NICOLAS AND ALIX.
Joined at Last in Holy Matrimony.
AS CZAR AND CZARINA.
The Proudest Sovereigns of the World.
WILL RULE IN WHITE RUSSIA.
While Millions Kneel Before Them and Prisoners Are Set Free in Their Honor.
St. Petersburg, Nov. 26. -- Before 7 oclock this morning large crowds were assembled in Newsky Prospect to secure places along the route of the royal wedding procession. From Anitchkoff Palace to the Winter Palace the avenue was lined with troops. There was not an inch of space to spare along the Grand Morskaia Prospect and on the square in front of the Winter Palace.
At 11:15, at a distance, were heard strains of the national anthem, and the multitudes uncovered in anticipation of the approach of the bridal party. Soon after there appeared the open state carriage, drawn by four white horses. In this vehicle were the Czar and his brother, Grand Duke Michael. They both wore uniforms of Hussars of the Guard, and were greeted with a vociferous burst of cheering, which was renewed again and again.
The Czars equipage was preceded and followed by detachments of chevaliers and guards and hussars and lancers of the Guard, all in brilliant gala uniforms. Then came a superb landau, also drawn by four white horses, in which were the Princess Alix and the Czarina. They received, if possible, even a more hearty greeting than the Czar himself. Handkerchiefs and hats were waved in the air and the most intense enthusiasm prevailed. After the carriage of the Princess and Czarina followed a long train of carriages with the royal guests, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Princess Irene of Prussia, Grand Duchess Sergius and other prominent members of the imperial family, as well as all the wedding guests.
Military bands were stationed at various points along the route and each struck up the national hymn as the cortege appeared. The national hymn was sounded to the ears of the imperial party along the entire route. The wedding procession entered the Winter Palace at 1:15 P.M., where, as soon as possible afterward, were assembled all those invited to the wedding.
Reaching the Winter Palace the royal party entered the Malachite Hall, where the bridal procession was formed. At its head were the court functionaries and then came the Czarina, escorted by the King of Denmark, her father; the Czar and Princess Alix came next, followed by the Prince and Princess of Wales and other members of the imperial and royal families and a batch of court officials bringing up the rear. The procession first slowly traversed the Concert Hall, the panels on the walls being the silver plates upon which the Russian people presented to the late Czar bread and salt during his journey through the empire and on the occasion of his coronation. A large crystal candelabra was suspended from the ceiling.
The Nicholas Hall was next entered by the wedding party. It was decorated with white and gold and adorned by richly embellished panels, the work of famous artists. In the center of the hall was a striking portrait of Nicholas I. The bridal procession then traversed the Enore Hall, splendidly decorated in empire style, the Field Marshals Salon, where a variety of large war paintings adorned the walls, and then passed through the famous Petroffsky Hall, in which stands the throne of Peter the Great, and which is graced with ancient furniture of oxidized silver. From this magnificent apartment the wedding procession slowly passed through the hall of the Court of Arms, named after the enormous allegorical figures of Russians, which stand about the walls, holding in their hands the escutcheons of all the governments of the empire.
The bridal procession then found itself in the Pikotnay room, which adjoins the church. In this room remained the majority of the officials and the members of the lesser nobility, only the imperial family and their social guests and the indispensable functionaries passing into the small chapel, which is most gorgeous, glittering with gold and stucco work. On the right hand of the chapel, in glass cases, were all the sacred relics brought to Russia by the Knights of Malta, including the hand of St. John the Baptist, the Martyr Saint Irene and the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. These are ornamented with enormous sapphires in the form of bears.
The costumes in the chapel were dazzling. Most of the ladies wore the Russian costumes, very low before and behind and with arms bare almost to the shoulders. The brides dress was white, richly embroidered with gold, and on her head was the usual kokoshnik belonging to the costume, ornamented with diamonds. The brides mantle was of purple velvet lined with ermine.
The head dresses of the court ladies were of ancient gold brocade, adorned with sapphires, emeralds and rubies.
The brides train was borne by five officials, two walking on either side, while the Grand Chamberlain held the hem. The Czar wore the uniform of the famous Red Hussars of the Guard with a dolman suspended from the right shoulder.
The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sane-Coburg and Gotha wore Russian uniforms, while the Duke of York wore a naval uniform. All the royal princes wore the cordon of the order of St. Andrew.
In the center of the chapel of the Winter Palace stood a holy table, on which had been placed the gospel and a cross. Between the table and altar were multi-branched candelabra with lighted tapers. Behind the table facing the altar stood the Proto-presbytery Yanischeffe, attired in gorgeous vestments of cloth of gold. Close behind the bridal pair the imperial and royal spectators formed a semi-circle. The ceremony was concluded a few minutes before 2 oclock. The Czar and his bride then approached the Dowager Czarina to greet and thank her. She embraced her son and his wife, after which they were embraced and kissed by the King of Denmark and other relatives. Everybody was much moved and the bride was in tears. The Czar was very pale and was visibly affected.
