Grand Duchess Maria holding her grandson Prince Alexander at home before his christening.

Two weeks ago, on 6 December 2022, Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanoff was christened at the Transfiguration Church within the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour complex in Moscow. He is the first of his family line to be baptized in Russia (or a territory that formerly comprised the Russian Empire) since his great-grandfather Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich in 1917. 

The Christening of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, 1981

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia was baptised on Wednesday, 6 May 1981, at Madrid. Archbishop Antony Sinkevitch of Los Angeles officiated over the service. Grand Duke George received as his godparents King Constantine II of Greece (represented by Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich) and Helene Kirby, Countess Dvinskaya.

The baptism of the eventual heir of the Imperial House of Russia was attended by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía of Spain, King Simeon II of Bulgaria, Princess Magdalena of Prussia (widow of Prince Hubertus), Infante Luís Alfonso of Spain, Princess Marisol of Bavaria, Prince Bagrat Bagration-Mukhransky, and Prince Georg-Dietrich von Schoenaich-Carolath.

The Christening of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, 1954

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna was baptised on Wednesday, 3 February 1954, at Madrid, Spain. The Confessor of Grand Duke Vladimir and Grand Duchess Leonida, Father Hegumen Panteleimon, officiated over the service. Grand Duchess Maria received as her godparents Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia (represented by Prince Nicholas of Romania) and Queen Ioanna of Bulgaria (née Princess Giovanna of Savoy). 

Among the family members who were present for the christening of the grand duchess were the following: Helene Kirby, Prince Louis Ferdinand and Princess Kira of Prussia, Prince George and Princess Elena Bagration, Prince Irakly Bagration, Infante Fernando of Spain, Infante Luis of Spain, Infante Jose Eugenio of Spain and his wife (née Marisol Mesia y de Lesseps), the Dowager Duchess of Montpensier (née Maria Isabel González de Olañeta y Ibarreta Marquesa de Valdeterrazo), Princess Nicholas of Romania (née Dumitrescu-Doletti), Archduchess Ileana of Austria, and Princess Maria Luisa of Bulgaria. 

Several representatives of the Spanish government were also in attendance: don Fernando Suárez de Tangil y Angulo, Conde de Vallellano, Minister of Public Works; Señora de Martín-Artajo, wife of Foreign Minister don Alberto Martín-Artajo Álvarez; and doña Maria del Carmen Casanueva Navarro, wife of don Raimundo Fernández-Cuesta y Merelo, Secretary General of Movimiento Nacional. 

The diplomatic corps were also well represented: the Prince de Ligne, Belgian Ambassador to Spain, and the Princess de Ligne (née Philippine de Noailles); Mr Rubens Ferreira de Mello, Brazilian Ambassador to Spain, with Senhora Ferreira de Mello; Georgi Kyosievanov, former Bulgarian Prime Minister, and Madame Kyosievanov; Mr Collin, Danish Ambassador to Spain; Graaf Willem van Rechteren-Limpurg, Dutch Ambassador to Spain, with Gravin Fay Esmé van Rechteren-Limpurg (née Baroness van Heemstra); Jacques Meyrier, French Ambassador to Spain, with Madame Meyrier; Prince Adalbert of Bavaria, German Ambassador to Spain, with Princess Adalbert of Bavaria (née Gräfin Augusta von Seefried auf Buttenheim); Mr Kimon Diamantopoulos, Greek Ambassador to Spain, with Mrs Diamantopoulos (née Alberta Kirchhof); Ferenc Marosi, Representative of the Hungarian Government-in-Exile, with Mrs Marosi; don Francesco Maria Marchese Taliani de Marchio, Italian Ambassador to Spain, with the Marchesa Taliani di Marchio (née Archduchess Maria Margarethe of Austria); Mr Winter, Swedish Ambassador to Spain, with Mrs Winter; and Mr Lucovic, Representative of King Peter of Yugoslavia.

The Christening of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, 1917

Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich was christened on Tuesday, 18 September 1917, at Haikko near Borgo, Finland. Protopresbyter Alexander Dernoff, Head of the Court Clergy and Dean of the Cathedrals of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and of the Annunciation in the Kremlin of Moscow, officiated over the service. Grand Duke Vladimir received as his godparents Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia (his paternal uncle) and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia (née Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; his paternal grandmother). 

In his memoirs, In the Service of the Imperial House of Russia 1917-1941, Commander H.G. Graf, a loyal aide to Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodovorna, recalled the events surrounding their only son’s christening: 

The baptism of Prince Vladimir Kirillovich took place on September 18, 1917, at Haiko. The parents wanted all the customary christening formalities of the Imperial family to be observed. They considered this precaution to be important so as to avoid future complications relative to the rights of Vladimir Kirillovich to the throne. With great difficulties, the Archpresbyter Father Alexander Dernov, head of the Court’s clergy, was invited from Petrograd. He was also the father superior of the cathedral of the Winter Palace in Petrograd and the further superior of the ‘Blagovestshenskii’ (Annunciation) Cathedral in the Kremlin. He arrived with the cantor of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Petrograd. They brought everything that was needed for the christening ceremony. The christening was recorded in the Book of Births of Members of the Imperial House which Archpresbyter Dernov had also brought with him.

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