Russian royal wedding: Who are George Romanov and Rebecca Bettarini?

The couple’s guestlist included 1,500 people

Joanna Whitehead,Olivia Petter
Friday 01 October 2021 15:01
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Russia hosts first royal wedding since 1917 revolution
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Russia has celebrated its first royal wedding in over a century, 104 years after the assassination of the last Tsar and his family.

On Friday, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov, 40, wed his Italian fiancé Rebecca Bettarini, 39, in front of hundreds of guests at St Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg.

Russian aristocracy mingled with European royals, such as Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Rudolph and Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein, and the former king and queen of Bulgaria.

The couple’s guestlist stretched to 1,500 people, and also included Konstantin Malofeyev, a monarchist and billionaire close to the Kremlin, and Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

But who are the Russian royals and what is their role in Russian society?

Here’s everything we know.

Who is Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov?

The Grand Duke is the only son of the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, 67, and Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia. He is also the third great-grandson of Emperor Alexander II of Russia.

Born in Madrid, he was educated at the University of Oxford and lived for many years in Spain and France, though he now resides in Moscow.

As for work, he previously worked in the European Parliament in Brussels before going on to focus his attention on philanthropic projects.

The bride wore a stiff satin long-sleeved gown with a tiara.

He spoke to Russian news website Fontanka.ru about living in Moscow, saying: “This was the first place in Russia to which we returned. This is very, very close to the family..

“The Orthodox spirit and history of our country, traditions, culture - these were constant conversations at home.

“My grandfather always tried to keep in touch with some Russian people in Russia and France, to support charitable projects.”

The Grand Duke’s great-grandfather, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, was one of the Romanov family members who escaped the Russian Revolution that led to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife and five children being assassinated in 1917.

Rebecca Bettarini

The daughter of Italian diplomat Ambassador Roberto Bettarini and Carla Virginia Cacciatore, Ms Bettarini is the Director of the Russian Imperial Foundation.

She is also the author of several books, including La Dea Della Bellezza and Aristocrazy, which she writes under the pen name Georgina Perosch. She converted to the Russian Orthodox faith last year, which led her to adopt the name Victoria Romanovna.

Ms Bettarini met the Grand Duke in Brussels when he was working in parliament. They moved to Russia three years ago.

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