Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia

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Grand Duke George Mikhailovich
of Russia
File:Георгий Романов в Приднестровье.jpg
Grand Duke George in 2010
Born (1981-03-13) 13 March 1981 (age 43)
Madrid, Spain
Rebecca Virginia Bettarini
(m. 2021)
Issue Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanoff
Full name
George Mikhailovich Romanov
House Hohenzollern-Romanov
Father Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia
Mother Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia
Religion Russian Orthodox

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia (born 13 March 1981) is the heir apparent to Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, a claimant to the disputed Headship of the Imperial Family of Russia.[1] He is the only child of Maria and her former husband, Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia. George's mother attributes to him the title of Tsesarevich and he bears, as a title of pretence, the prefix of "Grand Duke" with the style of Imperial Highness which is still being questioned. As the son of a cadet member of the branch of the House of Hohenzollern which formerly ruled the German Empire and Kingdom of Prussia, he is also sometimes entitled Prince George of Prussia with the style of Royal Highness.[2]

Early life[edit]

George was born in Madrid in 1981, the son of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (daughter and heir of Vladimir Cyrillovich, Grand Duke of Russia[3][2]) and her husband Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia (titled at the time Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich,[4][1] son of Prince Karl Franz of Prussia and Princess Henriette of Schönaich-Carolath).

George was baptised on 6 May 1981, in Madrid; his godfather is Constantine II of Greece. Also present at the baptism were King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain and Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria.[5] The announcement that George Mikhailovich would be known as a Russian Grand Duke prompted Prince Vasili Alexandrovich, then president of the Romanov Family Association, to respond in writing that "The Romanov Family Association hereby declares that the joyful event in the Prussian Royal House does not concern the Romanov Family Association since the newborn prince is not a member of either the Russian Imperial House or of the Romanov family".[6] This response was ignored by Grand Duke Vladimir as he had already selected his daughter to succeed him according to the Pauline laws, and because the marriage between her and Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia was deemed dynastic. Prior to their wedding, the Grand Duke and his first cousin, then Head of the House of Hohenzollern, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, had made a dynastic agreement that any child born from this marriage should be raised as a Romanov. Therefore, George is considered a dynast of both houses (Romanov and Hohenzollern),[7][8] as his father has never renounced his Prussian royal title.[9]

His father, who stopped using his Russian title after his separation, has said of his son, "I have his German passport right here; I always carry it with me. It says he is Prince George of Prussia".[10]

George spent the first years of his life in France before moving to Spain.[11] There he and his mother lived, along with his maternal grandmother, in the home of his maternal aunt, Helen Kirby, who inherited a significant fortune from her father, Sumner Moore Kirby.[12]

Education and career[edit]

George was educated at Runnymede College in Madrid, D'Overbroeck's College, Oxford and at St Benet's Hall, Oxford.

In Brussels, he worked at the European Parliament where he was an assistant to Loyola de Palacio, former European Commissioner for Transport and Energy. Later he moved to Luxembourg where he was employed at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Atomic Energy and Security.

On 12 December 2008, he was appointed an aide to the Director General of MMC Norilsk Nickel, a major Russian nickel-mining company.[13] In 2012 he was nominated chief executive of Metal Trade Overseas, the main sales hub for Norilsk Nickel in Switzerland.[14] In 2014 he started his own company, Romanoff & Partners, in Brussels.[15]

Heir to his mother[edit]

On 21 April 1992, upon the death of his maternal grandfather Grand Duke Vladimir Cyrillovich, George's mother claimed to have succeeded as the sovereign and Curatrix of the Throne of Russia,[16] making him, to supporters of his mother, heir apparent and tsesarevich. He visited Russia for the first time shortly thereafter to attend the funeral of his grandfather.[11] Both his, and his mothers claim to the throne is contested by other Romanov's.

In 1996, when he, his mother, and his grandmother Leonida returned to Russia after living in Madrid, one of President Boris Yeltsin's former bodyguards was assigned as tutor to the 15-year-old prince. He was also set to study at a Russian Naval college but these plans were dropped.[17]

On 17 July 2018 he participated, along with his mother, in the liturgical commemoration of the centenary of the assassinations of Saints Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and their children conducted in Yekaterinburg by Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow.[18]

Marriage and issue[edit]

In January 2021, the family announced that George was engaged to marry Victoria Romanovna Bettarini (born Rebecca Virginia Bettarini in Rome on 18 May 1982), having received the permission of Grand Duchess Maria.[19][20] His mother decreed that it would be a [morganatic marriage]] and that Bettarini would have the title of Princess, with the predicate "Her Serene Highness" and the right to use the surname Romanova from her marriage.[20][21] Victoria Bettarini is the Director of the Russian Imperial Foundation. She is daughter of Roberto Amedeo Simeone Bettarini (born in Taranto on 5 May 1947), an Italian diplomat, ambassador in Luxembourg from 2006 to 2010 and in Brussels from 2010 and 2013, and wife Carla Virginia Cacciatore (born in Rome, Italy, on 30 April 1945), whom he married in Kinshasa, Zaire, on 13 August 1977.[22]

They married on 24 September 2021 in a civil ceremony in Moscow. The religious wedding took place on 1 October in Saint Petersburg, at Saint Isaac's Cathedral.[23][24] Around 1500 guests attended the ceremony.[25][26][27][28][29]

