FUNDAMENTAL STATE LAWS OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE OF 1906
Fundamental State Laws of the Russian Empire
1. The Russian State is one and indivisible.
2. The Grand Duchy of Finland, comprising an inseparable part of the Russian State, is governed in its internal affairs by special decrees based on special laws.
3. The Russian language is the official language of the State, and it must be used in the army, in the navy and in all state and public institutions. The use of regional languages and dialects in state and public institutions is governed by special laws.
On the Supreme Sovereign Power
4. The Emperor of All-Russia possesses the supreme sovereign power. Obedience to His authority, not only out of fear but in good conscience, is ordained by God Himself.
5. His Majesty the Emperor is sacred and inviolable.
6. The same supreme sovereign power belongs to Her Majesty the Empress when succession to the Throne, under the procedure prescribed, passes to a female person; Her consort, however, is not considered a Sovereign; he enjoys the same honours and privileges as the spouses of Sovereigns, except the title.
7. His Majesty the Emperor exercises legislative power in conjunction with the State Council and the State Duma.
8. His Majesty the Emperor possesses the initiative in all legislative matters. He is the only one to initiate revision of the Fundamental Laws in the State Council and the State Duma.
9. His Majesty the Emperor ratifies laws and no law can go into effect without His ratification.
10. His Majesty the Emperor possesses the total administrative power throughout the Russian State. He possesses direct authority in Supreme administration; in subordinate administration, a certain degree of His authority is entrusted, by virtue of the law, to proper agencies and officials acting in His name and in accordance with His orders.
11. As a supreme administrator, His Majesty the Emperor, by virtue of the law, issues decrees for the organization and functioning of different departments of state administration as well as directives essential for the execution of laws.
12. His Majesty the Emperor is in charge of all relations of the Russian State with foreign powers. He determines the direction of the foreign policy of the Russian State.
13. His Majesty the Emperor declares war, concludes peace, and negotiates treaties with foreign states.
14. His Majesty the Emperor is the Supreme Commander of the Russian Army and Navy. He is Commander-in-Chief of all the land and sea armed forces of the Russian State. He determines the organization of the army and the navy and issues decrees and directives concerning displacement of troops, mobilization, training, service of the army and navy personnel and, in general, everything associated with the organization of the armed forces and defence of the Russian State. As Supreme Commander, His Majesty the Emperor also imposes limitations on the right to reside and acquire property in regions being military fortresses and bases for the army and navy.
15. His Majesty the Emperor declares regions to be under martial law or in a state of emergency.
16. His Majesty the Emperor has the right to coin money and determine its physical appearance.
17. His Majesty the Emperor appoints and dismisses the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Ministers, and Chief Administrators of different departments, as well as other officials, unless other appointment or dismissal procedure is prescribed by law.
18. As Supreme administrator, His Majesty the Emperor establishes restrictions for state officials arising out of the civil service requirements.
19. His Majesty the Emperor grants titles, orders and other state distinctions, as well as property rights. He also determines the conditions and procedures for granting titles, orders and distinctions.
20. His Majesty the Emperor directly issues decrees and directives on matters of His personal property, as well as on those named as His property or traditionally belonging to the Reigning Emperor. This property cannot be bequeathed, divided or subject to a different form of alienation. Both types of property are not subject to taxation or levy.
21. His Majesty the Emperor, as a Head of the Imperial House, also owns, according to the Imperial Family Act, resolutions on the apanage property. They also determine the constitution of the institutions and organizations under control of the Ministry of the Imperial House, just as their management procedure.
22. Judicial power is executed in the name of His Majesty the Emperor by legally constituted courts, whose judgments are enforced in the name of His Imperial Majesty.
23. His Majesty the Emperor has the right to grant clemency, mitigate sentences and generally forgive transgressors, including the right to terminate prosecution and release from trial and punishment. Exercising royal mercy, He has the right to commute official penalties and generally grant clemency in exceptional cases that are not subject to general laws, provided such actions do not infringe upon any civil rights or legally protected interests of others.
On the Order of Succession to the Throne
25. The All-Russian Imperial Throne is hereditary within the Imperial House presently reigning.
26. The Thrones of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Finland are inseparable from the All-Russian Imperial Throne.
