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First royal wedding in Russia since Bolshevik Revolution


Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini kiss as they leave St. Isaac's Cathedral after their wedding ceremony in Saint Petersburg, Russia October 1, 2021. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The former Russian royal family descendant married his Italian bride on Friday in the first imperial wedding in Russia since the tsar times.

The Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov got married to Victoria Romanovna Bettarini, at Saint Issac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Hundreds of people, including the groom’s mother and other European royals, watched as the Russian orthodox clergyman conducted the ceremony.

Besides, the groom’s mother is the Grand Duchess of Russia, Maria Vladimirovna, who is the self-acknowledged heir to Russia’s throne.

The last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, had his wife and five children killed in July 1918 in a fight during the revolution.

Police found them dead in his cellar in Yekaterinburg, a town to the east of Moscow.

The 40-year-old George Mikhailovich was born in Madrid and has lived in Spain and France the majority of his life.

The 39-year-old Bettarini converted to the Russian Orthodox faith last year and renamed herself Victoria Romanovna.

Her father Roberto Bettarini, a former member of the Italian diplomatic service, led her to the altar.

Mikhailovich’s first visit to Russia was in 1992. He moved to Moscow in 2019 to work on several charity projects.

The Romanovs ruled Russia for more than 300 years before Nicholas II stepped down in 1917.

Nicholas’ abdication caused the Bolshevik Revolution in November, the civil war and a communist ruling for 70 years.

The Russian Orthodox Church canonized (declaration of a deceased person as an officially recognized saint) Nicholas II in 2000.

However, the Soviet authorities had portrayed him as a weak and incompetent leader.

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