Thursday, 15 Nov 2018

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family

the Romanovs

About the Romanovs today people talk more and more. Their story can be read as a detective. And their origin, and the history of the coat of arms, and the circumstances of accession to the throne: all this still causes ambiguous interpretations. The synonym is the concept of the House of the Romanovs – the corresponding Russian equivalent, which was also used and continues to be used in the historical and socio-political tradition. Both terms became widespread only in 1913, when the 300th anniversary of the dynasty was celebrated. Formally, the Russian tsars and emperors, who belonged to the Romanovs, did not have a surname and never indicated it officially.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 1

The ancestor of the Romanovs is considered to be the boyar Andrei Kobylа at the court of Ivan Kalita and his son Simeon the Proud. We know almost nothing about his life and origin. Chronicles mention him only once: in 1347 he was sent to Tver for the bride of Grand Duke Simeon the Proud, the daughter of Prince of Tver Alexander Mikhailovich.

Thanks to the marriage of Ivan IV the Terrible with Anastasia Romanovna Zakharyna, the Zakharyins-Yuryev family in the XVI century became close to the royal court, and after suppressing the Moscow branch of Rurikovich began to claim the throne. The eldest daughter of Alexander Borisovich Gorbaty-Shuisky, Evdokia, was married to Nikita Romanovich Zakharyin, the grandfather of Tsar Mikhail, which gave the Romanovs some reason to derive their pedigree from Rurik. It should be noted that not all historians consider her the mother of Fyodor Nikitich: some hold the opinion that the mother of Fyodor was another wife of Nikita, Varvara Golovin. In 1613, the grand-nephew of Anastasia and the son of Fyodor Nikitich, Mikhail Fyodorovich, was elected to the kingdom, and his posterity (which is traditionally called the “House of the Romanovs”) ruled Russia until 1917. ( In the photo Andrei Kobyla. the Romanovs)

In total, the Romanovs gave the country 5 kings: Mikhail Fedorovich, his son Alexei Mikhailovich, and his three sons – Fedor Alekseevich, Ivan V and Peter I. The latter assumed the imperial title in 1721.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 2

the Romanovs. Mikhail Fyodorovich

Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov, Tsar and Grand Prince of All Russia (reigned from 1613 to 1645) was not chosen by chance. It was a vague time, there was talk of an invitation to the nobility, boyars, and the kingdom of the English king Jacob the First, but Great Russian Cossacks were enraged, fearing that they would receive a grain allowance. At the age of sixteen, Michael came to the throne, but gradually his health deteriorated, he was constantly “mournful”, and died by his death at the age of forty-nine.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 3

Following his father came to the throne and his heir of the Romanovs, the first and eldest son Alexei Mikhailovich, nicknamed Quietest (1645-1676), continuing the family of the Romanovs, the tree of which turned out to be branched and impressive. Two years before the death of his father, he was “presented” to the people as an heir, and two years later, when he died, Mikhail took the scepter in his hands. During his reign, a lot happened, but the main merit is considered to be reunion with Ukraine, the return of the state of Smolensk and the North Land, and the final formation of the institution of serfdom.

After Alexei Tishayshiy, a naturally weak man, fell ill and died, his place was taken by the blood brother Fedor III Alekseevich (he reigned from 1676 to 1682), who showed signs of scurvy from early childhood, or whether from a lack of vitamins, or from a wrong lifestyle. In fact, in the country at that time various families ruled, and three marriages of the king brought nothing good, he died at the age of twenty, without leaving a will to the succession to the throne.( In the photo the Romanovs. Alexei Tishayshiy)

After the death of Fedor, strife began, and the throne was handed over to the first-ranking senior brother Ivan V (1682-1696), who was just fifteen years old. However, he was simply unable to control such a huge powerful country, because many believed that his ten-year-old brother Peter should take the throne. Because the kings appointed both, and for the order also their sister Sophia, who was smarter and more experienced of the Romanovs, was assigned to them as regent. By the age of thirty, Ivan had died, leaving his brother the legitimate heir to the throne of the Romanovs.

