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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 October, 2003, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Russia to re-bury tsar's mother
Nicholas II's burial at SS Peter and Paul cathedral in St Petersburg
Maria Fedorovna will be buried in the same cathedral as her husband and son
The Danish-born mother of Russia's last tsar Nicholas II is to make a final journey back to her adopted country, 80 years after her death.

The Danish Foreign Ministry says the remains of the Empress-Dowager Maria Fedorovna are to be moved next year from Denmark to a cathedral in St Petersburg.

Denmark's Queen Margarethe has given her consent for the remains to be sent, at the request of Russia and the former Russian royal family, the Romanovs.

The re-burial is set for 26 September next year, the same date that Maria Fedorovna - born Princess Dagmar of Denmark - went to Russia to be married in 1866.

She joined the Russian Orthodox Church and assumed a Russian name before becoming empress 15 years later when her husband, Alexander III, ascended to the throne.

This is an excellent post scriptum to a tragic chapter in Russian history
Prince Dmitry Romanov
The Romanovs say Maria Fedorovna had asked to be buried in the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral next to her husband when circumstances allowed.

She fled Russia in 1919, a year after her son and his family were killed by revolutionaries, and died in her homeland in 1928.

Her remains are currently lying next to those of her father, Danish King Christian IX, in Roskilde Cathedral near Copenhagen.

'Feeling of joy'

The two countries' foreign ministers have spent a year arranging the transfer.

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Prince Dmitry Romanov, the last tsar's second cousin once removed, welcomed the decision.

"My first reaction was a feeling of joy," he told Itar-Tass news agency.

"Maria Fedorovna did so much for Denmark, but she did even more for Russia. And this is an excellent post scriptum to a tragic chapter in Russian history."

Nicholas II and his wife and children were killed by a firing squad in the Siberian city of Yekaterinburg in 1918, about eight months after the Bolshevik revolution.

Their remains were exhumed in 1991 and buried in the St Petersburg cathedral in 1998 after years of argument about their authenticity and several genetic tests.


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