Europe

St Petersburg gears up to host first royal wedding in a century for relative of last Tsar

King George sacrificed Tsar Nicholas to save royal family

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The first royal wedding in a century is set to take place as Nicolas II’s relative plans to tie the knot in a grand ceremony in the former Imperial capital of St Petersburg. Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich Romanov is a hereditary pretender to the Russian throne.

He will wed Victoria Romanovna Bettarini at St Isaac’s Cathedral on Friday commencing the elaborate two day celebrations.

The banquet will be provided by Yevgeny Prigozhin,40, a prominent caterer known as “Putin’s chef”.

Mr Romanov told the news website Fontanka.ru the choice of hosting the wedding in St Petersburg has sentimental value to the family.

“This was the first place in Russia to which we returned,” Mr Romanov said.

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“This is very, very close to the family.

“The Orthodox spirit and history of our country, traditions, culture – these were constant conversations at home.

“My grandfather always tried to keep in touch with some Russian people in Russia and France, to support charitable projects.”

The royal couple first met when youths and later reconnected as adults at an event.

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Announcing their engagement in an Instagram post in January, Ms Bettarini wrote: “I hope that the journey ahead will be full of love, suspense and adventure as the first part of our life book was.”

The Grand Duke Romanov is the son of Grand Duchess Maria Romanova, who has self proclaimed herself the heir to the Russian throne.

Grand Duchess Maria Romanova’s father, and Mr Romanov’s grandfather, is Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, and was a cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.

During the Bolshevik Revolution Duke Vladimirovich escaped to Finland and was a self proclaimed emperor in exile.

Nicolas II reigned as the Russian tsar until 1917 when he abdicated.

He was killed along with his wife and children by the Bolsheviks in July 1918.

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