Military Review

Russian monarchs and their favorites

Monarchy can not be imagined without such a thing as favoritism. Kings and queens, emperors and empresses no, no, and they chose from their circle the retinues of a “special” person. Not passed by and Russia. Our sovereigns did not deny themselves the pleasure of forgetting themselves in the arms of the “galants.” But not everyone could become a “chance”. The queens, first of all, needed a strong and intelligent friend, a reliable partner in solving state tasks. The same was guided, for example, by Peter the Great, bringing Alexander Menshikov closer. His sharp mind and ingenious resourcefulness were necessary for the state.

Anna Ivanovna and Ernst Biron

The empress of the Romanov dynasty ascended the throne in February 1730. She could not boast a brilliant education or political acumen necessary to govern a huge country. Therefore, she needed an assistant. And Ernst Johann Biron, who served as the chief chamberlain at the court at the time of the Duchess Anna Ioannovna, was "discharged" from Kurland.
The main favorite of the Empress did not differ education or any special abilities. This was compensated by vanity, cunning and stubbornness. In fact, he became the ruler of the Russian Empire, and the time of the reign of Anna Ioannovna entered into history as "Birovschina". Her favorite, according to historians, became the personification of German dominance. Klyuchevsky wrote: “The Germans poured into Russia, like rubbish from a leaky bag, stuck to the courtyard, sat down on the throne, and huddled in to the most profitable places in management.” It was Ernst Johann who was blamed for all the misfortunes that fell on the country. There is even a legend that once Biron took an interest in one of the court jesters, saying that they say about me among the people? He replied: "You, your lordship, are considered by some to be god, others by Satan, but no one is considered to be human."

An ambiguous reaction was caused by the relationship of Anna Ioannovna with the Biron family. Back in 1723, he married the Duchess of Benigna Gottlieb von Trotta-Trayden. The future Russian empress perfectly got along with her. Because of this, it was rumored that the real mother of Karl, the son of Biron, was actually Anna.

In St. Petersburg, the Biron family apartments were located near the rooms of the Empress. And all her free time she spent there. This, of course, could not hide from prying eyes. Even foreigners noticed strange relationships. For example, the Spanish ambassador about the tandem of the empress - the favorite spoke like this: "Count Biron faithfully served Her Majesty for many years, at the same time fulfilling the duties of a spouse."

It was Birona Anna Ioannovna who made regent with her two-month-old son John the Sixth. But after the death of the empress, Ernst was in power all day 22, after which he was arrested and exiled to Siberia. Only under Catherine the Second, Biron was pardoned and returned to the Duchy of Courland.

Elizaveta Petrovna and Alexey Razumovsky

The family life of the future Empress Elizabeth Petrovna did not work from the very beginning. She was married to the young prince of Holstein-Gottorp Karl-August. He even arrived in St. Petersburg, but suddenly died of smallpox. Elizabeth decided that this was a sign from above, so she was not in a hurry to get married. Instead, she "tamed" his chamberlain Alexander Buturlin, making him "galant."
But soon the favorite was sent by Peter the Second to fight the Tatars. Elizabeth did not grieve for long. The vacant place was taken by her second cousin Simon Naryshkin. Only this relationship did not go well - the “galant” went “to repay the debt to the Motherland” abroad. Elizabeth’s happiness did not last long with the grenadier of the Semenov regiment Alexei Shubin. He was replaced by Aleksey Rozum, a chorister from the court choir, at the “battle post”.

Rosum was from the Ukrainian village of Lemeshi. Hereditary Cossack herd a rural herd. But then, finding in himself the ability to chant, he fled to a nearby village. Here Alex got into the church choir. This was the starting point of his career. Soon, at the invitation, he moved to St. Petersburg and began to sing in the court choir. It was there that Tsearevna Elizabeth noticed him.
Having mastered the new “position,” Alexey first of all changed his last name, becoming Razumovsky. We must pay tribute to him, unlike the other "cases" of Elizabeth, the chorister did not try to take advantage of his position. Even when the crown prince became empress. Razumovsky was not proud, didn’t make intrigues behind the sovereign’s back, didn’t get into political matters unnecessarily. And although the influence on the Empress Alexei was enormous, the leader did not encroach on her power. He just loved her. Because of his kindness, sincerity and reliability, Razumovsky stood out against the background of the rest of the court folk. Elizabeth appreciated this, therefore in letters she turned to him, “My friend is not sensible.”