Peter I Alekseevich was the first Emperor in the history of the country, and the last Tsar of the Romanovs, who received his great deserts and honorable deeds. The boy received a rather weak education, which is why he had great respect for the sciences and scientists, hence his passion for living abroad. He came to the throne at the age of ten, but actually began to govern the country only after the death of his brother, as well as the imprisonment of his sister in the Novodevichy Convent.  Peter’s merits in front of the state and people are countless. However, a banal urolithiasis dumped the emperor who seemed so indestructible.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 4

the Romanovs. Peter I

After Peter’s death, the power was taken by his second legitimate spouse, Catherine I Alekseevna, whose real name was Martha Skavronskaya, and her reign stretched from 1684 to 1727th. In fact, the real power at that time was the notorious Count Menshikov, as well as the Supreme Privy Council created by the Empress. Catherine’s reckless and unhealthy life gave its terrible influence, and after it, Peter’s grandson, who was born in his first marriage, Peter II, was raised to the throne. He entered the reign in the 27th year of the eighteenth century, when he was barely ten, and by fourteen he had smallpox. The Privy Council continued to govern the country, and after it fell, the Dolgorukov boyars.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 5

the Romanovs. Catherine I

After the untimely death of the young Tsar, it was necessary to decide something and Anna Ivanovna ascended to the throne (the reign from 1693 to 1740), the disgraced daughter of Ivan V Alekseevich, Duchess of Courland, widowed at the age of seventeen. Before her death, Anna Ionovna managed to write a will, according to him on the throne and ascended the grandson of Ivan the Fifth, the infant Ivan VI of the Romanovs, who managed to be an emperor from 1740, to 1741.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 6

Further, the illegitimate daughter of Peter the Great, Elizaveta Petrovna , who climbed to the throne of the Romanovs literally on the shoulders of brave warriors of the Preobrazhensky regiment, came to power. After her accession, the entire Braunschweig family name was arrested, and the favorites of the former Empress were executed. The last empress was completely barren, because she did not leave her heirs, and she handed over her power to her sister Anna Petrovna’s son. That is, it can be said that at that time it turned out again that the rule was only five emperors of the Romanovs, of which only three had the opportunity to be called the Romanovs by blood and origin. After the death of Elizabeth, the male followers were completely gone, and the direct male line, one might say, was completely cut short. After Anna Petrovna was married to Karl Friedrich Holstein-Gottorp, the Romanovs were supposed to stop themselves. However, the dynastic treaty saved him, according to which the son of Peter III (1762) from this union,and the genus itself was now called Holstein-Gottorp Romanovsky.

He managed only 186 days to sit on the throne of the Romanovs and died.( In the photo the Romanovs. Ivan VI)

After a short reign of the previous sovereign, the real German princess Sofia Augustus of Anhalt-Zerbst, better known as Empress Catherine the Great, the Great (starting in 1762 and up to 1796), the spouse of the unpopular and the foolish Peter the third. During her reign, Russia became much more powerful, its influence on the world community became significantly stronger, and she did a lot of work inside the country, reunited the lands, and so on.

Emperor Paul I, the unloved son of Catherine from a hated man, came to the throne after the death of his mother in the cold in the autumn of 1796, and reigned for exactly five years, without a few months. He carried out many reforms useful for the country and the people, as if in spite of his mother, and also interrupted the succession of palace coups, abolishing the female inheritance of the throne, which could now be passed exclusively from father to son. He was killed in March 1801 by an officer in his own bedroom, not even having time to wake up.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 7

the Romanovs. Paul I

After the death of his father, his eldest son Alexander I (1801-1825), a liberal and lover of silence and the charm of rural life of the Romanovs, ascended to give the people a constitution to the throne and then lie down on their laurels until the end of his days. After his death, Brother Constantine besieged the throne of the Romanovs, but he immediately refused, not “wanting to take part in this whistle-dance of ugliness and murder.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 8

the Romanovs. Alexander I

Thus, the third son of Paul, Nicholai I (reigned from 1825 to 1855), ascended the throne to Catherine’s direct grandson, who was born during her life and memory. It was under him that the Decembrist uprising was suppressed, the Code of Empire laws was finalized, new censorship laws were introduced, and many very serious military campaigns were won. According to the official version, he died from pneumonia, but it was said that the king laid hands on himself.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 9

the Romanovs. Nicholai I

The conductor of large-scale reforms and the great ascetic Alexander II Nikolaevich, nicknamed the Liberator of the Romanovs, came to power in 1855. In March 1881, the People’s Liberator Ignatii Grinevitsky bomb was thrown at the feet of the emperor. Shortly thereafter, he died from his injuries, which were incompatible with life.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 10

the Romanovs. Alexander II

After the death of his predecessor, his own, younger brother Alexander III Alexandrovich (from 1845 to 1894, the year) was anointed. During his time on the throne of the Romanovs, the country did not enter into a single war, thanks to a uniquely correct policy, for which he received the legitimate nickname Tsar the Peacemaker of the Romanovs. The most honest and responsible of the Russian emperors died after the collapse of the royal train, when he held the roof for several hours, which threatened to collapse on his family and friends.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 11

