Russia – Russia’s old imperial dynasty descendant wedded his Italian fiancée in the first royal wedding on Russian territory in more than a century, since tsarist times.
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov married Italian Victoria Romanovna Bettarini at Russia’s old imperial capital St Petersburg’s St Isaac’s Cathedral.
The lavish ceremony was performed by Russian Orthodox clergy in front of hundreds of guests, including the groom’s mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia — Russia’s self-proclaimed successor to the imperial throne — and more than a dozen lesser European royals.
Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, George Mikhailovich’s great-grandfather, left Russia after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, first to Finland and then to Western Europe with his family.
Nicholas II, Russia’s last emperor, was assassinated in July 1918 in the basement of a merchant’s home in Yekaterinburg, a city located 1,450 kilometers east of Moscow.
George Mikhailovich, who was 40 years old and was born in Madrid and has spent the most of his life in Spain and France, where he now resides.
Meanwhile, the 39-year-old Bettarini converted to the Russian Orthodox religion last year under the name Victoria Romanovna. Bettarini’ was escorted to the altar by her father, Roberto Bettarini, who has worked in the Italian diplomatic service.
George Mikhailovich went to Russia in 1992 for the first time and later decided to move to Moscow in the year 2019 where he took on several number of projects for charity purposes.
The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia for over 300 years prior to when Nicholas II has been abdicated in early 1917. It was then when the country has been set on course for the Bolshevik Revolution in November of that year, civil war and 70 years of Communist rule.
Russia’s Orthodox Church in 2000 has canonized Nicholas II, who had been characterized by the Soviet authorities as a weak leader.