28 July 2017

The Director of the Chancellery of the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, Alexander Nikolaevich Zakatov, met with the Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin

On July 25, 2017, in the offices of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society on Zabelin Street in Moscow, Alexander Nikolaevich Zakatov, the Director of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, met with the Chairman of the Society, Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin, in order to convey to him a letter from the Grand Duchess, who is an honourary member of the Society.

In her letter, Her Imperial Highness expressed her “heartfelt appreciation” to Chairman Stepashin for all the work he and the Society did to help make her visit to Malta on June 13-17, 2017, a complete success. 

During the meeting, Alexander Zakatov recounted details of the trip, which was timed to coincide with the 140th anniversary of the birth of the Grand Duchess’s grandmother, Princess Victoria Melita of Great Britain and Ireland—the future Empress-in-Exile Victoria Feodorovna.  He also presented the Chairman a commemorative medal that was struck to mark the Grand Duchess’s visit to Malta, depicting the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, her grandmother, Empress-in-Exile Victoria Feodorovna, and her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland.  He also presented copies of several books on the history and activities of the Imperial House of Russia.

The meeting, which was also attended by Hieromonk Nikon (Levachev-Belavenets), who is a member of the Council of the Moscow Branch of the Society and an advisor to the Chancellery for historical and memorial affairs, touched on a range of topics, including ways that the Society and the Imperial House can collaborate on a number of future projects, including events planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the martyrdoms of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers.  

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Below is the text of the Head from Grand Duchess Maria of Russia to Chairman Stepashin:

The Head of the Imperial House of Russia expresses her appreciation and gratitude to Sergei Stepashin



To Sergei Vadimovich STEPASHIN
Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society

Dear Sergei Vadimovich,

I wish to express to you my heartfelt appreciation for all you did to help arrange my visit to Malta.

I have long wanted to visit this wonderful country, where my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Duke Alfred of Edinburgh and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, lived and served, and where my grandmother, Empress-in-Exile Victoria Feodorovna, was born.

Thanks to your help, the visit was both very successful and enormously meaningful for me.  The Russian Ambassador, Vladimir Ardalionovich Malygin; the official representative in Malta of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo), Andrei Mikhailovich Muraviev; and other officials from our country who are posted in Malta all greeted me with genuine affection and hospitality.  I want especially to note the tireless efforts of the Chairperson of the Maltese Branch of the Society, Irina Vladimirovna Malikova.  I was very pleased and impressed to see how Irina Vladimirovna, who was also the co-chair of the Organizing Committee for my visit, enjoys such respect among the Russian citizens living and working in Malta, within the Russian expat community, and among Maltese governmental officials and private organizations.

I hope that my meetings with President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca of Malta, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, and other officials will serve to strengthen the social and cultural collaborations that have been developing and growing between Malta and Russia.

I will forever remember in my heart this wonderful visit to the island Republic of Malta.

I wish you health, success, and God’s help in all your work for the benefit of Russia.

With warmest and best regards,

[The original is signed in Her Imperial Highness’s own hand:]


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