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Messages - David Pritchard

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The Imperial Family / Re: Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
« on: December 01, 2008, 03:56:54 PM »
Here's my opinion on the whole Leonida--Marie thing: Leonida married real ly well; he got killed; their daughter inherited; Vladimir and Leonida decided to marry; she married UP and he married $$. They had a daughter Marie and now all were supported financially by the heiress daughter; Imposter daughter Marie married a lowly but genuine title to have a legitimately titled child; but fake titles can't inherit a. thrones and b. nonexistent thrones or c. thrones which CANNOT pass through the female line.

These insurmountable problems are relative ONLY to Leonida and the imposter and the imposter's son. Looking back to GD Cyril, he was never eligible for the imperial throne as his mother hadn't converted to Orthodoxy prior to her marriage OR his birth; nor had Vladimir's mother Ducky; and no matter how hard you wish it you simply cannot create a silk purse out of a sow's ear--OH! Excuse me--I meant to say you can't just hand out royal titles right and left to create your own court in exile and set youself and your family up for a magical throne. Other obstacles also exist: morganatic marriages, divorces, narcissism in the extreme, evident Russian disinterest in occupied thrones, flouting of the laws of succession, leadership of a marching band of ruffians--OH! Excuse me again--I meant to say ruffian revolutionaries. Anyway I bet I've made myself clear on this issue. Thank you for your time,  WHEW

An absolutely perfect shade! Which reminds us all why published character smears were once called yellow journalism.

This is an old issue that seems to be re-discussed and disputed on a regular basis. It would seem that there are those who do not care for the Vladimirovichi but do not simply say so. With this lack of honesty in their motives, they insult our intelligence by presenting a twisted understanding of the Fundamental Laws of Russia that governed the succession and membership of the Imperial House of Russia.

The Emperor/Head of Imperial House was/is the sole interpretor of the Fundamental Laws. As such the Emperor granted the titles and pensions of Grand Dukes of Russia to the sons of Grand Duke Vladimir and his wife Grand Duchess Vladimir. After her conversion to Orthodoxy, Grand Duchess Vladimir was given the Russian name of Maria Pavlovna and the title of Grand Duchess of Russia in her own right by the Emperor.

Grand Duke Kyril Vladimirovich was Head of the Imperial House after the abdication of Mikhail Aleksandrovich, thus it was Kyril and later his son Vladimir who were the sole interpretors of the Fundamental Laws. Their decisions regarding the interpretation of these laws are not debatable according the the autocratic nature of the Russian Imperial House.

Again, if one does not care for the Vladimirovichi, simply say so but do not distort historical fact as a smoke screen for ones true motivations.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Russian translation question...
« on: December 01, 2008, 03:27:32 PM »
GD : V'elikye Knyaz
GDess: V'elikya Knyaza

These titles mean literally Great Prince and Great Princess in the Russian language.

I viewed the entire movie last night and have a number of comments about the movie:

The cinematography is excellent, that is in the style of a great Merchant-Ivory film.

The costuming is wonderful and as far as I could see the uniforms, weapons, orders and medals, icons etc. one hundred percent correct.  It is not often that I see a period movie that does not have errors of some sort.

The sets are wonderful often filmed in the actual locations and correct to the smallest details such as the (unattractive but very pre-1917) wall paper in Anna Vasilienva's Helsinki apartment.

The acting is good but the main characters seem to lack the awareness of their impending doom and the seriousness of their situation. Maybe this was how it really was at the time since we have the benefit of knowing how it all ended. I do feel that the movie was rushed, that is, that it was covering so much history in such a short time. It could have been much longer and it probably was severely edited for commercial reasons. I would love to see a Director's Cut of this film that was say four hours long.

Russian Imperial Medals, Orders, Uniforms & Militaria / Re: Imperial Coins
« on: November 20, 2008, 07:29:21 PM »
In the very bad days of Russias economy, 1992-93, one could find some amazing coins leaving the collections of seasoned collectors most of whom were not able to adjust to the overnight changes in the economy. If you bought them during this period, it could be that they are real. One should however weigh the coins to see if they corresspond to the official specifications. If you sent the full size images to me, I could at least find out if there were such coins made at the indicated mints, bear the initials of the correct mintmaster and struck in years that are indicated on the coins.

I see constant photo's of ladies of the Leuchtenberg line, with the title Her Imperial Highness..but were they "Imperial"?

The Leuchtenbergs better known in Imperial times as the Princes Romanovsky were only permitted to pass on the style of Imperial Highness and  membership in the Imperial House (and the pension that went with it) if they contracted equal marriages like all of the other members of the Imperial Family. Children of unequal marriages lost their postions within the Imperial House, the Russian Princely title of Romanovsky, the style of HIH or HH but were permitted to retain their there naturalised foreign title of Dukes and Duchesses of Leuchtenberg and style of Serene.

Russian Imperial Medals, Orders, Uniforms & Militaria / Re: Imperial Coins
« on: November 18, 2008, 10:41:33 AM »
Education is always the best way to protect oneself from fraud. Below are links to informative websites about Imperial Russian coins:

Here is a link to a page from a web site featuring fake Imperial Russian coins:

Here is a link to the home page of a web site specialising in Imperial Russian coins, 1730-1801, made of copper and bronze:

Here is a link to the home page of a web site titled The Coinage of Imperial Russia 1689-1917

There was a time when I had a box of Saint George Crosses of all types though mainly second and third class examples from Crimea through the First World War. I believe that Durov's book has an estimation of the serial numbers and the corresponding dates. While your cross does not bear a class distinction as did the early versions of this decoration, I also do not see the silver hallmark on the ring which many of the old crosses bear. Because of the use of this decoration during the distressed periods of World War One and the Russian Civil War (in which numbering regulations were often relaxed or confused), one would need to consult a real expert to determine its age.

Russian Imperial Medals, Orders, Uniforms & Militaria / Re: Imperial Coins
« on: November 13, 2008, 06:38:30 PM »
I collect Russian Imperial copper coins made prior to the year 1856 and of course have some of the large copper five kopeck coins from the reign of Empress Catherine the Great. Some of these coins were purchased in Russia years ago and a just a few purchased from the UK and Sweden. When I was collecting in Russia, I always suspected that some of the coins that I was offered were fakes these seemed to have similar finishes (often partially blackened as if they were in a fire) with the wear cast into the coin and the impressed rope or braided edge just a bit too fresh and sharp to be believable. When I have purchased such coins on EBay, I am always careful that the coins are not too perfect and therefore suspect. I believe that fake copper coins are being made in China and that some of the rarer silver coins are being reproduced in Russia.

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