The Royal curse. As was the fate of the children of Peter the Great?

The Royal curse. As was the fate of the children of Peter the Great?

Why the main Russian reformer were not heirs?

When it comes to the children of Emperor Peter the Great, as a General rule, remember the eldest son of Tsarevich Alexei, and daughter, Elizabeth, became Empress.

In fact, two marriages, Peter the great was born more than 10 children. Why, at the time of the death of the Emperor, he didn’t have obvious heirs, and how did the fate of the offspring of the famous Russian reformer?


The firstborn of Peter and his first wife Eudoxia Lopukhina, named Alexei, born on 18 (28 new style), February 1690 in the village of Transfiguration.

The first years of his life Alexei Petrovich was in the care of his grandmother, the Queen Natalia Kirillovna. The father, immersed in public Affairs, attention to the education of the son has been given.

After the death of Natalia Kirillovna and imprisonment in the monastery of the mother, Evdokia Lopukhina, Peter gave son the education his sister, Natalia.

Peter I, who still attended to the education of the heir to the throne, could not manage to find a good teachers.

Alexey Petrovich most of the time spent away from the father, surrounded by people, never noted for high moral principles. Peter’s attempts to involve the son in matters of state resulted in failures.

In 1711, Peter organized the marriage of his son with Princess Charlotte Wolfenbuttel, who gave birth to Alexei’s daughter Natalia and son Peter. Shortly after the birth of her son she died.

The gap between Peter and Alex by that time become practically irresistible. And after the second Emperor’s wife bore him a son, named Peter, the Emperor was to obtain from the firstborn of the waiver to the throne. Alexei decided to flee and in 1716 he left the country.

The situation was extremely unpleasant for Peter, the heir could use in political games against him. Russian diplomats were ordered: at any cost to return the Prince to his homeland.

In late 1717, Alex has agreed to return to Russia and in February 1718 solemnly renounced rights to the throne.

Despite this, the secret service launched an investigation, suspecting Alexey of treason. Following the investigation, the Prince was tried and condemned to death as a traitor. He died in the Peter and Paul fortress on June 26 (July 7), 1718, according to the official version of a stroke.

Peter I issued a formal notice, which stated that, after hearing the death sentence the Prince was horrified, and demanded to his father, asked his forgiveness, and died a Christian, in full repentance of the offense.

Alexander and Paul

Alexander, second child of Peter and Evdokia Lopukhina, like his older brother, was born in the village of Transfiguration 3 (13) October 1691.

The boy lived only seven months and died in Moscow on 14 (may 24) 1692. The Prince was buried in the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The inscription on his gravestone reads: “7200 Summer months with Maia 13 day at five o’clock in the night in the second quarter with a heel on Saturday in memory of the Holy Martyr Isidore, who in the island of Chios faithful reposed servant of God Blessed the Pious and Great Sovereign Tsar and Grand Duke Peter A. all Great and Small and White Russia Autocrat, and Blagoverniy and Pious Empress Tsarina and Grand Duchess Eudoxia Feodorovna son, the Pious Sovereign Tsarevich and Grand Duke Alexander Petrovich of all Great and Little and White Russia, and was buried at this place. month 14 day”.

The existence of another son of Peter and Evdokia Lopukhina, Paul, historians and even questioned. The boy was born in 1693, but died almost immediately.


In 1703, the mistress of Emperor Peter I became the first that king in the first years of the relations referred to in the letters of Katherine Wasilewska.

Even before marriage the mistress of Peter the few times she was pregnant from him. The first two children were boys who died soon after birth.

28 Dec 1706 (8 January 1707) in Moscow March Skavronskaya gave birth to a daughter, named Catherine. The girl lived one year and seven months and died 27 July 1708 (August 8, 1709).

Like its two younger sisters, Catharine was born out of wedlock but subsequently officially recognized by the father and was posthumously recognized as the Grand Duchess.

Buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.


Anna Petrovna was born on 27 January (7 February) 1708. The girl, being the illegitimate child received the same generic name “Anna”, like its legitimate cousin, the daughter of Ivan V Anna Ioannovna.

Anna was the first of the daughters of Peter and the first of the children of Martha Skavronskaya, who survived infancy.

In 1711 father, still has not concluded a valid marriage with the matter of the Anna, was officially launched by her and her sister Elizabeth as a Queen.

In the property of Anna has granted a large plot of land in St. Petersburg. Subsequently, near Ekateringof for Anna was built country estate Annenhoff.

In 1724, Peter the great gave his consent to his daughter’s marriage with the Duke Karl Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp.

According to the marriage contract, Anna Petrovna kept the Orthodox religion and could teach Christianity born from the marriage of daughters, while sons were to be brought up in the faith of the father. Anna and her husband refused the opportunity to lay claim to the Russian crown, but the Treaty had a secret article on which Peter had reserved the right to proclaim heir son from their marriage.