Most likely, the empress and the favorite were married. Although there are no documents confirming this. But they had children. Because of this, a variety of impostors subsequently claimed the throne. The most striking example is Princess Tarakanova.

Catherine the Second and Prince Grigory Potemkin-Tavrichesky

This empress needed not just a lover, but a close friend. Smart and courageous, who could help in the management of a huge country. After replacing several favorites, in 1773, Ekaterina met with young General Grigory Potemkin, whom the whole country learned through the war with the Turks. At that time they were already familiar, because Potemkin helped the future empress to ascend the throne. Over the years, Grigory Alexandrovich has changed a lot. The impressive appearance and mind could not leave the Empress indifferent. They have become inseparable. Relations with the sovereign favorably affected his career. After only a year, Potemkin became first a lieutenant colonel of the Preobrazhensky regiment, and soon he was appointed vice-president of the Military Collegium. And in 1775, he won the title of count.

Grigory Alexandrovich settled in the Winter Palace, next to the empress's chambers. He behaved wildly, rudely and slovenly. There was also a bad habit of nibbling nails during a conversation. But the empress considered all this “cute,” and even called Potemkin “the first leg of the empire.”
Russian monarchs and their favorites

The main topic of conversation among the courtiers was only one thing - how was the military able to conquer the empress? Versions have been put forward different. But Catherine most of all appreciated the favorite for her mind. He was aware of all state affairs, gave the empress advice. In addition, Grigory Alexandrovich zealously took up the army and navy, which required modernization.

In 1774, Catherine and Potemkin were married. According to one version, it happened in the church of Sampson the Freaks. Although there are no documents confirming the wedding, Catherine began to call the favorite “dear husband” in the letters.

But for Potemkin it became a kind of noose. He began to get the blues, because "everything in life has been achieved and there is nothing more to strive for." Catherine courageously endured his antics, but in December 1775, Grigory Alexandrovich still moved out of the Winter Palace. Soon, Potemkin became the governor-general of Novorossia, where he was given the task of "reviving" the territory after the Tatar raids.

Catherine's heart soon took another favorite. But until the end of his days, the empress and prince Tauride kept respect for each other.

Peter the Great and Alexander Menshikov

It is curious that the “empress - favorite” scheme did not always work in the Russian state. Peter the Great, for example, got out of the list, bringing his friend and ally closer to him. This is about Alexander Menshikov.

The sovereign's favorite was born on November 16 of the year 1673. His life did not bode well for anything, since the “career” of the boy began with the trade in cakes stuffed with rotten hare. But by the end of his life the full title of Alexander Danilovich included more than twenty points. And the most unusual were "Cavalier of the Order of the Elephant" and "Admiral of the Red Flag."

Alexashka, as they called Menshikov, first brought him closer to Franz Lefort. Then he "migrated" to Peter, becoming his batman. The former merchant of pies hand in hand with the future sovereign worked on the "amusing" shelves. And when they matured, Menshikov was always close to the emperor: from the battlefields, to the feasts.

Extraordinary mental abilities allowed Alexander Danilovich to become the best in various fields. He managed to prove himself and as a brilliant commander, and as a talented diplomat, and as an intelligent administrator, and as ... a brilliant embezzler. It was said about him that he “equalized his pocket with the state treasury”.

The latter, of course, could greatly spoil the reputation of the favorite, if not for one “but”. Menshikov knew how to justify no less ingeniously. This time. Secondly, he not only dragged money from the treasury, but sometimes took over government expenses. For example, he spent his money on the purchase of winter hats for the soldiers of the Ingermanland Regiment. And during the Pomeranian campaign, Menshikov’s wallet lost a considerable amount of money - about 50 thousand rubles. With this money he bought tents and provisions. In addition, Alexander Danilovich spent his money on bribing foreign diplomats and officials, paid salaries to spies and so on.

Peter I, of course, knew about all this. Therefore, he often pretended not to notice the hand of his favorite in the state treasury.

