If you follow royal news, you may have noticed a recent royal engagement. Grand Duke George of Russia, a direct descendant of Tsar Alexander II, asked his long-time girlfriend, Rebecca Virginia Bettarini, to marry him. Though Russia no longer has a monarchy, let’s take a look at Grand Duke George’s imperial lineage.
Tsar Alexander II married Maria Alexandrovna in 1841. They had eight children together. Their third son, Grand Duke Vladimir (younger brother to Alexander III) married Maria Pavlovna in 1874.
Vladimir and Maria Pavlovna’s eldest son, Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia, married Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1905. They had two daughters and one son. After the murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, Grand Duke Cyril, as the senior surviving male-line descendant of Alexander II, declared himself emperor-in-exile.
Their only son, Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia, married Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani in 1948. They had one child together, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (born 1953). In 1976, she married Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia. Before they divorced in 1985, they had one son, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov, born in 1981.
Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna considers herself the rightful heir to the throne, should it ever be restored. Her son, Grand Duke George considers himself the Tsarevich and heir apparent to the throne, after his mother. However, Maria Vladimirovna’s claim is disputed by other members of the Romanov Family. Though I’m not sure the dispute matters since the monarchy in Russia will probably never be restored. Either way, it’s wonderful to have a royal wedding to look forward to later this year.