A Royal Wedding! Many Years!

As many of you know, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for monarchism.  That may be because the Republican experiment may be reaching its expiration date. 

Who knows?  Anyway, that’s a story for another day.  In the meantime, we are pleased to announce the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov to his bride, the former  Victoria Bettarini, which took place in the magnificent church of St Isaac’s cathedral in St Petersburg.  

From the looks of it, it seems that they pulled out all of the stops and it was a magnificent royal spectacle.  Many years to the happy couple!  May it portend something even greater in the future. 

Please take the time to read about this blessed event below:



If you’re interested where the Grand Duke is in the line of succession, please watch the following short video:

Interestingly, George’s mother is a descendant on her father’s side of the Romanovs and on her mother’s side of the Bagrationi, the dynasty which ruled Georgia for several centuries.  (The Bagration family crest is on the left, the Romanov on the right.)



  1. Interesting that there was an honor guard of Russian army officers (unless it was LARPers), which possibly means at least someone with influence gave implicit support for this spectacle. Not only that, but the participation of the Metropolitan of Saint Petersburg, one of the most senior bishops in Russia.

    Although this Romanov will probably never sit on the throne, and at 40 years old with a 39-year old wife, may not even produce an heir, I think that this event helps to underline Russian normality vs. Western degeneracy pretty well. A great coup for Russian PR.

  2. As a Russian who comes from a traditional monarchist background I can tell you with full confidence: this is not the real deal, it is a farce…

    Georgiy, the newlywed, doesn’t even have the right to have the Romanoff last name, because it belongs to his mother, not his father. I believe it was his grandfather, Vladimir Romanoff, who created this little exception to the rules just for the benefit of his grandson.

    It would be one thing if we stopped at the technicalities of dynastic succession, but that’s not the real reason why this is a farce. The reality is that this “Romanoff” is very ill equipped to represent the Russian monarchy (as is his mother and as were her father and grandfather).

    First, he speaks the language on the level of a migrant, as if he just listened to a bunch of Pimsleur tapes in the car a few times a week. He had full access to the Russian language as a child, but he wasn’t apparently interested enough to learn it to even a basic level of proficiency until he became an adult. Second, he has no real professional experience. He does head a charity, but it was funded by other people’s money and it’s mostly a PR stunt to get his and his mother’s name out there. Finally, this entire Romanoff branch starting with Cyril Vladimirovich Romanoff (Tsar Nicholas the IInd’s cousin) was compromised not only through a morganatic marriage, but with an attitude of blatant opportunism at cost to principles.

    When the February (non-communist, but socialist) revolution happened in 1917, Cyril went with his regiment to swear allegiance to the new provisional government wearing a red armband. While in the emigre world, Cyril hardly did any helpful activism, all he was interested in was being recognized as the “emperor in exile”, despite the fact that many Romanoffs didn’t recognize him as such. Then in the 1930s he joined forces with the Mladorossi, an organization that started off anti-communist, then gradually pushed the idea of a coexistence of a monarch with the Soviet state (not surprisingly, the head of that organization was outed as a Soviet agent).

    His son Vladimir (Georgiy’s grandfather) was not much better: he never really did anything of note in the white emigre world other than simply position himself as the inheritor of the Russian throne (when other white emigres were heavily involved in charitable work and anti-communist activism).

    When the USSR fell, Georgiy’s mother went on an aggressive PR campaign in hopes she would be recognized as a symbolic monarch, alongside the Russian republican state. She managed to get some people in the church and amidst some monarchist circles interested in her (the so called “legitimist monarchists”), but the vast majority of Russians including many monarchists could care less about her. To encourage donations, she began offering nobility titles to sponsors (nobility titles can only be awarded by a sitting monarch, which she is not). All she does is issue politically neutral, feel good proclamations that are aimed at getting maximum PR for her to become a poor fascimile of the Queen of England.

