Imperial Legation

Officials, officers, civil servants, employees and volunteers of Imperial Russia in Denmark

The Russian Imperial Legation in Copenhagen – including a parrot – with the Russian Orthodoks Priest Father Ivan Stchelkunov paying a visit to the Prisoner-of-War Camp at Horserød in 1917. The Camp was actually set up on private initiative and partly run both by private funds, by the military and by the Danish Government. Denmark didn´t officially participate in the First World War, the camp was a humanitarian solution to the repatrification of soldiers having spent time of the war in German prison camps, mainly Russian and French soldiers (Top illustration © Europeana Collection, Creative Commons)

The Legation was primarily concerned with political questions, being the official representation of Imperial Russia in Copenhagen. State-business being official depeches, diplomatic reports, notes and letters concerning the state security and foreign policy. In case of the occasional visit from representatives of the Romanov Family, members and staff from the legation were accredited the royals as adjudants and ladies-in-waiting. The head of the legation was called “Minister” and the administrative head of legation was called “Secretary”. The civil as opposed to the military staff also had more charitable functions and co-worked with the Russian church on numerous occasions. The employees at the legation had apartments or rented rooms in town, the envoys and their families stayed in a flat at the official residence, Frederiksgade number 17, 1st floor

Russian Imperial Envoys in Copenhagen in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century: Count Benckendorff, Count Tschernysjev, Count de Toll and Baron von Buxhoeveden. Benckendorff was actually the brother of Emperor Nicholas II´s Court-Marschal; Toll later married his daugther Olga to Prince Ivan Koudachev; and Baron Buxhoevedens daughter Sophia was Lady-in-waiting to the last Russian Empress Alexandra. As the priest Father Stchelkunov noted in his book (50 Aar under gyldne Kupler/ Fifty years under Golden Domes, 1926), envoys and diplomats having served the Russian Empire in Denmark always had a special place with the Romanovs

Baroness Sophia Buxhoeveden, Lady-in-waiting to Empress Alexandra and her mother the Baroness Ludmila Petrovna Buxhoeveden, stayed at the Legation in Copenhagen © Wiki, Public domain
Police record entering the name of Princess Marie Dolgoruky in September 1921, living at Palægade 5
Members of the Legation visiting the Horserød Camp in 1917, taking a tour by carriage © Europeana Collection, Creative Commons
Vera Maslennikova dressed in red-cross uniform greeting former prisoners-of-war, Russian soldiers at Elsinore, together with representatives of the Imperial Russian Legation in 1919 © Europeana Collection, Creative Commons
Legation representatives, 1919. © Europeana collections, Creative commons
Refugees without any legal entry to Denmark or persons without official residential permit were registered in the Police records. Count Sergei Toll is here registered on 1st of May 1919, having traveled from Russia and staying in an address in Copenhagen
Members of the legation receiving Russian soldiers, offering Red-Cross parcels, foods, small gifts and bunches of violets © Europeana Collections, Creative commons