The bridal couple: who are George and Rebecca?

Marriages News
Photo & Copyright: Imperial Foundation

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia

Born: Madrid, Spain, 13 March 1981 as son of Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia and His Royal Highness Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia (1943), who took the name of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich of Russia upon his marriage 1976 (divorce 1985). George was baptized at the Orthodox Church of Ss. Andrew and Demetrius in Madrid on 6 May 1981. His godfather was the former King Constantine II of Greece, also attending were former King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain. As heir to the Russian throne he holds the title of Zarevich (Tsesarevich) since 1992.

He spent part of his childhood in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer in France, where his maternal grandparents lived, and later in Paris, France, and Madrid, Spain.

Education: He completed his studies at the English Runnymede College in Madrid. He studied Law at the College St Benet’s Hall in Oxford. He was raised in the full awareness of his duties to Russia, and could finally visit the country in April 1992, when his grandfather Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich was buried, who had been head of the family since 1938. He took his dynastic oath to Russia and his mother on 9 April 1997 in Jerusalem during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His first solo visit to Russia was in 2006.

Work: George worked for the European Parliament and the cabinet of the Commissioner for Transport and Energy of the European Commissioner Loyala de Palacio. 2005 he worked in the Directorate General for Energy and Atomic Safety (EURATOM) in Luxembourg. Late 2008 he became Director of European Affairs for the Russian Norilsk Nickel Group. 2012 he took the position of CEO of Metal Trade Overseas, became head of the sales department, and moved to Zug, Switzerland. Upon returning to Brussels, Belgium, in 2014 he founded his business consultancy firm Romanoff and Partners, which represents the interests of Russian and East European companies in the European Union. He is also the president of the Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce for Russia and Belarus.

On the 400th anniversary of the coronation of the first Romanoff czar in 2013 he launched the Imperial Russian Foundation to promote charitable initiatives in Russia. He also participates in many institutional initiatives and is in charge of carrying out various charitable activities and provides assistance and advice to Russian companies that work with the European Union. He is Chairman of the Board of FoodBank Rus.

Personal interests: George since 2017 spends most of his time in Russia and nowadays lives in the centre of Moscow. He speaks Russian, English, Spanish, French and Italian. He is interested in the military, enjoys sports, is an excellent marksman.

Photo & Copyright: Imperial Foundation

Rebecca Virginia Bettarini

Born: Rome, Italy, on 18 May 1982, as only daughter of Roberto Bettarini and Carla Virginia Cacciatore.

Due to the work of her father (a diplomate), she spent the first five years of her life in Paris, France, then lived in Venice, Italy, for a year, before moving to Baghdad, Iraq. Rebecca and her mother returned to Rome in August 1991. 1993 the family moved to Caracas, Venezuela, 1996 to Brussels, Belgium.

Education: She began elementary school in Baghdad, Iraq 1988, and stayed there until 1991. She attended schools in Rome 1991-1993, the Agustin Codazzi Bilingual Institute in Caracas, Venezuela 1993-1996., and 1996-2000 the European School in Brussels, Belgium. 2000-2004 she studied political science, with an emphasis on international and European studies, at Luiss Guido Carli University. She afterwards obtained a master’s degree with an emphasis on European law, international law, and a master’s degree in ceremonial and international protocol.

Work: 2005 Rebecca started working for Finmeccanica, and in 2010 was transferred to Brussels, Belgium, where she was accredited as a lobbyist in the institutions of the European Union. 2017 she left the firm and became the director of the Russian Imperial Foundation. In the same year she founded the consulting and management company Carré.

Personal interests: Already as a youngster Rebecca developed an interest in charitable activities. Her mother had started the non-profit foundation “Un pesebre para Canaima” (A Nativity Scene for Canaima). In Rome she served as a volunteer of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and became an active member of the Association of Italian Historic Houses.

She is interested in theatre, riding horses, writing fiction. In 2009 she visited St. Petersburg, Russia, for the first time with her father. She speaks French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. She moved to Moscow, Russia, 2019, where she studies the Russian language and culture. Her first novel “Beauty Queen. An international thriller” is to be published in 2021.

2019 she began studying the Orthodox faith, and was received into the Orthodox Church with the name of Victoria Romanovna on 12 July 2020 at the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Titles

The engagement announcement mentioned both Rebecca and her father as Nob. (meaning noble person).

It turns out that Rebecca in 2020 was made a dame of the Imperial Order of the Holy Great Martyr Anastasia the Alleviatrix of Captives, in recognition of her charity work in Russia and her assistance to humanitarian efforts between Russia and Europe.

Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, made her father, Roberto Bettarini, a Knight of the Imperial Order of St. Anna, First Class, an award which carries with it membership of the historical hereditary nobility of the Russian Empire.

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