Monarchy of Russia
Visualisation of Russian monarchs as a tree (1886)
Details
StyleHis/Her Imperial Majesty
First monarchRurik (as Prince)
Last monarchNicholas II (as Emperor)
Formation862
Abolition15 March 1917
ResidenceWinter Palace, Moscow Kremlin
AppointerHereditary
Pretender(s)

This is a list of all reigning monarchs in the history of Russia. The list begins with the semi-legendary prince Rurik of Novgorod, sometime in the mid-9th century, and ends with Nicholas II, who abdicated in 1917, and was executed with his family in 1918. Two dynasties have ruled Russia: the Rurikids (862–1598) and Romanovs (from 1613).[1]

The vast territory known as Russia covers an area that has been ruled by various polities since the 9th century, including Kievan Rus', the Grand Principality of Vladimir, the Grand Principality of Moscow, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, and the sovereigns of these polities have used a range of titles. Some of the earliest titles include knyaz and veliky knyaz, which mean "prince" and "grand prince" respectively, and have sometimes been rendered as "duke" and "grand duke" in Western literature. After the centralized Russian state was formed, this was followed by the title of tsar, meaning "caesar", which was disputed to be the equal of either a king or emperor, and finally the title of emperor.

According to Article 59 of the 1906 Russian constitution, the Russian emperor held several dozen titles, each one representing a region which the monarch governed.[2]

Rurikids (862–1598)

Princes of Novgorod

Main article: Prince of Novgorod

In traditional historiography, the first Russian monarch is considered to be the semi-legendary Rurik, the first prince of Novgorod.[a][4][5]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Rurik
  • Рюрик
830–879c. 862c. 879Founder of Rurik dynastyRurikids
Oleg
  • the Seer
  • Олег Вещий
855–912c. 879c. 882Relative of Rurik and regent for his son IgorRurikids

Grand princes of Kiev

Main article: Grand Prince of Kiev

Rurik's successor Oleg moved his capital to Kiev, founding a state denoted in modern historiography as Kievan Rus' (Russian: Киевская Русь) or Ancient Rus' (Russian: Древняя Русь, Древнерусское государство).[6] Over the next several centuries, the most important titles were grand prince of Kiev and prince of Novgorod, whose holder (often the same person) could claim hegemony.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Oleg[7]
  • the Seer
  • Олег Вещий
855–912c. 882c. 912Successor of Askold and Dir as a regent for Rurik's sonRurikids
Igor I[8]
  • Игорь Рюрикович
878–945c. 912945Son of RurikRurikids
Sviatoslav I[9]
  • Святослав Игоревич
942–972945[10]March 972Son of Igor I and OlgaRurikids
Yaropolk I[11]
  • Ярополк Святославич
950–980March 97211 June 980Son of Sviatoslav I and PredslavaRurikids
Saint Vladimir I[12]
  • the Great, the Baptist
  • Владимир Святославич (Великий)
958–101511 June 98015 July 1015Son of Sviatoslav I and Malusha
Younger brother of Yaropolk I
Rurikids
Sviatopolk I[13]
  • the Cursed
  • Святополк Владимирович (Окаянный)
980–101910151019Son of Vladimir I
Overthrown by Yaroslav of Novgorod
Rurikids
Yaroslav I[14]
  • the Wise
  • Ярослав Владимирович (Мудрый)
978–1054Autumn 101622 July 1018Son of Vladimir I and Rogneda of Polotsk
Prince of Novgorod since 1010
Rurikids
Sviatopolk I
  • the Cursed
  • Святополк Владимирович (Окаянный)
980–101914 August 101827 July 1019Restored. Fled from Kiev after defeat from Yaroslav on Alta RiverRurikids
Yaroslav I
  • the Wise
  • Ярослав Владимирович (Мудрый)
978–105427 July 101920 February 1054Restored
Co-ruler: Mstislav of Chernigov (1024–1036)
Rurikids

