List of heirs to the Russian throne

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This is a list of the individuals who were, at any given time, considered the next in line to inherit the throne of Russia or Grand Prince of Moscow. Those who actually succeeded (at any future time) are shown in bold. Stillborn children and infants surviving less than a month are not included.

1281 to 1552[edit]

At this time the ruler is known as Grand Prince of Moscow.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Next in line Monarch
Yury Danilovich Heir apparent eldest son 1281 born 4 March 1303 became Grand Prince Ivan Danilovich
1288–1303, brother
Daniel
Ivan Danilovich Heir presumptive brother 4 March 1303 brother became Grand Prince 21 November 1325 became Grand Prince uncertain Yury
Simeon Ivanovich
1316–1325, son
Simeon Ivanovich Heir apparent eldest son 21 November 1325 father became Grand Prince 31 March 1340 became Grand Prince Ivan Ivanovich
1325–1340, brother
Ivan I
Ivan Ivanovich Heir presumptive brother 31 March 1340 brother became Grand Prince 1348 son born to Grand Prince uncertain Simeon
Ivan Simeonovich Heir apparent eldest son 1349 born 1353 died Ivan Ivanovich
1349–c. 1350, uncle
XX Simeonovich
c. 1350–1353, brother
Ivan Ivanovich Heir presumptive brother 1353 death of Grand Prince's sons 27 April 1353 became Grand Prince Dmitry Ivanovich
1353, son
Dmitry Ivanovich Heir apparent eldest son 27 April 1353 father became Grand Prince 13 November 1359 became Grand Prince uncertain Ivan II
Ivan Ivanovich
c. 1356–1359, brother
Ivan Ivanovich Heir presumptive brother 13 November 1359 brother became Grand Prince 1364 died Vladimir Andreyevich
1359–1364, cousin
Dmitry Donskoy
Vladimir Andreyevich Heir presumptive cousin 1364 death of Grand Prince's brother c. 1370 son born to Grand Prince uncertain
Daniil Dmitrievich Heir apparent eldest son c. 1370 born 15 September 1379 died Vladimir Andreyevich
1370–1371, father's cousin
Vasily Dmitrievich
1371–1379, brother
Vasily Dmitrievich Heir apparent eldest son 15 September 1379 brother died 19 May 1389 became Grand Prince Yury Dmitrievich
1379–1389, brother
Yury Dmitrievich Heir presumptive brother 19 May 1389 brother became Grand Prince 30 March 1395 son born to Grand Prince Andrey Dmitrievich
1389–1395, brother
Vasily I
Yury Vasilievich Heir apparent eldest son 30 March 1395 born 30 November 1400 died Yury Dmitrievich
1395–1396, uncle
Ivan Vasilievich
1396–1400, brother
Ivan Vasilievich Heir apparent eldest son 30 November 1400 brother died 20 July 1417 died Yury Dmitrievich
1400, uncle
Daniel Vasilievich
1400–1402, brother
Yury Dmitrievich
1402–1415, uncle
Vasily Vasilievich
1415–1417, brother
Vasily Viasilievich Heir apparent eldest son 20 July 1417 brother died 27 February 1425 became Grand Prince Yury Dmitrievich
1417–1425, uncle
Yury Dmitrievich Heir presumptive uncle 27 February 1425 nephew became Grand Prince 1433 seized the throne Vasily Yurievich Kosoy
1425–1433, son
Vasily II
Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Next in line Monarch
Vasily Kosoy Heir apparent eldest son 1433 father became Grand Prince 5 June 1434 became Grand Prince Dmitry Yurievich
1433–1434, brother
Yury II Dmitrievich
Dmitry Yurievich Heir presumptive brother 5 June 1434 brother became Grand Prince 1435 Grand Prince deposed by his cousin uncertain Vasily Kosoy
Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Next in line Monarch
succession uncertain 1435–1440 Vasily II
Ivan Vasilievich Heir apparent eldest son 22 January 1440 born 1446 Grand Prince deposed uncertain
1447 father returned to throne 27 March 1462 became Grand Prince Andrey Vasilievich Bolshoy
1447–1458, brother
Ivan Ivanovich
1458–1462, son
Ivan Ivanovich Heir apparent eldest son 27 March 1462 father became Grand Prince 6 March 1490 died Andrey Vasilievich Bolshoy
1462–1479, uncle
Ivan III
Vasily Ivanovich
1479–1483, half-brother
Dmitry Ivanovich
1483–1490, son
Dmitry Ivanovich Heir apparent grandson 1490 father died April 1502 excluded from succession by Grand Prince Vasili Ivanovich
1490–1502, half-uncle
Vasily Ivanovich Heir apparent eldest living son April 1502 nephew excluded from succession by Grand Prince 27 October 1505 became Grand Prince Yury Ivanovich
1502–1505, brother
Yury Ivanovich Heir presumptive brother 27 October 1505 brother became Grand Prince 25 August 1530 son born to Grand Prince Andrey Ivanovich
1505–1530, brother
Vasily III
Ivan Vasilievich Heir apparent eldest son 25 August 1530 born 13 December 1533 became Grand Prince Yury Ivanovich
1530–1532, uncle
Yuri Vasilievich
1532–1533, brother
Yuri Vasilievich Heir presumptive brother 13 December 1533 brother became Grand Prince 16 January 1547 Grand Prince crowned Tsar Yury Ivanovich
1533–1536, uncle
Ivan IV
Andrey Ivanovich of Staritsa
1536–1537, uncle
Vladimir of Staritsa
1537–1547, cousin

