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  #101  
Old 07-29-2009, 06:55 PM
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This is the way I see it. In Russia, there's a minority who are pro-Romanov and would like to see a restoration just as in the UK there's a minority who are anti-Windsor and would like to see an abolition. In Russia, there are two choices; Nicholas and his crew or Maria and her son.

On the one hand, you have the slightly aloof Nicholas who hasn't got much charisma and doesn't want to be Tsar. On the other, you have Maria who's faithfully Orthodox, is very regal, makes trips around the world where she's recieved as the Head of the family with full pomp and circumstance and she believes in a restoration. If you're a Royalist Russian, who ya gonna choose? Whether Russia will become a monarchy again or not is irrelevant, Maria is being very clever in behaving like an exiled monarch so that were the question ever to be put to a referendum she wouldn't need a vast change in style. She's showing that she's prepared. I think she truly does care about Russia and her family.

What Maria is doing is no different to the activities of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia or King Michael of Romania. If she wants to go to Belarus, why shouldn't she? It's up to the Belarussians if they treat her like a reigning monarch or not. If people kiss her hand, bow and curtsey, thats up to them. It's identical to people choosing to bow and curtsey to Elizabeth II. If people want to, they do. If they dont, they dont. I'm sure if someone didn't Maria wouldn't scream off with their head - she's sensible.

So in short, I dont really see what the issue with her is.
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  #102  
Old 07-29-2009, 07:41 PM
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Bea, Darling, I think my issue is that I would like to see MORE solutions in Belarus from Maria. We are in a down economy, can she help them in any way to warrant a restoration?
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  #103  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
This is the way I see it. In Russia, there's a minority who are pro-Romanov and would like to see a restoration just as in the UK there's a minority who are anti-Windsor and would like to see an abolition. In Russia, there are two choices; Nicholas and his crew or Maria and her son.
So far, we are in full agreement.
Although I should note that the pro-Monarchists constitute a really, really small minority. While the mere idea of a "Monarchy" is a very romantic and appealing one, Russians don't have short memories: Monarchy in Russia meant absolute power, when the few had everything, while the majority of people were even worse than slaves. Even when Monarchs in France and England had absolute power, they never come anywhere near to committing all the atrocities Russian Monarchs /Royals / Boyars are responsible for.
There is nothing romantic and hardly anything positive about the role of the Monarchy in Russia, and the Romanovs were probably the worst (in terms of oppressive rule) of them all, even if they did give Russia some of its best Rulers (like Alexander I and Alexander II).

Quote:
On the one hand, you have the slightly aloof Nicholas who hasn't got much charisma and doesn't want to be Tsar. On the other, you have Maria who's faithfully Orthodox, is very regal, makes trips around the world where she's recieved as the Head of the family with full pomp and circumstance and she believes in a restoration. If you're a Royalist Russian, who ya gonna choose? Whether Russia will become a monarchy again or not is irrelevant, Maria is being very clever in behaving like an exiled monarch so that were the question ever to be put to a referendum she wouldn't need a vast change in style. She's showing that she's prepared. I think she truly does care about Russia and her family.
And this is where our differences start.
As I noted in my previous post, I consent that Maria Vladimirovna is a more accepted claimant on the International Level. I am even prepared to agree that she has a slightly sounder basis for her claims than Prince Nicholas.
However, the thing about Russian Monarchists (not only the contemporary ones, mind you) is that most of them don't [i]care[/] who has the most rights: History of Russia is so full of examples when the 'rightful Heir' was bypassed in favour of someone different.

Maria Vladimirovna is truly irrelevant for Russia: she has done nothing for this country.
Prince Nicholas may lack charisma but he is somewhat more relevant: he, and especially his brother and Heir, Prince Dimitri visit the country regularly (and not only during events connected with Nicholas II), they have established the Romanov Fund for Russia, which is actually a pretty successful Fund (Prince Dimitri established another fund aimed to aid Russian charities in 2005), they have very close ties with the Russian Orthodox Church, they speak perfect Russian and are in touch with the state of affairs in the country. In short, they actually do something for Russia.
The fact that Prince Nicholas (or Prince Dimitri) does not want the restoration of the Monarchy just shows that what they do, they do for the country, not for the (improbable) prospect of ever wearing the Imperial Crown.
I can’t say the same about Maria Vladimirovna, not with straight face.


