Inside the glittering gala of Russia’s first ‘royal wedding’ since the revolution

Russia held its first royal wedding since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution toppled the Romanov monarchy, with royals from across Europe attending the lavish ceremony on Friday. The Russian Grand Duke George Romanov, 40, announced his engagement to his long term Italian girlfriend Rebecca Bettarini, 39, after a Christmas proposal and, yesterday, the couple said their vows at the Saint Isaac's cathedral in the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg in the presence of dozens of royals.

Russia held its first royal wedding since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution toppled the Romanov monarchy, with royals from across Europe attending the lavish ceremony on Friday. The Russian Grand Duke George Romanov, 40, announced his engagement to his long term Italian girlfriend Rebecca Bettarini, 39, after a Christmas proposal and, yesterday, the couple said their vows at the Saint Isaac’s cathedral in the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg in the presence of dozens of royals.

The bride donned a stunning white satin gown that featured a high neck, long sleeves and a billowing skirt, as well as a glittering diamond tiara, which was designed by Chaumet, official jeweler to Empress Joséphine and Napoléon. A tribute to the St Petersburg naval base, the piece was created to evoke the volume of a sail blown by the wind.

The bride donned a stunning white satin gown that featured a high neck, long sleeves and a billowing skirt, as well as a glittering diamond tiara, which was designed by Chaumet, official jeweler to Empress Joséphine and Napoléon. A tribute to the St Petersburg naval base, the piece was created to evoke the volume of a sail blown by the wind.

The bride later changed into a second stunning gown, a fairytale crystal embellished gown, with a satin coat featuring statement puffed sleeves over the top, as she arrived for the evening gala at the Russian Museum of Ethnography on the arm of her diplomat father Roberto Bettarini.

The bride later changed into a second stunning gown, a fairytale crystal embellished gown, with a satin coat featuring statement puffed sleeves over the top, as she arrived for the evening gala at the Russian Museum of Ethnography on the arm of her diplomat father Roberto Bettarini.

Victoria Romanovna Bettarini accompanied by her father, Roberto Bettarini, arrives to attend a dinner after her wedding with Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov in Saint Petersburg.

Victoria Romanovna Bettarini accompanied by her father, Roberto Bettarini, arrives to attend a dinner after her wedding with Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov in Saint Petersburg.

The bride donned a stunning white satin gown which featured a high neck, long sleeves and a billowing skirt, as well as a glittering diamond tiara

Hundreds of foreign guests traveled to the second city for the religious ceremony, including Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Rudolph and Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein, and the former king and queen of Bulgaria.

Grand Duke George Romanov, 40, has tied the knot with his long term Italian girlfriend Rebecca Bettarini, 39, in Saint Petersburg today

Pictured: The bride in her stunning white satin gown with a high neck, long sleeves and a billowing skirt, as well as a glittering diamond tiara.

Glowing with pride! Mother-of-the-groom Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia cut a resplendent figure in a blue jacket and headpiece with fur trim.

Glowing with pride! Mother-of-the-groom Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia cut a resplendent figure in a blue jacket and headpiece with fur trim.

Quick change! After wearing a blue skirt and coat to the religious ceremony, the mother of the groom Duchess Maria Vladimirovna changed into a golden gown with rich floral embroidery and wrapped up in a fur stole for the evening festivities.

Quick change! After wearing a blue skirt and coat to the religious ceremony, the mother of the groom Duchess Maria Vladimirovna changed into a golden gown with rich floral embroidery and wrapped up in a fur stole for the evening festivities.

he wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, and Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy at St Isaac's Cathedral.

he wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, and Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy at St Isaac’s Cathedral.

After the religious ceremony, the bride changed into a fairytale-inspired second wedding dress (pictured with her father Roberto) embellished with crystals to continue the celebrations at an evening gala at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

After the religious ceremony, the bride changed into a fairytale-inspired second wedding dress (pictured with her father Roberto) embellished with crystals to continue the celebrations at an evening gala at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

A cake mockup is delivered at the Russian Museum of Ethnography for a reception marking the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, and Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy.

A cake mockup is delivered at the Russian Museum of Ethnography for a reception marking the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, and Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy.

Romanov said that the couple chose the city as the venue for tying the knot because it was the first place in the country where the family returned in the early 1990s.

