A Romanov Christening in Moscow! 

Princess Victoria holds Prince Alexander while Grand Duke George looks on.
Photo (c) Konstantin Gribov / Imperial Chancellery.

Yesterday, the christening of H.S.H. Prince Alexander Georgevich Romanoff, son of H.I.H. Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and H.S.H. Princess Victoria Romanovna, took place at 1:00pm at the Transfiguration Church within the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour complex in Moscow. The Cathedral had been destroyed and turned into a public swimming pool during the period of the USSR. Between 1995-2000 it was rebuilt. Now, the Cathedral is the siege of the Patriarchate of Moscow. The Cathedral was the venue for the Canonization of the Romanovs when the last Tsar Nicholas II and his family were glorified as saints upon the request introduced by H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Prince Alexander’s grandmother, in her role as the Head of the Imperial Family. 

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

Prince Alexander during his christening.
Photo (c) Konstantin Gribov / Imperial Chancellery.

Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria witness the christening of their son.
Photo (c) Konstantin Gribov / Imperial Chancellery.

The Sacrament of a Christening occurred on the name day of the prince, 23 November O.S. / 6 December N.S., which marks the repose of Saint Alexander Nevsky. The first Vicar of H.H. the Patriarch, H.E. Metropolitan Dionysius of the Resurrection, officiated over the christening service. A reception for the family and their guests followed afterward on the grounds of the Cathedral. 

The grandparents: Mrs. Carla Cacciatore Bettarini, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, Prince Franz Wilhelm and Princess Nadia of Prussia.
 Photo (c) Konstantin Gribov / Imperial Chancellery.

In addition to his parents, Alexander’s paternal grandmother H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, his paternal grandfather H.R.H. Prince Michael Pavlovich (Franz Wilhelm) of Prussia and his second wife Princess Nadia, and his maternal grandparents Ambassador Roberto Bettarini and Carla Cacciatore were present to witness this important moment in the spiritual life of the young Romanoff.

The measured icon of Saint Alexander Nevsky presented to the family.
Photo (c) Konstantin Gribov / Imperial Chancellery.

After the completion of the Sacrament, the Imperial Family was presented with icons of the Holy Blessed Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky. The first icon contains the relics of Saint Alexander Nevsky and was specially brought for the occasion from Saint Petersburg by Archipriest Alexander Tkachenko, upon the request of H.E. Metropolitan Varsanofi of Saint Petersbourg and Ladoga – who himself officiated at the wedding of Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria last year. The second icon was a gift from holders of the Russian Imperial Orders.

Prince Alexander surrounded by his parents, grandparents and godparents.
Photo (c) Konstantin Gribov / Imperial Chancellery.

Prince Alexander Romanoff has received the following godparents:

  • Mikhail (Michel) Petrovich Orloff – Mr Orloff is the eldest son of Pierre Alexievich Orloff and Princess Fadia of Egypt, one of the sisters of King Fuad II of Egypt. 
  • H.R.H. Princess Olga of Savoy, Duchess of Aosta – The Duchess of Aosta was born Princess Olga of Greece, and she is the youngest daughter of Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark and Marina Karella. She is married to Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Aosta; the couple live in Moscow.
  • H.H. Prince Joachim Murat – Prince Murat is a descendant of Joachim Murat, Grand Duke of Berg and King of Naples, and Caroline Bonaparte, a sister of Emperor Napoléon I. 
  • H.Ill.H. Helene Kirby, Countess Dvinskaya – Helene is the great-aunt of Prince Alexander, and she is also the godmother of his father, her nephew, Grand Duke George. Due to medical reasons, Countess Dvinskaya was not able to attend the christening.
  • Prince Stephane Belosselsky-Belozersky – Prince Belosselsky-Belozersky is a member and representative of l’Association de la Noblesse Russe en France (ANRF), an association founded in 1925 at Paris after the October Revolution in order to allow White Russian émigrés to regroup and connect.
  • Princess Ekaterina Lopukhin – a family friend and the wife of Prince Vadim Olegovich Lopukhin, who is the Director of the Imperial Chancellery’s Department of External Relations.
  • Madame Oxana Girko – a family friend, climate activist, and philanthropist.
  • Madame Yulia Abrosimova – a family friend.
Prince Alexander at home with his parents and grandparents.
Photo (c) Konstantin Gribov / Imperial Chancellery.

Princess Victoria and Grand Duke George with their son Prince Alexander.
Photo (c) Konstantin Gribov / Imperial Chancellery.

Grand Duke George released the following statement:

“It is for us a joyful occasion to be able to celebrate this Christening in Russia. Our son Alexander is the        first member of the Family to be born in our country since we were allowed back into Russia in 1991. For our Family this represents an historic event as well as the continuation of our dynasty and of the history of Russia.”

The official communiqué from the Imperial House follows:

2022-12-06 The Baptism of the Grandson of the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, His Serene Highness Prince Alexander Georgievich 
On this day, 6 December (23 November by the Julian Calendar) 2022, the feast day of Grand Prince St. Alexander Nevsky, His Serene Highness Prince Alexander Georgievich—grandson of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and son of H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia, and his spouse, Her Serene Highness Princess Victoria Romanovna—was baptized into the Holy Orthodox Church.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Chrismation were performed in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, and were served by His Eminence Metropolitan Dionysius of Voskresensk, along with Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov, who came from Australia to help officiate at the services; Archpriest Alexander Tkachenko, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Circle of Kindness charity; Hieromonk Nikon (Levachev-Belavenets), the head of the Office for Historical and Memorial Activities of the Her Imperial Highness’s Chancellery; and clergy from the New Saviour Monastery in Moscow, Fr. Ioann Ignatov and Fr. Vladimir Ignatov.
Attending the services were the newly-baptized prince’s relatives: his grandmother, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia; his parents, H.I.H. The Grand Duke George of Russia and H.S.H. Princess Victoria Romanovna; his paternal grandfather, Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia (in Orthodoxy, Mikhail Pavlovich) and his wife, Princess Nadia; and his maternal grandfather and grandmother, His Excellency Ambassador Roberto Bettarina and his wife, Mrs. Carla Bettarini.
After the conclusion of the services, the Imperial Family were presented “measured icons” of Grand Prince St. Alexander Nevsky.
The first icon, which is a pious gift from the faithful friends and supporters of the Imperial Family in St. Petersburg and Moscow, was brought from St. Petersburg by Archpriest Alexander Tkachenko. It contains a fragment of the holy relics of Grand Prince St. Alexander Nevsky, and was sent as a blessing to Prince Alexander Georgievich by His Eminence Metropolitan Barsanuphius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, who, on 1 October 2021, officiated at the marriage of the parents of His Serene Highness in St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
The second measured icon is a gift by the Knights of the Russian Imperial and Royal Orders. The tradition of painting measured icons (icons of the heavenly patron of the newly baptized, “written” to the same height as the newborn) developed during the reign of the House of Rurikovich and was inherited by the first rulers of the House of Romanoff. After the reign of Peter I the Great, however, the custom of painting measured icons largely disappeared. In our day, this ancient Russian Orthodox tradition has been revived.
After the presentation of the icons, a festive meal was held in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral for all those present.
His Serene Highness Prince Alexander Georgievich was born in Moscow on 21 October 2022.  

This happy occasion in the Imperial Family is the first to take place in Russia after the 1917 Revolution.

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