    Maria Romanoff and her son have some very dedicated supporters in Russia and the diaspora, but it’s a very small group. She has very little respect in broad Russian society, and to hold this event out as anything extraordinary is quite a mistake in my view. Many Russian patriots are cringing in embarrassment over this “wedding”, and I’d quite rather it be ignored.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I don’t disagree with the particulars regarding this branch of the Romanov family, and you are right regarding the fact that he is a Romanov on his mother’s side only. Hence his real last name would be his father’s name, Hohenzollern.

      However, the last strictly male line Romanov was Peter II, the son of the Tsarevich Alexei, the son of Peter I, the Great. One of Peter’s daughters married a Swedish prince from the line of Hollstein-Gottorp, so technically, her son and heir Peter III was Peter Hollstein-Gottorp-Romanov and that was the formal name of the Romanov dynasty since then.

      As for the sins of his great-grandfather, Cyril, who swore allegiance to the provisional government of Kerensky, I don’t think anybody would have had an inkling that the Bolsheviks would take over and become the murderous bastards that they were.

      Still, as someone of Russian emigre stock, your opinion is a significant one.

      • The only redeeming thing Kerensky did was remove the usurper Amaris. Leaving the Inner Sphere was all down hill from there.

  3. I must confess, before I read GeorgeS’ comment, a wonder-full sense of hope sparkled within me. This certainly seems beautiful, a sight that seems ‘right and good.’ Indeed, when the globalists/communists attacked they went first after the Royal Family, the archetype for that country’s family, one crucial building block. Once they shattered that icon, everything began crumbling beneath it – – where does this leave us, today?

    After I read GeorgeS’ comment, I realize this reveals a longing deep inside many hearts for something beautiful and good again, an Orthodox government truly upholding a magnificent vision of beauty crowned by God. This particular instance may not be that vision, but leads us toward it.

    May it be blessed.

  4. To me, it’s just important that people not get the idea that this is Russia’s answer to “The Royal Wedding” (because quite frankly this ceremony was, for understandable reasons, quite underwhelming – and it’s not because of covid!), and much more important: that this isn’t the lost Romanoff legacy being restored.

    The subject of the continuation (or not) of the Russian monarchy is a very painful one. We still have a significant percent of the population raised on Soviet era myths (which, interestingly, were uncritically CCed by mainstream western historiography).

    Putin is very deft at being a political centrist: he knows when to throw the Russian left an occasional bone while avoiding a commitment to Soviet revanchism and trying to engage the anti-Soviet elements of Russian society. In that same spirit, Russian history is being taught in schools “split down the middle”. Not ideally what I’d like to see, but certainly an improvement over the “workers’ struggle” being the focal point of the program with a symbolic smattering of carefully preselected pre-revolutionary heroes. At least it finally gives people two sides to a story, and let’s them choose for themselves.

    If Russia will have some sort of monarch that will play a public role, it had better be someone much more polished and diplomatically experienced than Georgiy or his mother. It has to be a person with the ability to engage society on many different levels. That’s not how Georgiy was raised, and dare I say it’s very possible his mother pushed him into this. The mere fact his Russian is so poor shows that he most certainly procrastinated being that he wasn’t sure he wanted to do this for many years.

    They are, as Trump would say, “a disaster”. The Russian left is already writing articles such as “Now you see why Yurovsky had no problem executing the royal family”

    Bottom line: we need someone else, and perhaps right now it’s still quite early to talk about a public monarchic figure (let alone any functional monarchy). We need to come full circle with our history and unfortunately, that’s a process that takes time and generations. I’m an optimist, I sincerely believe that the Russian church is in a great position to continue channeling positive societal momentum (unless we get a western style cue like in Ukraine), and we’ll get there. If only we can avoid embarrassing ourselves with such spectacles…

    • So, in other words, sounds like it’s better to stick with the Roman-esque Dominate style of government for now.

      • Peter Howe says

        These things apparently take time;

        And Time is a Gift [in the English sense of that word, of course].

        Should it be received with Patience, Time can become a virtuous Gift,

        Instead of a less-than-virtuous Gift, should it be received instead with an impatient Patience.

