Romanov rumblings: Russia’s opulent ‘royal wedding’ sparks probe after army honor guard attends to perform ‘sword dance’ – reports

Romanov rumblings: Russia’s opulent ‘royal wedding’ sparks probe after army honor guard attends to perform ‘sword dance’ – reports

An official investigation is reportedly underway after the Russian military’s Guard of Honor took part in the wedding of a descendant of the country’s former royals, drawing their sabers outside the cathedral in St. Petersburg.

On Monday, Moscow’s Regnum news site reported that officials in Russia’s second city had begun looking into the presence of one of the detachments of the country’s military at the first Romanov wedding, inside the country, for over 100 years.

Photos of the event show military personnel standing to attention inside the venue with guests of the newlyweds, Grand Duke George Romanov and his Italian spouse Victoria Bettarini, snapping shots of the active servicemen. Another photograph from the elaborate ceremony shows the soldiers making a tunnel over the married couple with their swords held high above them as they exit.

Soon after the photos of the big day were released, criticisms of the armed forces’ presence at the wedding began flooding in across social media. Military journalist Vladislav Shurygin wrote: “When did the Guard of Honor Company start working as ‘call boys’ at parties of all kinds of political scoundrels? Or is that the fashion now? Or has someone paid good money for this saber dance?”

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Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini arrive for their wedding ceremony at Saint Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, on October 1, 2021. © AFP / Olga MALTSEVA; Video: Ruptly
Romanov romance: Russia holds first royal marriage in more than a century as relative of murdered tsar ties knot in St. Petersburg

Hundreds of attendees from Russia and overseas came to witness the extravagant two-day affair, which took place just over a century after the groom’s relatives, Tsar Nicholas II and his family, were killed by a Bolshevik firing squad in Ekaterinburg, effectively marking the end of the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty.

According to the Western Military District’s press service, the separate rifle company of the Guard of Honor is intended for the welcoming and departure of members of state, government and the military, as well as city-wide events.

The military commandant’s office in St. Petersburg has declined to comment on the presence of the Guard of Honor at the wedding, Russian news site Znak reports.

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