Alexandra Fedorovna and Grigory Rasputin

In 1903, an event occurred that influenced both the life of the royal family and the whole of Russia. Grigory Rasputin arrived in St. Petersburg. He called himself a visionary and healer, having managed to quickly impress the capricious residents of the capital. He was perceived in different ways. Someone saw in him a saint, someone - a blessed one, and still others considered the old man to be a treacherous schemer and criminal. In any case, there was no indifferent.

In November 1905, Rasputin met with the royal family. Nicholas II about this event made the following entry: "We met with the man of God - Gregory from the Tobolsk province".

Soon the old man began to treat the heir to Alexei’s hemophilia. But, according to some historians and researchers (including writer Valentin Pikul), Rasputin took it only for his own benefit. He could not help the child with anything. And during the attacks, just giving him drugs, easing the suffering.

Due to the special attitude to the elder, various rumors spread across St. Petersburg. Some claimed that Rasputin became the favorite of the queen. Others said they had an affair. And the “wonderworker” himself no, no, yes, and he added fuel to the fire, showing off (especially when intoxicated) that he had “access” to the queen and her daughters. There is a grain of truth in this or not, hard to say. It is possible that this is just a "drunken chatter." So to say, the dreams of Rasputin himself.

But the fact that Gregory did not hesitate to the royal family, demonstrating his violent temper, speaks about something. For example, Kerensky, in his memoirs, argued that once Rasputin had raped a nurse heir to the throne. She, of course, told about what had happened to Alexander Fyodorovna, but ... The Tsarina unexpectedly took the side of Rasputin, saying that she was trying to slander and defame the "holy" Gregory.

In 1912, strange, piquant letters appeared, in which both the queen and Rasputin appeared. They caused a storm of emotions in St. Petersburg. But their authenticity is highly questionable. Because their friend Gregory “merged”.

The power of Rasputin over the royal family could not last forever. 17 December 1916 of the year he was killed in a conspiracy.
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  1. Ostrovsky
    Ostrovsky 30 October 2017 15: 56 New
    And most of all I like Potemkin and the general is excellent and a favorite.
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 30 October 2017 17: 52 New
      I agree: he had UM, and Platon Zubov only had an eld
  2. Basil50
    Basil50 30 October 2017 16: 10 New
    Yes, there were favorites, so the authorities always have someone in * favor *. That's just about G.I.Rasputin's meanness and stupidity purposefully distributed like hedgehog * music * and near the Tsar Tsaritsa wipes. He was killed for this. A dark story, * alistocrats * then swore that they poisoned him and shot him and finished him off * with a weight *, and then drowned him. But the chief killer’s chief, an Englishman from the English embassy workers, very convincingly and convincingly described how he shot GI Rasputin, and his * alistocratic * accomplices helped hide the traces of the crime.
    But he was like a healer abruptly Kashpirovsky or Juna which they were promoted by their accomplices.
    Rasputin was not granted titles, so he was killed. In the RUSSIAN EMPIRE, caste society was no less established than in India or China, where * low-born * were by rights at the level of cattle fed for slaughter.
  3. Boris55
    Boris55 30 October 2017 16: 21 New
    Quote: Pavel Zhukov
    Russian monarchs and their favorites

    Are they Russian? Look at the neckline - there is no cross on them.
    1. Basil50
      Basil50 30 October 2017 17: 00 New
      Well, like that. Since when does faith in a Jewish carpenter determine nationality?
      1. Monarchist
        Monarchist 30 October 2017 17: 50 New
        Basil, though rudely you said, but true. You +, although for the most part I did not agree with you, but here I agree
      2. Boris55
        Boris55 30 October 2017 18: 42 New
        Quote: Vasily50
        Since when does faith in a Jewish carpenter determine nationality?

        You saw a hint of nationality in this question: "Are they Russian?" laughing The country accepted the faith of Christ, that is, Christians. When baptized with body crosses, those marked with crosses, but here they rule the spine. what
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 30 October 2017 17: 02 New
    Rasputin is hardly a favorite .. When a child is terminally ill and you bring the bald line closer ..
  5. Monarchist
    Monarchist 30 October 2017 17: 47 New
    Quote: parusnik
    Rasputin is hardly a favorite .. When a child is terminally ill and you bring the bald line closer ..