27. Both sexes have the right of succession to the Throne, but this right belongs to the male sex by preference in accordance with the principle of primogeniture; upon extinction of the last male generation, succession to the Throne passes to the female generation by right of substitution.
28. Accordingly, succession to the Throne belongs to the eldest son of the Reigning Emperor in the first place, and after him to all his male generation.
29. Upon extinction of the male generation, the heritage shall pass to the family of the second son of the Emperor and to his male generation; upon extinction of the second male generation, the heritage shall pass to the family of the third son, and so on.
30. Upon extinction of the last male line of the Emperor’s sons, the heritage shall remain in the same family, but in the female line of the last reigning, as in the closest to the Throne, and in the same shall follow the same order, preferring the male over the female; but at the same time the female from whom the right directly came shall never lose the right.
31. Upon extinction of this generation, succession passes to the female generation of the branch of the eldest son of the Emperor-Progenitor, wherein the closet female relative of the last Reigning Emperor in the branch of this son succeeds, in the descending line, or the son of his eldest one, or, if there are no descending lines, in a collateral line, and if there is no such relative, then the male or female who takes her place by substitution, preferring, as above, the male over the female.
32. Upon extinction of these generations, succession passes to the female line of the other sons of the Emperor-Progenitor, following the same order, and after that to the male line of the eldest daughter of the Emperor-Progenitor; and upon its extinction, to her female line, following the order established for the female line of the Emperor’s sons.
33. Upon extinction of the male and female generations of the eldest daughter of the Emperor-Progenitor, succession passes first to the male and then to the female line of the second daughter of the Emperor-Progenitor, and so on.
34. A younger sister, even if she has sons, shall not deprive her elder sister of her right, even if she is not married; but a younger brother succeeds before his elder sisters.
35. When the heritage comes to such female line, which is reigning already on the second Throne, then the heir shall have the right to choose the faith and the Throne, and to abdicate together with the Heir from the other faith and the Throne, if such Throne is connected with the law; when there will be no denial of faith, then the heir will be the person being the closest by order.
36. Children born in marriage between a person from the Imperial Family and a person not having the relevant dignity, i.e. not belonging to any reigning or possessory house, have no right of succession to the Throne.
37. When the above rules are in effect on the procedure for succession to the Throne, a person entitled to the same, shall be free to abdicate from this right due to circumstances when it will not create obstacles for further succession to the Throne.
38. Such abdication, as promulgated and reduced to an act, shall be deemed thereafter irreversible.
39. The Emperor or the Empress being heirs to the Throne, upon ascension to the same and anointing, undertake to scrupulously respect the above laws on succession to the Throne.
On the attainment of Majority of His Majesty the Emperor, on Regency and Guardianship
40. Sovereigns of both sexes and the Heir to the Imperial Throne shall reach their majority at the age of sixteen.
41. Upon accession of a younger Emperor to the Throne, a Regency and a Guardianship shall be instituted until he reaches his majority.
42. The Regency and the Guardianship are instituted jointly in one person or separately. One person is entrusted with the Regency and the other with the Guardianship.
43. The appointment of Regent and Guardian, either jointly in one person or separately in two persons, depends on the will and discretion of the Reigning Emperor who should make this choice, for better security, in the event of His demise.
44. If no such appointment has been made during the lifetime of the Emperor, upon His demise, the Regency of the State and the Guardianship of the minor Emperor belong to the father and mother, with the step-father and step-mother excluded.
45. If there is no father or mother, the Regency and Guardianship belong to the closest in succession to the Throne among the minor Emperor’s relatives of both sexes who have reached the majority.
46. Lawful reasons of barring tenure of the Regency and Guardianship are as follows: 1) insanity, even if temporary; 2) remarriage of widowed persons during tenure of the Regency and Guardianship.
47. A Regent of the State must have a Regency Council; there can be neither a Regent without a Council nor a Council without a Regent.
48. The Council consists of six persons of the first two classes selected by the Regent, who can also appoint others as changes arise.
49. The male persons from the Imperial Family selected by the Regent may attend sessions of this Council, but not before they reach majority and not as one of the six persons constituting the Council.
