|Birth Day:||December 29, 1709|
|Death Date:||Jan 5, 1762 (age 52)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Elizabeth Petrovna died on Jan 5, 1762 (age 52).
Her betrothed died and her first lover was banished to Siberia.
Elizabeth was born at Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, Russia, on 18 December 1709 (O.S.). Her parents were Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia and Catherine. Catherine was the daughter of Samuel Skowroński, a subject of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Although no documentary record exists, her parents were said to have married secretly at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in St. Petersburg at some point between 23 October and 1 December 1707. Their official marriage was at Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg on 9 February 1712. On this day, the two children previously born to the couple (Anna and Elizabeth) were legitimized by their father and given the title of Tsarevna ("princess") on 6 March 1711. Of the twelve children born to Peter and Catherine (five sons and seven daughters), only the sisters survived to adulthood. They had one older surviving sibling, crown prince Alexei Petrovich, who was Peter's son by his first wife, noblewoman Eudoxia Lopukhina.
In 1724, Peter betrothed his daughters to two young princes, first cousins to each other, who hailed from the tiny north German principality of Holstein-Gottorp and whose family was undergoing a period of political and economic stress. Anna Petrovna (aged 16) was to marry Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, who was then living in exile in Russia as Peter's guest after having failed in his attempt to succeed his maternal uncle as King of Sweden and whose patrimony was at that time under Danish occupation. Despite all this, the prince was of impeccable birth and well-connected to many royal houses; it was a respectable and politically useful alliance. In the same year, Elizabeth was betrothed to marry Charles Frederick's first cousin, Charles Augustus of Holstein-Gottorp, the eldest son of Christian Augustus, Prince of Eutin. Her sister's wedding was held in 1725 as planned, even though their father died a few weeks before the nuptials. In her case, however, her fiancé died on 31 May 1727, before the wedding could be celebrated. This came as a double blow to Elizabeth, because her mother (who had ascended to the throne) had died just two weeks previously, on 17 May 1727.
While Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov remained in power (until September 1727), the government of Elizabeth's adolescent nephew Peter II (reigned 1727–1730) treated her with liberality and distinction. However, the Dolgorukovs, an ancient boyar family, deeply resented Menshikov. With Peter II's attachment to Prince Ivan Dolgorukov and two of their family members on the Supreme State Council, they had the leverage for a successful coup. Menshikov was arrested, stripped of all his honours and properties, and exiled to northern Siberia, where he died in November 1729. The Dolgorukovs hated the memory of Peter the Great and practically banished his daughter from Court.
Elizabeth's response to the lack of marriage prospects was to take Alexis Shubin, a handsome sergeant in the Semyonovsky Guards regiment, as her lover. When Empress Anna found out about this, she had Shubin's tongue cut off and banished him to Siberia. After consoling herself, Elizabeth turned to handsome coachmen and footmen for her sexual pleasure. She eventually found a long-term companion in Alexis Razumovsky, a kind-hearted and handsome Ukrainian peasant serf with a good bass voice. Razumovsky had been brought from his village to St. Petersburg by a nobleman to sing for a church choir until the Grand Duchess purchased the talented serf from the nobleman for her own choir. A simple-minded man, Razumovsky never showed interest in affairs of state during all the years of his relationship with Elizabeth, which spanned from the days of her obscurity to the height of her power. As the couple was devoted to each other, there is reason to believe that they might even have married in a secret ceremony. In 1742, the Holy Roman Emperor made Razumovsky a Count of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1756, Elizabeth made him a Prince and Field Marshal.
Elizabeth crowned herself Empress in the Dormition Cathedral on 25 April 1742 (O.S.), which would become standard for all emperors of Russia until 1896. At the age of thirty-three, with relatively little political experience, she found herself at the head of a great empire at one of the most critical periods of its existence. Her proclamation explained that the preceding reigns had led Russia to ruin: "The Russian people have been groaning under the enemies of the Christian faith, but she has delivered them from the degrading foreign oppression." Russia had been under the domination of German advisers, so its Empress exiled the most unpopular of them, including Heinrich Ostermann, Burkhard von Munnich and Carl Gustav Lowenwolde. She passed down several pieces of legislation that undid much of the work her father had done to limit the power of the church., while still limiting its influence.
In 1742, the imperial government at Saint Petersburg ordered a Russian military expedition to conquer the Chukchis and Koryaks, but the expedition failed and its commander, Major Dmitry Pavlutsky, was killed in 1747. On 12 March 1747, a party of 500 Chukchi warriors raided the Russian stockade of Anadyrsk. By 1750, it had become clear the Chukchi would be difficult to conquer. The Empress then changed her tactical approach and established a formal peace with them.
As an unmarried and childless empress, it was imperative for Elizabeth to find a legitimate heir to secure the Romanov dynasty. She chose her nephew, Peter of Holstein-Gottorp. The young Peter had lost his mother at three months old and his father at the age of eleven. Elizabeth invited her young nephew to Saint Petersburg, where he was received into the Orthodox Church and proclaimed the heir to the throne on 7 November 1742. Keen to see the dynasty secured, Elizabeth immediately gave Peter the best Russian tutors and settled on Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst as a bride for her heir. Incidentally, Sophie's mother, Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp, was a sister of Elizabeth's own fiancé, who had died before the wedding. On her conversion to the Russian Orthodox Church, Sophie was given the name Catherine in memory of Elizabeth's mother. The marriage took place on 21 August 1745. Nine years later a son, the future Paul I, was born on 20 September 1754.