Following the wedding events, a gala wedding supper was held at the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg.[30][31] The following day, a Wedding breakfast "à la Russe" was hosted by George's mother, the Grand Duchess Maria, held at Constantine Palace and was attended by a smaller amount of 700 guests before their departures.[32][33]

On May 22, 2022, the Imperial House of Russia announced that Princess Victoria was expecting their first child in autumn.[34] Later on July 21, the Russian Imperial House announced that the couple were expecting a boy.[35]

The Grand Duke and Princess Victoria had a son, born in Moscow on 21 October 2022, who is named Alexander Georgievich Romanov.[36] Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, head of the Imperial House of Russia, announced that her first grandchild will be called "His Serene Highness Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanov".[37]

Prince Alexander was baptized on December 6, 2022. Prince Alexander's godmothers are Princess Olga, Duchess of Savoy-Aosta; Helene Kirby y Bagration, Countess Dvinskaya; Princess Elizabeth Lopoukhina; Oxana Girko, and Yulia Abrosina. His godfathers are Michel Petrovich Orloff, Prince Joachim Murat, Prince of Pontecorvo; and Prince Stephane Belosselsky-Belozersky. This is the first time a member of the Romanoff family has been baptized in Russia since the Russian Revolution.[38][39]


External links[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 de Badts de Cugnac, Chantal. Coutant de Saisseval, Guy. Le Petit Gotha. Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris 2002, p. 99, 111, 799 (French) ISBN 2-9507974-3-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Band XIV. "Haus Preußen". C.A. Starke Verlag, 1991, p. 153. (German) ISBN 3-7980-0700-4.
  3. Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1973). Burke's Guide to the Royal Family. London: Burke's Peerage. pp. 297, 302. ISBN 0-220-66222-3.
  4. Eilers, Marlene. Queen Victoria's Descendants. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden, 1997. pp. 82–84, 127, 152, 173. ISBN 91-630-5964-9
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 27 July 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Succession to the Imperial throne of Russia.
  6. Massie p. 264
  7. "Expert on Kirillovich claim". MK RU.
  8. "Is Grand Duke George a Romanoff or a Hohenzollern?". RussianLegitimist.
  9. "Head of the Russian Imperial House, Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess (de jure Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of all Russias) Maria Wladimirovna". Russian Imperial House.
  10. Massie, Robert K. (1995). The Romanovs The Final Chapter. Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-04192-4. Page 270
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Georgii Mikhailovich". Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  12. "A Long Memory for Murder". Haaretz. 24 August 2001.
  13. "Georgy Romanov appointed as Advisor to General Director of MMC Norilsk Nickel".
  14. "Норильский никель – Главная страница".
  15. "Romanoff and Partners | Home".
  16. "Dynastic Succession". Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  17. Slater, Wendy (2007). The Many Deaths of Tsar Nicholas II. Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-415-34516-3.
  18. Tass. 17 July 2018. Patriarch Kirill I Leads Procession Commemorating Slain Czarist Family. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  19. "Russian Imperial House - 2021-01-20 Announcement of the Upcoming Wedding of His Imperial Highness The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia and Nob. Victoria Romanovna Bettarini". Russian Imperial House. 20 January 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Scarsi, Alice (21 January 2021). "Royal wedding! Russian Grand Duke to celebrate imperial nuptials THIS year". Express. Express Newspapers. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  21. "A Legitimist Response to Criticism of the Engagement of Grand Duke George". The Russian Legitimist. 19 April 2022.
  22. "Visita del Gran Duque Jorge a San Petersburgo con la Directora de la Fundación de la Rusia Imperial". Real Academia Matritense de Heráldica y Geneología (in Spanish). 24 July 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  23. "HIH Grand Duke George and HSH Princess Victoria Romanoff wed in Moscow Civil Ceremony". The Russian Legitimist. 24 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  24. Black, Derek (27 September 2021). "George Mikhailovich and the first "yes" to Rebecca Bettarini: the wedding photos - World Stock Market". World Stock Marker. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  25. "Last Czar's Heir of Russia Marries 104 Years After the Revolution » World » Prime Time Zone".
  26. "Russia Hosts First Royal Wedding in a Century in Former Imperial Capital". October 2021.
  27. "Rebecca Bettarini married the Grand Duke George Romanov". 2 October 2021.
  28. "Lavish Russian wedding for Tsar's descendant". BBC News. October 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  29. "PICTORIAL: Russia's first royal wedding since 1917". October 2021.
  30. Cope, Rebecca (October 2021). "The first Russian royal wedding in 100 years is taking place in St Petersburg today". Tatler. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  31. ""Russia: the first royal wedding after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917". The European Times. FMVCS. 4 October 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  32. "The first Russian royal wedding in 100 years is taking place in St Petersburg today". October 2021.
  33. "See Photos from the First Russian Royal Wedding in 100 Years". October 2021.
  34. "Великий Князь Георгий Романов on Instagram: "Оповещение от Российского Императорского Дома. Announcement from the Imperial House of Russia"". Instagram. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  35. "Великий Князь Георгий Романов on Instagram: "Оповещение от Российского Императорского Дома Announcement from the Imperial House of Russia #romanoff #romanov #романовы #романов"". Instagram. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  36. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (21 October 2022). "Birth of HSH Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanoff". Russian Legitimist. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  37. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (21 October 2022). "Birth of HSH Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanoff". Russian Legitimist. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  38. "The Christening of HSH Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanoff". The Russian Legitimist. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  39. "Imperial Chancellery Releases Announcement After the Christening of HSH Prince Alexander". The Russian Legitimist. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
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