PARIS, October 3. /TASS/. Prince Dimitri Romanov, the oldest relative of last Russian Emperor Nicholas II, will visit Moscow this week to receive the Order of St. Alexander, a Russian state award.
Prince Dimitri, who heads the Romanov Family Association and the family-run charity foundations, has been granted the award for his "great contribution to the spread of the knowledge of Russia’s historical and cultural heritage, and assistance in bolstering the international humanitarian ties."
"It is a great honor for me to receive the Order of St. Alexander from the President of Russia," the prince told TASS. "This award stands for the greatness and the coherence of Russian history."
The prince, who turned 90 on May 17, noted that the award was also dear to him because "several generations of the Romanov family owned it."
"In 1916, one hundred years ago, my father Roman Petrovich was decorated with this order," the prince said.
A second cousin and a godson of Nicholas II, Roman Romanov went to fight in World War I before even turning 20. After the collapse of the Russian monarchy he was kept under arrest in his family’s Crimean estate. In 1919, the former engineer battalion lieutenant bade farewell to Russia taking a bottle filled with Russian soil with him.
"Saying goodbye to his native land was the greatest loss in my father’s life," Prince Dimitri said. "He kept a handful of Russian soil in our house till his very last day. As his son, I am happy to realize that Crimea has become Russian again."
In 1993, at the request of the family, Prince Dimitri Romanovich took the helm at the Romanov Fund For Russia. Since then many Russian medical institutions and orphanages have received the Fund’s assistance. The Fund has also been assisting children in Russia’s neighboring countries, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.