1552 to 1722[edit]

From this point of the ruler is Tsar (Czar) of Russia.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Next in line Monarch
Yuri Vasilievich Heir presumptive brother 16 January 1547 ruler first crowned Tsar 1552 son born to tsar Vladimir of Staritsa
1547–1552, cousin
Ivan IV
Dmitry Ivanovich Heir apparent son 1552 born 1553 died Yuri Vasilievich
1552–1553, uncle
Yuri Vasilievich Heir presumptive brother 1533 tsar's son died 28 March 1554 son born to tsar Vladimir of Staritsa
1553–1554, cousin
Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich Heir apparent son 28 March 1554 born 19 November 1581 died Yuri Vasilievich
1554–1563, uncle
uncertain
Tsarevich Feodor Ivanovich
1557–1581, brother
Tsarevich Feodor Ivanovich Heir apparent eldest son 19 November 1581 brother died 18 March 1584 became tsar uncertain
Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich
1582–1591, half-brother
Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich Heir presumptive half-brother 18 March 1584 brother became tsar 15 May 1591 died uncertain Feodor I
succession uncertain 1591–1598
Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Next in line Monarch
Tsarevich Feodor Borisovich Godunov Heir apparent eldest son 21 February 1598 father became tsar 13 April 1605 became Tsar uncertain Boris Godunov
succession uncertain 1605–1606 Feodor II
False Dmitriy I
Dmitry Shuisky Heir presumptive brother 19 May 1606 brother became tsar 17 July 1610 brother dethroned uncertain Vasili IV
succession uncertain 1610 False Dmitry II
Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland Heir presumptive father 6 September 1610 son became ruler of Moscowy 4 November 1612 Polish forces defeated John Casimir Vasa
1610–1612, son
Władysław IV Vasa
Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Next in line Monarch
Filaret, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Heir presumptive father 26 July 1613 son became tsar 9 March 1629 son born to tsar uncertain Michael
Tsarevich Alexei Mikhailovich Heir apparent eldest son 9 March 1629 born 14 July 1645 became tsar Patriarch Filaret
1629–1633, grandfather
uncertain
succession uncertain 1645–1648 Alexei
Tsarevich Dmitri Alekseyevich Heir apparent eldest son 1648 born 1649 died uncertain
succession uncertain 1649–1654
Tsarevich Alexei Alekseyevich Heir apparent eldest son 15 February 1654 born 17 January 1670 died uncertain
Tsarevich Feodor Alekseyevich
1661–1670, brother
Tsarevich Feodor Alekseyevich Heir apparent eldest son 17 January 1670 brother died 29 January 1676 became tsar Tsarevich Ivan Alekseyevich
1670–1676, brother
Tsarevich Ivan Alekseyevich Heir presumptive brother 29 January 1676 brother became tsar 7 May 1682 became tsar Tsarevich Peter Alekseyvich'
1676–1682, half-brother
Feodor III
Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Next in line Monarch
succession uncertain 1682–1690 Peter I
Peter I and Ivan V (jointly)
Grand Duke Alexei Petrovich heir presumptive eldest son (of Peter) 18 February 1690 born 26 June 1718 died uncertain
Grand Duke Alexander Petrovich
1691–1692, brother
uncertain
heir apparent eldest son Peter I
Grand Duke Peter Alekseyevich
1715–1718, son
Grand Duke Peter Alekseyevich Heir presumptive grandson 26 June 1718 father died 16 February 1722 Decree of the succession to the throne uncertain

