“We may return to Russia, but we want no privileges” announces Prince Dimitri Romanov
Some time ago, the spokesman for Maria Vladimirovna announced that, “The Imperial House intends to return to Russia. We don’t know when the time will be right, but we are certain that it will happen in near future, as it has already happened in many civilized countries, like Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania and Hungary. The former Royal Houses that returned to their countries of origin now actively take part in their respective countries’ social lives, and so far, no harm has come out of it.
On the contrary, it is only beneficial, because it helps to unite the people, develop national awareness and helps strengthening the position of those countries on the international level. It is too soon to discuss the possibility of return: the Imperial Family must live up to certain expectations and arrangements must be made for it. We are currently in talks with the Russian Government concerning the issue.”
As an answer to Maria Vladimirovna’s statement; on July 28, 2009 the Romanov Family Association released an official announcement. “Members of the Romanov Imperial Family, who are currently residing in different parts of the world, are indeed considering a return to Russia. However, under no circumstances they are going to ask for any privileges or special treatment from the Russian Government,” announced the official spokesman for the Romanov Family Association, Ivan Artzishevski.
He also released an official announcement by Prince Dimitri Romanov, the brother and Heir to the prerogatives of Prince Nicholas Romanov (the Head of the Romanov Family Association and Claimant to the Headship of Imperial House of Romanov), which addressed the same issue. The translation of the complete proclamation of Prince Dimitri Romanov reads:
“During my last visit to St. Petersburg, representatives of various news agencies asked me to comment on the announcement made by the spokesman of my relative, Maria Vladimirovna.
Firstly, I want to note once again, as has been noted many times before, that referring to Maria Vladimirovna as “Grand Duchess” is wrong and inaccurate. The last Grand Duchess of the Imperial Family undoubtedly was the sister of the late Emperor Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, who died in Canada in 1960. Today, all living members of the Imperial Family bear the styles of “Dukes” and “Duchesses”.
Secondly, by right and by the acknowledgement of all other members of the Imperial Family, my elder brother, Prince Nikolai Romanov is the Head of the Family. As has been stated for numerous times, calling Maria Vladimirovna “Head of the Imperial Family” is wrong and misleading.
Thirdly, Maria Vladimirovna’s intention to settle down in Russia is a wish that has already been fulfilled by many former immigrant families. It is, however, very important to understand that Maria Vladimirovna is acting as a private citizen and her return does NOT symbolize the return of the House of Romanov. Any of Maria Vladimirovna’s representatives, advisers, lawyers or other associates do NOT act on behalf of the Romanov Imperial Family. They act on behalf of a private citizen Maria Vladimirovna, and nothing more.
As a conclusion, I would like to remind of a meeting that took place in Paris in 1992, which was attended by all the male-line descendants of the House of Romanov. During the meeting, we agreed that, considering all historical aspects, no member of the House of Romanov will ever put forward any claims or demands, or will not expect any privileges. No exceptions will ever be made. On the contrary, we decided to be useful for our Motherland to the best of our abilities. That’s when members of the Family decided to create the Romanov Fund for Russia.”
Maria Vladimirovna wouldn’t be the first member of the Imperial Family to move to Russia though: several younger members of the Family currently reside in Moscow and St. Petersburg, including Prince Rostislav Rostislavich Romanov, the nephew of Prince Nicholas and Prince Dimitri Romanov, and possible future claimant to the Headship of the Imperial House.
After the announcement, Russian newspapers started speculations about the possible impact of the return of the Imperial House. So far, no two editions managed to agree as to who is even the ‘rightful Heir’. Although Maria Vladimirovna is regarded as a more accepted candidate on the international level, Prince Nicholas Romanov seems to be a favourite among the Russian newspapers.
Some newspapers weren’t content with the ‘traditional’ candidates. Some went as far as suggesting completely random candidates like Prince Michael of Kent and Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark (the former seems to be a candidate not so much because of his relation to the Imperial House but more on the ground of his physical likeness to the late Emperor Nicholas II).
All things considered, Prince Michael of Kent might not be a bad choice after all.Filed under Russian Royals
Tagged Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Prince Dimitri Romanovich, Prince Michael, Prince Nicholas Romanovich, Prince Rostislav Romanovich, Romanov Family Association.