Quote:
What Maria is doing is no different to the activities of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia or King Michael of Romania. If she wants to go to Belarus, why shouldn't she? It's up to the Belarussians if they treat her like a reigning monarch or not. If people kiss her hand, bow and curtsey, thats up to them. It's identical to people choosing to bow and curtsey to Elizabeth II. If people want to, they do. If they dont, they dont. I'm sure if someone didn't Maria wouldn't scream off with their head - she's sensible.
Queen Elizabeth II is a Reigning Monarch and Head of the State. Common tact, if not protocol, dictates that curtseys are in order. But even Her Majesty does not insist on bows. Whereas Maria Vladimirovna, who is a Claimant to non-existing Throne, insisted upon bows, curtseys and kissing the hand.
That’s very out of touch and egocentric, in my opinion.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina
That is why a fair number of younger Russians, who have nothing to do with communists, dislike her. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimorivna seems to visit Russia and remind Russians of the cruel death of Nicholas II and his family. Have you ever seen a member of the French royal family reminding Frenchmen of unfair executions of Louis XVI and his wife? There is a whole new generation of Russians, who do not care about the Romanovs and communists, who executed them, very much. Furthermore, I do not think that the death of one family that ruled the Russia and nearby territories with an iron fist, treated peasants as slaves (I mean the law of serfdom and the way Russian nobility treated their serfs), grabbed lands in the Central Asia, and tried to cruelly subdue the nations of the Caucasus region, is enough to atone the 300 years of atrocities committed by the Romanovs, who contributed to their own demise. As I have stated earlier, communism and Tsarism have got a lot in common. Each regime got what it deserved.
Anyway ... when it comes to Grand Duchess and her son, I fully share Marsel's opinion.
I have never thought of it like that but I suppose you are right: communists and the Romanovs had a lot in common. Actually, Lenin might have been better than quite a few Monarchs of the dynasty. Even Stalin was probably no worse than most Monarchs.
During the communist era, you could at least be sure you'll have a work and a meal tomorrow (of course, tomorrow might never come if you 'behaved in a wrong way', but wasn't it the same way during the Romanovs?).
If anything, there was a Law during the communist era. It may have been twisted and corrupted but it was still a Law. That's more than you can say about the Romanov era.
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  #104  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:46 PM
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And I'm not sure a lot of Russian's are even aware or care of her 'sacrifice' - marrying a fellow Royal.
Touché! Though I do wish to point out that I was stating my personal opinion and I was not saying that I believed anyone other than myself thinks that it is a bit of a sacrifice for a person to make by marrying someone else because "duty calls" (or because the marriage was arranged) and not because the couple is in love.

PS - Great post, BeatrixFan! Pretty much summarized my thoughts.
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  #105  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:54 PM
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Similarly, I can state my opinion only.

When I met some of my friends today, I asked them what they thought about Maria Vladimirovna and / or Prince Nicholas (TRF influences me too much). The blank stares all of them gave me was enough to understand that they have no opinion about either, simply because they don't know who they are.
And that despite the fact there have been quite a few reports and articles about the Romanovs lately!
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  #106  
Old 07-29-2009, 09:29 PM
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Luckily, it is highly improbable (dare I say, impossible lol) that you or your friends will ever need to worry about having an Empress Maria I or Tsar Nicholas III.

Anyways, here is a link to a thread on the Royal Weddings Message Board where not too long ago many photos from the wedding of Maria Vladimirovna of Russia and Franz Wilhelm of Prussia were posted: Royal Weddings Message Board: Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna & Prince Franz Wilhelm 22-09-1976.
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  #107  
Old 07-29-2009, 10:32 PM
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Thanks for photos!
Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna used to be very attractive. However, I do not see this marriage as a sacrifice of any kind on Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna's part. Is there any information that she loved the other person, but forced to marry equally? It is unfortunate that the marital bliss was short-lived.
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  #108  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:07 AM
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Once, Grand Duchess Maria was asked by an interviewer, "What is more important for you: a holy duty or character? What guiding principles did you have when you got married, and what guides your thinking in your other affairs?"

