Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna’s visit to Belarus

  July 26, 2009 at 10:11 am by

Upon invitation, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna paid a visit to Belarus from July 16 to July 22. It was the first official visit of a member of the Imperial Family to Belarus after the collapse of the Russian Empire.

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Maria Vladimirovna visited several cities in Belarus, including Brest and Minsk, as well as several villages. Members of the Grand Duchess’s delegation made sure the protocol is strictly followed: all those who were to be presented to Maria Vladimirovna were told to kiss her hand, bow/curtsey during the introduction, only respond to her questions and talk when directly addressed to. President Lukashenko was aware and approved of the visit of the Grand Duchess. Although a meeting between the two was considered, it didn’t take place.

The visit of the “Uncrowned Empress” (as she was called in several newspapers) was a moderate success, however it was also controversial.

Several politicians questioned the mere presence of the Grand Duchess in Belarus. As one of them said: “The Romanovs have the blood of heroes like Konstanty Kalinowski and Tadeusz Kościuszko on their hands. They were behind banning the press in Belarusian, stopping the usage of our language and even forbidding speaking the very name of our nation – that’s what Russian Empire gave to Belarus. Only after a very public apology of the remaining Romanovs to the people of Belarus for years of oppression, should we allow their mere presence on the soil of our country.” It should be noted that comments of this nature were not treated seriously.

The Grand Duchess also gave a short interview. In answer to a question, Maria Vladimirovna noted that “the Imperial Family will certainly accept the results of the tests on the remains of the bodies found last year (presumably, of the members of the Imperial Family), if their identity is proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

More information about Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna can be found in this thread.

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