Romanov said that the couple chose the city as the venue for tying the knot because it was the first place in the country where the family returned in the early 1990s.

Rebecca Bettarini and father Roberto Bettarini Gala for the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

Rebecca Bettarini and father Roberto Bettarini Gala for the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, is seen prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography marking his wedding.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, is seen prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography marking his wedding.

Rebecca Bettarini of Italy is accompanied by her father, diplomat Roberto Bettarini prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Rebecca Bettarini of Italy is accompanied by her father, diplomat Roberto Bettarini prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Hundreds of foreign guests travelled to the second city for the religious ceremony, including Queen Sofia of Spain , Prince Rudolph and Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein, and the former king and queen of Bulgaria.

Hundreds of foreign guests travelled to the second city for the religious ceremony, including Queen Sofia of Spain , Prince Rudolph and Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein, and the former king and queen of Bulgaria.

The couple said their vows at the Saint Isaac's cathedral in the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg in the presence of dozens of royals.

The couple said their vows at the Saint Isaac’s cathedral in the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg in the presence of dozens of royals.

Tense moment: The groom couldn't completely hide his nerves as he stood with clenched fists at the top of the aisle, awaiting his bride

Tense moment: The groom couldn’t completely hide his nerves as he stood with clenched fists at the top of the aisle, awaiting his bride.

Glowing with pride: The groom's mother Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna beamied with happiness as she arrived for the ceremony in a fur-trimmed ensemble

Glowing with pride: The groom’s mother Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna beamed with happiness as she arrived for the ceremony in a fur-trimmed ensemble.

Pictured: Rebecca poses for another photo with her diplomat father on the steps of their reception.

Pictured: Rebecca poses for another photo with her diplomat father on the steps of their reception. 

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov Gala for the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov Gala for the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

Russia Federation Council member Lyudmila Narusova arrives for a reception marking the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, and Rebecca Bettarini of Italy.

Russia Federation Council member Lyudmila Narusova arrives for a reception marking the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, and Rebecca Bettarini of Italy.

Joachim Murat, Prince of Pontecorvo, a member of the Bonaparte-Murat family, and his wife Yasmine Lorraine Briki arrive for a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Joachim Murat, Prince of Pontecorvo, a member of the Bonaparte-Murat family, and his wife Yasmine Lorraine Briki arrive for a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Democrat Youth Community of Europe (DEMYC) Chairman Javier Hurtado Mira and his date arrive for the reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Democrat Youth Community of Europe (DEMYC) Chairman Javier Hurtado Mira and his date arrive for the reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Meanwhile, bridesmaids at the event opted for a velvet green dress with medieval style puff sleeves (pictured together).

Meanwhile, bridesmaids at the event opted for a velvet green dress with medieval style puff sleeves (pictured together).

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov Gala for the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov Gala for the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

All that glitters! The groom's mother donned a diamond tiara for the evening festivities as she arrived on the arm of a male companion

All that glitters! The groom’s mother donned a diamond tiara for the evening festivities as she arrived on the arm of a male companion.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, is seen prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography marking his wedding.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, is seen prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography marking his wedding.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, is seen prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography marking his wedding in Saint Petersburg, on October 1.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, is seen prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography marking his wedding in Saint Petersburg, on October 1.

Russia held its first royal wedding on October 1 since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution toppled the Romanov monarchy, with royals coming to attend the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Rebecca Virginia Bettarini.

Russia held its first royal wedding on October 1 since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution toppled the Romanov monarchy, with royals coming to attend the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Rebecca Virginia Bettarini.

A cake mockup is delivered at the Russian Museum of Ethnography for a reception marking the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, and Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy.

A cake mockup is delivered at the Russian Museum of Ethnography for a reception marking the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, and Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy.

Viktoria Shelyagova is seen prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography on October 1.

Viktoria Shelyagova is seen prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography on October 1.

Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy is accompanied by her father, diplomat Roberto Bettarini prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography marking her wedding.

Rebecca (Victoria) Bettarini of Italy is accompanied by her father, diplomat Roberto Bettarini prior to a reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography marking her wedding.

Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and Isabel de Heredia Gala for the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini at St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and Isabel de Heredia Gala for the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Count of Ampudia, Borja Casans y Castillejo de Arteaga, and his wife, Alejandra Castellanos Tassara, arrive for the reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Count of Ampudia, Borja Casans y Castillejo de Arteaga, and his wife, Alejandra Castellanos Tassara, arrive for the reception at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia is accompanied by her Chancellery Advisor Kirill Nemirovich-Danchenko for the reception.

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia is accompanied by her Chancellery Advisor Kirill Nemirovich-Danchenko for the reception.

Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and Isabel de Heredia Gala attend the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and Isabel de Heredia Gala attend the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and Isabel de Heredia Gala attend the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and Isabel de Heredia Gala attend the imperial wedding of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini.

Albania's pretender to the throne, Crown Prince Leka Zogu II, the grandson of self-proclaimed King Zog and his wife Elia Zaharia arrive to attend the evening gala dinner

Albania’s pretender to the throne, Crown Prince Leka Zogu II, the grandson of self-proclaimed King Zog and his wife Elia Zaharia arrive to attend the evening gala dinner.

The beaming bride: Rebecca Bettarini looked stunning in an embellished bridal gown with a tulle skirt as she made her way into the evening reception

The beaming bride: Rebecca Bettarini looked stunning in an embellished bridal gown with a tulle skirt as she made her way into the evening reception.

Ready to party! The Grand Duchess cut a striking figure in a green and blue gown, accessorizing with a fur stole, a glittering tiara and a sparkling clutch bag.

Ready to party! The Grand Duchess cut a striking figure in a green and blue gown, accessorizing with a fur stole, a glittering tiara and a sparkling clutch bag.

Proud papa! The bride looked glamorous in a second wedding dress and puff sleeved jacket as her father led her into the evening reception, while passers-by stopped to admire her look.

Proud papa! The bride looked glamorous in a second wedding dress and puff sleeved jacket as her father led her into the evening reception, while passers-by stopped to admire her look.

Former Bulgarian King Simeon II and his wife Margarita arrive to attend a dinner during the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov, and Victoria Romanovna Bettarin

Former Bulgarian King Simeon II and his wife Margarita arrive to attend a dinner during the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov, and Victoria Romanovna Bettarin.

Here comes the bride! Rebecca donned another glittering tiara for the evening celebrations.

Here comes the bride! Rebecca donned another glittering tiara for the evening celebrations.

The Metropolitan Varsonofy of St Petersburg and Ladoga during the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia.

The Metropolitan Varsonofy of St Petersburg and Ladoga during the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia.

Family ties: The father-of-the bride (left) took his place near the groom's mother Grand Duchess Maria after walking his daughter down the aisle.

Family ties: The father-of-the bride (left) took his place near the groom’s mother Grand Duchess Maria after walking his daughter down the aisle.

After the ceremony, the couple shared an intimate moment in their wedding car as the Duke kissed Rebecca's hand

After the ceremony, the couple shared a moment in their wedding car.

The Grand Duke could be seen waving to the crowds as he held hands with his new bride and drove away from the wedding venue.

The Grand Duke could be seen waving to the crowds as he held hands with his new bride and drove away from the wedding venue.

The couple were greeted by a crowd and media who snapped pictures of the newlyweds moments after they tied the knot.

The couple were greeted by a crowd and media who snapped pictures of the newlyweds moments after they tied the knot.

Rebecca beamed widely as she waved to crowds waiting outside the cathedral shortly after the wedding with Grand Duke George.

Rebecca beamed widely as she waved to crowds waiting outside the cathedral shortly after the wedding with Grand Duke George.

Rebecca and Grand Duke George Romanov beamed as they walked out of the cathedral arm-in-arm after tying the knot

Rebecca and Grand Duke George Romanov beamed as they walked out of the cathedral arm-in-arm after tying the knot.

Romanov said that the couple chose the city as the venue for tying the knot because it was the first place in the country where the family returned in the early 1990s.

Romanov said that the couple chose the city as the venue for tying the knot because it was the first place in the country where the family returned in the early 1990s.

Helping hand! Guests fixed the bride's elaborate train while she posed for photos with her new husband after the wedding ceremony.

Helping hand! Guests fixed the bride’s elaborate train while she posed for photos with her new husband after the wedding ceremony.

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia arrives at St Isaac's Cathedral for her son's wedding. The mother-of-the groom carried a small box clutch to complement her fur trimmed outfit.

