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Romanov House head will not attend Prince William wedding ceremony

Kate Middleton and Prince WilliamMOSCOW. April 28 (Interfax) - Head of the House of Romanov Grand Duchess of Russia Maria Vladimirovna will not attend the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday, but she sent them a congratulatory letter.

Maria Vladimirovna, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and also of Queen Victoria, currently resides in Madrid.
[photo subject to Crown Copyright 2011, on server for British Embassy to France, at http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/resources/fr/jpg/political/2011/prince-william-kate-middleton]

"Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna sent wedding congratulations to Prince William and his bride," Director of the House of Romanov chancellery Alexander Zakatov told Interfax on Thursday.

The House of Romanov and the Windsor family are closely related and have a good relationship, he said.

"But due to the specific, historical relations between Russia and the United Kingdom after 1917, the Russian Imperial House does not attend state-level events in the United Kingdom. The only exception was the wedding between Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich's cousin Princess Marina of Greece and the Duke of Kent in 1934," Zakatov said.

Maria Vladimirovna has been formally invited and is planning to attend events on the occasion of the wedding of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, in early July, he said.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Russia in the autumn of 1994. This was the first visit by the British monarch throughout the history of the bilateral relationship dating back to 1553.

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