Tsaritsas Consorts of the House of Romanov - Part I (with years of tenure)
1. Maria Dolgorukovaconsort of Michael I (1624-1625) 2. Eudoxia Streshneva
consort of Michael I (1626-1645) 3. Maria Miloslavskaya
consort of Alexis (1648-1669) 4. Natalya Naryshkina consort of Alexis (1671-1676) 5. Agafya Grushetskaya consort of Feodor III (1680-1681) 6. Marfa Apraksina
consort of Feodor III (Feb.1682-May 1682) 7. Praskovia Saltykova consort of Ivan V (1684-1696) 8. Eudoxia Lopukhina consort of Peter I (1689-1698) 9. Catherine Alekseyevna consort of Peter I (1712-1725)* 10.Catherine Alekseyevna consort of Peter III (Jan.1762-Jul.1762)**
*Since 1721 after
elevation of Russian Tsardom to Empire
title Empress consort has been used. In 1725 Catherine became Empress regnant as Catherine I. ** In 1762 Catherine became Empress regnant as Catherine II. She is known in history as Catherine the Great.
Princess descended from Russian blood. Her [official] father, Prince of
Anhalt-Zerbst, was a commandant in Stettin and
lived with his wife in the disorder. She [his spouse] spent most of her time
abroad, in amusements and entertainment of every kind. During her stay in Paris, in 1728, she met a young man, Ivan Betskoy, the son
of the imprisoned in Sweden
Prince Trubetskoy, a beautiful, smart, educated person. Soon, Princess of
Anhalt-Zerbst went to her husband to Stettin,
and there on the 21th of April, 1729 she gave birth to Sophie Auguste, named Ekaterina Alexeievna in Orthodoxy. The
affair between Betskoy and Princess of Anhalt-
was a well-known thing. Maybe
Ivan Betskoy remained in the diplomatic service, if his daughter Sophie Friederike Auguste would not have become Empress Catherine II.
“I used to say to myself that happiness and misery depend on ourselves. If you feel unhappy, raise your self above unhappiness, and so act that your happiness may be independent of all eventualities”
— Catherine II of Russia.
STARTER CALL FOR EMPRESS EKATERINA II OF RUSSIA, CATHERINE THE GREAT.
Catherine II (Russian: Екатерина Алексеевна Yekaterina Alekseyevna; 2 May [O.S. 21 April] 1729 – 17 November [O.S. 6 November] 1796), also known as Catherine the Great (Екатери́на Вели́кая, Yekaterina Velikaya), born Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, was Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country’s longest-ruling female leader and arguably its most renowned, regardless of gender (although Peter the Great was the only Tsar officially designated as “The Great”). She came to power following a coup d'état when her husband, Peter III, was assassinated. Russia was revitalised under her reign, growing larger as well as stronger in military terms and becoming recognised as one of the great powers of Europe.In both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Alexander Suvorov and Pyotr Rumyantsev, and admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars, and Russia colonised the territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas. In the west, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine’s former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America.The period of Catherine the Great’s rule, the Catherinian Era, is often considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire and the Russian nobility.
“Sophia, already keenly aware that her own birth had been a disappointment to her mother, now observed the love with which Johanna surrounded her little brother. Gentle kisses, whispered endearments, tender caresses all were bestowed on the boy — while Sophia watched. The result of this maternal favoritism was a permanent wound.
This bitterness only hints at Sophia’s enormous resentment against her mother. The harm done to this small daughter by Johanna’s open display of preference marked Sophia’s character profoundly. Her rejection as a child helps to explain her constant search as a woman for what she had missed. Even as Empress Catherine, at the height of her autocratic power, she wished not only to be admired for her extraordinary mind and obeyed as an empress, but also to find the elemental creature warmth that her brother — but not she — had been given by her mother.
Outwardly, in these years, Sophia was a cheerful child. In part this sprang from the ebullient curiosity of her mind and in part from her sheer physical energy. She needed a great deal of exercise. Walks in the park with Babet Cardel were not enough, and her parents allowed her to play games with children of the town. Sophia easily took command of these little bands of boys and girls, not simply because she was a princess but because she was a natural leader and her imagination created the games that everyone liked to play.
Ironically, although she could not know it then, the birth of Sophia was the crowning achievement of Johanna’s life. Had the baby been the son she so passionately desired, and had he lived to adulthood, he would have succeeded his father as Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst. Then the history of Russia would have been different and the small niche in history that Johanna Elizabeth earned for herself never would have existed.”
Robert K. Massie, an acclaimed Romanov historian, on Catherine the Great as a young German princess
The Imperial Coronation Robe and Crown Jewels of Russia for Empress Catherine II “The Great”.
The gown is made of luxuriant silver silk, with lace sleeves and a lace bertha around the neckline. Embroidered golden eagles serve as the repeated pattern throughout with ermine trim at the hem. The blue sash, worn from the right shoulder to the waist, represents the Order of St. Andrew the First Called and is principally bestowed upon the royal family.
On this day in history, 28th of September 1793, wedding of grand duke Alexander Pavlovich (future tsar Alexander I of Russia) and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Alexeievna (Princess Louise of Baden).
Princess Louise Maria Auguste of Baden was born in Karlruhe, Baden (Germany) on January 24, 1779. Her parents were Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden and Princess Amelia Frederica of Hesse-Darmstadt. Empress Catherine II (the Great) was considering candidates for the bride of her eldest grandson Alexander and was favorably impressed by Louise, who was 12 years old at the time. Louise, along with her younger sister Frederica, went to St. Petersburg, Russia in the fall of 1792. Empress Catherine was enchanted with the young princess and Louise was attracted to the tall, handsome Alexander.It was said that there could be no more beautiful and charming princess in the world. Although Alexander was initially shy and didn’t know how to treat her, he eventually warmed up to her, and later admitted that he liked her. After a few weeks, Alexander proposed to her. Empress Catherine was overjoyed and Louise was received in the Orthodox Church and was baptized as Elizabeth Alexeievna, Grand Duchess of Russia. The couple was formally betrothed in May, 1793 with Catherine the Great being the one excanging their bethroval rings and the wedding occurred on September 28, 1793. Elizabeth Alexeievna looked resplendent with the diamond-studded Order of St. Andrei on her silver brocade gown. Catherine the Great compared them to Amor and Psyche. The bride was fourteen and the groom was fifteen. The wedding festivities lasted for two weeks.
Pictured: Portrait of Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich by Jean-Louis Voille (1792), Portrait of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Alexeievna with roses by anonymous (1795)