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia arrives at St Isaac’s Cathedral for her son’s wedding. The mother-of-the groom carried a small box clutch to complement her fur trimmed outfit.

Russian politician Lyudmila Narusova was among the guests at the wedding

Russian politician Lyudmila Narusova was among the guests at the wedding.

Many seemed wowed by their surroundings as they waited for the ceremony to begin

Many seemed wowed by their surroundings as they waited for the ceremony to begin.

Foreign royals in attendance at the event in Russia today included former Queen Margarita and Duke Duarte of Braganza

Foreign royals in attendance at the event in Russia included former Queen Margarita and Duke Duarte of Braganza.

Rebecca waved to crowds as she and her father arrived at the venue

Rebecca waved to crowds as she and her father arrived at the venue.

Later she joined her husband at the altar for the ceremony

Later, she joined her husband at the altar for the ceremony.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini attend their wedding ceremony at the Saint Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, on October 1.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini attend their wedding ceremony at the Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, on October 1.

Victoria and George looked overjoyed after exchanging vows in the ceremony earlier today

Victoria and Grand Duke George looked overjoyed after exchanging vows in the ceremony.

Victoria and George looked overjoyed after exchanging vows in the ceremony earlier today

Victoria and Grand Duke George looked overjoyed after exchanging vows in the ceremony.

The pair were surrounded by friends and family as they walked down the aisle at the wedding at Saint Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg.

The pair were surrounded by friends and family as they walked down the aisle at the wedding at Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg.

The bridal party, dressed in velvet green and orange gowns, could be seen carrying the lengthy train and veil of the gown (pictured).

The bridal party, dressed in velvet green and orange gowns, could be seen carrying the lengthy train and veil of the gown (pictured).

Crowds gathered outside the venue to wish the bride well as she arrived at the event with her father  Roberto (pictured).

Crowds gathered outside the venue to wish the bride well as she arrived at the event with her father  Roberto (pictured).

Victoria Romanovna Bettarini arrives accompanied by her father, Roberto, or her wedding ceremony with Grand Duke George Mikhailovich.

Victoria Romanovna Bettarini arrives accompanied by her father, Roberto, or her wedding ceremony with Grand Duke George Mikhailovich.

Russian lawyer and politician Pavel Astakhov and wife Svetlana were among the guests who attended the big event in the city today

Russian lawyer and politician Pavel Astakhov and wife Svetlana were among the guests who attended the big event in the city.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov could be seen smiling as he arrived for his wedding ceremony to Victoria Romanovna Bettarini at St. Isaac's Cathedral.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov could be seen smiling as he arrived for his wedding ceremony to Victoria Romanovna Bettarini at St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

Guests opted for extravagant velvet gowns and over-the-top fascinators and headpieces as they arrived at the ceremony.

Guests opted for extravagant velvet gowns and over-the-top fascinators and headpieces as they arrived at the ceremony.

The couple said their vows at the Saint Isaac's cathedral in the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg in the presence of dozens of royals.

The couple said their vows at the Saint Isaac’s cathedral in the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg in the presence of dozens of royals.

The Russian Grand Duke George Romanov married his long term girlfriend Rebecca  in a lavish ceremony after a Christmas proposal.

The Russian Grand Duke George Romanov married his long term girlfriend Rebecca  in a lavish ceremony after a Christmas proposal.

The Grand Duke announced his engagement to his long term Italian girlfriend after a Christmas proposal (pictured in Moscow)

The couple met as youngsters, with Rebecca often accompanying her father to official receptions where they crossed paths.

The couple met as youngsters, with Rebecca often accompanying her father to official receptions where they crossed paths.  Later, they both started working in international companies and met again at a reception at the French embassy in Brussels (pictured together)

Later, they both started working in international companies and met again at a reception at the French embassy in Brussels.

The 39-year-old son of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia proposed to Italian lobbyist and writer Rebecca in December, after asking her parents for their blessing.

The 39-year-old son of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia proposed to Italian lobbyist and writer Rebecca in December, after asking her parents for their blessing.

Rebecca shared snaps alongside the Grand Duke on her Instagram page, and said she was looking forward to a life of 'love, suspense and adventure'.

Rebecca shared snaps alongside the Grand Duke on her Instagram page, and said she was looking forward to a life of ‘love, suspense and adventure’.

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