Member of royal Romanov family to attend church service to commemorate Nicholas II

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ST. PETERSBURG, July 15 (RIA Novosti, Maxim Nichiporenko) - Duke Dmitry Romanov, a member of the Russian Romanov dynasty, arrived here Friday to attend a church service to commemorate Emperor Nicholas II and his family members, canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

The service will be conducted on July 17 in a church at Peter and Paul Fortress, where the remains of the last Russian tsar's family members, killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918, were buried.

Romanov visits St. Petersburg, once the Russian empire's capital, every July to attend the service.

The duke is expected to donate a 19th century icon of Christ the Savior, which belonged to the Romanovs, to the Easter Sunday Cathedral, currently under reconstruction, near the oldest cemetery, Smolenskoye.

The Romanovs for Russia Foundation co-headed by Dmitry Romanov will hand over equipment to a local kindergarten for blind and partially blind children and to the rehabilitation center for the visually impaired.

The duke was born in France on May 17, 1926. He is Tsar Nicholas I's agnatic great-grandson.

In 1992, he co-founded the Romanovs for Russia Foundation and became its co-chairman. He visited Russia five times between 1993 and 1995.

In July 1998, he was present at the burial of Nicholas II and his family here.

The duke is opposed to resurrecting monarchy in Russia and believes Russia needs a democratically elected president.

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