Details showing the ladies of the Imperial house and entourage from a painting by V. Polyakov: “Speech by Emperor Nicholas II on the opening of the State Duma".
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna noted the event down in her diary:
“A day full of emotions!! And hopes for a better future!! Thank God, everything went off splendidly and with great solemnity - just as it should.Mama got dressed upstairs, while Olga sat with us. Then we went to Nicky and Alix. The family were waiting in the rooms. The procession began at a quarter to two. Nicky walked alone, the crown and regalia were carried in front of him. In the Armoury Hall there were many society ladies with a large crowd of other people. From there the grand duchesses went through the Romanov gallery into the St. George Hall, where we took our places on a platform to the right of the throne. We were joined by the ladies-in-waiting, Mama, Alix and the duty guard. The Te Deum had already begun. Directly opposite us were the members of the Council of State and high officials, to the left the members of the Duma, who included several men with repulsive faces and insolent disdainful expressions! They neither crossed themselves nor bowed, but stood with their hands behind their backs or in their pockets, looking sombrely at everyone and everything.
But among the peasants there were such wonderful faces, as well as several soldiers from the St. George cavlary, the Cossacks, etc. After the Te Deum Mama and Alix stood in front of us on the platform, with the grand dukes next to us on the steps of the throne - then Nicky mounted the steps and sat on the throne.He did this with such simplicity, yet at the same time it was such a solemn moment! After this Count Fredericks handed him the speech, which he read standing, in a loud steady voice. Every word penetrated the sould - tears welled up in the throat.We all experienced an incredible emotion, it’s difficult to convey what we felt. It was a great historical moment, unforgettable for those who witnessed it. He spoke so well, saying just what was needed, asking everyone to come to his aid. When he finished, a cheer broke out, which was taken up by everyone including in the other halls - it sounded magnificent. The choir sang the anthem (it was all terribly emotional!)We returned in the same order. I walked with Boris. Mama and Alix were crying and poor Nicky was standing there in tears - his self control finally overcome, he could not hold back his tears!“
Tsesarevich Nicholas with his sister Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna and Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, 1894.
Nicky, Diary - 12 January 1894 - St Petersburg
A beautiful, wonderful day! What a difference between the morning and the evening. At 11 o’clock went as usual to the battalion. Uncle Misha [Sandro’s father] had luncheon with us. After this, when we had left, he asked Papa and Mama for Xenia’s hand on behalf of Sandro. It all turned out in the best possible way: Papa and Mama consented. At 4.30 Sandro came to see Xenia and they went up together to see Papa and ama. Uncle Misha was sitting with me at the time. We also went up and blessed them there in the bedroom by the icons. After an agonizing wait of three years, Xenia and Sandros engagement happened in such an unexpected way. I am thrilled! They both look very happy. Telegrams flew to all corners of the world.
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia’s younger son Guri strongly resembled his uncle Michael and cousin Maria, both of whom were murdered in the summer of 1918, nearly a year before Guri was born. It appears that Guri’s daughter Xenia has inherited the Romanov genes as well.
The Romanovs and their British cousins : Tsesarevich Nicholas, Prince Albert Victor of Wales, Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, Prince George of Wales, Princess Maud of Wales, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich and Alexander III.