Empress Maria Fyodorovna's remains to be reburied in Peter & Paul's Cathedral

The remains of Empress Maria Fyodorovna, mother of Russia's last Emperor Nicholas II, will be reburied in the Peter and Paul's Cathedral of St. Petersburg's Peter and Paul's Fortress.

"From the point of view of the State King-of-Arms, it's the only place, the indisputable place, to bury Maria Fyodorovna's remains," Russia's Chief King-of-Arms, Deputy Director of the State Hermitage Georgy Vilinbakhov told RIA Novosti on Friday.

Peter and Paul's Cathedral is where the burial vault of the imperial family is located, he reminded RIA Novosti. "There was a place reserved for Maria Fyodorovna in this vault after the demise of her husband, Emperor Alexander III," he said.

He said he had not yet been officially notified of the reburial of the empress's remains.

Lars Vissing, Danish Ambassador to Russia, told RIA Novosti that Maria Fyodorovna's remains would be moved to Russia from Denmark next year.

"The remains will arrive in Russia on September 26, 2004," the ambassador said. "September 26 is the day Maria Fyodorovna first came to Russia." According to Vilinbakhov, it is unclear yet what the reburial ceremony will be like. "We are waiting for an official answer. As soon as we get it, the Russian president's King-of-Arms' Office will draw up a plan of the ritual," he said.

Empress Maria Fyodorovna, born Danish Princess Maria Sophia Fredericke Dagmar on November 26, 1847 in Copenhagen, was married to Russian Emperor Alexander III. The couple had six children, including Russia's last Emperor, Nicholas II.

Maria Fyodorovna returned to Denmark after the revolution of 1917. She died in Copenhagen on October 13, 1928 and was buried in the burial vault of the Danish kings, the Roskilde Cathedral.

Nikolai Romanov, head of the Imperial House of the Romanovs, approached the Russian top leaders a few years ago, asking them to consider the possibility of reburying the empress's remains in Russia.

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