Feudal period

The gradual disintegration of Kievan Rus' began in the 11th century, after the death of Yaroslav the Wise. The position of the grand prince was weakened by the growing influence of regional clans. In 1097, the Council of Liubech formalized the feudal nature of the lands. The Liubech conference resulted in the creation of a federative structure, with the different principalities within the structure remaining bound to Kiev as the center of the state. This structure allowed for some of the principalities to develop into semi-independent polities, with conflict between the principalities intensifying in the 12th century.[15]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Iziaslav I[16]
  • Изяслав Ярославич
1024–107820 February 105415 September 1068First son of Yaroslav I and Ingegerd Olofsdotter. OverthrownRurikids
Vseslav[17]
  • the Sorcerer
  • Всеслав Брячиславич (Чародей)
1039–110115 September 106829 April 1069Great-grandson of Vladimir I
Usurped the Kievan throne
Prince of Polotsk (1044–67, 1071–1101)
Rurikids
Iziaslav I[18]
  • Изяслав Ярославич
1024–10782 May 106922 March 1073RestoredRurikids
Sviatoslav II[19]
  • Святослав Ярославич
1027–107622 March 107327 December 1076Third son of Yaroslav I and Ingegerd Olofsdotter
Prince of Chernigov (1054–73)
Rurikids
Vsevolod I[20]
  • Всеволод Ярославич
1030–10931076[10]15 July 1077Fourth son of Yaroslav I and Ingegerd Olofsdotter
Handed over the throne to Iziaslav I
Prince of Pereyaslavl (1054–73), Chernigov (1073–78). The first known of the Kiev princes to bear the title of "Prince of all Rus′"
Rurikids
Iziaslav I[21]
  • Изяслав Ярославич
1024–107815 July 10773 October 1078RestoredRurikids
Vsevolod I[22]
  • Всеволод Ярославич
1030–10933 October 107813 April 1093Retook the throne after Iziaslav's deathRurikids
Sviatopolk II[23]
  • Святополк Изяславич
1050–111324 April 109316 April 1113Son of Iziaslav I
Prince of Novgorod (1078–88), Turov (1088–93)
Rurikids
Vladimir II[24]
  • Monomakh ("He who fights alone")
  • Владимир Всеволодович (Мономах)
1053–112520 April 111319 May 1125Son of Vsevolod I and Anastasia of Byzantium
Prince of Smolensk (1073–78), Chernigov (1078–94), Pereyaslavl (1094–1113)
Rurikids
Mstislav I[25]
  • the Great
  • Мстислав Владимирович (Великий)
1076–113220 May 112515 April 1132Son of Vladimir II and Gytha of Wessex
Prince of Novgorod (1088–1117), Belgorod (1117–25)
Rurikids

After Mstislav's death in 1132, Kievan Rus' fell into recession and a rapid decline, marking the end of a unified state.[26] The throne of Kiev became an object of struggle between various territorial associations of Rurikid princes in the decades to come, despite Kiev losing almost all of its former glory and power.[27]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Yaropolk II[28]
  • Ярополк Владимирович
1082–113917 April 113218 February 1139Son of Vladimir II and Gytha of Wessex
Younger brother of Mstislav I
Prince of Pereyaslavl (1114–32)
Rurikids
Viacheslav[29]
  • Вячеслав Владимирович
1083

2 February 1154
22 February 11394 March 1139Son of Vladimir II and Gytha of Wessex
Prince of Smolensk (1113–27), Turov, Pereyaslavl
Rurikids
Vsevolod II[30]
  • Всеволод Ольгович
1084–11465 March 113930 July 1146Grandson of Sviatoslav II via Oleg of Chernigov
Prince of Chernigov (1127–39)
Rurikids
Saint Igor II[31]
  • Игорь Ольгович
1096

19 September 1146
1 August 114613 August 1146Younger brother of Vsevolod II. OverthrownRurikids
Iziaslav II[32]
  • Изяслав Мстиславич
1097–115413 August 114623 August 1149Son of Mstislav I and Christina Ingesdotter of SwedenRurikids
Yuri I
  • the Long Hands
  • Юрий Владимирович (Юрий Долгорукий)
1099–115728 August 1149Summer 1150Son of Vladimir II and Gytha of Wessex
Fled from Kiev when Iziaslav's troops were approaching the city
Prince of Rostov and Suzdal (1113–49, 1151–57)
Rurikids
Viacheslav
  • of Smolensk
    Вячеслав Владимирович
1083

2 February 1154
Summer 1150Summer 1150Restored. Agreed to cede the throne seeing the support of Iziaslav by the townspeopleRurikids
Iziaslav II
  • Изяслав Мстиславич
1097–1154Summer 1150Summer 1150Restored. Fled to Vladimir-Volynsky under the threat of Yuri's attackRurikids
Yuri I
  • the Long Hands
  • Юрий Владимирович (Юрий Долгорукий)
1099–1157August 1150Winter 1151RestoredRurikids
Iziaslav II
  • Изяслав Мстиславич
1097–1154Winter 115113 November 1154Restored
Co-ruler: Viacheslav
Rurikids
Viacheslav
  • Вячеслав Владимирович
1083

