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During their visit to Oranienbaum, the Grand Duchess and the Heir, the Tsesarevich toured the ensemble of palaces including the Grand Menshikov Palace and the Chinese Pavilion. Then Their Imperial Highnesses visited the Grand Peterhof Palace, where N. B. Vakhaniia, the director of the Grand Palace and Museum of the Lower Park, led a tour, beginning at the recently restored palace chapel of Ss. Peter and Paul.
After the detailed tour of the Grand Palace, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia expressed to the staff of the palace museum her appreciation for the on-going work they do to preserve this cultural inheritance from Russia’s past. She also wrote a note in the signature book for honored guests of the museum.
On the next day, April 26, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia paid an official visit to the town of Krasnoe Selo.
The visit to the summer military capital of the Russian Empire began with an intercessory prayer service (moleben) in the Church of the Holy Trinity in the military parish of the St. Petersburg Diocese, served by the rector of the military section of St. Petersburg Diocese, Archpriest Alexander Ganzhin. Then the Grand Duchess met the head of the administration of Krasnoe Selo, A. V. Galich, who recounted for her the history of the city and outlined the preparations for the celebration in 2014 of the 300th anniversary of the city’s founding. Then the Grand Duchess toured the “Bridges” exhibit located the Museum of Bridge Construction in the building of the Directorate of Bridges, No. 19, in Krasnoe Selo.
The museum exhibit “Bridges” is the only one of its kind in Russia or the Commonwealth of Independent States, portraying the development of bridge construction in St. Petersburg and of railway bridges across Russia, from the eighteenth century on. During the tour, Her Imperial Highness spoke with the Director of the Directorate of Bridges, No. 19, V. N. Kudriashov (who also oversees the “Bridges” Museum), and remarked how it important it is to preserve the models on display in the exhibit.
Then the Grand Duchess visited the Federal Selective-Genetic Center for Fish (the Ropsha Fishery Center). According to a decision of the government of the Russian Federation, the Ropsha Fishery Center is now the umbrella organization for the commercial breeding of fish in Russia, and is responsible for the breeding and raising of four varieties of commercial fish. The Director of the Ropsha Fishery Center, V. Z. Krupkin, led the Head of the Imperial House on a tour of the facility, familiarizing her with the Center’s work on both natural and farm-raised rare and commercially valuable fish.
After the completion of the facilities at the Fishery Center, Archpriest Alexander Ganzhin hosted a luncheon in the office of the military parish of the St. Petersburg Diocese in honor of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia. Present at lunch were: the director of urban development for the city of Krasnoe Selo, V. A. Galich; the head of the municipal district of the city of Lomonosov, V. S. Gusev; and the director of the Ropsha Fishery Center, V. Z. Krupkin.
After lunch, the Grand Duchess and her party departed for St. Petersburg.
In the afternoon, in the Grand Hotel “Europa,” the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, gave a number of audiences, during which she discussed preparations underway for the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the end of the Time of Troubles and the ascension to the throne of the Romanoff Dynasty. Alexander Reikhrudel [Reichrudel] reported on the preparations by the Russian community in Germany to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanoff; Boris Sergeevich Turovskii, the director of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Imperial Union-Order, and O. B. Filipov, a member of the board of the Imperial All-Russian Aero-Club, reported to Her Imperial Highness on their collaborative plans for the celebrations in 2013. Then Grand Duchess Maria of Russia met with S. A. Mankov and V. P. Pestiak-Golovatyi, representatives of the social movement “For Faith and Fatherland.”
The Master of Heraldry in H.I.H.’s Chancellery, Stanislaw Vladimirovich Dumin, presented to the Grand Duchess a series of documents for her signature, and also informed her of plans for the Office of Heraldry to prepare Volume 22 of the work “The General Armorial of the Russian Nobility.” The Grand Duchess approved the project and instructed that it should include coats-of-arms approved by the Imperial House between 1930 and 2012.
In the evening, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and Her most august son, H.I.H. the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia, were very pleased to attend a friendly dinner arranged by the Russian Imperial Union-Order.
In addition to Their Imperial Highnesses, members of her entourage, and representatives of H.I.H.’s Chancellery, the honored guests at this dinner included: members of the City Council of St. Petersburg, representatives of Orthodox and monarchist groups (the Russian Imperial Union-Order, the All-Russian social movement “For Faith and Fatherland,” the Russian Nobility Association, the Russian Inter-regional Monarchist Movement, the Alexander II Historical Society, members of the Cossack community, national-cultural groups, and others), as well as foreign guests. It is symbolically significant that the dinner was held in a restaurant in the former barracks of the Imperial Horse Guards Regiment, which was for many years commanded by the Grand Duchess’s great-grandfather, Grand Duke Wladimir Alexandrovich, whose 165th birthday fell on the first day of Her Imperial Highness’s visit to St. Petersburg—April 10/23, 2012.
On April 27, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia visited Tsarskoe Selo, while Grand Duke George of Russia had meetings on a range of issues at his hotel with members of H.I.H.’s Chancellery and foreign friends of the Russian Imperial House. That evening, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and H.I.H., the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia, departed for Madrid.
Director of H.I.H.’s Chancellery
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