Elizabeth abolished the cabinet council system that had been used under Anna, and reconstituted the Senate as it had been under Peter the Great with the chiefs of the departments of state (none of them Germans) attending. Her first task after this was to address the war with Sweden. On 23 January 1743 direct negotiations between the two powers were opened at Åbo (Turku). In the Treaty of Åbo, on 7 August 1743 (O.S.), Sweden ceded to Russia all of southern Finland east of the Kymmene River, which became the boundary between the two states. The treaty also gave Russia the fortresses of Villmanstrand and Fredrikshamn.
The great event of Elizabeth's later years was the Seven Years' War. Elizabeth regarded the Convention of Westminster (16 January 1756) in which Great Britain and Prussia agreed to unite their forces to oppose the entry of or the passage through Germany of troops of every foreign power, as utterly subversive of the previous conventions between Great Britain and Russia. Elizabeth sided against Prussia over a personal dislike of Frederick the Great. She wanted him reduced within proper limits so that he might no longer be a danger to the empire. Elizabeth acceded to the Second Treaty of Versailles, thus entering into an alliance with France and Austria against Prussia. On 17 May 1757 the Russian army, 85,000 strong, advanced against Königsberg.
However, on 14 February 1758, Bestuzhev was removed from office. The future Catherine II recorded, "He was relieved of all his decorations and rank, without a soul being able to reveal for what crimes or transgressions the first gentleman of the Empire was so despoiled, and sent back to his house as a prisoner." No specific crime was ever pinned on Bestuzhev. Instead, it was inferred that he had attempted to sow discord between the Empress and her heir and his consort. Enemies of the pro-Austrian Bestuzhev were his rivals; the Shuvalov family, Vice-Chancellor Mikhail Vorontsov, and the French ambassador.
Frederick himself was quite aware of his danger. "I'm at the end of my resources," he wrote at the beginning of 1760. "The continuance of this war means for me utter ruin. Things may drag on perhaps till July, but then a catastrophe must come." On 21 May 1760, a fresh convention was signed between Russia and Austria, a secret clause of which, never communicated to the court of Versailles, guaranteed East Prussia to Russia as an indemnity for war expenses. The failure of the campaign of 1760, wielded by the inept Count Buturlin, induced the court of Versailles on the evening of 22 January 1761 to present to the court of Saint Petersburg a dispatch to the effect that the king of France, by reason of the condition of his dominions, absolutely desired peace. The Russian empress' reply was delivered to the two ambassadors on 12 February. It was inspired by the most uncompromising hostility towards the king of Prussia. Elizabeth would not consent to any pacific overtures until the original object of the league had been accomplished.
Simultaneously, Elizabeth had conveyed to Louis XV a confidential letter in which she proposed the signature of a new treaty of alliance of a more comprehensive and explicit nature than the preceding treaties between the two powers without the knowledge of Austria. Elizabeth's object in the mysterious negotiation seems to have been to reconcile France and Great Britain, in return for which signal service France was to throw all her forces into the German war. This project, which lacked neither ability nor audacity, foundered upon Louis XV's invincible jealousy of the growth of Russian influence in Eastern Europe and his fear of offending the Porte. It was finally arranged by the allies that their envoys at Paris should fix the date for the assembling of a peace congress and that in the meantime, the war against Prussia should be vigorously prosecuted. In 1760 a Russian flying column briefly occupied Berlin. Russian victories placed Prussia in serious danger.
The campaign of 1761 was almost as abortive as the campaign of 1760. Frederick acted on the defensive with consummate skill, and the capture of the Prussian fortress of Kolberg on Christmas Day 1761, by Rumyantsev, was the sole Russian success. Frederick, however, was now at the last gasp. On 6 January 1762, he wrote to Count Karl-Wilhelm Finck von Finckenstein, "We ought now to think of preserving for my nephew, by way of negotiation, whatever fragments of my territory we can save from the avidity of my enemies", which meant, if words mean anything, that he was resolved to seek a soldier's death on the first opportunity. A fortnight later, he wrote to Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, "The sky begins to clear. Courage, my dear fellow. I have received the news of a great event." The Miracle of the House of Brandenburg that snatched him from destruction was the death of the Russian empress, on 5 January 1762 (N.S.).
In the late 1750s, Elizabeth's health started to decline. She suffered a series of dizzy spells and refused to take the prescribed medicines. The Empress forbade the word "death" in her presence until she suffered a stroke on December 24, 1761 (O.S.). Knowing that she was dying, Elizabeth used her last remaining strength to make her confession, to recite with her confessor the prayer for the dying and to say farewell to those few people who wished to be with her, including Peter and Catherine and Counts Alexei and Kirill Razumovsky.
The Empress died the next day, Orthodox Christmas, 1761. For her lying in state, she was dressed in a shimmering silver dress. It was said that she was beautiful in death as she had been in life. She was buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg on 3 February 1762 (O.S.) six weeks later after her laying in state.
Elizabeth's parents were Peter I and Catherine I of Russia.
Currently, Elizabeth Petrovna is 313 years, 2 months and 27 days old. Elizabeth Petrovna will celebrate 314th birthday on a Friday 29th of December 2023. Below we countdown to Elizabeth Petrovna upcoming birthday.