Biography of Zar de Rusia Pedro III (1728-1762)

Russia Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty, born in Kiel (Germany) February 21, 1728 and died Petersburgo July 18, 1762. He/She was the only son of the Duke Carlos Federico, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp and Anna Petrovna (daughter of Pedro I the great).

In 1741, when he/she was about thirteen years, was called to the Court and appointed heir to the throne by his aunt Elizabeth Petrovna; until then, he/she had lived in Holstein, in paternal domains. A young man, thin and sensitive, unstable was emotionally because of an education too severe. Just improved with new preceptors, friendlier, you provided the Tsaritsa Elizabeth. He/She especially liked playing with his miniature soldiers. Three years later, in 1744, Isabel sought for him a wife. to Sofía Augusta Federica of Anhalt-Zerbst (which adopted the Orthodox confession changed its name to the Catherine, would be the future Tsarina Catherine II) was chosen by Council of the Prussian King Federico II . The marriage took place the following year with luxury. Never were good spouses, despite which the desire for power of Catalina led him to try to please Pedro and all those courtiers who had any influence.

In 1754 was born which would be his only son, the future Tsar Paul I. Catalina would later argue in his memoirs that his real father was a noble, Sergio Saltikov, and so the same Pedro seems to which showed doubts about their parentage. However, the sentence of Catalina could be told by political self-interest, and currently tends to attribute fatherhood to Pedro III. Neither Pedro nor Catalina took care of the child, which would be educated by Tsarina Elizabeth. Soon after, Pedro took a mistress, Isabel Vorontsova, little graceful, but who knew how to win the confidence of the Prince to participate in their games and hobbies. Pedro greatly admired Federico II of Prussia, which he/she considered a military hero; Thus, when Russia went to war against Prussia in the seven years war, Pedro not only entertained in the training of his guard of Holstein, but it even celebrated the victories of Federico.

In fact, his first decision as Tsar Pedro III (was crowned the 4 January 1762, to the death of Elizabeth), was the, without talking to nobody, sign peace with Prussia almost completely defeated, return all the territories it had seized the Russian armies to Federico, and signed with him a perpetual Alliance. Pedro III, (dedicated to Federico phrases as "King, my master"), also celebrated peace with a great feast. By then, his wife Catherine was already pregnant from Gregory Orlov (and before State of Stanislaus Poniatowski had it), unless this you worry too much, busy attending to her lover and the Affairs of State. In its management had some successes, such as the opening of the shipyards of Kronstadt, the installation of urban lighting in Petersburgo, the creation a new police body, or the abolition of the punishment of the knut (a kind of whip). But his extravagant behavior had made him unpopular; When he/she prusianizó guard Preobrazhensky (uniform, maneuvers) and then replaced it with the guard of Holstein, he/she lost the support of the army. Then he/she irrupted with the Church, not to enter a religious procession on the occasion of the inauguration of the new Palacio de winter (April 12, 1762), and to demonstrate their desire to create a Lutheran Chapel in it.

All this probably would not have had consequences if not by the greed of Catalina, who conspired with help of Orlov, the brothers of this (all military), and after other characters (the diplomat Nikita Panin, the sister of the mistress of Pedro, and others). Finally, the situation was precipitated when Pedro III decided to declare war to the Danes by the domain of Schleswig, and by threatening to Catalina to shut her in a convent. Thus, on 9 July of the same year of his coronation, 1762, Catherine stood in front of several Russian regiments and became Tsarina in the Cathedral of Kazan (Petersburgo), claiming to be its intention to liberate the country from foreign influence. Pedro III, to learn, was deeply angry at first, but then, being defeated, asked by letter to Catherine that it respected the life in Exchange for his abdication and exile in Holstein in the company of Isabel Vorontsova. Apparently he/she was granted in Exchange for a written abdication, but on 11 July was arrested in the Palace of Peterhof and sent soon to a place called Ropsha, near Petersburgo. Having been banished, as promised you, I would have probably requested assistance from the Prussian King against Catalina, and keep you in prison supposed risk of uprising. In this way, a few days later, seems that he/she was poisoned and strangled by Alejandro Orlov, probably with the complicity of Catalina. He/She was about 34 years old. Officially it was said that he/she had died because of colic, but nobody believed him at European courts.


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WARNES, D. Chronicle of the russian tsars. (London, Thames & Hudson: 1999).

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Links on the Internet ; Page with genealogical data of Pedro III (in French). ; Page with information about the Romanovs (in English). ; Page with various information and images on the Romanov (in Russian).