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The magnificent Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of all the Russias in the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin on this day in 1896, which was the last coronation of Russian Tsar. After a lavish processional entry into Moscow, the ceremony began with the Emperor, Empress, and Dowager Empress seated on historic thrones in the middle of the Cathedral, with the ceremony was presided over by Metropolitan Palladium of St. Petersburg, after which the Emperor and Empress were anointed and then took communion of the Holy Mysteries at the altar. Afterwards, there was a Banquet at the Palace of Facets and a masked Ball at the Kremlin two days later. However, other Coronation festivities resulted in the Khodynka Tragedy, and the deaths of over 1000 people in a stampede, that was seen as a bad omen for a reign that ended during WWI, and led to the assassination of the Imperial Family.
The Tsar described the festivities in his Diary:
May 13th. Monday.
We woke up with wonderful weather. Unfortunately I did not have time to take a walk because of the reports of Lobanov and Goremykin. Went to dinner at 11 o’clock. Breakfast with Mom and D. Fredy. We walked with them. We are very sorry to leave Alexandria; exactly that minute when the weather became summer and the green began to grow rapidly. At 3 1/2 we left for Moscow and settled in the Kremlin in our former rooms. I had to take the whole army of retinues of the princes who had come. At 7 o’clock we went with the whole family to the all-night vigil to “I will save for the golden lattice”. Dined at 8 1/2 Mom and left early to her. Confessed in the bedroom. May the merciful Lord God help us, may he support us tomorrow and bless on peace-working life !!! ✙
May 14th. Tuesday.
Great, solemn, but heavy in a moral sense, for Alix, mom and me, day. From 8 am they were on their feet; and our procession began only in 1/2 10. The weather was fortunately wondrous; the Red Porch represented a radiant look. All this happened in the Assumption Cathedral, although it seems like a real dream, but do not forget all my life !!! Returned to his half past one. At 3 o’clock the same procession went again in the Faceted Chamber to the meal. At 4 o’clock everything ended quite well; a soul full of gratitude to God, i completely rested afterwards. Dined with Mom, which fortunately stood the whole test. At 9 o’clock went to the upper balcony, where did Alix ignite the electric illumination on Ivan the Great and then the towers and walls of the Kremlin were lit up consistently, as well as the opposite embankment and Zamoskvorechye.
We went to bed early.
Alongside the entire Romanov Family and the various Russian Noble Families, there were a plethora of Royal Guests and Relatives from around the world, including the Duke (uncle of the Empress) and Duchess of Connaught (in Queen Victoria’s Turkish Diamonds) representing Queen Victoria, the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (uncle and aunt of both the Emperor and Empress, wearing her Fringe Tiara and Bolin Ruby Parure), the Grand Duke (brother of the Empress) and Grand Duchess of Hesse (cousin and sister-in-law, wearing the Hesse Strawberry Leaf Tiara), Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (uncle of the Tsar), Crown Prince Ferdinand and and Crown Princess Marie of Romania (cousin), Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden and Norway, Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg (brother-in-law and sister), and Prince Henry of Prussia (brother-in-law).