The Jewels of the Romanovs
“Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”. Winston Churchill.
…as enigmatic is the destiny of the most spectacular private Royal Collection of the World: The Romanovs Jewels.
Today, in the history books, everything fits. An immense country with a feudal agrarian structure until the nineteenth century, a revolt crushed to gunfire twelve years before and decades of the phantom of communism touring Europe. On the other hand, when the key events of the Russian Revolution were unfolding, the last Tsarist dynasty understood almost nothing. They were sure that everything will pass and come back to normality, how many insurrections, revolutions, the disagreement had seeing the Imperial Crown, the brooches, the bracelets, the earrings, each diamond in each piece. This will pass too, are not diamonds the most resistance gem in nature?
It’s a tradition an important part of the coronation story, that the czar crowns himself in the coronation, and that is the moment when he takes full power, but near to the tragic time the Tzar was not in control of what was going to happen. In April 1918, the communist revolution is half a year old; Russia has left the First World War but is immersed in a civil war. The Romanovs (the royal family of Nicholas II) are transferred to the city of Yekaterinburg, and from here what happens to the Romanov’s family is more clear that in compare to what happens to the Crown Russia Jewels, the great jewels of Russia even before Catherine the Great, the most magnificent jewelry collection in Europe History.
On the night of July 16-17, 1918, the Royal Romanov family was taken by surprise to a basement, as described in the essay The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore. “Why is there no chair here? Is it prohibited to sit?” Alejandra asked. Yákov Yurovski, the member of the Ural Soviet who executed the murder order of the seven Romanovs, read a piece of paper: “Nikolai Aleksandrovich, in view of your relatives continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Executive Committee of the Urals has decided your execution and that of your family.” The Tsar, bewildered, asked to hear it again.
Yurovski reread the text and Nicolas II stammered: “what? What?” “This!” Settled Yurovski as he opened fire. “The Romanovs were completely calm, they did not suspect anything”. If the Orlov diamond could take, the magnificent gem of the Grand Crown maybe it would tell us that the worst kind of sad is not being able to explain why? The diamonds, the pearls, the emeralds the rubies of this magnificent collection felt as tears that need to be written for be remember as long as a gem can last.
…the Vladimir Tiara, the Imperial Glove, the Imperial Nuptial Crown, even a simple piece in comparison to the rest of the collection like the diamond girdle with two tassels, a diamond accented fan, and several examples of Rivieres (necklaces made of gemstones of the same kind that are all the same size and shape or graduate smoothly in size) with stones of such intriguing brilliance that even in black and white pictures the impact was undeniable, all those magnificent symbols, all that collection build with and by the hand of history are going to change with the new course of Russia history, a change that will bring forever a kind of grieve for all the country and with the last Romanov descendants until last year when, the Supreme established that the royal family was murdered and was a crime.
The verdict was welcomed by the Russian Imperial House, headed by the Grand Duchess Maria Románova, resident in Spain and who claimed since 2005 the rehabilitation of the Tsar. She explains: “I am very happy about that decision because justice has been done and the matter has been put to an end”. The Russian Orthodox Church, who canonized the Tsar in 2000 as a “martyr of communism” and who demanded the Russian state to do “historical justice” and condemn the assassination committed by the Bolsheviks, has also applauded the ruling.
Which pieces made it out of the Revolution and into Europe intact? Which were pulled apart by the government and sold as stones? Which of the ones sewn into their clothing blunted the Bolsheviks bullets? Where are they all now? Which one will be the magnitude of the Orlov Diamond as a symbol today is was a Romanov descendant to tsar ruling Russia today?
Was it clear that even at this moment, historical symbols, because the Romanov Jewelry Collection was the Russia Jewelry Crown Collection were the symbols of an Empire are apart or some just disappear reminding us that sometimes exist things that cannot be undone? Symbols, jewelry, gems, metals, have their way to talk, the Russia Jewelry Crown is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.