratch is an even bigger utopia than to summon the Heir to the Throne from abroad.
Question: What do you think about the fact that many people in Russia who sympathize with the monarchy are embarrassed that the legitimists offer a foreigner, not a Russian citizen?
Answer: I think that these phobias are groundless if we sign a "Crown Treaty" about which I will speak later. Besides, as we know a "Varangian" has one advantage, he is not bound by obligations with internal elites who as we all know are stuck in corruption and nepotism which corrodes and discredits the institutions of the state. The Emperor from abroad will be able to judge cases and people according to the letter and spirit of the laws, and not because of how close people are to him.
Question: Some suggest instituting a lifelong elective monarchy?! Isn’t it good?
Answer: It is a bad option. Not monarchical. Can there be an elected father? He comes from nature, from God! The same is true for a hereditary monarch who is the legitimate, God-given father of the people. We do not choose our parents, so why should we choose a monarch? Then, what is the universal selection criterion, is it as in the Ready for Labor and Defense of the USSR program: stronger, faster, higher? Or according to the intelligence: the dispute between the lyricists and physicists? These speculations come from the lack of historical consciousness and understanding of the monarchical tradition as such in the popular, philistine environment. Things have been emasculated too much and the current level of historical knowledge in schools and universities is not encouraging.
One of the main points against an elective monarchy is that the future monarch will be a protégé of those lobbying groups and the powers that will support him at the Sobor or at the Constitutional Assembly - it is not so important. I.e. this elected monarch like the monarchs of the palace coup era or like elected presidents will be dependent on their support groups and sponsors who will constantly remind him of this.
Question: Yes, but a president has to take those who supported him during the election campaign into account as well...
Answer: Then there are almost no differences, except for that the president of the Russian Federation is elected by direct vote, and the elected monarch will be chosen by the electoral college of the Zemsky Sobor or the Constitutional (Constituent) Assembly. An elected monarch not only will be a figure dependent in their personnel and policy decisions, always paying attention to the opinion of those who have chosen him, but he will be a completely ahistorical figure having nothing sacred about him, unlike a dynastical-hereditary monarch by the grace of God who has many generations of crowned ancestors in his background as well as the monarchical tradition of the Russian Empire and finally the fact of the establishment of the Empire which is also an asset of the Heir to the throne of the House of Romanov.
Question: Then, what should be done to make the majority support the option of restoring the monarchy in Russia?
Answer: First of all, it is necessary to change the approach to teaching history in schools and universities, to restore the credibility of the historical science and to introduce a mandatory graduation exam in schools and a mandatory entrance exam on Russian history in all universities Russia. A citizen who does not know and does not respect his history is a bad citizen and defender of his Fatherland because he does not know and does not respect "this country".
Question: But do you still allow for some kind of national forum to restore the monarchical rule, like the Zemsky Sobor or the Constitutional Assembly?
Answer: We can allow for anything, even for the descent of the Holy Spirit to the Earth to indicate the One Anointed by God, as monarchists-eschatologists are dreaming about. Actually, in order to assemble the Sobor you need too many coinciding conditions: the existence of classes that do not exist, a will to assemble the Zemsky Sobor or the Constitutional Assembly which are not around either, a procedure for convening the Sobor, formulated and accepted by all political subjects, and finally its competences.
Question: It's just about the competences. What issues should the Zemsky Sobor be authorized to decide on?
Answer: In fact, they are not so numerous. The first is to decide on the transition from a republican to a monarchical form of government, the second is to recognize the February and October coups of 1917 as state crimes and disavow all legislative acts of the Provisional Government and the Council of People's Commissars after September 1, 1917, recognizing these acts, which were aimed at dismantling the laws of the Russian Empire and the Russian statehood, legally void. The third is to define the Heir to the Russian Throne in accordance with the laws of the Russian Empire in the 1906 Edition, the fourth is to sign the "Crown Treaty" between the future Emperor representing the future monarchy and the people of Russia represented by the delegates of the Sobor. This agreement should clearly state that the Emperor is obliged to protect Orthodox Christianity and the Russian church as the main religious denomination in Russia, to defend the sovereignty and interests of Russia in external international relations and respect the interests of the majority in the field of socio-economic policy, i.e. to ensure that Russia remains, not in words but in reality, a social State. The fifth is the competences of the monarch, the government and representative bodies. The sixth is the restoration of the legal continuity with the First Russian Empire.
Question: Are these all the topics that can be considered at the Zemsky Sobor of the 21st century?
Answer: Probably there may be others, but I listed those issues that must be solved among the first.
Question: Is it necessary to restore the classes and the nobility among them?
Answer: Everybody is worried not about having classes or not, but about having class privileges and class divisions? I think that class privileges are certainly a bygone history, but having nobility as an extra-economic incentive - why not? We do not advocate the restoration of serfdom, do we? But if a person has served the Sovereign and the State for 20-25 years without bribes and reproves, then why should he not be promoted to nobility? He is pleased, and the state is not at a loss.
Question: And can there be nobility without class privileges?
Answer: Why not? In France, even with the republics (all the five!), there have been associations and unions of nobility and nobody in France has ever forbidden the nobility as a class, noble preferences were abolished, but I already said that they are not subject to restoration.
Question: Do you believe that Russia will return to the monarchy again?
Answer: Of course, I believe, with our Lord Jesus Christ willing, since what is impossible for people is possible for God.
Question: Won’t it lead to international isolation and confrontation with other subjects of world politics? It is obvious that the ruling elites of the West and the US will not be delighted with such a turn of Russia towards traditional values.
Answer: And who said that it was going be easy? But we have to decide whether we want to preserve the status of the Great Nation through struggle and some privations that are inevitable, or to plunge peacefully and quietly into the blessed swamp of the philistine world under the protectorate of the "Great West", as our liberal globalists would like it to have.
Evgeniy Alekseev. Moscow, 2018