She responded, "One cannot set duty and character in opposition to each other. Everyone has a duty, and if someone is unaware of their duty, then that, in a sense, is their character. I married for love. By the way, in our dynasty anyway, the requirement to marry someone of equal birth has not, as a rule, gotten in the way of feelings..."

Also, in her ghost-written memoirs (Chaque matin est une grâce), Grand Duchess Leonida said something along the lines of "Maria was very much in love with Franz etc." But Leonida also claims that she and Wladimir had some reservations about Franz Wilhelm, and that Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (Wladimir's brother-in-law & head of the Prussian Imperial Family) advised Wladimir not to let his daugher marry Franz. However, Wladimir and Leonida wanted their daughter to be happy so the wedding went ahead.

Fair enough, that's the family's version, and maybe it's right.

On the other hand, the author of an excellent book on European royalty stated on another message board (Nobiliana) that the marriage between the Grand Duchess of Russia & Prince of Prussia was not a love match and that it was largely arranged.

To me, an arranged marriage seems plausible enough. Maria's parents wanted her to marry equally so as not to exclude herself from the succession. Maria and Franz Wilhelm met at a party given by Maria's uncle Louis Ferdinand. In October 1975, the pair attended the wedding of Leka of Albania together with Maria's parents and halfsister. Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Wladimir announced their daughter's engagement in July 1976. It made the cover of Point de Vue. Maria and Franz are pictured looking cool and complaisant, but hardly enamored.

In September, the betrothed were civilly married in France and then there was that big bash in Madrid with four kings and five queens in attendance.

Fast forward to 1981: the couple's son George is born. Maria and Michael (the former F-W) were both at their two-month-old son's baptism along with, among others, the King and Queen of Spain. By the following year the marriage was over (Robert Massie wrote in The Romanovs: The Final Chapter that "He [Franz Wilhelm] came home one day and found his things in the hall."). A divorce was granted in 1985. Grand Duke Wladimir made sure that Maria received custody of her son and Maria & George more or less lived with her parents until Grand Duke Wladimir died in 1992.


[sorry for being long winded!]
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  #109  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Marsel View Post
So far, we are in full agreement.
Although I should note that the pro-Monarchists constitute a really, really small minority. While the mere idea of a "Monarchy" is a very romantic and appealing one, Russians don't have short memories: Monarchy in Russia meant absolute power, when the few had everything, while the majority of people were even worse than slaves. Even when Monarchs in France and England had absolute power, they never come anywhere near to committing all the atrocities Russian Monarchs /Royals / Boyars are responsible for. There is nothing romantic and hardly anything positive about the role of the Monarchy in Russia, and the Romanovs were probably the worst (in terms of oppressive rule) of them all, even if they did give Russia some of its best Rulers (like Alexander I and Alexander II).
Thanks for your reply.

I totally agree that the Romanovs were hardly the most democracy-loving of dynastys but looking through the history of alot of ruling Royal Houses, they're hardly blemish free. You only have to look at the Japanese Imperial Family's history. But that is all history and the Grand Duchess has made it very clear that if a restoration was on the cards, the only way it could work is with a constitutional monarchy. It's all "Ifs" because I very much doubt Russia would restore it's monarchy but IF they did, Maria (I suspect) has no intention of becoming Maria the Terrible.



Quote:
As I noted in my previous post, I consent that Maria Vladimirovna is a more accepted claimant on the International Level. I am even prepared to agree that she has a slightly sounder basis for her claims than Prince Nicholas. However, the thing about Russian Monarchists (not only the contemporary ones, mind you) is that most of them don't care[/] who has the most rights: History of Russia is so full of examples when the 'rightful Heir' was bypassed in favour of someone different.


