In 1909, Tsar Nicolas ll and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia (Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt, grand-daughter of Queen Victoria) along with their five children, visited Cowes, Isle of Wight at the invitation of King Edward Vll. The occasion was Cowes Regatta, one of the longest-running and most important regattas in the world at that time. A home-movie taken during that visit and shown on UK television last year, shows two of the children, Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Tatiana who had never experienced such freedom before, enjoying a walk around the town, diving into shops and buying postcards and sweets. An interesting account is to be found here.
On 7th July, 2018 during a weekend of events that remembered the 100th Anniversary of the assassination of the family and their close servants at Yekaterinburg, a 3-metre high granite memorial with bronze decoration was unveiled to commemorate the close connection between the Imperial Romanov family and East Cowes. This magnificent monument was unveiled in the presence of their surviving descendants, Russian Orthodox bishops, the Moscow sculptor of the work Elena Bezborodova, and a choir from Minsk, Belarus.
The memorial was gifted by members of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society who revere the Tsar’s sister-in-law who was later made a saint. It stands in the Jubilee Recreation Ground close to Osborne House the former home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert which the Romanov family visited on their trip to the island in 1909. The Tsar had also been a naval cadet at the then Royal Naval College Osborne House.
The 18th/19th century photos are courtesy of Wikicommons. The Photographs of the Memorial at Cowes are from David Hill, local coordinator for the event working with the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society.
Historical Note: Tsar Nicholas II and his family were assassinated by the Bolsheviks on 17 July 1918. They were buried in unmarked graves, and in 1979 some remains were discovered but were concealed until the fall of communism. In 1991 the graves were excavated and a state funeral was organised for five family members. Remains of two other children were found in 2007 but these are undergoing additional examinations.
This post linked to https://smkelly8.com/ for Sculpture Saturday Challenge