17 October 2018


The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House have received a number of enquiries from around the world about the Imperial Family’s attitude towards “The Romanoffs”, a new television series of 8 episodes, each featuring characters who believe themselves to be descendants of the House of Romanoff.

The Chancellery has viewed the series and issues the following statement:

The Chancellery of Her Imperial Highness regards this series as a singular lost opportunity to delve into the true history of the modern Imperial Family. The Chancellery concurs with the general consensus of the critics, a majority of whom, according to a leading review-aggregate website, deems “The Romanoffs” to be “fatally indulgent, asking for the utmost patience from audiences without a compelling incentive.”

Given the incredible popularity of “The Crown”, a landmark drama series based on the recent real history of the British royal family, the formula for success in this niche TV genre seems obvious. A focus on real history seems particularly sensible given that the fascinating history of the modern Imperial Family post-1917 affords considerable potential for more landmark television. That the creator, who is also the series director and co-writer, instead opted to squander this opportunity in order to make a series of plodding fictional stories on banal subjects of no consequence is lamentable.

However, were these the series’ only failings, “The Romanoffs” would not have merited this statement. Dullness may be disagreeable, but it seldom causes offence or insult. Alas, to the series creator’s great discredit, “The Romanoffs” manages to do both. The Imperial Family does not approve of hagiography and appreciates the value of critical, objective and fully-rounded historical assessments of individuals, actions and events. Regrettably, the series creator never set his sights so high -- on the contrary, they seem fixed at a far baser level. This series displays a sad level of disdain, insensitivity and crassness in its treatment of individuals, institutions and events that are hugely important to the Imperial Family and are revered worldwide by hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians.

To see the martyrdom of the Imperial Family treated as a piece of gory entertainment, the horrific murder being used as a backdrop for the opening credits of each episode, was appalling. So too was the treatment afforded to these same family members elsewhere, where they were mocked and farcically parodied by costumed dwarfs. Surely standards of decency still count for something in the portrayal of certain events and the individuals involved.

It is particularly regrettable that “The Romanoffs” makes its debut in the year of the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the canonized Emperor, St. Nicholas the Tsar-Martyr, his family, faithful servants and many other members of the Imperial Family and those who supported them.

Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess and her son and Heir have no desire to fan the flames of publicity around this series; however, in the interests of accuracy and for the hundreds of millions who venerate members of the Imperial Family, and as the Imperial House will always object to any sort of misrepresentation of the history or present circumstance of their family for commercial purposes, it has been necessary to release this statement.

A. Zakatov
Ph. D., Associate Professor, director of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House

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