And I think that this is a case of "Russia's Got Royals". People look at Nicholas and Dmitri and they see two old men in grey suits who don't undertake the same duties as the Grand Duchess. You have to look at the profiles of Nicholas and Maria and it's fairly clear who seems to have the stronger claim, not based on ancestry but based on their roles today and let's face it, IF there was ever a chance of the monarchy coming back to Russia then the Russian people are going to look at both candidates and decide who they prefer. The Grand Duchess has a pretty strong case, her heritage aside (and for the record I think she does have the strongest claim birth-right wise). You only have to look at the way Maria was treated at the reburial of Empress Maria Feodorovna. She was the star of the show that day and thats for three reasons as I see it.

One, the Church. The Grand Duchess is faithful Orthodox. She is recognised by the Patriarch (and his predecessors) as the Head of the family and in eyes of the Church, Her Imperial Highness is the one they regard as being important. She has always followed the guidelines of the Church on the issue of recognition of Romanov remains, she visits Orthodox churches regularly and for the Orthodox believers in Russia who want a Royal but aren't sure who to vote for, they'll follow the example of the Church and see Maria being raised up as the Romanov heir and support her.

Two, the State. At the re-burial, it was the Grand Duchess who was given a place with the Heads of State and their representatives. She was also given the task of welcoming them. The pictures clearly show Maria standing alongside the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, the former King and Queen of Greece and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Where was Nicholas? Outside of the burial, we've seen quite a few meetings between Maria and Putin and the State seem to be on her side where the rehabilitation of relatives is concerned. They seem to recognise her as the Head of the family, so anyone in Russia who wants a Royal but isn't sure who to vote for could look to the Government example and see Maria being the Romanov heir and support her.

Three, Maria's role. The Grand Duchess has pretty much taken her lead from other exiled monarchs (Yes she was never a monarch). Let's take an example of the former King and Queen of Romania. They do charity work, they represent Romania, they live there, they behave pretty much like they would as monarchs but have no political power. Their daughter goes about recieving bows and curtsies, doing pretty much everything the Prince of Wales does in the UK but on a much smaller scale. The Grand Duchess is seen to be travelling the world representing Russia and when she does so, she is doing so off her own bat. No-one's forced her to do it. People see her visiting Belarus and Australia and being recieved as the Head of the Imperial Family and recieving the diplomatic treatment accorded to Royalty so anyone looking at how Nicholas and Maria are treated and how they work abroad will see Maria's activities and support her.

So you see, the Grand Duchess has a higher profile than Nicholas and she has the key support of those she needs to retain that profile. Yes Nicholas and Dmitri have visited Russia but so has Maria. They have their Romanov Fund for Russia but similarly, the Grand Duchess does her bit for charities both in Russia and those outside of Russia with a Russian outreach. She speaks Russian and she's in touch with the state affairs of Russia. In my view, she's not only equal in her qualification to Nicholas but she's done even more to show that a restored monarchy, even an exiled Imperial House, is better in her hands.


Quote:
Queen Elizabeth II is a Reigning Monarch and Head of the State. Common tact, if not protocol, dictates that curtseys are in order. But even Her Majesty does not insist on bows. Whereas Maria Vladimirovna, who is a Claimant to non-existing Throne, insisted upon bows, curtseys and kissing the hand. That’s very out of touch and egocentric, in my opinion.
The King and Queen of Greece aren't reigning yet they recieve bows and curtsies all the time. The same goes for a whole host of exiled monarchs and this is what makes monarchy monarchy. It only takes one man to say "You're my King" and give him allegiance and he's a monarch. If Maria's entourage told those she was due to meet that the correct protocol was to bow, curtsey, kiss the Imperial hand etc etc then they're really not doing any different to how the Romanian entourage instruct people on the protocol for meeting King Michael and Queen Anne. I doubt Maria insisted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russo
Bea, Darling, I think my issue is that I would like to see MORE solutions in Belarus from Maria. We are in a down economy, can she help them in any way to warrant a restoration?
I think this is very much the first step on the ladder for the Grand Duchess. Rome wasn't built in a day and she's very limited in what she can do but what she can do is exactly the same as what Elizabeth II does when she goes to a failing country like Belarus. She gives them hope because they see people are interested in what they are doing and she gives them recognition of their hard work to encourage them. Whether that encouragement means as much coming from Maria as it does from Elizabeth is a matter for the people in Belarus who get a Royal visit but I think Maria is pretty much in mind that places like Belarus are part of the Russian family and that as the Head of the Imperial Family, she has just as much responsibility to them as to mainland Russians.

