Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kirill asserts he is Emperor

August 24, 1925

Grand Duke Kirill of Russia was interviewed at Coburg by a correspondent with Politiken, a Copenhagen newspaper, and republished by the New York Times.

In a small palace in Coburg, "next to the great castle" where the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha lived until the revolution in 1918, His Imperial Majesty Kirill Vladimirovich, Czar of the all the Russias, lives.

This scion of the Romanovs  "claims for himself the throne left vacant by the assassination of Nicholas II," although he is acknowledged as emperor only by  "a small group of exiled Russian noblemen surrounding him."  The style must also be used by the reporter "received into his presence."

Kirill "has nothing to rule over," but he is "very much a monarch - albeit to the outside world  he is a mere Grand Duke."  But he is the closest living cousin to the late Czar, and therefore the heir to the throne. He considers himself a "full-fledged Emperor and an autocrat to boot."    Kirill is convinced that he "will one day oust the Bolshevik usurper from the seat of power" and sit on the throne - "patriarchally and autocratically.

He is convinced that the Russians still desire an autocratic empire.   Kirill has "no more use for democracy than he has for communism," although, according to the reporter, he is "democratic and affable."

Kirill was dressed in a light sport suit when he received the reporter.  He is almost 50, but looks younger, "perhaps because of his close-clipped English mustache."  His "air is distinguished and full of charm."

The reporter asked Kirill if he believed that the Soviet "regime is in the process of consolidation or destruction?"

"All of our information from Russia is to the effect that extraordinary dissatisfaction prevails.  And that is easily understood for Russia has been thrown back four centuries."

The reporter mentioned a recent report by a British trade union delegation that "painted conditions there otherwise."

His Majesty smiled sarcastically.  "Yes. we have read the report. It is laughable, grotesque.  Everything is one-sided and gives the impression that it is meant for home consumption."

He believes change will not come "through evolution.  Probably through a sudden upheaval from within, perhaps with the help of a little push from without.  Within Russia's boundaries there is strong depression, and through the momentary distribution of means of force, it is impossible to start anything.  Moscow is strong, the Red Army is well-armed. But on the other hand, the soil is ripe for upheaval."

Kirill also believes that "there is only a small circle" of Communists "who hold the chief positions in Moscow."   He added: "One million out of 100,000,000 who live outside Russia's country.  Five million who live abroad are all opponents of Bolshevism."

There was a pause when Kirill was asked about who his supporters would be in Russia.  Where would he seek his primary support?
"The Russian intelligentsia has either been massacred by the Bolsheviks or are abroad. Those few remaining in Russia are crushed and stand under perpetual supervision of the Cheka."

He goes on to talk about the Cossacks and the peasants.  He believes that neither are "Communists or Republicans and agents of the Communist Government.... The Cossacks and peasants are the pillars of the legitimate Emperor and form 90 percent of Russia's entire population.

"But the workers too, with the exception of the few privileged Communists, have realized the ruin wrought by socialism and I am convinced their majority would great restoration of the monarchy with joy."

When he is restored to the throne, he would bring about the "restoration of private property rights, rigorous enforcement of law, order, security, personal rights and freedom of nationalities and confessions."

He added, gravely:  "Russia endured a frightful blow of fate in the day of the Petrograd revolt and the abdication of Czar Nicholas II.  Her very nature makes it impossible for Russia to exist without a monarch."

Kirill was asked if he planned to "absolutely or with aid of a Parliament.  "To heal her numerous and deep wounds Russia needs a folk's Czar -- one who will stand close to the people in their needs.  Therefore no bureaucratic system which separates the monarch from his people can be permitted.  The people must cooperate  in the reconstruction of its destiny and consequently  there must be a widely expanded decentralization of government power through which autonomy must be accorded to certain domains and peoples and for others the principle of federation."

When pressed further about his intentions to rule "with the help of a Parliament or perhaps several national Parliaments," Kirill exclaimed:  "The Czar is Parliament!"
"Every individual nationality will send him its best men who will group themselves about him and support his policies.  Perhaps Russia's future regime will approach that of the United States - a row of independent individual States united in a centralistic union....There must be no purely theoretical solutions, but only those which are practically opportune and beneficial to the Russian people.

"The monarchy in Russia means freedom, order, progress.  Hence it will mean swift exploitation of Russia's great national riches, primarily in agriculture.  Russia, freed of tyrants, has a splendid economic outlook and will not have to try to attract foreign capital through concessions, for capitalists will come to us of their own accord."

He said "monarchical Russia" will not recognize "financial obligations incurred by abroad by the Soviets."

"Certainly not," he responded.  But, of course, we will recognize our pre-war obligations and also all war debts up to 1917."

During the interview, Kirill's wife, Victoria Feodorovna, and their eight-year-old son, Grand Duke Wladimir, came into the room.  Victoria Feodorovna recently visited the United States.

"This trip," Kirill said," pursued no political aims.  Her Majesty received a most favorable impression of American society and the conviction  that Russia, freed from tyranny, would find in that country true friends and assistance which our fatherland has so obtained there in the past."

Emperor Kirill will not place himself at the head of the White army and "make an end of this state of affairs."

"No, I categorically declare I am unwilling to invade Russia and seize power through the force of arms. I declare that according to the law I am Emperor of all the Russias and realize my duties and I know that the time is coming when Russia will need a legitimate Czar. I must demand of all that they do their duty toward the fatherland, and so I must be first to do mine."

Kirill' wrote a memoir,  My Life in Russia's Service. 


Rex said...


I think I read in Paluka's bio of Marie of Romania that Kirill and Victoria had a major crisis in their marriage after the Revolution, and that Victoria was distraught and refused any intimacy with him following his disclosure to her. Are you aware of what caused this crisis between them?


Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

It is called adultery. Another woman.

Rex said...

I thought it might have been called sodomy! Another man - his cousin the GD of Hesse and Victoria's previous husband! Ernst-Ludwig was notorious for his gay philandering during his marriage to Victoria, and he and Kirill would have holidayed together with their families growing up, giving ample opportunities for sexual experimenting.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Ernst Ludwig was bi-sexual, actually. Kirill certainly did not holiday with EL ... he was serving in the military at the time .. Kirill had no real contact with his wife's first husband ... in later years, Kirill strayed ... and Ducky never forgave him - his brothers were womanizers as well.