Manifesto of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, on the death of Emperor Kirill I and on His Assumption of the Rights and Duties of Emperors of All the Russias, 31 October 1938.

It has pleased the Lord God, on the 12th day of October of this year, to call unto Himself My beloved Father, the Sovereign Emperor Kirill Wladimirovich. Humbly bowing before the Will of the Most High, I believe that all Russian people will share with Me this new heavy sorrow that has been sent to Me.

My ever-memorable parents have bequeathed to Me their love and sense of self-sacrifice in the service of Russia and the Russian people. They showed Me the way which I must follow in order to complete the great work which they have begun and I, in sacred and reverent memory of them, will steadfastly follow their instructions, devoting all My strength to the service of Russia.

Following the example of My Father and profoundly aware of the sacred duty that has been given Me, I accept the supreme authority of Head of the Imperial House of Russia to which I have succeeded by inheritance, and all the rights and duties which belong to Me by virtue of the Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire and the Statute on the Imperial Family.

As a faithful son of the Holy Orthodox Church, now, at this crucial moment, I address myself to Her, seeking Her blessing and support in the arduous service which has fallen upon me.

I also address myself to all those Russian people who hold dear the destiny of Russia, and I call upon them to unite around Me. I call upon them to follow Me in close cooperation for the sake of the good of the entire Russian people.

I have one aim and one aspiration: to devote myself to the service of Russia, for the sake of the happiness and prosperity of the Russian people which will only find the rule of law and freedom under the protection of the Imperial Throne.

Bending my knees before Almighty God, I pray that He may grant Me strength to serve My people, and I believe that all Russian people will with one accord come to My aid in their work to free the Motherland from suffering and humiliation.

(The original is signed in His Imperial Majesty’s own hand:)


Issued at Saint-Briac on 31 October 1938

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