50. The Regency Council deals with all matters without exception, which are subject to the decisions of the Emperor Himself, and with all matters that are submitted to Him and to His Council; but the Council is not concerned with the Guardianship.
51. The Regent has the decisive vote.
On the Accession to the Throne and Oath of Allegiance
53. After the death of the Emperor, his Heir shall ascend the Throne by virtue of law on succession vesting this right into him. Ascension to the Throne of the Emperor shall be deemed to occur from the day of the death of his predecessor.
54. The Manifesto on accession to the Throne also declares the legitimate Heir to the Throne, provided that the person being legitimate heir exists.
55. Allegiance to the newly acceded Emperor and to his legitimate Heir, even if the Heir is not named in the Manifesto, is confirmed by a nationwide oath.
56. Everyone makes an oath according to his faith and law.
Note 1. Upon printing the oath of allegiance according to the established form (Appendix V), the Governing Senate sends it out in the required number of copies to everyone in general, both to military and civil authorities, informing the Holy Governing Synod for its relevant regulation (a). Every person takes the oath in front of his superior in cathedrals, monasteries or parish churches, wherever it is convenient; those held in custody but not yet convicted and deprived of rights take the oath in front of the authorities of their place of confinement (b). Persons of a different faith, when there is no church of their confession, take the oath of allegiance at a place of assembly before the members thereof (c). Everyone who has taken the oath of allegiance, if he is able to write, signs the document by which he has taken the oath. Subsequently, all authorities and departments send these documents to the Governing Senate.
Note 2. All male subjects of every rank and title, having reached twenty years of age, must take the oath of allegiance.
On the Sacred Coronation and Anointment
57. Upon accession to the Throne, the sacred coronation and anointment take place according to the rite of the Greek and Russian Orthodox Church. The date of this solemn ritual is set at the discretion of His Majesty the Emperor and is publicly announced nationwide in advance.
58. If the Emperor so deigns, His August Spouse joins Him in partaking of these sacred rites. (a). But if the coronation of the Emperor precedes His entry into matrimony, the coronation of His Spouse takes place afterwards, solely with His specific assent.
Note 1. The secret rite of coronation and anointment takes place at the Assumption Cathedral of Moscow in the presence of high government officials and classes, appointed by the Emperor, to be summoned for the occasion (a). The coronation of Emperors of All Russia as Kings of Poland is contained in one and the same sacred rite; delegates from the Kingdom of Poland are called upon to participate in this celebration together with the delegates from other parts of the Empire (b).
Note 2. Before the conclusion of this sacred rite, according to custom practiced by ancient Cristian Monarchs and Their God- Anointed Ancestors, the Emperor recites the Creed of the Orthodox Catholic Faith in front of His loyal subjects, and then upon being vested in porphyry, upon placing the crown on His head and upon receiving the sceptre and imperial orb, kneeling, He calls upon the King of Kings in the prescribed prayer: to guide, enlighten and direct to the great service, as Tsar and Judge of the Realm of All Russia, that there may be with Him the Wisdom which belongs to the Divine Throne, that His heart may be in God’s hand, to accomplish all that is to the profit of the people committed to His charge and to the glory of God so that on the day of Judgment He may give account of His stewardship without blame.
On the Title of His Imperial Majesty and the State Coat of Arms
Articles 59-61 and article 6 are not relevant to the issues and regulations of the Russian Succession.
On the Faith
62. The primary and predominant Faith of the Russian Empire is the Cristian Orthodox Catholic Faith of the Eastern Confession.
63. The Emperor of the All-Russia Throne may not have any faith, except the Orthodox (Art. 62).
64. The Emperor, being Christian Governor, the supreme defender and custodian of articles of the governing beliefs, and the guardian of orthodoxy and all good deals in the Holy Church.
In this sense, the Emperor, in the Act of Succession to the Imperial Throne, 1797, April 5 (17), is named as a Church Leader.
65. The autocratic power managed by Church acts by way of the Holy Governing Synod founded thereby.
66. All native (a) and naturalized (b) subjects of the Russian State who do not belong to the predominant Church, as well as foreigners working or temporarily residing in Russia, are everywhere free to profess their own faith and worship in accordance with its rites.
