MANILA, Philippines – Days after her much-talked about article about her grandmother was published on a local newspaper, Filipina Caty Petersen made it clear that she never claimed ties to members of the Russian royal family.
In an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer published last Sunday, Petersen said the title of her May 13 story on the same newspaper, “Filipino’s Grandmama could be Russia’s Anastasia,” was not her idea.
“[It] was a purely editorial decision, and the paper’s prerogative, over which I had no participation,” she said in her article. “Having said that, however, let me point out that the headline used the word ‘could,’ expressing a possibility, not a certainty.”
Petersen made the statement after several netizens scored her for allegedly suggesting that her late grandmother Tasia, who was Russian, has royal blood.
In her May 13 article, she said her grandmother arrived in the Philippines after escaping the Bolshevik revolution in 1918.
Citing her grandmother’s stories, Petersen said Tasia used to ride around “a golden carriage drawn by eight white horses.”
The article also had a photo of her grandmother placed beside a portrait of Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. The two pictures looked very similar.
Three days after it published Petersen’s story, however, Inquirer ran a story titled “Anastasia long dead, say experts.”
Citing different sources, it said that members of the Romanov royal family, including Anastasia, were executed during the Bolshevik revolution.
But Petersen, in her May 20 article, stressed that “there appear to be other opinions which suggest that the case is not quite closed.”
“Although impressive and accepted by a number of people, there are many other experts and institutions that believe that the 2009 DNA test results are not conclusive. In fact, to this date, the case concerning the authenticity of the remains discovered in 1978 and 2007 is hardly closed,” she said.
Meanwhile, Petersen said her “quest” for her grandmother’s identity will continue.
“I merely point these out to remind readers that there are always several sides to a story. My grandmother’s will undoubtedly stir debate because it touches on a powerful and emotional time in Russian history. Be that as it may, I shall keep an open and objective mind as I continue to gather data about my Grandmama Tasia, her life and the times she lived in,” she said.