Russia celebrates first royal wedding in more than a century

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Russia celebrates first royal wedding in more than a century

A descendant of Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty married his Italian bride Friday in the country’s first royal wedding in more than a century.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov tied the knot with Victoria Romanovna Bettarini in a Russian Orthodox ceremony at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in Russia’s former royal capital St. Petersburg.

Bettarini, 39, wore a diamond tiara and flowing white dress, the long train carried by her bridesmaids.

The wedding was attended by hundreds of guests, including Mikhailovich’s mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna — the self-proclaimed heir to Russia’s imperial throne.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini kiss as they leave St. Isaac's Cathedral after their wedding ceremony in Saint Petersburg
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini kiss as they leave St. Isaac’s Cathedral after their wedding ceremony in Saint Petersburg.
REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini follow Metropolitan Varsonofius of Saint Petersburg and Ladoga during their wedding ceremony.
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini follow Metropolitan Varsonofius of Saint Petersburg and Ladoga during their wedding ceremony.
REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Mikhailovich’s great-grandfather, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, fled Russia during the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, escaping first to Finland and later relocating with his family to Western Europe.

Mikhailovich, 40, was born in Madrid and raised in France and Spain. He returned to live in Russia in 2019, and is involved in numerous charities.

The wedding was held in Saint Isaac's Cathedral.
The wedding was held in Saint Isaac’s Cathedral.
OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images

Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, his wife and five children were murdered by a firing squad in 1918.

Mikhailovich’s ancestors in the Romanov dynasty ruled the country for more than 300 years before Nicholas II abdicated in 1917 on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution, which brought communism to Russia.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia (2nd from left) and Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy (left), Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (second from right) and an unidentified guest visit the tombs of members of the Romanov dynasty.
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia (2nd from left) and Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy (left), Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (second from right) and an unidentified guest visit the tombs of members of the Romanov dynasty.
ZUMAPRESS.com
Grand Duke of Russia George Mikhailovich Romanov and his bride Victoria Romanovna Bettarini wave as they leave by car from their wedding ceremony.
Grand Duke of Russia George Mikhailovich Romanov and his bride Victoria Romanovna Bettarini wave as they leave by car from their wedding ceremony.
ANATOLY MALTSEV/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
wedding cereomy
Guests wait before the wedding ceremony of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini.
REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

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