1903 Ball in the Winter Palace

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Nicholas II and Alexandra

1903 Ball in the Winter Palace (Russian: Костюмированный бал 1903 года) — the famous luxurious ball during the reign of the emperor Nicholas II of Russia in the Winter Palace, St.-Petersburg (February 11 and 13). All the visitors were in fancy dresses on a fashion of 17th century (times of Alexis of Russia, 2nd tsar from Romanov dynasty).

Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovitch recalled the occasion as "the last spectacular ball in the history of the empire...[but] a new and hostile Russia glared through the large windows of the palace...while we danced, the workers were striking and the clouds in the Far East were hanging dangerously low."[1] The entire Imperial family, the Tsar as Alexei I, the Tsaritsa as Maria Miloslavskaya, all dressed in rich 17th century attire, posed in the Hermitage's theatre, many wearing priceless original items brought specially from the Kremlin,[2] for what was to be their final photograph together.[3]


  1. ^ Andrei Maylunas, Segei Mironenko (1996). A Lifelong Passion. London: Orian Publishing Group Ltd. ISBN 0-297-81520-2., p. 226
  2. ^ Maylunas, p. 227
  3. ^ Kurth, Peter (1995). Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra. London: Little, Brown and Company (UK) Ltd. ISBN 0-316-50787-3., p. 64