Yes, her relevance is pretty low but what the Grand Duchess is doing is in reality, all she can do. She knows Russia isn't screaming for a Romanov return but she does know that there's a minority who are Royalists and she's now making sure that the Russian monarchy-in-exile has a face, has a living symbol of what it is. And that's no different to any other monarchy in the world, indeed, it's what every monarchy needs to survive. Whether you prefer Nicholas or Maria, neither will get to sit on the Imperial throne but in their exile, they've got a chance to give the Romanovs back some dignity and some relevance, character and accessibility. Maria seems to take that more seriously than Nicholas and maybe thats why she gets the Royal treatment from the right people?
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  #110  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:09 AM
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Would George , the boy without father , living since years with GD Maria and Leonida
be able to be a heir ??
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  #111  
Old 07-30-2009, 10:47 AM
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From a practical point of view, few Russians are aware of Maria Vladimirovna or the Romanov Family Association. There is little desire or momentum for a restoration or even any kind of recognition, such as what was done in Romania and Serbia, for ANY member of the family.

From the strictest viewpoint of the Pauline Law, both Maria and Nicholas would be disqualified from the succession as dynasts. Although Vladimir ruled the Bagrations were royal and equal in rank to the imperial family, in reality, they most certainly were not and were inscribed in the Fifth Book of Nobility in Imperial Russia.

The succession would likely have passed to the Yugoslavian royal family to HRH Prince Alexander, grandson of Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna and Prince Nicholas of Greece & Denmark, after Vladimir's death in 1992.
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  #112  
Old 07-30-2009, 10:51 AM
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Would George , the boy without father , living since years with GD Maria and Leonida
be able to be a heir ??
No.He's just smart enough to pull up his trousers in the morning and that's that.No lightbulb he is.And these two women,
they're not my cup of tea either,never were,and I haven't been proven wrong in all these years.

Maria,who is NOT a "Grand Duchess" btw but a duchess,is just fiddling here and there but has NO real substance in her veins,
nor will she ever gain any.Showing off with the likes of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev is just that,showing off,they never
know how fast to get rit of her again.On the re-burial of Marie?That looked good in the pictures didn't it,no further means then that.

But Georgy boy,nice kid maybe but no substance,wrong material.And NOT eligeble to be an Heir anyway,the Pauline Law prohibits
that you see,his mom is just playing a part as otherwise what else to do with the saying:'It ain't over till the fat lady sings".No
pun intended to those slightly overweight tho,just the saying.

Princes Dmitry and Nikolai just keep a low profile and work behind the scenes of the Romanov Fund to improve conditions in Russia whenever and where ever they can.Great,and humble people,not the scream it off the wall types like Maria......What to do with Maria....It has been sung before...
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  #113  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by maria-olivia View Post
Would George , the boy without father , living since years with GD Maria and Leonida
be able to be a heir ??
Depends on who you ask...those that support his mother believe that he is the heir, those who don't support her discount him too, and the rest don't care!

Nevertheless, like his mother and grandfather, George has been groomed from birth to eventually take up the mantle of leading the Imperial House in exile. He is a polyglot (speaking fluent Russian, English, French, and Spanish). George attended Oxford where he studied law and economics. For quite a few years he worked in the European Parliament in Brussels where he was assistant to the Vice President of the European Commission, and later on he worked in Luxembourg in the field of atomic energy issues. Now, the Grand Duke occupies the position of Advisor to the General Director of MMC Norilsk Nickel (a large Russian company), and he serves on the Board of the Nickel Institute. He's low-key and he works for a living.

