INCEPTION AND DEVELOPMENT
OF THE COLLEGE
The Russian College of Heraldry - more customarily called in Latin COLLEGIUM HERALDICUM RUSSIAE (CHR)
- was re-established in 1991 under the high patronage of His Imperial Highness The Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich,
in his capacity then as Head of the Russian Imperial House of Romanov.
Being afterwards duly registered with
Russia's Ministry of Justice, the CHR is now the sole non-governmental heraldic body legitimately entitled,
in accordance with it's Statutes: "To create, produce, register, and publish coats of arms for individuals and corporations".
Since 1989, after the fall of the Iron Curtain, Commander Valery Yegorov has established
and maintained professional contacts with numerous heraldic organisations, as well as with
individual colleagues all over the world, whose friendly assistance has ever been indispensable
in obtaining diverse materials, advice, and information so much needed just for updating extant
heraldic practice in Russia.
The most important of all professional and friendly contacts were,
of course, His Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, then Head of the Russian Imperial Dynasty
(1917-1992), and Colonel Dr David Pittman Johnson (1936-2004),
the Founder and the First President of the American College of Heraldry (ACH).
The Grand Duke’s and Col. Dr David Johnson`s initial commitment to the revival of Russian heraldry in
early 1990 established the pattern for their future involvement.
Dr David Johnson and Commander Valery Yegorov used to devote a great deal of thought to every minute
detail of the future Diplomas Armorum (Letters Patent) to be issued by the CHR. For instance, even
the wording of them, or rather the Introductory Formula – "To All and Singular by these Presents be
it known that the Collegium Heraldicum Russiae has entered in the Matricula Armorum the Armorial
Bearings of..." - was long and thoroughly elaborated together with Dr David Johnson, and then
confirmed personally by H.I.H. the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich in 1991, the year when he appointed
Commander Valery Yegorov to be Saint Andrew Principal Herald Master, Head of the Collegium Heraldicum Russiae.
We must emphasise, however, that the Russian College of Heraldry, as an institution, functions NOT
because of the initial high patronage of the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, but by virtue of the official
registration with the Russia`s Ministry of Justice. The Grand Duke`s high patronage was only an honorific
episode during the College`s development, of which we are very much proud, and nothing more. We have never claimed
to be acting either in the name, or on behalf, of the Russian Imperial Family.
Col. Dr David Johnson and Commander Valery Yegorov had had vivid consultations
by correspondence on the future Statutes of the Russian College of Heraldry, for which many articles
were borrowed from the ACH Statutes. In fact the whole structure and the practice of the American College
of Heraldry became for the CHR a paragon of heraldic organization.
Eventually it was Col. Dr David Johnson who proposed the Russian College of Heraldry
should adorn the top of their Diplomas Armorum with the ancient Russian double-headed
eagle, in commemoration of the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, who died so untimely in 1992.
Col. Dr David Johnson`s encouragement was very important
for the members of the Russian College of Heraldry, and he was instrumental in the development of their artistic skills.
His sudden death in March 2004 came as a painful shock for the CHR Staff.
Luckily enough, the collegial ties and co-operation between the sister-organizations continue.
It was a specially pleasant event when both Commander Valery Yegorov, St Andrew Principal Herald Master,
and Natalie Yegorova, Principal Heraldic Artist to the CHR, were
enrolled as Distinguished Fellows of our sister-organization - the
American College of Heraldry. The present Executive Director of the ACH is David Robert Wooten.
Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, the late Head of the Russian Imperial House of Romanov.
Born in 1917, died in 1992.
Commander Valery Yegorov, a Father Founder of the CHR and St Andrew Principal Herald Master of
the Russian College of Heraldry. Born in 1950.
Col. Dr David Pittman Johnson, the Founder and the first President of the American College of Heraldry.
Born in 1936, died in 2004.
David Robert Wooten, Executive Director of the American College of Heraldry. Born in 1958.