Semiramis of the North

Midnight Duchess Catherine vigorously entered the apartment of her husband. Playmates of the Grand Duke Peter, drunk in Stockholm , carouse among the broken glasses and broken chairs. The Duchess looked at standing on the table gallows . He hung on the dead rat . Prince explained astonished wife that the animal has been sentenced to death for eating guard makes of bread.

 Grand Duke Peter Teodorowicz every evening he sat at dinner in the company of his uniformed friends. Boys tended to arrange the wildest orgies , and you have to admit that it lacked imagination. It happened that befuddled with alcohol did not obey the orders of Prince , who in such moments remembered the existence of a wife. He would come to her room and asked to intervene. Duchess the advent used to take your order .


 Peter was born in 1728 as Karol Peter Ulrich . He was the son of Charles Frederick , Duke of Holstein- Gottorp and Princess Anne , the daughter of Tsar Peter 1 He had to sit on the throne of Sweden , but his aunt Elizabeth , unmarried car of Russia, appointed him as his successor , and 1742 years pulled him to St. Petersburg. Required him to three things: the expert use of the Russian language , the transition from Lutheranism to Orthodoxy and marry the princess Sophia Anhalt – Zerbst . Peter hated everything Russian , but because he feared panic aunt agreed to conditions imposed by it . Outside, the Czarina was not a single book , which will certainly not help him learn the language . For the Orthodox Church was reluctant attitude , and Princess Sophia was indifferent to him . He loved it for uniforms, military parades , drill and Frederick II, King of Prussia. When in 1762 as Peter III covered the throne after Elizabeth died in Europe fought the Seven Years’ War ( 1756-1763 ) caused by the territorial appetites Frederick. Freshly baked car immediately withdraw Russian troops from the front , offering a covenant king of Prussia . Thereby saved Prussia from defeat in the war with Austria.

 Princess Sophia Augusta, Frederick , born in 1729 , was the daughter of Christian Augustus, an impoverished prince Anhalt – Zerbst and the Princess Joanna Elizabeth of the House of Holstein- Gottorp . Preventive Duchess Sophie decided to marry well . In 1742 he sent a letter to the Czarina Elizabeth , congratulating the Russian throne . The monarch is still mourning the death of her first lover , the Duke of Holstein – Eutin, full brother of Princess Joanna. Guided by the sentiment , invited the two ladies to Russia. Concluded that poor Sophia is an appropriate candidate for the wife of the future Tsar . The Duchess with her daughter came to St. Petersburg in February 1744.

 Beautiful princess liked Tsarevich Peter, who hoped mainly to the fact that it will share his anti-Russian views. He was wrong. Sophia went to Orthodoxy and henceforth as Catherine Alekseyevna began an intensive study of the Russian language . In September 1745 he took their solemn vow . Grand Duchess Catherine soon she realized that she must not sulk on slow-witted and smallpox disfigured husband. When the Empress Elizabeth court freed from her mother – schemers , sovereign decision adopted without comment.

 Grand Duke Peter in general does not extend to the bedroom of a young wife , while willingly confided in her of his adventures with the ladies mansion. Catherine liked libertine mores Czarina and her surroundings. Around the same appeared in the crowd of admirers , which was amazing her in a good mood . One of them , Chamberlain Sergius Saltykov, proved far-reaching considerations . Concerned Catherine Elizabeth allocated chaperone , and the heir to the throne she ordered test . It turned out that Peter should undergo surgery , because otherwise you will not beget offspring. The future car did not want to hear about it . Czarina housekeeper asked the court so to Saltykov with an appeal to “rescue honor the fatherland.” Brave Chamberlain agreed and since then regularly ” devoted ” in the alcove of the Duchess . After many dating and several miscarriages September 30, 1754 , Catherine gave birth to the expected heir to the crown. Tsarina Elizabeth named him Paul . Immediately took the child to himself and ceased to worry about his mother.

 Grand Duke Peter drank, played with the lackeys of the drill and did not even look at “his” son. Brought Holstein branch of the military, arousing the displeasure of the Russian regiments . Catherine, moved away from grace , a closely watched ago . Was using life, but also patiently it acquired a adherents in Russia and abroad. befriended , among others, the English ambassador at St. Petersburg, Charles Williams. for his secretary, Stanislaw Poniatowski charming , abandoned Lev Naryshkin . Her numerous affairs and lack of interest in his own child sleeped vigilance cancer patient Czarina Elizabeth, who died in December 1761.

 Peter made ​​no secret of joy at the death of the monarch . Immediately informed of King Frederick II , that was the tsar . This gesture towards the head of state remains in a state of war with Russia sparked concerns about the mental health of the new tsar. Nobody has doubts about it after the funeral Czarina . Following the coffin , slowed pace , and when the caravan ahead of him for a few yards , car overtook him , choking with laughter.

 Peter was a continuation of the internal policy of the deceased aunt. Nobility gave enormous privileges, releasing its representatives from the civil service . Upheld the decree transferring landlords complete judicial authority over their peasants. He intended to make the secularisation of clergy who had to go under the administration of the state . The peasants , clergy and volunteers hated the Tsar. He , in turn, did not hide the hatred of his wife . Uncertain of his fate Catherine gathered a narrow circle of conspirators . As usual, used another lover , Count Gregory Orlov and his brothers : Alexis and Feodor . With their help, won the support of disgruntled soldiers and regiments. Things moved fast. Peter III deposed and taken to the palace in Ropsza. There Orlov brothers staged adoption of spirits, during which the murdered Tsar in itself only known way. Apparently Prince Bariatynski choked him a napkin . The assassins pretend they do not know how this happened , and asked the widow ‘s forgiveness . Catherine showered their titles, medals and earthly goods . ” Forgiveness ” cost the Treasury hundreds of thousands of rubles , which titled the murderer got to wipe tears. Throne was captured , but uncertain.

Julia Thompson