26 October 2006

Interview with the Tsarevich in Komsomol’skaia pravda Interview of His Imperial Highness, Heir, Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich in Komsomol’skaia Pravda, given in Madrid

Interview with the Tsarevich in Komsomol’skaia pravda Interview of His Imperial Highness, Heir, Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich in Komsomol’skaia Pravda, given in Madrid

    • Your Imperial Highness, how do you personally feel about your titles: Tsesarevich and Grand Duke, Heir?


    These titles are an integral part of our great history, our tradition. But they make sense only when their bearers strive to live up to them. Otherwise, titles can gradually turn into mere window-dressing. I look at my titles and the status they afford me first and foremost as a responsibility to serve Russia, preserving the better parts of its past and striving to be useful in the present and in the future.

    • What exactly did you do at your job at the European Union? Why did you take this job, and what would you like to do now? What kind of work would you like to arrange for yourself in Russia?


    I worked for the European Parliament, then I transferred to a position as assistant to the president of the European Commission for Energy, Loyola de Palacio, in Brussels, then in Luxembourg in the European Commission for Atomic Energy and Security. This experience gave me the possibility to familiarize myself with the details of the structure of the European Union in terms of politics and economics, which will determine the future course of Europe. I think that this work gave me a good sense of these things. Now, I plan to study the work of private firms. I am sure that I can make good use of this knowledge and experience for Russia, when we return there to live permanently.

    • What are the conditions under which you would return to your historical Motherland to live permanently?


    There are no special conditions that have been set. The only thing that I hope is that our current government will formalize its own relationship to the Imperial House as a historical institution. Practically in every country, including former communist ones, this has already taken place. For ruling dynasties, there has been created minimal conditions for their return and for their modest but livable conditions in their Homelands. And this has in no way shaken the new Constitutional orders of these states. Quite the contrary: the Heads and Members of these Royal Families have actively been included in the process of the rebirth of the foundations of the state and society. I am certain that Russia will not be an exception to this general trend.

    • To what properties (and what wealth) does the House of Romanoff make claim?


    We require nothing, and we request nothing. After the revolution, all the wealth of the Imperial House, even its moveable property, was expropriated—or, to put it in Russian terms, was stolen. But even my great grandfather, Kirill I, said as early as the 1920s, that even in the case of the return of the monarchy, there would be no restitution of properties. That position was held also by my grandfather, Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, and is now held by my Mother—the present Head of the Dynasty, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna. It’s an entirely different matter, but it would be proper if the state made the decision to provide a small stipend of support for our return to Russia, which would not at all be burdensome and would not at all violate any laws or legal interests. International experience shows that the effect of the return of dynasties, including economic effects, greatly outweigh any expenditures that might be connected with the creation of conditions for the life and activity of royal houses in their native countries.

    • How do you personally feel about the idea of the reestablishment of the monarchy in Russia? What, in your view, Constitutional role would the monarchy play in the structure of the Russian government?


    I am convinced that monarchy is the best state structure for Russia: a vast, multi-national country which was formed as a monarchy and existed as a monarchy for more than one thousand years. In less than a century, the period of republics has brought to our Fatherland civil war, terror and genocide, the collapse of the economy and territorial decline. But one cannot become like the revolutionaries and thrust one’s own ideas on people by force. We will never agree to the establishment of the monarchy except by the will of the people. I believe that our countrymen will see the falsehood of the antimonarchist propaganda and will see that monarchy is a fully modern form of governance which is not only compatible with democracy, freedom, and prosperity, but, indeed, is the guarantor of these goals. The chief function of monarchy is to be an arbiter. Legitimate monarchy is beholden to no power; therefore it is able to stand above party and all personal and group interests, defending the interests of the nation as a whole. The hereditary monarch bears responsibility before his ancestors and strives to leave the country to his descendants in the very best condition he can. Monarchy cannot “play a role in the structure of the Russian government”: it can bring principles, which complement the structure of the government and, thereby, unite the present with the past and the future.

    • Why has the House of Romanoff been urging the rehabilitation of Emperor Nicholas II?


