PRINCESS Olga Romanoff, the great niece of Russia's last Tsar, Nicholas II, visited the Isle of Wight over the weekend.

In doing so, she followed in the footsteps of her Russian Imperial ancestors, many of whom had strong connections with the Island.

While at the Romanov family memorial in East Cowes, she met author Stephan Roman, whose book, Isle and Empires: Romanov Russia, Britain and the Isle of Wight, by Medina Publishing, was released earlier this week.

The book is a fascinating exploration of the many links between Imperial Russia and the Isle of Wight.

These date back to 1698 when Tsar Peter the Great recruited his shipbuilders from East Cowes and culminate in the visit by Tsar Nicholas II and his family to Cowes during the 1909 Regatta, a high point in Anglo-Russian relations.

Princess Olga expressed her delight at receiving a copy of the book from the Stephan.

She was intrigued to hear that the Russian Imperial yacht 'Queen Victoria' was built at the J S White's Grid Iron Yard in East Cowes in 1847 and set the standard for all future Russian Imperial yachts.

Director of Medina Publishing, Peter Harrigan, said: "This is the first time the full story of Russia's connections with the Isle of Wight have been so comprehensively explored and revealed.

"This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the current complex relationship with Russia and how we arrived here."

In addition, two Russian-themed walks are being launched. The first will follow in the footsteps of the Russian Imperial family in East Cowes and the second will explore Russian radical connections with Ventnor.

Details of this and other events can be obtained from Medina Bookshop in Cowes, where Isle and Empires can be purchased. In addition, information is available from East Cowes and Ventnor Heritage Centres.