the Romanovs. Alexander III

One and a half hours after the death of his father, straight into the Livadia Holy Cross Church, without waiting for a requiem, the last emperor of the Russian Empire, Nikolai II Alexandrovich (1894-1917) was anointed to the throne of the Romanovs. After the coup in the country, he abdicated the throne, transferring it to his half-brother Mikhail, as his mother wished, but he did not manage to rectify anything, and both were executed by the Revolution, along with their descendants. On July 17, 1918, the last Russian emperor Nikolas II and all members of his family of the Romanovs were shot in Yekaterinburg. Until now, there are many theories why they have such a fate.The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 12

the Romanovs. Nicholas II

At this time there are many descendants of the Romanovs who could claim the throne. It is clear that the purity of the family does not even smell there, because the “brave new world” dictates its own rules. However, the fact remains that, with the need, the new Tsar can be found quite easily, and the tree of the Romanovs  in the scheme today looks quite ramified.

Until the February Revolution of 1917, the Romanovs were considered one of the richest in Europe. Jewelry for the Russian imperial court was created by the best masters of that time: Jerome Pozier and Carl Faberge, Karl Bolin and Gottlieb Jan. Many monarchs of the Romanovs passionately loved hunting. Under Alexei Mikhailovich, a special Falconry yard was created in Moscow. Hunting traditions continued Anna Ivanovna, Catherine II and Alexander III. Other members of the imperial family had other hobbies. For example, Peter I played drums, bagpipes and oboe, Nicholas I made engravings on copper and painted them with watercolors, and Maria Fedorovna, the wife of Paul I, cut out cameos from stone and glass.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 13

the Romanovs. Charca prince Gagarin

In the history of the dynastic emblem of the Romanovs white spots are no less than in the history of the dynasty itself. For some reason, for a long time the Romanovs did not have their own coat of arms at all; they used the national emblem, depicting a two-headed eagle, as personal. Their own family coat of arms was created only under Alexander II.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 14By that time, the heraldry of the Russian nobility had practically taken shape, and only the ruling dynasty did not have its own coat of arms. It would be inappropriate to say that the dynasty had no particular interest in heraldry: even under Alexei Mikhailovich, the Tsar’s Titulian was published – a manuscript containing portraits of Russian monarchs with the emblems of Russian lands. Baron Kuene composing a heraldic composition, which was awarded on December 8, 1856, the highest approval as the patrimonial coat of arms of the Romanovs. At the same time, the griffin, according to the rules of European heraldry, could not be depicted on a silver field as gold, so it became scarlet, i.e. red: “In the silver field is a scarlet vulture holding a golden sword and tarch (shield – S.A), topped with a small eagle; on a black border there are eight torn lion heads; four gold and four silver”

(In the photo the Romanovs. Coats of Arms)

So, with the approval of the generic symbol, it became possible to use it in more complex heraldic compositions, in particular, in combination with the coat of arms of the Golypteyn-Gottorp house. Thus was created and  approved by the emperor Alexander II on December 8, 1856. “The Imperial Emblem of His Imperial Majesty”, a heraldic symbol belonging to the head of the House of Romanovs. “A black double-headed eagle crowned with two imperial crowns, over which the third is the same, but an enlarged crown with two flowing ends of an azure (Andreev) ribbon. This eagle holds the golden scepter and the orb”.

The Romanovs. Russian Royal Family - photo 15

In any case, this is just one of many versions. It is not known for certain why the ruling branch of a huge empire, which was related to the most distinguished houses of Europe, the Romanovs, so persistently ignored the heraldic order that has been developing for centuries. The long-awaited appearance of the own emblem of the Romanov dynasty  under Alexander II only added questions. The then Herald Master Baron B.V. took up the development of the imperial order. More precisely, its description, since the banner itself had already been lost by that time. It was depicted a golden griffin on a silver background with a small black eagle with raised wings and with lion heads on its tail. Perhaps Nikita Romanov borrowed it in Livonia during the Livonian War.

The new emblem of the Romanovs was a red griffin on a silver background holding a golden sword and tarch, topped with a small eagle; on the black border, eight torn lion heads; four gold and four silver. First, the striking color is seen. ( In the photo the Romanovs. Coats of Arms)

Thus, by changing the color of the griffin, he lowered the status of the family coat of arms. Or played the role of the “Livonia version”, according to which Kene focused on the Livonian origin of the emblem, since in Livonia from the 16th century there was a reverse combination of crown colors: a silver griffin against a red background. There is a lot of controversy about the symbolism of the Romanovs coat of arms today.

Under the Romanovs, Russia became one of the great powers of the world, its victories and defeats, ups and downs, achievements and political and economic failures, due to the largely growing incompatibility of the social system with the tasks of time, are associated with the Romanovs. The house of the Romanovs is not the history of a private family, but actually is the history of Russia.

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