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A noble wedding: a descendant of the Romanovs married in Saint Petersburg

A noble wedding: a descendant of the Romanovs married in Saint Petersburg

It’s Russia’s first aristocratic wedding in a century: Grand Duke Georgy Romanov married Rebecca Petarini in Saint Petersburg.

For the first time since the Russian Revolution, a member of the tsarist family celebrated his wedding in Russia. Grand Duke Georgi Romanov said yes to Italian Rebecca Bettarini in St Petersburg on Friday. Aristocrats from all over Europe traveled to the capital of the former Tsarist Empire to attend the wedding ceremony in the great St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

The bride and groom stood before the orthodox priests clad in gold, each holding a candle. The bride wore a long white dress with the coat of arms of the Russian Empire embroidered with gold thread and a one-meter train. According to Orthodox custom, two crowns were placed on the head of the bride and groom.

According to the organizers, 1,500 guests were invited, including many members of European royal families: in addition to Queen Mother Sofia of Spain, they also included the former Bulgarian King Simeon II and his wife Margarita, as well as Princess Leia of Belgium.

Among those invited was a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Sakharov. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press that President Vladimir Putin did not intend to “congratulate the bride and groom.”

The 40-year-old Grand Duke met his fiancée in Brussels, both of whom worked in European institutions. For him, the 39-year-old daughter of the diplomat Petarini converted to the Orthodox Church and took the name Victoria Romanovna. The Grand Duke has lived in Moscow for three years and says he is committed to charity.

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In an interview published on Wednesday with local outlet Fontanka, he said one of the reasons he decided to marry in Saint Petersburg was that the city embodied “the history of Russia, the history of the Romanovs.”

Grand Duke Romanov was born in Madrid and studied at Oxford, the son of Grand Duchess Maria Romanova, granddaughter of Grand Duke Kirill. This was the cousin of another Russian Tsar Nicholas II.

The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia for more than 300 years until the February Revolution of 1917. In July 1918, the Bolsheviks shot Nicholas II and his family – his wife Alexandra and the couple’s five children – in Yekaterinburg.