        I think that you can infer what I mean.

        At the very least, this Wedding may well portend a good beginning.

        Either way, all that I can also venture to say here, with a measure of properly reserved caution, is the following:

        May It Be Blesssed.

    • George Michalopulos says

      GeorgeS, if what you say is true about the Russian educational system, then they’re light years ahead of us

      • American educational system is not so good, when compared with other developed countries. That is why in order to develop American science and technologies, the experts from abroad were needed.

      • To be fair, Russia has its shares of taboo subjects. The biggest one is questioning anything relating to the USSR’s role in WWII (as well as the events leading up to it). That can stir up very harsh emotions, because the WWII victory is a key linchpin of 20th century history the way it’s taught in Russia today, and the patriotic program at large. It’s also a key diplomatic point in Russian/Eurasian geopolitics.

        Personally I have an issue with this because some politicians and public figures use this to whitewash Stalin, e.g. “Maybe he did some bad things but on balance you owe your life to him”. They misrepresent him as a pragmatic statist who shooed away the internationalist trotskyites to create a new Russian empire (sort of the Bartholomew = Byzantium idea if you ask me). Fortunately Putin tends to stay away from such positioning, but he’s careful not to isolate the Russian left entirely, because they are still his biggest competition.

        It’s a messy situation: since anti-Stalinism is heavily associated in the mind of many Russians with western geopolitics and NATO (think the Yeltsin years where American ‘consultants’ were helping him divide up the nation’s assets), Stalin has found a new life amidst some as a figure that “stood up” to the west (both the Axis and NATO) and shot “corrupt politicians”. At least that’s the fantasy that some people promulgate.

        This somewhat contrasts with the western/American left which is socially liberal, yet at the same time has learned to be a parasite off of a rich tax base that is rooted in capitalism. The Russian left is more focused on “hanging oligarchs” and creating a strong social welfare state reminiscent of the USSR, while the American left is obsessed with identity politics while keeping a castrated version of capitalism alive (where the big fish keep their place by adopting wokeism and sponsoring the state, while the little folk are regulated to death).

        The fact that the majority of the Russian left, center, and a good part of the right is socially conservative helps prevent Russia from becoming an ideologically fertile ground for wokeism and cultural marxism. The only ones who flirt with those ideas are, oddly enough, on the “pro-capitalist right” (Navalny et all).

    • “At least it finally gives people two sides to a story,
      and let’s them choose for themselves.”

      How utterly unlike the teaching of history
      in our own, dear, Free World!

  5. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Mom looks quite….prosperous, and the son seems to be doing ok, too.

  6. Seems like a lot of people are getting all excited about this guy. I just keep wanting to say “everyone chill out.” Has this guy even expressed any pretensions to the throne? Does the citizenry even want him? What about the military? And does anyone really think Putin would step aside for him? I don’t think we really need to worry too much about how fit or not fit he is to lead. No real chance it’s going to happen.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Well, somebody has to take over after Putin. Why not a constitutional monarch?

      • I’m fine with that. But there’s no particular reason to assume that will be soon. And yet people are making this fuss as if we need this guy to be ready to rule within a week.

        Personally I think we should decide who rules Russia the old fashioned way…
        “Whoever wields this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

      • George,

        Russians want and will have a strong leader because a weak one will be overthrown. That is something to bear in mind when chirping about the mortality of Putin’s enemies.

        What’s in a name? “A rose, by any other name . . .” Putin is effectively Tsar of Russia. He is eligible to continue under the present constitution until 2036, but if need be that can be amended, as it has been in the past. His party controls the Duma and that’s the name of the game – Dominant Party system. He is more powerful than a constitutional monarch likely would be. Russians aren’t much for figureheads.

