A Yekaterinburg, dove 90 anni fa nella notte del 16-17 luglio, lo Tsar Nicola II la moglie e i loro cinque figli furono uccisi, la principale discendente dello tsar Nicholas II ha detto che "i russi non dovrebbe escludere i benefici di ritorno ad un regime monarchico".

La Granduchessa Maria Vladimirovna ha inoltre detto che "Per quanto riguarda monarchia, è il popolo russo che dovrà decidere se questa opzione è adatta a loro".

YEKATERINBURG, Russia - Russians should not rule out the benefits of returning to a monarchical system, a leading descendant of tsar Nicholas II said on Thursday while marking her ancestor's killing 90 years ago.

"Concerning monarchy, it's for the Russian people to decide themselves if this option suits them," said Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, who on the basis of her ancestral line claims to be Nicholas's heir.

"It gives a nation something eternal they can rely on.... Forgive me, as head of the imperial house I couldn't think otherwise, but it's our people who should choose for themselves," she told reporters.

The duchess was attending commemorations in Yekaterinburg, where Nicholas, his wife and their five children were killed on the night of July 16-17, 1918, sealing the fall of an ancient dynasty and its replacement by the Soviet Union.

Currently resident in Madrid, she said she would like to return to live in Russia but such a decision would have to be supported from within the country.

"It's important that there be the right circumstances, some kind of status.

"The imperial house has to know that the government and all the Russian people really want us to live here and could provide us with some help," said Maria Vladimirovna, who wore a necklace bearing a symbol of the imperial house.

The duchess has been waging a long court battle to get the murdered Romanovs officially "rehabilitated," without which, she believes, they formally retain the Soviet slur of "enemies of the people."

She said that in addition to Nicholas and his immediate family, 17 other Romanovs were murdered by the Bolsheviks, of whom four had been granted official rehabilitation.

The duchess has also campaigned for the names of some geographical features she finds inappropriate to be changed, including a Moscow metro station named after Pyotr Voikov, who helped arrange the last tsar's killing.

The province where Yekaterinburg is located is still named Sverdlovsk after a Bolshevik leader who issued orders for the killing.