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MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. A descendant of Russian Emperor Nicholas I and the eldest in the Romanov family, Prince Dimitri Romanovich, and his wife, Theodora, have arrived in the Russian capital from Paris. In Moscow, the prince will receive the Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky, a Russian state award, on October 6.
"I was very surprised to learn about the award," Prince Dimitri has told TASS at the Sheremetyevo airport. He noted that he considers this to be a recognition and gratitude for 25 years of humanitarian work. "When he learned this, a smile lit up his face. It was incredibly important for him," Theodora Alexeevna said.
On Thursday, October 6, Prince Dimitri Romanovich will receive the Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky at a solemn ceremony, in accordance with a decree issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin. A descendant of Emperor Nicholas I who heads the Romanov Family Association and the family-run charity foundations will receive the award "for his great contribution to spreading abroad the knowledge of Russia’s historical and cultural heritage and efforts to promote international humanitarian ties."
Another highlight of this visit will be a meeting of the head of the Romanov family and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. On Saturday, October 8, the feast day of St. Sergius of Radonezh, they will visit the Trinity Sergius Lavra (Monastery) in Sergiev Posad near Moscow to venerate the saint’s relics. On Sunday, October 9, Prince Dimitri Romanovich and his wife will return to Paris.
In an interview with a TASS correspondent in Paris Prince Dimitri Romanovich noted that he considers the awarding of the Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky a great honor. "This award symbolizes the grandeur and coherence of Russian history," he said.
The prince who turned 90 on May 17 added that the order is also very precious to him because "several generations of the Romanovs proudly worn this award." Those were the prince’s great-great-grandfather, Nicholas I, great grandfather, Field Marshal Nikolai Nikolaevich (Sr) and grandfather, engineer troops chief Pyotr Nikolaevich. Each of them, according to the oldest Romanov descendant, "placed Russia’s interests above everything else." "In 1916, one hundred years ago, such order was awarded to my father, Roman Petrovich," he said.
"As a Romanov, I am confident that all members of our family have to limit their aspirations to serve a worthy historical link with the past no great country can abandon," the prince added. He added that establishing the Romanov Family Association in 1979, the prince’s father and other founders "sought nothing but the right to be useful to Russia.".