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Lavish Russian wedding for Tsar’s descendant

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A descendent of Russia’s Romanov monarchy, which was toppled in the 1917 revolution, has married in a lavish ceremony in St Petersburg.

On Friday, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and his fiancée Rebecca Virginia Bettarini married.

Foreign guests included Liechtenstein’s Prince Rudolph and Princess Tilsim, as well as former Bulgarian royalty.

Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, Mr Mikhailovich’s great-grandfather, fled Russia during the Bolshevik revolution.

Vladimirovich was a cousin of Russia’s last Tsar, Nicholas II, who was assassinated in 1918 along with his wife and five children by a revolutionary firing squad.

Before Nicholas II abdicated in early 1917, the Romanov dynasty ruled Russia for more than three centuries. This laid the groundwork for the Bolshevik revolution and the subsequent 70 years of Communist rule.

Romanov’s mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, is the self-proclaimed heir to Russia’s imperial throne
Around 1,500 people attended the wedding

The elaborate ceremony was conducted by Russian Orthodox clergy at Saint Isaac’s cathedral.

Other notable names on the 1,500-person guest list included monarchist and billionaire Konstantin Malofeyev, who has close ties to the Kremlin, and Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Mr Romanov, 40, studied at Oxford but has lived in France for the majority of his life. He has previously worked for the European Parliament and the Russian mining conglomerate Norilsk Nickel.

Russian Orthodox clergy conducted the elaborate ceremony

Three years ago, the couple relocated to Russia.

Galina Bobrova, a local, wished the new couple “happiness.”

“Of course, the monarchy is something from a past life for us,” she told the AFP news agency.

The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that the Kremlin wishes all newlyweds well, but that “this marriage does not belong on our agenda in any way.”

SourceBBC
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