Tsaritsa (Bulgarian: царица; Russian: цари́ца), formerly spelled czaritsa (and in English usually tsarina or czarina, with a feminine suffix), is the title of a female autocratic ruler (monarch) of Bulgaria or Russia, or the title of a tsar's wife.
"Tsaritsa" was the title of the female supreme ruler in the following states:
- Bulgaria: in 913–1018, in 1185–1422 and in 1908–1946
- Serbia: in 1346–1371
- Russia: officially from about 1547 until 1721, unofficially in 1721–1917 (officially "Empresses").
Since 1721, the official titles of the Russian male and female monarchs were Emperor (Russian: император, imperator) and Empress (Russian: императрица, imperatritsa), respectively, or Empress Consort. Officially the last Russian tsaritsa was Eudoxia Lopukhina, Peter the Great's first wife, and the last Russian Empress was Alexandra Fyodorovna (Alix of Hesse), the wife of Nicholas II of Russia.
Several tsaritsas were the rulers of Russia, including empresses Catherine I (reigned 1725–27), Anna (1730–40), Elizabeth (1741–62), and Catherine the Great (1762–96). Others who gained the title unofficially by marrying a tsar were Elizabeth Alexeevna, Alexandra Fyodorovna (Charlotte of Prussia), Maria Alexandrovna, Maria Fyodorovna, and Eleonore of Reuss-Köstritz, who became Tsaritsa of Bulgaria following her marriage to Tsar Ferdinand.
Many princesses from Western Europe, who converted to Orthodox Christianity and change their given names accordingly, were given the patronymic Fyodorovna not because their fathers were named Theodore but as an allegory based on the name of Theotokos of St. Theodore, the patron icon of the Romanov family.
The first Serbian tsaritsa was Helena of Bulgaria, sister of Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander and wife of Tsar Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia. She was the empress consort of Serbia from 1346 until Dušan's sudden death in 1355. The second, and the last, Serbian tsaritsa was Ana Basarab, from the Wallachian noble house of Basarab. She married Dušan's son, Tsar Stephen Uroš V of Serbia somewhere between 1356 and 1360, and ruled until the Serbian empire's demise in 1371.
See also 
- For tsar's daughters see tsarevna.
- List of Russian consorts
- List of Serbian consorts
- List of Bulgarian consorts
- "Елисавета Феодоровна". Православная энциклопедия. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
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