Tsarevna Catherine Ivanovna of Russia

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Catherine Ivanovna
Tsarevna of Russia
Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Catherine Ioannovna, duchess of Mecklenburg.jpg
Spouse Karl Leopold, Duke of Mecklenburg
Issue Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna
Full name
Catherine Ivanovna Romanova
House House of Romanov
Father Ivan V of Russia
Mother Praskovia Saltykova
Born (1691-10-20)20 October 1691
Died 14 June 1733(1733-06-14) (aged 41)
Saint Petersburg
Burial Alexander Nevsky Monastery
Religion Eastern Orthodox

Tsarevna Catherine Ivanovna of Russia (20 October 1691 – 14 June 1733) was a daughter of Tsar Ivan V and Praskovia Saltykova, eldest sister of Empress Anna of Russia and niece of Peter the Great. By her marriage, she was a Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Early life[edit]

Born in Moscow and baptized at Chudov Monastery, Catherine's godparents were her uncle Tsar Peter I and her great-aunt Princess Tatiana. She was the third of five daughters, but the early deaths of her older sisters Maria (on 23 February 1692, aged three) and Feodosia (five months before her birth on 22 May 1691, aged one) left her as the eldest child of her parents. Two more sisters were born later: Anna, the future Russian Empress, and Praskovia (born 14 October 1694 - died 19 October 1730).

Catherine (reportedly the favorite child of her mother), spent her childhood in her mother's state of Izmaylovo, also the birthplace of her paternal grandfather Tsar Alexis. Like her younger sisters, she received an occidental education: study of German and French languages, dancing and etiquette. Her teachers were Johann-Dietrich Christopher Osterman (brother of the future Vice-Chancellor) and Frenchman Etienne Rambur. In 1708 the family moved to the new capital, Saint Petersburg.


According to contemporaries, Catherine was described as a short, dark-haired, and pale beauty and was a popular socialite with her charm and sociability.

At the request of her uncle Peter I, she was married on 19 April 1716 in Danzig to the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Karl Leopold. He had initially proposed to Catherine's sister Anna (then Dowager Duchess of Courland) but instead Peter I chose Catherine to be his bride. The marriage created a political alliance between Russia and Mecklenburg against Sweden, and was advantageous to Peter, as he wanted to use the port of Mecklenburg to harbour his fleet. According to the marriage contract, the Duke agreed to his future wife keeping her Orthodox faith, and to pay her as a dowry the sum of 6,000 thalers per year. Peter I would, in return, contribute to the Duke's attempts to conquer the town of Wismar.

The marriage was unhappy, as Karl Leopold abused Catherine. She escaped to Russia in 1722 with her young daughter Elisabeth Catherine Christine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The couple never divorced, but they never saw each other again.

On the death of Peter II in 1730, Catherine was considered first as a candidate for the tsardom, but the fear that her spouse would gain influence in Russia made the council turn to her widowed sister Anna, Duchess of Courland, instead. On 12 May 1733, Catherine was present when her daughter converted to the Orthodox religion and was given the name Anna Leopoldovna, which made her acceptable as an heir to the throne. Catherine died one month later.



This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Russian Wikipedia.
Tsarevna Catherine Ivanovna of Russia
Born: 20 October 1691 Died: 14 June 1733
German royalty
Title last held by
Landgravine Sophia Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
Duchess consort of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
19 April 1716–1728
Succeeded by
Duchess Gustave Caroline of Mecklenburg-Strelitz