1722 to 1797[edit]

Between Peter I's decree on the succession to the throne of 16 February 1722 and Paul I's decree of 15 May 1797, the Emperor had the right to name his or her own successor. All heirs in this period were nominated by the reigning monarch, rather than holding the position by right of inheritance. Despite Peter the Great's modification of the law to allow nomination of a successor by the monarch, neither he nor his two immediate successors ever nominated an heir, and Catherine I, Peter II, and Anna were all chosen irregularly, after the death of their predecessor. In addition, Ivan VI, who had not named a successor, was deposed in a coup, while Peter III, who was deposed and murdered after a coup, was succeeded not by his son Paul, his chosen successor, but by his wife, who became Catherine II.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Monarch
Grand Duke Ivan Antonovich Crown heir grand nephew 1740 proclaimed by Empress 1740 became emperor Anna
Grand Duke Peter Feodorovich Heir apparent nephew 1742 proclaimed by Empress 1762 became emperor Elizabeth
Grand Duke Paul Petrovich Heir apparent son 1762 proclaimed by Emperor, and then by Empress 1796 became emperor Peter III and Catherine II
Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich Heir apparent son 1796 proclaimed by Emperor 1801 became emperor Paul I

1797 to 1917[edit]

In 1797, Emperor Paul modified the laws of succession, abolishing the Petrine law and establishing in its place a law establishing semi-Salic succession among his own descendants. This law remained until the abolition of the monarchy.

Although Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich renounced his claims to the throne in 1820, he did so secretly, and so was still widely viewed as heir to the throne until his older brother's death in 1825. At the death of Alexander I, the next brother, who would became Nicholas I, deferred his claims until his older brother Constantine renounced once again, but after Constantine's second renunciation he claimed to have taken the throne immediately upon Alexander's death.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Monarch
Tsarevich Alexander Pavlovich Heir apparent son 1797 designated as heir by new law of succession 1801 became emperor Paul I
Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich Heir presumptive brother 1801 brother ascended to throne 1806 daughter born to brother Alexander I
Grand Duchess Elizabeth Alexandrovna Heiress presumptive daughter 1806 born 1808 died
Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich Heir presumptive brother 1808 death of the emperor's daughter 1820 renounced claims to the throne
Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich Heir presumptive brother 1820 brother's renunciation 1825 became emperor
Tsarevich Alexander Nikolaevich Heir apparent son 1825 father's accession to the throne 1855 became emperor Nicholas I
Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich Heir apparent son 1855 father's accession to the throne 1865 died Alexander II
Tsarevich Alexander Alexandrovich Heir apparent son 1865 brother's death 1881 became emperor
Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich Heir apparent son 1881 father's accession to the throne 1894 became emperor Alexander III
Grand Duke George Alexandrovich Heir presumptive brother 1894 brother's accession to the throne 1899 died Nicholas II
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich Heir presumptive brother 1899 brother's death 1904 birth of Emperor's son
Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich Heir apparent son 1904 born 1917 Russian monarchy abolished

See also[edit]