Much hinges on George's choice of marriage partner. Should he tie the knot with an eligible princess like Theodora of Greece, then he's "safe." But if he marries "unequally" then it is safe to say that support for his claims will evaporate. Or, if he never reproduces, the Vladimirovichi will just go extinct.
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  #114  
Old 07-30-2009, 04:23 PM
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Lucien, I have to say, we are of the same opinion on most issues you mentioned in your post.

As for Maria Vladimirovna's meetings with Putin, both Prince Nicholas and Prince Dimitri had their share as well. As a matter of fact, one of the most recent meeting between a Romanov Prince (Prince Dimitri) and the Russian President took place in June of this year. It was a discreet meeting without bold announcements and attention-grabbing antics: they just discussed the issue of the reburial and ways the RFA can be of help to the country.
As Lucien said, Prince Nicholas and Prince Dimitri behave more discreetly and aim to actually do something for Russia, not just show off. They have already made it quite clear they are not interested in the Crown, just in helping the country of their ancestors.
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  #115  
Old 08-21-2009, 04:02 PM
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Here is the full itinerary of the July visit of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna to Russia and Belarus: Press Release On the Official Visit of the Head of the Russian Imperial House
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  #116  
Old 08-23-2009, 11:49 AM
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Wow. The Grand Duchess certainly had a busy trip!
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  #117  
Old 09-04-2009, 10:53 AM
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Maria Vladimirovna has apparently ordered her lawyers to appeal the decision of the Russian Courts to close the murder case of Nicholas, Alexandra and their children.

According to a press release, the Romanov Family (that is, Maria Vladimirovna, her mother and son) does not agree with the verdict on principle and will insist on re-opening the case. The Russian courts pronounced the deaths of members of the Imperial Family were murder and the case was to be closed because the executives of the murder were long death. Maria Vladimirovna’s lawyers disagree with classification of the deaths as ‘murder’ and argue that those were political assassination and should be treated as such.

Maria Vladimirovna’s spokesman used the press conference as a chance to state once again that the Romanov Family (Maria Vladimirovna, her mother and son) does not recognize the remnants found in Yekaterinburg as that of the Imperial Family. He said that there were no sufficient proves and until the Church and the Patriarch recognizes the remnants as that of Tsar Nicholas and his family, they won’t be prepared to do so.
The spokesman for Romanov Family Association (which includes pretty much all other Romanovs) confirmed that they do recognize the remnants as that of Romanovs and that they do not plan to appeal the decision of the Russian courts, at least as of now.


I suppose DNA evidence is not hard enough proof for Maria Vladimirovna.
Some legal experts think that the motives of Maria Vladimirovna’s appeal are quite clear: if the murders are re-classified as political assassinations, the Romanovs (especially those who are directly descended from or closely related to the murdered Romanovs) will be entitled to compensations – and bearing in mind just who the assassinated people were, rather impressive compensations.
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  #118  
Old 09-04-2009, 04:06 PM
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Some legal experts think that the motives of Maria Vladimirovna’s appeal are quite clear: if the murders are re-classified as political assassinations, the Romanovs (especially those who are directly descended from or closely related to the murdered Romanovs) will be entitled to compensations – and bearing in mind just who the assassinated people were, rather impressive compensations.
Ah! I was wondering what the difference was. Thanks!
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  #119  
Old 09-04-2009, 11:28 PM
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I wonder what has prompted Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna to pester the Russian government with legalities concerning the untimely death of Nicholas II and his family as well as what compensation she expects from the Russian government.
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  #120  
Old 09-05-2009, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Two, the State. At the re-burial, it was the Grand Duchess who was given a place with the Heads of State and their representatives. She was also given the task of welcoming them. The pictures clearly show Maria standing alongside the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, the former King and Queen of Greece and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
First new : MW was at the re-burial of Empress Maria Fedorovna!!!

Niet. Next to the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark there were the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Great Princesses Xenia and Olga her daughters and next to them..........Princes Dmitry and Nicholas.
In the Roskilde Cathedral and in ...Russia!
The Queen of Denmark invited them and their consorts and asked them (especially Dmitry) to mediate between the danish and russian governements.
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