67. Freedom of religion is granted not only to Christians of foreign denominations, but also to Jews, Muslims and heathens (a), so that all peoples residing in Russia may glorify Almighty God in different languages in accordance with the laws and confessions of their ancestors, while they glorify the rule of the Russian monarch and pray to the Creator of the Universe for all increase of the public welfare and a strengthening of the power of the Empire (b).
68. Church matters of Christians of foreign denominations and people of other faiths in the Russian Empire are managed by their religious leaders and administrators specifically designed by the Supreme Power.
Note. The rules of safeguarding religious tolerance and its limitations are detailed in the Charters of different confessions.
On the Rights and Obligations of Russian Subjects
69. Conditions for acquiring and losing the rights of Russian citizenship are prescribed by law.
70. The defence of the Throne and the Fatherland is a sacred obligation of every Russian subject. The male population, irrespective of social status, is subject to military service in accordance with provisions of law.
71. Russian subjects must pay legally instituted taxes and dues, and also perform other duties in accordance with provisions of law.
72. No one can be prosecuted for criminal acts otherwise than as prescribed by law.
73. No one can be placed under arrest except as prescribed by law.
74. No one can be tried and punished otherwise than for criminal acts provided for by the criminal laws in effect at the time of the perpetration of these acts, unless any newly enacted laws exclude the perpetrated acts from the list of crimes.
75. The dwelling of every individual is inviolable. No search or seizure may take place in a dwelling without the consent of the owner, except in cases and in the manner prescribed by law.
76. Every Russian subject has the right to freely choose his place of residence and profession, to acquire and dispose of property, and to travel abroad without any hindrance. Limitations of these rights are regulated by special laws.
77. Private property is inviolable. Compulsory alienation of property where it is required for the welfare of the State or the public is permissible only subject to fair and adequate compensation.
78. Russian subjects have the right to organize peaceful and unarmed meetings for purposes that are not inconsistent with the law. The law defines the conditions under which meetings take place, the procedures for concluding them, as well as the limitations on meeting places.
79. Everyone can express his ideas verbally or in writing and can also promulgate them through publications or other means within the limits established by law.
80. Russian subjects have the right to organize associations and unions for purposes that are not inconsistent with the law. The conditions for organizing associations and unions, the procedure of their activities, the terms and rules for acquiring legal status, as well as the procedure for terminating associations and unions, are prescribed by law.
81. Russian subjects enjoy freedom of religion. The conditions for exercising this freedom are prescribed by law.
82. Foreigners residing in Russia enjoy the rights of Russian subjects within limitations prescribed by law.
83. Exceptions to the rules expounded in this chapter, regarding localities under martial law or under exceptional circumstances are prescribed by specific laws.
On the Laws
84. The Russian Empire is governed under the firm foundation of laws that have been enacted in the prescribed manner.
85. The power of the law is equally applicable, without exception, to all Russian subjects and foreigners residing in the Russian State.
86. No new law can be enacted without the ratification by the State Council and the State Duma and cannot go into effect without being approved by His Majesty the Emperor.
87. If any extraordinary circumstances necessitate a measure which requires legislative discussion when the State Duma is in recess, the Council of Ministers submits the measure directly to His Majesty the Emperor. Such a measure, however, cannot introduce changes into the Fundamental State Laws, or the Institutions of the State Council and the State Duma, or in the Regulations on elections to the Council or the Duma. The validity of such a measure will cease if the responsible Minister or Department Head fails to initiate any draft law corresponding to the measure taken in the State Duma within the first two months of reconvening or if the State Duma or State Council refuse to enact it into law.
88. Laws specifically enacted for certain localities or segments of the population are not repealed by a new, general law unless precisely such a repeal is specified.
89. Every law goes into effect only for the future, unless the law expressly states that it is in force retroactively or t exists only to confirm and clarify the meaning of a previous law.
90. The Governing Senate is the general depository of laws. Therefore, all laws must be submitted in the original or in duly certified copies to the Governing Senate.
91. Laws are promulgated by the Governing Senate to inform the general public in accordance with the procedures and do not go into effect before the promulgation.
92. Legislative measures are not subject to promulgation if they are not enacted in accordance with the procedures set in these Fundamental Laws.
