The day of the baptism of Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich

On this day — 24th (O.S. 11th) August 1904, His Imperial Highness Naslednik, Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Alexei Nikolayevich, was baptized by the confessor of the Imperial Family, Protopresbyter Ivan Yanyshev (from 1883 until his death in 1910), in the chapel at the Grand Palace at Peterhof.
The painting, which celebrates the most momentous ceremony during the first decade of Nicholas II’s reign, the baptism of his first-born son and heir, however, is historically inaccurate.
The painting shows Nicholas II standing to the left of the ceremony, but according to ancient Orthodox custom the Tsar was obliged to leave before the baptism ceremony could begin, and thus allowing the godparents to carry out their ceremonial function.
Alexei’s godparents included Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Emperor Wilhelm II, King Edward VII, King Christian IX, Grand Duke of Hesse, Princess Victoria of Great Britain, Ernest Louis Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich, Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna, and Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich.
NOTE: Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna decided that their first-born son ought to be named in honour of the miracle-worker Saint Metropolitan Alexei of Kiev and All-Russia (through 1292 to 1305), who initiated the construction of the Moscow Kremlin in 1366. The claim that Alexei was named after the son of Russia’s first Tsar, Alexei Mikhailovich who reigned from 1645 until 1676) is incorrect.

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