December 1154
Spring 1151December 1154Restored as Iziaslav's senior co-ruler. After Iziaslav's death Rostislav of Smolensk was proclaimed Viacheslav's new co-princeRurikids
Rostislav
  • Ростислав Мстиславич
1110–11671154January 1155Son of Mstislav I and Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden, younger brother of Iziaslav II
Left Kiev after defeat from Iziaslav of Chernigov
Rurikids
Iziaslav III[33]
  • Изяслав Давыдович
12th centuryJanuary 11551155Grandson of Sviatoslav II via Davyd of Chernigov. Ceded the Kiev throne to Yuri the Long Hands
Prince of Chernigov (1151–57)
Rurikids
Yuri I[34]
  • the Long Hands
  • Юрий Владимирович (Юрий Долгорукий)
1099–115720 March 115515 May 1157RestoredRurikids
Iziaslav III[35]
  • Изяслав Давыдович
12th century19 May 1157December 1158Restored. Defeated by Mstislav of VolhyniaRurikids
Mstislav II[36]
  • Мстислав Изяславич
1125–117022 December 1158Spring 1159Son of Iziaslav II. Сeded the throne to RostislavRurikids
Rostislav[37]
  • Ростислав Мстиславич
1110–116712 April 11598 February 1161Restored. Overthrown by Iziaslav and fled to BelgorodRurikids
Iziaslav III[38]
  • Изяслав Давыдович
12th century12 February 11616 March 1161Restored. Mortally wounded after failed siege of BelgorodRurikids
Rostislav[39]
  • Ростислав Мстиславич
1110–1167March 116114 March 1167RestoredRurikids
Mstislav II[40]
  • Мстислав Изяславич
1125–117019 May 116712 March 1169RestoredRurikids

In March 1169, a coalition of princes led by the grand prince of Vladimir, Andrey Bogolyubsky, sacked Kiev and forced the ruling prince, Mstislav II, to flee to Volhynia. Andrei appointed his brother, Gleb, as the prince of Kiev,[41] while Andrei himself continued to rule his realm from Vladimir-on-the-Klyazma. Andrei styled himself as the grand prince of Vladimir, although the less important prince in Kiev would still bear the title of grand prince; the last prince to bear the title of grand prince of Kiev was Michael of Chernigov, who died in 1246, while the grand princes of Vladimir retained their title.[27] The other future grand princely titles were derived from the grand princely title of Vladimir.[27]

From that time onwards, Vladimir became one of the most influential principalities. In the south-west, the principality of Galicia-Volhynia began to emerge as a local successor to Kiev. Following the Mongol invasions, three powerful states emerged: the Grand Principality of Vladimir in the north-east, which would evolve into the Grand Principality of Moscow and become the center of the autocratic Russian state; the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia in the south-west, which was later annexed by Poland and Lithuania; and the Novgorod Republic in the north.[42]

Grand princes of Vladimir

Main article: Grand Prince of Vladimir

By the 12th century, the Grand Principality of Vladimir became the dominant principality in the north-east, adding its name to those of Novgorod and Kiev, culminating with the rule of Alexander Nevsky. In 1169, Andrey I's son sacked the city of Kiev, but Andrey instead stayed in Vladimir and made it his capital, while taking the title of grand prince to claim primacy, leading to political power being shifted to the north-east.[43][44]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Saint Andrey I[45]
  • the Pious
  • Андрей Юрьевич (Боголюбский)
c.1111–117415 May 115729 June 1174Son of Yuri I
Assassinated by local nobility
Rurikids
Mikhalko[46]
  • Михалко Юрьевич
12th century1174September 1174Son of Yuri I
Younger brother of Andrey I
Rurikids
Yaropolk III
  • Ярополк Ростиславич
12th century117415 June 1175Grandson of Yuri IRurikids
Mikhalko
  • Михалко Юрьевич
12th century15 June 117520 June 1176RestoredRurikids
Vsevolod III[47]
  • the Big Nest
  • Всеволод Юрьевич (Большое Гнездо)
1154–1212June 117615 April 1212Son of Yuri I and Helene
Younger brother of Andrey I and Mikhalko
Rurikids
Yuri II[48]
  • Юрий Всеволодович
1189–1238121227 April 1216Son of Vselovod III and Maria ShvarnovnaRurikids
Konstantin[49]
  • of Rostov
    Константин Всеволодович
1186–1218Spring 12162 February 1218Son of Vsevolod III and Maria Shvarnovna
Elder brother of Yuri II
Rurikids
Yuri II[50]
  • Юрий Всеволодович
1189–1238February 12184 March 1238RestoredRurikids