    Rehabilitation is not about amnesia, nor about forgiveness, but about doing the right thing. It is about recognizing the fact that the state committed a crime against a person: Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, His family, and His faithful servants, were all victims of political repression. They were imprisoned, were mocked, lost all their individual and civil rights, and then were shot on orders of the Ural Soviet. This order was recognized as legal by the higher administration of the Soviet state: the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and to this day, has not been legally overturned. We do not agree with the current government’s view of the matter. We are citizens of Russia, and our consciences cannot be reconciled with the fact that our relatives, who are revered by us and by millions of Orthodox believers as saints, are still seen legally by the state as “crowned thieves and butchers”, criminals who deserved death. Until such time as the murdered Royal Family is rehabilitated, we have no guarantee that this horror will not ever again be repeated—not only against us, but also against each and every citizen of Russia. When the rehabilitation does occur, it will be enormously useful to the Russian state: it will serve the national self-identification of the country among its citizens, and will raise the international stature of Russia worldwide.

    • In which European countries—Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Albania—have the heirs to the throne been allowed to play a role in the state structure? Would you be willing to work in our state structure? If so, in what capacity?


    Before the revolution, there was the tradition that the heir to the throne was introduced little by little into the work of state affairs, giving him more and more responsible duties and assignments. In the circumstance of exile in which I find myself, I have had to provide my own gradual introduction to state affairs. At Oxford, I studied law and economics, and then built on this knowledge afterward by working at the European Union. I think that I could also contribute to state institutions in Russia. I am, for example, very interested in environmental issues, one of the greatest concerns of the modern world. But one could name an entire list of fields where I could work. I would want to learn more about military affairs. Abroad, this is impossible, since I cannot serve in a foreign army. I hope that there will come a time when I can study at a military academy in Russia.

    • What are your duties as Heir?


    I assist my August Mother—the Head of the Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna—in every possible way; and I prepare myself for the day when it will be my responsibility to continue the work of many generations of my ancestors.

    • Do you come to Russia often? Do you have friends in Russia?


    There was a period when I could not travel to Russia very often because of work. But in the past two years, thank God, the situation has changed for the better. I have several times traveled to St. Petersburg and Moscow unofficially, for my work with the European Commission. Last month I made my first official visit alone to Russia. I came at the request of my Mother to congratulate His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksei II on the occasion of the 45-th anniversary of his ordination to the episcopacy. His Holiness received me very warmly; we very much love and respect him. Besides Church services, I also visited the State Duma and met with L. Slitskaia, the First Deputy Chairman of the Duma, with O. Morozov, and with the chairs of several Duma committees. In Russia, I felt at home everywhere I went, my interactions with people and my planned stops being very friendly. Of course, I have some very good friends in Russia, whose honesty and moral support I always count on.

    • Not long ago, our newspaper reported that the “heir of the Russian throne is not married and is looking for work.” Is this so?


    I have already talked about work. And I can confirm that I am not married.

    • In the circle around your Mother, Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna, we are told that you very much find Russian women to be attractive. Is this true?


    It is not possible to think otherwise about Russian women. Both physically and spiritually, the beauty of Russian women is incomparable.

    • If, with the blessing of Maria Wladimirovna and of Patriarch Aleksei II, the dynastic laws of the Russian Imperial House were changed and it became possible for you to marry a commoner, would you?


    I cannot make it my task absolutely to marry a woman of non-royal birth, nor absolutely to marry someone of royal birth. I will marry the woman whom I will love and respect, and who will love and respect me. If the limitations on marriage, which in the 19-th century were appended to the Act on Succession to the Throne of Paul I, were to be changed, as has in fact happened in the majority of royal houses, then the pool of candidates from which I could choose a bride would widen without any threat to the dynastic rights of my descendants. But for now, this is a merely theoretical question.

    • Our readers are interested in what you would prefer in a woman you might marry. What requirements would you have for your princess?


    My future wife should love Russia, should understand me, and always be next to me in my service to the Motherland. She should clearly recognize that to be a Grand Duchess is not some fairytale, no delight and pleasure, but a heavy and demanding responsibility.

    • What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies? What music do you like? Do you read books and newspapers in the Russian language and watch Russian movies? What is your favorite food?


    I love to travel, to dance, to talk to people of various viewpoints and convictions, to learn about their religious views. I listen to classical and modern music, depending on my mood. I especially love Mozart. Of modern music, I listen to rock music: REM, AD/DC, Queen; and heavy metal: Mega Deth, Metallica, Iron Maden… I read Russian books and newspapers and of course I watch Russian movies. Of recent movies, I especially like “Brother” and “Brother 2.” I love Russian and Japanese food.

    • What would you like to wish our readers?


    Health, love, success, God’s help, and faith in Russia.

(Published in abbreviated form: A. Gamov, “Interview with the Heir to the Throne, Grand Duke and Tsesarevich Georgii Romanov,” in Komsolom’skaia pravda, 2006, 19026 October.)

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