    You can’t argue with that. And given that he had the makings of a hypnotist, and hypnotists adore hysterical and weak-willed people.
    If we recall our recent history: Alan Chumak talking water (how many people put water in front of the TV, or even popped a butt), Kashperovsky operation without anesthesia. And we are more educated than 100 years ago
  6. Monarchist
    Monarchist 30 October 2017 18: 00 New
    Thanks to the author for the story, I learned some details, but in general there are favorites everywhere. Each office has a leader and his retinue. Even in animals, Drozdov spoke well about this. "In the animal world" was a favorite show, and also the "Travelers Club"
  7. Moore
    Moore 30 October 2017 18: 30 New
    It was Biron Anna Anna Ioannovna who made regent with her two-month-old son, John the Sixth.

    And I thought that John the Sixth was the son of Prince Anton-Ulrich of Braunschweig-Luneburg and Anna Leopoldovna, the daughter of the Duke Karl Leopold of Mecklenburg and Ekaterina Ioannovna, the daughter of Tsar John Alekseevich (brother Peter). And it’s like ... laughing
    1. Okolotochny
      Okolotochny 19 November 2017 23: 04 New
      To the point, they removed it from Klava. Not a son, but a great-nephew.
  8. moskowit
    moskowit 30 October 2017 18: 35 New
    It was Biron Anna Anna Ioannovna who made regent with her two-month-old son, John the Sixth.

    You, that respected author, have been overeaten ....
    Ivan The sixth son of Anna Leopoldovna, Anna’s niece ... Therefore, a grand-nephew ... Should I explain further? Or read it yourself ??? laughing lol No.
  9. Looking for
    Looking for 30 October 2017 19: 23 New
    Tell me. Which side to all of the above are a couple -A.F. and Rasputin.A.F. was not an autocratic empress and for this reason her lover, nepotornik, friend- rasputin, but certainly not a favorite.
  10. Looking for
    Looking for 30 October 2017 19: 24 New
    Quote: Ostrovsky
    And most of all I like Potemkin and the general is excellent and a favorite.

    He was an outstanding statesman, that’s the main thing.
  11. Looking for
    Looking for 30 October 2017 19: 29 New
    Quote: Boris55
    Are they Russian? Look at the neckline - there is no cross on them.

    What do you think, and who is the Windsor dynasty by nationality, who has ruled Great Britain for 300 years.
    1. Amurets
      Amurets 31 October 2017 12: 14 New
      Quote: Seeker
      What do you think, and who is the Windsor dynasty by nationality, who has ruled Great Britain for 300 years.

      The quote is taken from here.
      The ruling family of Great Britain is the Windsor Dynasty. Its history originates from the famous princely family of Germany - Vettinov. This family received its name in the second half of the 1000th century from the name of the family castle. It was acquired around the year 1485 by Count Gassegau Dietrich I. Since then, the genealogy can be traced clearly, although the name of the ancestors of the founder of the genus is unknown. None of the versions that the researchers offer have any documentary evidence. Almost five hundred years later, in 175234, the descendants of Dietrich I Ernst and Albrecht divided the estates. The event went down in history as the Leipzig section. Since then, the Vettin line has doubled into Albertinskaya and Ernestinskaya. From the second comes the ruling England dynasty of the Windsor. - Read more on
  12. The comment was deleted.
  13. Antares
    Antares 30 October 2017 20: 11 New
    People tend to choose their favorites. We are social creatures, and very concerned.
    If at the same time we manage to make a good deed for posterity and satisfy our ambitions, in general, life is not in vain lived.
  14. Olgovich
    Olgovich 31 October 2017 07: 39 New
    The history of Russian favoritism is surprisingly dizzying social elevators: A. Menshikov, Razumovsky, Catherine 1, became all of nobody ....
  15. WapentakeLokki
    WapentakeLokki 31 October 2017 18: 06 New
    And why are they called the Romanovs? What is left of Mishka Romanov, the first Emperor and the last Peter the Great? In fact, they were Deutsch with all their cockroaches in their heads. It’s funny to see their portrait gallery (well, you have Sharapov’s face) yeah stocky meat (not Elves alone Dwarves but Orcs)
  16. smaug78
    smaug78 23 December 2017 16: 04 New
    "Birovschina." From the word beer? Everyone was forced to drink beer brewed in factories, Biron))) And the time was called "Bironovschina"
  17. sergo42
    sergo42 13 February 2018 22: 50 New
    Again the retelling of the fable a la Tolstoy about the "cake dealer" Menshikov