Following the Mongol invasions, the principalities started paying tribute to the Golden Horde (the so-called "Tatar yoke"). Until the 15th century, Russian princes received a yarlyk from the khan; it was not until about 1480 that the Mongol domination of Russia formally ended.[42]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Yaroslav II[51]
  • Ярослав Всеволодович
1191–1246123830 September 1246Son of Vsevolod III and Maria Shvarnovna
Younger brother of Yuri II and Konstantin of Rostov
Also Grand Prince of Kiev in 1236–38 and since 1243
Rurikids
Sviatoslav III[52]
  • Святослав Всеволодович
1196

3 February 1252
12461248Son of Vsevolod III and Maria Shvarnovna
Younger brother of Yuri II, Konstantin of Rostov and Yaroslav II
Rurikids
Mikhail
  • Khorobrit (the Brave)
  • Михаил Ярославич (Хоробрит)
1229

15 January 1248
124815 January 1248Son of Yaroslav IIRurikids
Sviatoslav III
  • Святослав Всеволодович
1196

3 February 1252
12481249RestoredRurikids
Andrey II[53]
  • Андрей Ярославич
1222–1264December 124924 July 1252Son of Yaroslav II
Elder brother of Mikhail Khorobrit
Rurikids
Saint Alexander[54]
  • Nevsky
  • Александр Ярославич (Невский)
1221–1263125214 November 1263Son of Yaroslav II and Rostislava Mstislavna, daughter of Kievan Rus' Prince Mstislav Mstislavich the Bold
Elder brother of Mikhail Khorobrit and Andrey II
Prince of Novgorod three times, Grand Prince of Kiev since 1249
Rurikids

After the death of Alexander Nevsky, the Grand Principality of Vladimir split into various appanage principalities, with Alexander's youngest son Daniel being the first permanent ruler of Moscow.[55] The territory of Vladimir proper was received by the Horde to one of the appanage princes, who performed the enthronement ceremony in Vladimir, but remained to live and reign in his own principality. By the end of the century, only three cities – Moscow, Tver, and Nizhny Novgorod – still contended for the title of grand prince of Vladimir.[27] The grand princely title occasionally reverted to Tver, but in the end, the Moscow branch of Rurikids established by Daniel successfully claimed the title for themselves exclusively.[27]

Ivan I was able to collect tribute from the Russian princes to the Golden Horde and his reign saw a significant strengthening of Moscow as Ivan increased its wealth and purchased more land, including entire appanages from bankrupt princes.[56] Ivan was also able to convince the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to move to Moscow, and Vladimir remained in the hands of the princes of Moscow.[57] Ivan's son Simeon was the first prince to adopt the style of grand prince of Moscow and Vladimir.[27]

