Easter has arrived. I went to the Conservatory for the matins service. I always go there at Easter; this is a service I enjoy very much. This year, however, it proved somehow less festive than it usually is, although the Cross Procession did leave me in the most convivial, most joyous of moods.
This year, Easter is running its course more smoothly than ever. Only now is it becoming clear that the coerciveness of autocracy had been ubiquitously palpable – even in the most unexpected areas of life. Last night I was in the vicinity of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. See more
All my thoughts were in Russia. We crossed the border in little Finnish sleighs. And now everything became dear and familiar – the ramshackle old third-class carriages, the Russian soldiers. Awfully lovely. It wasn’t long before Robert found himself in the arms of an elderly soldier: clasping him round the neck, he jabbered away to him in French and ate the sweet Easter cream-cheese that the soldier was feeding him. See more
Let us pray for our infelicitous Tsar, who is spending Easter as a prisoner. And let us pray, too, for Aleksei Nikolaevich, the heir to the throne, and for the Tsar’s daughters Olga and Tatiana... But as regards the German – no, we shan’t pray for her.
A day of great joy, despite the human suffering. Wonderful weather, sunshine and clear skies redolent of Italy; twenty-three degrees in the sun. At twelve-thirty, we wished their majesties a happy Easter and began the egg-giving. The Emperor gave me an egg inscribed with his insignia; I shall keep it as a treasured souvenir. How few loyal supporters they have left!
According to the orthodox calendar, to-day is Easter Sunday. Not a single incident or innovation has marked Holy Week, except that the theatres, which formerly closed their doors for the whole of the last fortnight of Lent, remained open until last Wednesday.
To-night all the churches of Petrograd have celebrated the solemn office of the Resurrection with the usual splendour. See more
Mass finished in an hour and forty minutes. We broke our fast with 16 other people. I laid down and went to sleep. The day became radiant, genuinely festive. In the morning I walked. Before breakfast, I gave — but without Alix — all our employees photographs of the eggs which were preserved from our former supply. See more
A party of Russians, which is now on its way to Petrograd, includes thirty who came through Germany in a sealed coach. Among principal members of the party is Lenin, radical socialist leader, and Zinovyof, another radical and peace advocate. Both are members of their party’s Central Committee and editors of party newspapers in Geneva as well as prominent figures in the Zimmerwald Congress. See more
German correspondents on the Russian and Swedish frontiers report that the Russian Provisional Government intends to change the name of the capital back to St. Petersburg. The Government is said to have decided upon this “because Petrograd recalls to every Russian saddest time in Russian history”.