The Home of the Last Tsar - Romanov and Russian History

History - Program for the Funeral of Emperor Alexander III, 1984.

English | Russian | Русский | Francais

The Burial Program of Tsar Alexander III

English Translation by Robert Moshein, © 2005


The archives have recently acquired a very rare and pristine copy of the official program for the Funeral of Emperor Alexander III. Not intended as a souvenir as such, it was a schedule of events so that all participants knew where to go and what to do. It is a simple black leather portfolio, stamped with the Imperial Eagle in silver, with a stamped border in silver and lined in white moiré silk. The condition was so good, we felt it safe to scan the original Russian and French pages, Russian version, French Version.




The day which has been fixed for the funeral of the late His Majesty Emperor Alexander III shall be announced by a notice from the Grand Master of Ceremonies and proclaimed throughout the city, with the usual ceremony, by the heralds in all parts of the city of St. Petersburg.


The day of the funeral, at the signal of three cannon shots, shall gather, at 10:30 in the morning, at the Cathedral of the Apostle Saints Peter and Paul: The Holy Synod, the High Clergy, the Grand Mistress of the Court, the Ladies of Honor, the Portrait Maidens of Honor and the Maidens of Honor of HER MAJESTY THE EMPRESS, the Ladies of the Court of the Grand Duchesses and the Ladies of the foreign courts, the Council of the Empire, the Ministers, the Senators, the First and Second Tchins of the IMPERIAL Court, the Secretaries of State and the Honorary Curates, the General Aides-de-Camp, the Major Generals of the Suite and the Aides-de-Camp of HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR; the military suites of the AUGUST FOREIGN SOVEREIGNS, the Foreign Princes and THE GRAND DUKES, The General Officers, the Admirals, as well as the dignitaries of the Empire and the Ladies of the three first classes, the Superior Officers and subalterns designated by HIS IMPERIAL HIGHNESS the Commander in Chief of the guard troops and the military conscription of St. Petersburg; the Governor of St. Petersburg and the Governors of other provinces, the Marshall of the Nobility of St. Petersburg and the other governments, gathered in St. Petersburg and, under special authorization, the military and civil deputations arriving in St. Petersburg; the Mayor of the city of St. Petersburg; a deputation of the notables of Commerce; the presidents of the zemstvo of St. Petersburg, as well as those of the zemstvo of the other governments and the personal servants of the late EMPEROR. Two heralds shall be places at the entrance of the cathedral.


The Dipomatic Corps, invited by the Grand Master of Ceremonies as well as the representatives and deputations of the Soverigns and the foreign governments, taking their place to the right of the casket.


The troops designted by HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY will occupy their positions to which they shall be assigned.


THEIR MAJESTIES THE EMPEROR, THE EMPRESS and THE AUGUST SOVEREIGNS, the Foreign Princes and THE GRAND DUKES and GRAND DUCHESSES, shall be received at their entry into the cathedral by His Eminence Monseigneur the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and of Ladoga and the Members of the Holy Synod with the Holy Cross and Holy Water. Once THEIR MAJESTIES have taken THEIR places, His Eminence the Metropolitan assisted by the High Clergy, will pronounce the prayers for the dead and proceed with the service, according to the ritual of the orthodox Church appropriate to the AUGUST MAJESTY of the SOVEREIGN.


After these prayers, the AUGUST PERSONS will approch the coffin to salute the Body and render their last services to the mortal remains of the late EMPEROR.

Before lifting of the Body, the funeral cloth will be lifted by eight Major-Generals from the Suite of HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR and laid in the Sanctuary.

HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR will approach the coffin to fold the IMPERIAL cloak on the mortal remains.

Eight General Aides-de-Camp will bring the cover of the coffin. When the coffin shall be closed they will lift the coffin with HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR, the AUGUST SOVEREIGNS, the Foreign Princes, the Members of the IMPERIAL Family and with the Minister of the IMPERIAL Court, the General Aides-de-Camp and the First Tchin of the Court.

Preceded by the Metropolitan and the Clergy, the coffin will be brought to the tomb and after absolution, lowered into the burial vault.


At that moment, the troops as well as the artillery of the fortress shall render by salvos the final military honors to HIS MAJESTY ALEXANDER III, EMPEROR of all Russias, of Glorious and Permanent Memory.


The flag of mourning, raised above the fortress will be replaced with the ordinary flag.

IX The honor guard stationed next to the Body of the late EMPEROR will stay in the cathedral until the tomb shall be sealed.


The day of the funeral, the Insignias of the Empire will be brought from the cathedral of the Apostle Saints Peter and Paul to the IMPERIAL Winter Palace, with the following ceremony:
1. Four trumpets from the Horse Guards regiment
2. Two platoons from the same regiment
3. An officer from the IMPERIAL Stables, on horseback, followed by three grooms
4. Four Gentlemen of the Chamber in a carriage drawn by four horses
5. Four Chamberlains in a carriage drawn by four horses
6. Two Masters of Ceremonies in an open carriage, drawn by four horses
7. The Grand Master of Ceremonies in an open carriage, drawn by four horses
8. An officer of the IMPERIAL Stables on horseback
9. Two under-equerries, followed by three grooms, on horseback
10. An open carriage, drawn by four horses, for the IMPERIAL Standard
11. Eleven carriages of four places, drawn by four horses, for the IMPERIAL Insignias, each preceded by two couriers on horseback and each escorted alongside by two under-officers of the horse Guards
12. Two squadrons from the horse Guards

The cortége will enter into the Court of Honor of the Winter Palace and shall halt at the Ambassadors' steps; the guard will render the military honors.

The Insignias, being brought into the St. George's Hall, escorted by two Palace grenadiers, and preceded by equerries of the Chamber, and two equerries of the Court, by twenty grenadiers of the Palace company, as well as by the Gentlemen of the Chamber, the Chamberlains and the Masters of Ceremonies who took part in the cortége, as well as the Grand Master of Ceremonies. At the entrance to the St. George's Hall, the Insignias shall be given to the Grand Marshall and to the Marshall of the Court.

Under special order of HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR, the Crown, the Scepter and the IMPERIAL Orb shall be transported into the Hall of Diamonds by the persons designated for this task, preceded by the Grand Marshall and Marshall of the Court.

The other IMPERIAL Insignias will be in the St. George's Hall, the doors of the Hall shall be guarded by two sentinels from the Palace Grenadiers company.

Signed: The Minister of the House of HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR,
Count Voronsov-Dashkov

Please send your comments on this page and the Time Machine to Rob Moshein

Palace Archives

WMF Report
Diaries and Letters
Murder of the Imperial Family
Travel Guides
Romanov Archives

Seraphim Mosaic in Hagia Sophia

This page from the Hagia Sophia website is about the famous 15th century image of angel on the left side of the apse whose face was recently uncovered

Rognvald Lord of Orkney - Voyage to Kievan Rus

Here is an article about my ancestor, the Earls of Orkney, and his trip to Kiev, capital of ancient Russ when it ws ruled by Vikings

Charles Cameron - Imperial Architect
Memories of Aleksei Volkov
Lost Splendor by Felix Yussupov