The princes of Moscow and Suzdal entered a struggle for the grand princely title following the death of Ivan II, with Ivan's son Dmitry Ivanovich (later known as Dmitry Donskoy) taking the throne from Dmitry Konstantinovich in 1363.[58] The Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 marked a turning point, with the prince of Moscow seen as the dominant prince.[59]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Yaroslav III[60]
  • of Tver
    Ярослав Ярославич
1230–127212641271Son of Yaroslav II and Fedosia Igorevna
Younger brother of Alexander Nevsky, Andrey II and Mikhail Khorobrit
Rurikids
Vasily[61]
  • of Kostroma
    Василий Ярославич
1241–12761272January 1277Son of Yaroslav IIRurikids
Dmitry[62]
  • of Pereslavl
    Дмитрий Александрович
1250–129412771281Son of Alexander NevskyRurikids
Andrey III[63]
  • of Gorodets
    Андрей Александрович
1255–13041281December 1283Son of Alexander Nevsky
Younger brother of Dmitry of Pereslavl
Rurikids
Dmitry[64]
  • of Pereslavl
    Дмитрий Александрович
1250–1294December 12831293RestoredRurikids
Andrey III[65]
  • of Gorodets
    Андрей Александрович
1255–1304129327 July 1304RestoredRurikids
Saint Mikhail[66]
  • of Tver
    Михаил Ярославич (Михаил Тверской)
1271–1318Autumn 130422 November 1318Son of Yaroslav III and Xenia of Tarusa
Murdered
Rurikids
Yuri III[67]
  • of Moscow
    Юрий Данилович
1281–132513182 November 1322Grandson of Alexander NevskyRurikids
Dmitry[68]
  • the Fearsome Eyes
  • of Tver
    Дмитрий Михайлович (Грозные Очи)
1299–1326132215 September 1326Son of Michael of Tver and Anna of Kashin
Murdered
Rurikids
Alexander[69]
  • of Tver
    Александр Михайлович
1301–133913261327Son of Michael of Tver and Anna of Kashin
Younger brother of Dmitry
Rurikids
Alexander [ru][70]
  • of Suzdal
    Александр Васильевич
14th century13281331Grandson of Andrey II
Co-ruler: Ivan I of Moscow
Rurikids
Ivan I[71]
  • Kalita (the Moneybag)
  • of Moscow
    Иван Данилович (Иван Калита)
1288–1340132831 March 1340Grandson of Alexander Nevsky
Son of Daniel of Moscow
Younger brother of Yuri III
Co-ruler: Alexander of Suzdal (until 1331)
Rurikids
Simeon[72]
  • the Proud
  • of Moscow
    Симеон Иванович (Симеон Гордый)
7 September 1317

27 April 1353
1 October 134027 April 1353Son of Ivan I and HelenaRurikids
Ivan II[73]
  • the Fair
  • of Moscow
    Иван Иванович (Иван Красный)
30 March 1326

13 November 1359
25 March 135413 November 1359Son of Ivan I and Helena
Younger brother of Simeon
Rurikids
Dmitry[74]
  • of Suzdal
    Дмитрий Константинович
1322

5 July 1383
22 June 1360December 1362Son of Konstantin Vasilyevich of SuzdalRurikids
Saint Dmitry[75]
  • Donskoy
  • of Moscow
    Дмитрий Иванович (Дмитрий Донской)
12 October 1350

19 May 1389
January 136319 May 1389Son of Ivan II and Alexandra Velyaminova
Prince of Moscow since 1359
Rurikids

After the death of Dmitry Donskoy, the throne of Vladimir was passed to the prince of Moscow, thus usurping the right of the khan to appoint the grand prince.[76][77] The grand princes of Moscow later adopted the title of sovereign and grand prince of all Russia,[78][27] with the unification of other principalities with Moscow cultivating a sense of an imperial role for the grand prince as the ruler of all Russia.[79]

Grand princes of Moscow

See also: Sovereign of all Russia

The Russians began to exert independence from the Mongols, culminating with Ivan III ceasing tribute to the Horde, effectively declaring his independence. Ivan III also greatly expanded his domain with the annexations of other principalities;[80] his son Vasili III completed the task of uniting all of Russia by annexing the last few independent states in the 1520s.[81]

Princely succession in medieval Russia proceeded along the lines of the eldest son usually being the being chosen, with the condition that substitution did not take place if the father died before the grandfather.[82] The grand princes of Moscow, once they entrenched their status as the supreme prince with regard to other Russian princes, typically left a will in which they appointed their eldest son as heirs to the title of grand prince;[82] this did not fully conform to traditional succession practices, and in 1497, Ivan III went one step further by crowning his grandson Dmitry as co-ruler, bypassing his son Vasily, who, according to the traditional system, would have been the heir, although in the end Vasily was made co-ruler and this arrangement did not work out.[83] Ivan III also used the title of tsar in his foreign correspondence, but it would be his grandson Ivan IV who would be crowned as the first Russian tsar.[84][85]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Vasily I[86]
  • Василий Дмитриевич
30 December 1371

27 February 1425
19 May 138927 February 1425Son of Dmitry I and Eudoxia DmitriyevnaRurikids
Vasily II[87]
  • Василий Васильевич (Василий Тёмный)
10 March 1415

27 March 1462
27 February 142530 March 1434Son of Vasily I and Sophia of Lithuania. Deposed
Regent: Sophia of Lithuania (1425–1432)
Rurikids
Yuri (IV)
  • of Zvenigorod
    Юрий Дмитриевич
26 November 1374