When all the wedding guests were assembled the marriage ceremony was carried out according to the rites of the Greek church. The wedding procession was re-formed and the guests re-entered their carriages. The Dowager Czarina was the first to arrive back at the Winter Palace. The Czar with the Czarina returned to the Anitchkoff Palace in the same landau amid the unbounded enthusiasm of the immense crowds gathered to greet them. The Czar graciously saluted the crowds on the either side of the route, and the Czarina bowed, too, repeatedly. On reaching the Cathedral of Kazan, which is a most imposing edifice, half surrounded by a colonnade recalling St. Peters at Rome, there was a remarkable spectacle. There was literally a sea of heads extending up the Newsky Prospect, and the multitudes were so densely packed that the troops a great difficulty in preserving a passage for the wedding march. The bells in all the churches were merrily pealing the wedding chimes, and above all could be heard the distant booming of cannon from the fortresses and other places. The crowds had waited for hours with considerable patience, which was converted into enthusiastic cheering as the first detachment of cavalry escorting the Dowager Czarina dashed by and announced the return of the imperial party. The Dowager Czarina pushed on ahead tp the Anitchkoff Palace in order to be the first to greet the newly married couple on their arrival there.
When the second cavalry escort trotted up followed in an open carriage by the Czar and the Czarina there was an unexampled scene of enthusiasm. The imperial carriage stopped before the Cathedral of Kazan in order to allow the newly married pair to invoke the blessing of the Almighty. The Czar and Czarina were received on the porch by the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and the high clergy bearing the cross and holy water. A Te Deum was celebrated inside the cathedral, the Metropolitan proper praying the Almighty to bless the Czar and Czarina and to guide them in their path of duty.
When the Czar reappeared on the cathedral steps after the religious ceremonies within, and kissed the miraculous image of Our Lady of Kazan, the enthusiasm of the people was beyond all description. The brilliancy of the spectacle at this moment was enhanced by a sudden burst of sunshine from the clouds which had hitherto darkened the city. The appearance of the golden rays was regarded as a good augury by the immense crowds present, who cheered themselves hoarse as the Czar and Czarina re-entered their carriage and returned to the Anitchkoff Palace.
When the newly wedded pair arrived at the Anitchkoff Palace they were received and welcomed by the Dowager Czarina, who had preceded them for this purpose. Later the Czar and Czarina, accompanied by Grand Duchess Olga, youngest sister of the Czar, appeared at the window of the palace overlooking the Newsky Prospect. Here they stood for fifteen minutes, bowing repeatedly in response tot he acclamations of the multitude gathered outside the palace. Grand Duchess Olga, with girlish enthusiasm, repeatedly kissed her hand to the crowd. The Czarina leaned on the arm of her husband and smiled radiantly on the throng. There were several similar demonstrations during the next hour.
The Czars manifesto mentioned in the dispatches last night was issued to-night. His Majesty in honor of his marriage remits various debts to the crown, including the repayments of the grants made tot he peasants on accounts of famines. He also wholly remits arrests of taxes and fines and mitigates or shortens sentences of imprisonment, police supervision and deportations at hard labor. The prosecution for treason of offenders who have remained undiscovered for fifteen years will be abandoned. The indulgences to present prisoners will be decided upon after a report has been submitted to the Czar by the Minister of the Interior. Amnesty is granted to the participants in the Polish rebellion of 1863, and they will be permitted to reside anywhere in Russia. Their civil rights, but not their property, will be restored to them.
In honor of the Czars wedding 40,000 poor people of this city will dine to-day at the expense of the Czar. All the schools have been closed for three days to give the children a holiday and enable them to celebrate the marriage.
The ordinary theaters to-day received permission to recommence their performances.
According to current reports the Czar has caused consternation among the officers of his household by leaving the palace unattended and walking through the streets in a military mantle, arm in arm with the first officer who recognized him. On Saturday the Czar went for a walk with Princess Alix, entered a glovestore and made several purchases. On leaving he was recognized by the people and loudly cheered.
His Majesty has also received the Ministers very graciously. When M. de Giers, Minister of Foreign Affairs, tendered his resignation, he said he hoped they would work together for a long time yet. To this De Giers replied: "But, your Majesty, look at my feet. They cannot carry me." Whereupon the Czar replied: "I do not want your feet. I only want your head."
The Call, San Francisco, Tuesday Morning, November 27, 1894.