93. Upon promulgation, the law becomes effective from the time specified by the law itself, if such a period of time is not specified, from the day on which the Senate publication containing the printed law is received locally. The law being published may itself indicate that by means of telegraph or courier it can be transmitted for execution before its publication.
94. A law cannot be repealed otherwise than by the force of another law. Therefore, until an active law is effectively repealed by a new law, it retains its full force.
95. No one can plead ignorance of a law once it has been duly promulgated.
96. Regulations concerning regimental, engineering and quartermaster corps, as well as provisions and orders to institutions and acting officials of the departments of the Army and Navy are submitted directly to His Majesty the Emperor upon review by the Military and Admiralty Councils, as long as these regulations, provisions and orders, in fact pertain only to the above-mentioned establishments and do not concern matters of general laws and do not call for new expenditures from the treasury or if they do call for new expenditure, these are covered by expected savings in the financial budgets of the War or Naval Ministries. In case a new expenditure cannot be covered by the expected savings, the submission of such regulations, provisions and orders for the Emperor’s approval are permitted only after petitioning in the prescribed manner, for the necessary allocation.
97. Regulations concerning military and naval courts are issued in accordance with the procedures established in the Codes of Military and Naval Regulations.
Articles 98-124 (Chapters 10-11) of the Fundamental State Laws of the Russian Empire define activities of the State Council and the State Duma, as well as powers of the Council of Ministers and ministries, and are not relating to the issues of the Russian Succession.
The Statute on the Imperial Family
125. The Statute on the Imperial Family (Art. 126-223 and Appendixes II-IV and VI), remaining Fundamental Laws valid, can be changed and supplemented only personally by His Majesty the Emperor in accordance with the procedure prescribed by Him, if the amendments and additions to this Institution are not connected with general laws and do not lead to over-expenditure of the treasury.
On degrees of kinship in the Imperial House
126. All persons of the Imperial Blood who are the issue of a lawful marriage with a person of corresponding dignity authorized by the Reigning Emperor are recognized as Members of the Imperial House.
127. All members of the Imperial House consider their degree according to their kinship with the Emperor from whom they are descended in direct line, without confusing it with their nearer kinship with subsequent emperors who acceded to the Throne after the progenitor of their family.
128. The eldest son of the emperor and all the eldest issue of the eldest generation, as long as the Imperial Family exists, are respected and honoured, in the eyes of the Emperor, as heirs to the Throne and bear the name of children of the sovereign.
129. All younger sons of the Emperor or the issue of generations younger than him, i.e. all except the firstborn, are regarded, at their birth, as sons of the sovereign.
130. The second and all younger sons of elder generations, as sons of a person capable of substituting an heir to the Throne, are considered to be on an equal footing with the sons of the sovereign, with all the rights appertaining to them.
131. All persons of the younger generations have and enjoy privileges according to their degree of kinship with the Emperor from whom they are descended, even if a third person of an older generation were to be on the Throne, and consequently they cannot expect, seek or demand any other privileges, except when succession to the Throne reaches them or when their brother accedes to the Throne.
132. Female persons who are issue of a male generation, in their degrees of kinship, are considered on the same basis as persons of the male sex, i.e. the daughter of an elder person of an elder generation is considered to be a daughter of the Emperor, the daughter of a younger person of the same generation, is considered to be the granddaughter, and so on.
133. Issue of the female sex are completely distinguished from issue of the male sex; and consequently they should not take account of their kinship with the Emperor in order to receive a title, a pension or dowry, but enjoy all this according to the right belonging to their father, and can demand nothing from the State or from the Chief Administration of Appanages.
On the birth and demise of Members of the Imperial House and on the genealogical book
135. When a son or daughter is born in the Imperial House of male or female line, within the State or outside it, the father and mother or the closest of kin must without delay inform the Reigning Emperor about the date of birth and the name of the newborn.
136. This information must be provided in writing and those absent from the State direct this information through the intermediary of the closest Russian diplomatic representatives.
137. Having received this information, the Emperor commands that the name of the newborn be included in the genealogical book of the Imperial House of Russia and that the family of the newborn be informed that the newborn has been duly included in the Members of the Imperial House.
138. In case of the demise of a Member of the Imperial House, within or without the State, the Emperor is similarly informed about it.