        Could there be a restoration of the monarchy? Perhaps. But the dynastic system of monarchy has the disadvantage that it sacrifices natural selection for patriarchal inheritance. Perhaps it is better to have a king who has fought his way up to the position of heir apparent rather than a child who might be like the father or in turn might be worthless and spoiled. President of a dominant party state may be the new form of monarchy. Fukuyama erroneously thought liberal democracy to be the final paradigm of human government. If a politician can build enough consensus to gain a permanent majority while taking control of the media apparatus in order to protect his status and that of his party, thus relegating all other parties to a type of “third party” unserious status, then there is no reason that arrangement cannot last in perpetuity at once calling itself a form of democracy, yet in important aspects more resembling a monarchy.

        This is what Russians call “суверенная демократия”, “sovereign democracy”. It is more likely to take hold the more homogenous a society is. There is nothing magical about the two party system. In fact, if one studies the root of the word “diabolical”, it might be revealing. Generally there are not two right ways to proceed, one is superior and that is the objective. The theory is that competition makes that objective more likely. But that is not true. If anything, it solidifies wrongheadedness and evil into ideological form as a political alternative. Multi-party systems are arguably marginally better at avoiding this trap, but it is the one that American is caught in at the moment.

        By any objective measure of traditional Christian society (and there is really no other generally accepted standard of morality), MAGA policy is good and Democrat policy is evil. It’s completely Manichaean. As if on cue, Satanists oppose Texas abortion restrictions.

        What could be more indicative of the reality of the situation?

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Never thought I’d see the day when Misha quotes from Romeo & Juliet! … = “would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called.”

          • “If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.— Give me a case to put my visage in!
            A visor for a visor.—What care I
            What curious eye doth cote deformities?
            Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.”

        • If one is to restore a monarchy the immediate question should be: what would be its purpose?

          Leadership? Misha says it best, Putin is effectively a sovereign, and we see this phenomenon in other modern republics as well. People LOVE continuation and dynasty, even Americans who are supposed to be the utmost anti-monarchists. Think Kennedys, Bushes, the Clintons. And Trump has his line of succession all ready to go as well. Even communist societies have played with this idea, North Korea being the most prominent example.

          So this concept of keeping power/passing on power to one’s progeny is strongly rooted in human society and it is active today. Do we need to put a crown on it? That gets much trickier.

          Are we to have a ‘public figurehead’ monarchy, more like the Queen of England? That is more problematic. The UK and commonwealth had a process of natural devolution of monarchic powers, which means that things adapted gradually and naturally. Having someone ‘parachute in’ is probably unprecedented. It’s like “Hello, and who are you? I need to listen to you because???” And who is to give this new sovereign powers? You can’t just CC what Britain does, that won’t work. Let’s also not forget that the British sovereign is the head of the Church of England, and a lot of the reverence attributed to her comes from this. Russian society (fortunately) is not structured thusly.

          As far as Russia is concerned, the pro-Soviet left still has enough pull in the poorer regions and that will be a major obstacle to ANY figure claiming to represent something royal even on a symbolic level. Fortunately the left is not as hostile to the Orthodox Church anymore, many have even reached out to embrace it (odd as that sounds). But a monarchy? That cuts right into the class struggle. They see the dynastic structures of modern oligarchy as a continuation of the ‘blue blood’ idea. Not going to fly with them.

          At the end of the day, I think I’ve made it clear why we’re not going to see any functional monarchic figure in Russia in the near future, at least not in the traditional sense many hope for. This is my argument with the so called ‘legitimatist monarchists’: to me, it’s not about the format, it’s about the quality of leadership. Legitimatists feel that without a monarchy Russia is spiritually doomed, and that only the directly blessed line (itself a controversial subject) will save the people and reverse the sin of the crime committed in Yekaterinburg in 1918. I think life is more complicated than that. Either way, neither Georgiy or his mother Maria are equipped to deal with Russia’s unique challenges in the post-Soviet world, and they most certainly aren’t going to be an authoritative voice for Christian values.

