Russia to host first royal wedding in more than a century in lavish two-day ceremony

Russia is set to celebrate its first royal wedding in a century when the alleged heir to Nicholas II marries in an elaborate ceremony in the former imperial capital of St. Petersburg.

On Friday, Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich Romanov, hereditary claimant to the Russian throne, will marry Victoria Romanovna Bettarini in front of hundreds of guests at St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

The couple will tie the knot amid two lavish days of imperial pomp and ceremony with Faberge wedding rings, royal guests and a banquet hosted by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the restaurant mogul known as “Putin’s chef”, who has also been linked to the Wagner group. , a Russian mercenary company.

“It was the first place in Russia we returned to,” Romanov, 40, told the news site of the choice of St. Petersburg for his wedding. “It’s 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 Russians in Russia and France, to support charitable projects, ”he added.

Mr. Romanov is the son of Grand Duchess Maria Romanova, self-proclaimed heir to the Russian throne, and Prussian Prince Franz Wilhelm of Hohenzollern.

His great-grandfather, Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, was a cousin of Tsar Nicholas II who fled to Finland during the Bolshevik Revolution and proclaimed himself Emperor in exile after the rest of the royal family were shot dead in 1918.