139. The public is informed about the birth and demise of Members of the Imperial House of male generation and about the demise of foreign Princesses of a marriage with Grand Dukes and Princes of the Imperial Blood by the Governing Senate; birth and demise of Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses is announced to the public in manifestoes.
140. Announcements on the birth and demise of Members of the Imperial House are kept in the State Archives.
141. The demise of persons of the Imperial House, as also their birth, is inscribed in the genealogical book.
142. The inclusion of the name in the genealogical book is proof of admission to the Imperial issue.
On titles, coats of arms and other outer privileges
144. The titles belonging to Members of the Imperial House, are the following:
1) Heir, Tsesarevich, Grand Duke and Imperial Highness
2) Grand Duke (Velikiy Knyaz), Grand Duchess (Velikaya Knyaginya i.e. wife), Grand Duchess (Velikaya Knyaznha, i.e. daughter) and Imperial Highness.
3) Prince and Princess of the Imperial Blood and Highnesses.
4) Prince and Princess of the Imperial Blood and Serene Highnesses.
145. The title of Heir, Tsesarevich, Grand Duke and Imperial Highness belongs to the one publicly declared Heir to the Throne. The consort of the Heir to the Throne is entitled Tsesarevna and Grand Duchess with the title of Imperial Highness.
146. The title of Grand Duke, Grand Duchess and Imperial Highness belongs to the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and, through male generation, to all grandchildren of the Emperor.
Note. By virtue of the Decree of 1852 the children of the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna and Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg bear the title of Imperial Highnesses conferred upon them and are considered, together with their issue in the descending male line, to be Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Blood and enjoy the rights and privileges conferred upon Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Blood in this chapter of the Statute. Among their issue, the title of Imperial Highness belongs only to Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanovsky, Duke of Leuchtenberg, personally.
147. The title of Highness, Prince and Princess of the Imperial Blood belongs to great-grandchildren of the Emperor, descended from male issue, and in the offspring of each great-grandson the title of Highness is conferred upon his eldest son and his eldest descendants of the male sex and branch, by right of primogeniture. If a person who bore the title of Highness dies without leaving issue, the title passes to collateral lines, following the order established for inheriting entailed properties. (Appendix VI).
Note. By virtue of the Decree of 1899 the children of Their Imperial Highnesses Prince Georgii Maximilianovich and Princess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanovsky, Duke and Duchess of Leuchtenburg are enabled to bear the title of Highness with the extension to their descendants of the right of bearing the titles of Highness and Serene Highness in accordance with the rules indicated in Articles 147 and 148.
148. The title of Serene Highness, Prince and Princess of the Imperial Blood belongs to the younger children of a great-grandson and to all their descendants of the Imperial Blood in the male line.
149. In the assembly and in all such cases, the Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses, as well as the Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Blood, having first places after the Emperor and the Empress, respect precedence of titles, and those who have equal titles respect the precedence of generations, in generations the precedence of lines, in the lines the precedence of persons.
Note. Children of the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, the Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg, and Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanovsky, Duke of Leuchtenberg, bearing the title of Imperial Highness in solemn ceremonies, assembly and other cases, take their places not by the precedence of the title, but by the precedence of the generation.
150. The foreign Princes who contracted a marriage with Grand Duchesses and Princesses of the Imperial Blood have places of their own degrees; therefore, each Royal Heir accepts the title of the Imperial Heir; the title of Royal Highness is equal to all Imperial Highnesses, and the title of Lordship comes with the Princes of the Imperial Blood.
151. The Grand Duchesses, who contracted the marriage with foreign Princes, hold the places belonging to them upon their birth.
152. The same right (Art. 151) is also retained by the Princesses of the Imperial Blood; but the person having entered into marriage with the person of the title of Royal Highness receives a place in the degree of spouse and uses his property, that is, equal to the Imperial Highnesses and Grand Duchesses.
153. All widowed persons hold the title and the place that belonged to them during the life of the spouses. The Dowager Empress holds all her advantage and has the precedence before the Spouse of the Reigning Emperor.
154. The heir to the Throne has the coat of arms with all its signs, except for the national gonfalon and six upper shields with the coat of arms of the Principality and Regions connected.