        • Antiochene Son says

          Two party systems end up being illusions in the end, anyway. Look at the USA. There is the dominant party that effectively controls society (the Democrats) and there is the titular opposition (the Republicans) that is allowed to trim away the excesses of the dominant party, but nothing more. It has the advantage of keeping a population that is not totally on-board with the dominant party pacified by creating fake issues to rally around, while the overall program goes full steam ahead.

          With the demographic changes currently underway, the Democrats will eventually secure “sovereign democracy” status, with the Republicans stuck in a permanent state of 40% support. Republicans will continue to liberalize with the population, just enough to be a viable alternative, but holding on to just enough of the old ways (of 10 years ago on a rolling basis) to appear conservative.

          • AS,

            I grant that a version of your scenario is possible, but one much grimmer for the GOP than 40% support.

            The next four years will be decisive in the history of this nation. The writing is on the wall and only MAGA as a dominant party can save it. The nationalist wave will either overtake America as it has parts of Europe, or break upon the rocks. If that wave does not prevail, Trumpistas will no longer support the Republican Party, and that is the vast majority of Republicans. Either you are witnessing the birth of a dominant Patriot/Republican Party (MAGA) or the death of the Republican Party as a national alternative, of whatever effect.

            When the Establishment Republicans defenestrated Trump during the coup, I changed my registration from Republican to Independent. It’s not going to change again, and I’m not going to vote again, unless Trump or someone he picks or endorses is on the ballot – period. And I’m not the only one. Death to the old Republican Party. A single dominant Democratic Party is better than a Uniparty professional wrestling show.

            The Democrat Party is only dominant at the moment in a manner of speaking. A real dominant party never loses national elections because they’re the only party with enough popular support to win. One can say that the Uniparty has been dominant in that sense if you mix together Establishment Dems and Establishment Repubs as one thing – Uniparty.

            My suspicion is that after the 2024 election, the Patriot/Republicans will become the dominant party and the Democrats will fade to irrelevance. But there is a lot of messy history in between now and then and it could and probably will get very ugly.

            The two sides genuinely hate each other. And that’s fine. As the Preacher said, “there is a time to love and a time to hate”. Moses bade us to purge the evil from among us and Christ Himself said “if thy hand offend thee, cut it off” and that when He returns He will feed the flesh of His enemies to the birds of the air (Apocalypse of St. John).

            Watch how the life of The Steal meme develops. It seems to be starting to prevail in the UK. Biden is so incompetent that he is alienating the Brits and French and thus disposing them to believe in such things. The UK parliament voted to hold him in contempt and there are UK columnists (two I have seen) beginning to validate the idea the American election was in fact stolen. If this gradually becomes the conventional wisdom, it will have a severe negative effect on the Democrat Party. They will be seen to have sinned against the Holy Ghost of Western liberal ideology. The exposure of the Russia Hoax conspiracy is just the tip of the iceberg. It can get dramatically worse for the Dems.

            Red America is ready to do battle. Methinks that the Democrats prevailing as a dominant party is unlikely. They have come a long, long way since Wilson and FDR but they have gotten far too greedy at the end with Obama and their reaction to Trump. It has roused a slumbering giant.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I’m tending to agree with you. Even the Dems control all of the levers of power on the national level at least, and this includes Academe, Hollywood, Big Tech, you name it, the fact remains that their grip is tenuous.

              How do I say this? Is it because I’m an optimist? Again, no –far from it. It’s because what they have a grip on is power but it is power based on an illusion. The illusion of egalitarianism and all its bastard stepchildren.

              I’ve said it a thousand time, leftists can seize power but they can’t hold on to it for long. Unreality does not exist and thus their religion, their ideology cannot provide the sustenance for their hold on power.

              Now I’m not saying that the Left cannot cause a lot of damage when they lose their grip –they can and they will–but at the end of the day only those who are sane, sober, and resolute will be able to pick up the shards of Unamerica and rebuild a sane civilization.

              Or if not, then it will be a quasi-permanent dystopia. But even those wither away to be replaced by a more robust, virile civilization.

              Are we talking about a resurgent, sensible America rising after ten years of the hellhole we are becoming (at least the Blue States) or a generation? Perhaps several generations?

