Empress reburied in St. Petersburg

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The remains of Empress Maria Fyodorovna, mother of Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, will be moved from Denmark to Russia on Saturday, finally fulfilling her wish to rest next to her late husband, Tsar Alexander III.

According to media reports, the reburial was postponed several times as a result of a Russian-Danish row over a Chechen conference held in Denmark in 2002 and subsequent release from detention of a Chechen rebel envoy by Danish authorities.

Danish Queen Margrethe II will attend a memorial service for the Dowager Empress at Roskilde Cathedral near Copenhagen on Saturday before the remains sail to Russia aboard a Danish navy ship.

She will be reburied in a crypt next to that of Alexander III in the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in St Petersburg on September 28, 140 years to the day after she first arrived in Russia.

Born in 1847 as Princess Dagmar, she was the daughter of Danish King Christian IX. She changed her name and converted to the Russian Orthodox faith when she married Alexander in 1866.

Her son, Tsar Nicholas II, was forced to abdicate in 1917 and executed by the Bolshevik revolutionaries who seized power months later. After losing two sons and five grandchildren in the revolution, Maria Fyodorovna left Russia for England in 1919 and later returned to Denmark, where she died in 1928.


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