Coronation of Nicolas II


On  14 (26) of May, 1896 in the morning all the stalls and shops in Moscow were closed and there were no pedestrians and carriages at all — the city seemed almost deserted. But in fact, thousands and thousands of people gathered near the Kremlin and were waiting for the new emperor to be crowned. The area around the Kremlin was flooded with local people and guests of the city, some of them were just standing, and some of them were sitting in the amphitheatre around the square.


In the Kremlin cuirassiers, Leib-hussars and Leib-uhlans were paraded and put on alert along the path of the future cortege of the (last) monarch-to-be. Other troops were behind.


At 7 sharp the bell of Ivan the Great Bell Tower rang loud and the cannons started to salute, 21 shot, one after another, were fired and sweet mellow chime spread all over Moscow. Representatives of Russians towns and cities, zemstvos and nobles marched to the Dormition Cathedral of the Annunciation, where at 10:30 Nicholas II was anointed the emperor and his wife, Allexandra, was made the empress.





During the coronation Nicolas had the King’s coat on and his wife was wearing a gorgeous silver brocade gown. The best masters of the country had started to create Alexandra’s coronation outfit a year before that day. The brocade was made at the best silk-weaving  Russian factory of Sapozhnikov family, well-known all over the world. Nuns of one Moscow monastery were engaged in making the embroidery in Old-Russian fashion. The gown was embroidered with silver and decorated with seed pearls. It weighed 10 kilos and the mantle weighed 13 kilos — so, being the last Russian empress was a heavy burden right from the beginning.





In 1897 the famed jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé presented a special Easter “Coronational” egg, one of the most splendid things he had ever created – the magnificent piece of art with a tiny golden carriage inside, glowing with gold, diamonds and mountain crystal.


The menu for noble guests was just real jam, and apart from traditional things they could treat themselves to  jellied partridges, turtle soup and little chickens.


Even though in was more than 110 years ago, now we can witness what was going on around on that day – one of the oldest documentaries ever grants us with an opportunity to peer into the ceremony.

Photo credits – 1, 2-5, 6, 7-13

Anna Rudenko

20 thoughts on “Coronation of Nicolas II”

      • LOL, Brits are by far not the most attractive people in Europe…

        He looked good because he was of Slavic/German blood, not a drop of Jewish, Caucasian, or for that matter INDIAN blood.

      • british ancestry? lets see..
        wife – german/british
        mother – danish/german
        fathers mother – german/french
        grandfathers mother – german
        great-grandfathers mother – german
        great-great-grandfathers mother /Catherine II the great) – german
        go up one step and again we have a german mother and – oh look a russian! – a half german/half russian father


  2. How comes the post does not mention that there were many people crushed to death during the coronation in a crowd which gathered for free souvenirs (AFAIK tea mugs). I saw one of them in a cabinet of curiosities.

  3. He never came to Astrakan and that is why he is not liked here. A leech feasting on the poor and the unpriviliged (almost everybody). Actually, a lot like today rulers! Difference is people are now also numbed and robbed of entreprenurial sparkle because of 70 years of communism. Skilled and motivated ones left to US or UK! Like proven in previous post ! Remember GOOGLE man BRIN!!! Russia needs to wake up and DO something!!1 Just sitting there and talking about We do things different here is not good enough!!! Everybody knows that!!Now produce something!! Change the world a little, not just leeching!!!

  4. Re: The Portrait of the Tsarevna. How could they have been working on her silk brocade gown for “a year”? Tsar Alexander died suddenly and Alexandra and Nicholas had to get married in a hurry soon after and were crowned soon after that. They had just a few weeks to get ready.

  5. OMG! its all so shiny! i wonder how much money gets spent on things like these?
    ( I’m living in England, we still have royalty but its useless.)

  6. Thank you for this site. Bozhye Strana Tsarya! So the Russians visiting here will know, your late Tsar and his wife and family have exerted a strange pull on people throughout the world who become familiar with them and their story. Theirs is a sublime tragedy frozen in time and ageless. Like our Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, their brutal deaths confer upon them earthly immortality and the love of people far and wide. May they rest in peace.

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