              In the end, the BLM/CRT/antifa/purple-haired obesities/gender-fluidities will lose out, not because they’re idiots (they are and “God protects fools, drunkards, and the United States” so sayeth Bismarck) but because they serve the cause of nihilism.

              • George,

                You hit the nail on the head. Reality has a mind of its own, dystopian novels notwithstanding. Nature and nature’s God work against the Left. All delusions are temporary and the deluded gradually become disillusioned.

                If Trumpistas prevail in 2022/2024, so be it. But even if Dems somehow prevail, likely by crook, their days will still be numbered. Could be a generation, could be ten years, could be much more quickly (like an apparent victory followed in very short order by a complete collapse).

                Insanity cannot long prevail, for nature abhors chaos. The Democrats’ fatal flaw is that they have detached themselves from objective, empirical reality in favor of seeing through the eyes of an ideology they choose to call virtue and bending all incoming data accordingly. They believe in their arrogance that their attitude can overpower reality. They are intoxicated by the power of their own rationalizations.

                They have chosen poorly.

                Reality is always stronger.

                • Misha “Nature and nature’s God work against the Left. ”

                  It is written, do not deviate to the left, do not deviate to the right. But in the politics both ends of political spectrum are needed, because always there will be party of the poor and party of the rich. So the pendulum will be swinging left, right and again.

                  Right wing is no more Christian than the left wing, Rush Limbaugh clones and bots notwithstanding.

                  • Martin,

                    The Right, historically, is grounded in the monarchy. The further to the left one sat in the French Parliament, the less inclined to monarchy; i.e., the more leftist revolutionary. So the Right is right. The Church Fathers came down firmly and unequivocally on the side of monarchy as against democratic republics (polyarchy) which they saw as leading to anarchy and atheism.

                    The confusion is in the way the paradigm has played out in the United States. This is the Uniparty at its most insidious. Classical Liberals had a strong suspicion of religion and traditional institutions, but were also economic libertarians. They did not view public assistance as a positive thing. Classical Conservatives were all for God, king and country but also placed a high value on public largesse. The stability of the upper classes was seen as founded upon sufficiency in the lower classes.

                    This got convoluted in American politics because the American Left took on Conservative economics (but to a fault) and the Right took on libertarian/true liberal economics (laissez faire, social darwinism). It was only when the Right took on liberal economics (“let them eat cake”) that they were seen as selfish and tyrannical – that and for excessive taxation and war mongering from time to time.

                    The pendulum nonsense is just a gimmick of the liberals. There is no reason for the political spectrum to span anywhere near as far to the left as it does. In fact it only swings left, recedes a bit, then continues swinging further to the left. The general direction is wrong. We have been heading toward evil for most of the twentieth and all of the twenty first century.

                    The genius of Trumpism is the acceptance of public largesse and fair trade. The Left sold out the middle and lower classes for globalism. They no longer represent the poor. Globalism through unfair trade and outsourcing labor bleeds the middle and lower classes and destroys their economic base. “Let them learn to code” is the slogan of the new Antoinette. Turning on the poor and middle class in favor of identity politics will be the Left’s undoing. They are mad ideologues.

                    And a critical mass simply will not put up with it any longer. The Left doesn’t have to like it. In fact, they will go kicking and scratching. But they will go.

              • Ever heard of the story of the Tower Of Babel?

                Seems to me it keeps getting repeated over and over. We never learn.

  7. There will be no monarch, figurehead or otherwise, in Russia as long as Putin is alive and in power and, for that matter, as long as his hand-picked successor (or who ever wins the power struggle to succeed him) is alive and in power.

  8. The Russian Ministry of Defense has released a statement saying that it has disciplined/punished the people responsible for “lending out” the honor guard for this sham of a wedding.

  9. Esther Smith Holmes says

    Knowing little about the succession of their monarchy or the appropriateness of the honor guard, I was just delighted to see a bride in a modest dress!