155. Other Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses, as well as Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Blood, have the coat of arms with some differences specially defined, depending on the degree of relationship with the Emperor, from whom they descend in a straight line. In the coat of arms of the Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Blood, the Moscow coat of arms is not placed on the chest and the coat of arms of the Kings and Grand Duchies on the wings of an eagle, and the Imperial ciborium is replaced by the gold mantle, lined with ermine and the Russian Imperial eagles.
156. The Grand Duchesses and Princesses of the Imperial Blood, who entered into a marriage with foreign Princes, attach the coat of arms of Russia belonging to them upon their birth to the coat of arms of their spouses. Foreign Princesses who contracts a marriage with the Members of the Imperial House also attach their coat of arms to the coat of arms of their spouses.
Note. A detailed description of the coat of arms of all Members of the Imperial House is attached (Appendix II).
157. Grand Dukes at the time of the holy baptism are awarded the Order of St. Apostle Andrew the First-Called, the Order of the Holy Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the White Eagle, the Order of St. Anne of the first degree and the Order of St. Stanislaus of the first degree.
158. Grand Duchesses at the time of the holy baptism are awarded the Order of St. Catherine the Great Martyr.
159. Prince and Princess of the Imperial Blood, who have the title of Highness, are awarded the same orders upon their established majority.
160. Prince and Princess of the Imperial Blood, who have the title of Serene Highnesses, are awarded orders by the will of His Majesty the Emperor.
161. The Empress, the Heir to the Throne, and the Grand Dukes have certain flags based on maritime charters.
162. The Emperor, the Empress, the Grand Dukes, as well as the Grand Duchesses (wife) and Grand Duchesses (daughter), when passing through the fortress or while being in the fleet, are rendered honours, according to the military and sea regulations, on their own will. During the passage through governorates, reports on the civilian part are presented only to the Emperor, Empress and Heir to the Throne.
163. The heir to the Throne, for servants of the court, takes the possession of uniforms and livery, established in the Imperial Court. There are some differences in colours of the uniforms and livery of the servants of the other Members of the Imperial House.
Note. Persons of the title of Imperial Majesties retain the main colours of the Imperial livery; the difference in the colour of the collars, cuffs and braid is determined for each Grand Duke by the special purpose of the Imperial Majesty. Persons of the title of Highnesses, in uniforms and livery for the servants of their courtyards, use the position for certain livery of their fathers. The Grand Duchesses and Princesses of the Imperial Blood, who entered into marriage with foreign Princes, retain the livery belonging to them by right of birth; when Princes are Royal Heirs or have the title of Royal Highnesses, they use the livery of their spouses. Born from the Grand Duchesses and Princesses of the Imperial Blood, they use their father’s livery. All widowed persons hold livery owned by their spouses.
On Upkeep of Members of the Imperial Family
This chapter is not relating to the issues of the Russian Succession.
On civil rights of the Members of the Imperial House
I. On the marriage
a) Entering into marriage
183. Permission of the Reigning Emperor is necessary for the marriage of every member of the Imperial House, and a marriage contracted without such permission is not recognized as lawful.
184. With the permission of the Reigning Emperor, members of the Imperial House can enter into marriage both with persons of the Orthodox Faith and with persons of other denominations.
185. A person of the Imperial House, who can be entitled to succeed to the Throne, can marry a person of a different faith only subject to the conversion of the latter to the Orthodox confession. (Art. 62 of the Fundamental State Laws).
186. Betrothal and marriage are celebrated in accordance with the rules of the Church and with observance of the ceremonies established by Imperial order.
Note. The betrothal, as well as the marriage itself, of persons of the Imperial House with persons of a different faith is possible by proxy, provided that the agreements concluded thereon by the State authorities have an indication of the persons empowered to act by proxy at the celebrations of betrothal and matrimony.
187. Marriages of Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses are announced to the public by manifestoes which contain the title of the newly-married and, if the bride has embraced the Orthodox confession, the name which was given to her at the holy chrismation. Marriages of other persons of the Imperial House are brought to public notice of the Governing Senate.
188. The person of the Imperial Family who entered into marriage with a person not having the relevant dignity, i.e. not belonging to any reigning or possessory house, may not notify neither the latter, nor the descendants of this marriage, which is possible, of rights belonging to Members of the Imperial Family.
