Sunday, January 31, 2010


It's glorious. Even on a normal trip, where we just come to the city for functions or visits, Moscow is beautiful. Majestic. There's something so ancient about it. I wonder sometimes why the Tsars chose to make St. Petersburg the capital. Moscow is the Holy City, the center of our faith.

We left the cars a little away from the Kremlin so that we could enter through the great gate of Kiev on foot. A dozen chanting priests with censers and holy icons walked in front of us. Mama and Alexei rode in an open car, Alexei being still too unwell to walk. It was a clear, sunny day, and banners waved from every window, bells pealed out from every church in a city full of churches.

Russia is beautiful in May. Flowers grow everywhere, and people were throwing them at our feet as we walked through the city. Alexei had to be carried in the church service, and did not stay long at the gala dinner on the evening of May 25th. There were only 700 guests at that one. Here is the menu:

The first Romanov Tsar, Mikhail, is pictured in the center.

There were many things created to celebrate the tercentenary. Postage stamps. A special cross . Papa had them blessed when he could.

There were even samovars, and pictures, and toys that celebrated the Jubilee. But most beautiful of all was Faberge's Tercentenary egg. He made them every Easter for us, but this one was extraordinary. Such perfect pictures and detail.

On May 26th there was another dinner, this time for 2000 nobles. I shall never forget that time in Moscow. It was all the sweeter because I had my secret in my heart, to make it seem all the more glorious and extraordinary. I still think of that week, visiting monasteries and villages around Moscow, as one of the happiest times of my life, marred only by Alexei's ill health.

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