Dad saw the wedding of his daughter, Peter died two months after the signing of the marriage contract and the marriage took place on may 21 (June 1), 1725.

Anna and her husband were very influential figures in St. Petersburg in a short period of the reign of her mother Maria last Skavronskaya, who ascended the throne under the name of Catherine I.

After the death of Catherine in 1727, Anna, along with her husband were forced to leave in Holstein. In February 1728, Anna gave birth to a son named Karl Peter Ulrich. In the future the son of Anna ascended the Russian throne under the name of Emperor Peter III.

Anna Petrovna died in the spring of 1728. According to some sources, the reason was the consequences of the birth, on the other — Anna was very cold at the celebrations in honor of the birth of his son.

Before her death, Anna has expressed a desire to be buried in St. Petersburg, in the Peter and Paul Cathedral, near the grave of his father, which was done in November 1728.


The third daughter of Peter I and his second wife, was born in 18 (29) December 1709, during the celebrations to mark the victory over Karl XII. In 1711, together with her older sister Anna Elizabeth was officially proclaimed a Princess.

Father built at Elizabeth big plans, intending to intermarry with the French kings, but of the fact of such marriage was rejected.

During the reign of Catherine I, Elizabeth was seen as the heir to the Russian throne. Opponents, primarily Prince Menshikov, in response, began to promote the project of the marriage of the Princess. The groom, Prince Karl August of Holstein-Gottorp, came to Russia for the marriage, but in may, 1727, in the midst of wedding preparations contracted smallpox and died.

After the death of Emperor Peter II in 1730, the throne passed to his cousin Elizabeth, Anna Ivanovna. Ten years of the reign of her cousin Elizabeth was in disgrace, under close supervision.

In 1741, after the death of Anna Ioannovna, Elizaveta stood at the head of the coup against the infant Emperor Ivan VI and his family. Having achieved success, she ascended the throne under the name of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna.

The throne the daughter of Peter occupied for twenty years, until his death. Not being able to enter into a formal marriage, and, accordingly, is to produce legitimate heirs to the throne, Elizabeth has returned from abroad, nephew of the Duke Karl Peter Ulrich of Holstein.

Upon arrival in Russia, he was renamed to the Russian manner of Peter Fedorovich, and the official title included the words “grandson of Peter the Great”.

Elizabeth died in Petersburg, December 25, 1761 (January 5, 1762), in age 52, and was buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral.

Natalia (senior) and Margaret

3 (14) Mar 1713 in St. Petersburg, Peter the great and his second wife gave birth to a daughter called Natalia. The girl was the first legitimate child of the Emperor and his new wife.

Named after the grandmother, the mother of Peter the Great, Natalia lived for 2 years and 2 months. She died may 27 (June 7) in 1715 and was buried in Petropavlovsk a Cathedral of Petersburg.

3 (14) September 1714, Queen Catherine gave birth to another daughter whom they named Margaret. The girl lived 10 months and 24 days and died on July 27 (August 7), in 1715, exactly two months after the sisters. Margaret was also buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral.


On October 29 (November 9) 1715 was born the son of Peter the Great, to whom, as well as the father, called Peter. The king had big plans in connection with the birth of my son — he had to change as heir to the throne of his older brother Alexei.

But the boy had poor health, three years has not started to walk or speak. The worst fears of doctors and parents met — at the age of three and a half years, April 25 (may 6), 1719, Peter died.

For Peter the Great this death was a heavy blow. Hope for son who will be a successor, finally collapsed.


Unlike Paul, allegedly born to Evdokia Lopukhina, the birth of a son with the same name the second wife of Peter I confirmed.

The boy was born 2 (13) Jan 1717 in German Wesel, during the foreign travel of Peter the Great. The king at that time was in Amsterdam and did not find son alive. Pavel Petrovich died after living only one day. However, he received the title of Grand Prince, and was buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral of St. Petersburg, becoming the first man of the Romanov dynasty, buried there.

Natalia (Jr.)

20 (31) August of 1718, during peace talks with Sweden, the Queen gave birth to Peter the Great, another daughter, who was to become his last child.

Little girl called Natalia, despite the fact that just three years before the Royal couple’s daughter died with the same name.

Junior Natalia, unlike most of his brothers and sisters survived infancy. At the time of the official proclamation of the Russian Empire in 1721, remained alive only the three daughters of Peter the Great — Anna, Elizabeth and Natalie.

Alas, this girl was not destined to become an adult. In January 1725 he died intestate, her father, Peter I. Among the companions of the king broke out a fierce struggle for power. In these circumstances on the child, few people paid attention. Natasha was ill with measles and 4 (15) March, 1725, she was gone.

By the time Peter was not yet buried, and the coffins of father and daughter put together in one room. Natalya Petrovna was buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral next to the brothers and sisters.