Note. From now on, none of the Members of the Imperial Family may enter into marriage with a person not having the relevant dignity, i.e. not belonging to any reigning or possessory house.
b) Marriage settlements and dowry.
Articles 189-193 (Chapter 5) are not relating to the issues of the Russian Succession.
c) On the divorce
194. A marriage of a member of the Imperial House is dissolved in strict accordance with the regulations of the Church and for reasons determined therein.
195. In such cases, the marriage is dissolved under the ruling of the Holy Governing Synod, with confirmation by the Emperor.
196. A member of the Imperial House whose marriage has been dissolved may contract another marriage union when, by virtue of the dissolution of the previous marriage, this is not contrary to the rules of the Church.
II. On the minority and majority
197. For the heir to the Throne, according to the Fundamental State Laws, the majority is established at the age of sixteen.
198. For Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses, as well as for Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Blood who have the title of Highness, the majority is established at the age of twenty or, if such persons have contracted a marriage before reaching that age, from the day of their marriage; for Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Blood who have the title of Serene Highness, the age of majority is the same as that established by the civil law at the age of twenty one.
199. The guardianship of the minor person of the Imperial Family belongs to his parents. In the event of their demise or other circumstances requiring the appointment of guardianship, the guardianship of both the person and the property of the minor and the management of his affairs is entrusted to the guardian.
200. Each person of the Imperial House, in case of his demise, gives an appointment of a guardian to the minor of his generation remaining after him, and if the spiritual order is confirmed by the Sovereign during the life of the testator (Article 213), then this must be executed in full force.
201. When the will of the deceased person is not approved during his lifetime by the Emperor Himself, or there is no such a will at all, then the Emperor takes the guardianship of the remaining generations, and in this case the guardian is appointed by the Highest authority.
202. Accordingly, the property of a person of the Imperial Family, who is away in foreign lands and fails to return at the time appointed by the Emperor, or fails to request another delay, or leaves without permission shall be placed under custody.
203. Having reached the age of majority, a person himself takes over the management of his property, but from that time until the age of twenty-five, each person of the Imperial House who bears the title of Imperial Highness or Highness has a special guardian.
204. The Emperor choses the Guardian.
205. The Guardian, as adviser to a person under the guardianship assists him and offer consultations all matters dealing with him, and confirms his will, without which it can never be valid.
206. Upon attainment of majority by persons of both sexes, belonging to the Imperial House by blood, they take, according to the Highest established ceremonies, a solemn oath, both in allegiance to the reigning Sovereign and in the homeland, as well as in respect of the right of inheritance and the established family order. Males who have reached the lawful age, together with this oath, take the oath of allegiance to the service; but the service itself is considered him from the age of sixteen (Appendix III and IV).
207. The oath is approved by a signed promise.
208. The signed oath is kept in the State Archive, with other matters concerning the Imperial Family.
III. On different types of property, on its acquisition and disposal
Articles 209-210 are not relating to the issues of the Russian Succession.
IV. On heritable property
Articles 211-218 are not relating to the issues of the Russian Succession.
On the duties of Members of the Imperial House towards the Emperor
219. The Reigning Emperor must be in any case honoured by the Head of the Imperial Family and will be at all times the guardian and the protector of the same.
220. Every Member of the Imperial House undertakes before the Reigning as a Head of House and the Autocrat, to honour, obey, respect and subordinate.
221. An inviolable pledge, moreover, of the privileges accorded to every Member of the Imperial House is their peaceful conduct and their maintenance of family calm and concord.
222. The Reigning Emperor, as Autocrat without limitation has the right to deprive an insubordinate person of the rights appointed in this law and to deal with him as with one who has defied the will of the Monarch.
223. When every member of the Family, in gratitude for the Monarch's solicitude, considers it to be truly beneficial to bring his behaviour into complete accord with the Monarch's will and the enactments which the Monarch has made, the constant implementation of these laws will remain inviolable from generation to generation and forever and a fundamental law of the Russian Empire.
[The text has been adapted to the new spelling rules, considering specific features of the original publication: Code of Laws of the Russian Empire. Volume One Part I. The Code of Fundamental State Laws of the Russian Empire. St. Petersburg, 1906]