Thursday, September 30, 2021

Let the celebrations begin


The Duke of Aosta,  Grand Duke George, the Prince of Venice, and Prince Charles-Philippe of Orleans, Duke of Anjou,  (provided to me by a friend who is attending the wedding.)

Tonight -- actually now -- the  Vladimir Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, will play host to a cocktail reception to welcome the foreign guests who have been invited to Grand Duke George and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini's wedding.  The reception commences at 7 pm and will end at 1 a.m.  

There is a catch, however, guests cannot stay for the entire time.  Covid restrictions are in place and only 100 guests at a time can be at the reception.  The menu featured drinks and finger food.   A private family dinner for about 20 guests took place at the Vladimir Palace before the reception.   Grand Duke George and Victoria Romanovna were present for the dinner and stayed for the entire drinks reception.

More guests include the Duke and Duke of Braganza, Prince Charles-Henri Lobkowicz, Prince Rudolf and Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein, Prince Wenzelaus of Liechtenstein, Crown Prince Leka and Crown Princess Elia of Albania, Prince Joachim and Princess Yasmine Murat, Prince Muhammad Ali and Princess Noal Zaher of Egypt, Prince Davit Bagration, Princess Irina Bagration, Juan Carlos Gamarra Skeels, Peru's ambassador to the UK, and his wife, Desiree Prinzessin von Preussen, who is a younger half-sister Grand Duke George's father,  Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia. 

 A number of regrets are due to Covid.  

The Vladimir Palace was the last imperial palace built in St. Petersburg.   The front of the palace faces the Palace Embankment and the Neva, as does the Marble and Winter Palaces.  

The palace was constructed for Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909), a younger son of Emperor Alexander II.  Construction began in 1867 and was completed in 1872, two years before the Grand Duke's marriage to HH Duchess Marie Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

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Vladimir and Marie Pavlovna, as she was known after her marriage, were the parents of four children: Grand Duke Kirill (1876-1938), Grand Duke Boris (1877-1943), Grand Duke Andrew (1879-1956), and Grand Duchess Helen (1882-1957).

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[In 1902, Helen married Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, third son of King Gorge I of the Hellenes and Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinova of Russia.  They were the parents of three daughters, Olga (HRH Princess Paul of Yugoslavia), Elisabeth (HRH Countess von Toerring-Jettenbach) and Marina (HRH The Duchess of Kent)].

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 Grand Duke Kirill married his first cousin, HRH Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, the divorced wife of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and By Rhine.

Victoria Melita was the second daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Alexander II.

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Kirill and Victoria Melita were married in 1905.  After Nicholas II recognized the marriage, Victoria, who had converted to Orthodoxy, was styled as Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia.

They had three children: Maria (1907-1951) who married Karl, 6th Prince of Leiningen in 1925), Kira (1909-1967), the wife of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, the head of the Imperial House of Germany), and Wladimir (1917-1992).

After the deaths of Nicholas II, his son Alexis and Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich,  Grand Duke Kirill succeeded as de jure Emperor of all the Russias.  Following his death, Wladimir became head of the Imperial House.

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Grand Duke George is a descendant of both Queen Victoria and Alexander II.

Victoria - Alfred - Victoria Melita - Wladimir - Maria - George

Victoria - Victoria - Wilhelm II - Joachim - Karl Franz Josef - Franz Wilhelm - George 

Alexander II - Maria Alexandrovna -Victoria Melita - Wladimir - Maria  - George

Alexander II - Vladimir - Kirill - Wladimir - Maria - George

The marriage between HIH Grand Duke Georg and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini will take place tomorrow at noon at St. Isaac's Cathedral.

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