A seven and a half tonne granite monument has been unveiled in Jubilee Part, East Cowes on the Isle of Wight to mark the centenary of the deaths of the Russian Imperial Family at the hands of the Bolsheviks. The memorial stands close to Osborne House which was visited by the Romanov family in the early twentieth century, before the outbreak of World War One.
The Imperial Family spent time on the island in 1909 where they watched the Cowes Week yachting regatta. Tsar Nicholas II and his family also visited Barton Manor and Quarr Abbey during their time on the island as guests of Edward VII.
The memorial was a gift to the island from members of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society. The monument’s unveiling ceremony – part of a weekend of commemorative events on the island – was attended by descendants of the Romanovs, Russian Orthodox bishops and a choir from Minsk, Belarus.
East Cowes councillor Karl Love observed that “history was made” in the town and so the memorial is a fitting tribute to the past shared between the island and the Romanov family.
Event organiser David Hill said that he hopes the monument will bring visitors and pilgrims from around the world” adding that “History hasn’t always portrayed him well, but we thought it was important history is remembered and that Tsar was recognised here in Cowes where he spent happy times.”
Tsar Nicholas II and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks on the night of 17 July 1918. They were buried in unmarked graves, and though some remains were discovered in 1979, the find was concealed until the fall of communism. It was not until 1991 that the graves were excavated and five of the family members were given a state funeral. Remains of the two remaining children were found in 2007 but remain unburied pending addition examinations.