5 June 1434
31 March 14345 June 1434Son of Dmitry I and Eudoxia Dmitriyevna
Younger brother of Vasily I
Rurikids
Vasily
  • the Squint
  • of Zvenigorod
    Василий Юрьевич (Василий Косой)
1421 – 14485 June 14341435Son of Yury of Zvenigorod and Anastasia of SmolenskRurikids
Vasily II
  • the Dark
  • Василий Васильевич (Василий Тёмный)
10 March 1415

27 March 1462
14351446RestoredRurikids
Dmitry
  • Shemyaka
  • Дмитрий Юрьевич (Дмитрий Шемяка)
1400s

17 July 1453
144626 March 1447Son of Yury of Zvenigorod and Anastasia of Smolensk, brother of Vasily the Squint
First to use the title of Sovereign of all Russia[88]
Rurikids
Vasily II
  • the Dark
  • Василий Васильевич (Василий Тёмный)
10 March 1415

27 March 1462
27 February 144727 March 1462Restored
Co-ruler: Ivan (since 1449)
Rurikids
Ivan III[89]
  • the Great
  • Иван Васильевич (Иван Великий)
22 January 1440

6 November 1505
5 April 14626 November 1505Son of Vasily II and Maria of Borovsk
Co-rulers: Ivan the Young (1471–1490), Dmitry the Grandson (1498–1502), Vasily (since 1502)
Rurikids
Vasily III[90]
  • Василий Иванович
25 March 1479

13 December 1533
6 November 150513 December 1533Son of Ivan III and Sophia PaleologueRurikids
Ivan IV[91]
  • the Terrible
  • Иван Васильевич
25 August 1530

28 March 1584
13 December 153326 January 1547Son of Vasily III and Elena Glinskaya
Regent: Elena Glinskaya (1533–1538)
Rurikids

Tsars of Russia

Main article: Tsar of all Russia

Ivan IV ("the Terrible") assumed the title of tsar in 1547. Succession was treated in an unorthodox manner under Ivan IV, who, in 1575, formally transferred his powers to Simeon Bekbulatovich, a Tatar prince who had been baptized and given his own principality;[92] Ivan returned to the throne the following year.[92] Ivan was succeeded in 1584 by his only surviving son, Feodor, who died without an heir, marking the end of the Rurik dynasty.[92]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Ivan IV[93]
  • the Terrible
  • Иван Васильевич (Иван Грозный)
25 August 1530

28 March 1584
26 January 154728 March 1584Son of Vasily III and Elena Glinskaya
"Grand Prince": Simeon Bekbulatovich (1575–1576)
Rurikids
Feodor I[94]
  • the Blessed
  • Фёдор Иванович (Фёдор Блаженный)
31 May 1557

17 January 1598
28 March 158417 January 1598Son of Ivan IV and Anastasia Zakharyina-YuryevaRurikids

Time of Troubles (1598–1613)

Tsars of Russia

In 1581, Ivan the Terrible killed his firstborn son Ivan Ivanovich in a fit of rage, leaving only Feodor I to succeed him.[92] Feodor died childless, marking the end of the Rurik dynasty and the start of a succession crisis during a period known as the Time of Troubles.[92] The first non-Rurikid tsar was Feodor's brother-in-law and regent, the influent boyar Boris Godunov, elected by the Zemsky Sobor (feudal parliament).

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Irina[95] (disputed)
  • Ирина Фёдоровна Годунова
1557

27 October 1603
17 January 159821 February 1598Wife of Feodor IGodunov [ru]
Boris[91]
  • Борис Фёдорович Годунов
1551

13 April 1605
21 February 159813 April 1605Brother-in-law of Feodor I
Elected by Zemsky Sobor
Godunov [ru]
Feodor II[96]
  • Фёдор Борисович Годунов
1589

20 June 1605
13 April 160510 June 1605Son of Boris Godunov and Maria Grigorievna Skuratova-Belskaya
Murdered
Godunov [ru]

Devastated by famine, rule under Boris descended into anarchy. There followed a series of impostors, known as the False Dmitrys, each claiming to be Feodor I's long deceased younger brother; however, only the first impostor ever took the capital and sat on the throne. A distant Rurikid cousin, Vasily Shuysky, also took power for a time. During this period foreign powers deeply involved themselves in Russian politics, under the leadership of the Vasa monarchs of Sweden and Poland-Lithuania, including Sigismund III Vasa and his son Władysław. As a child, Władysław was even chosen as tsar by the council of aristocracy, though he was prevented by his father from formally taking the throne. The Time of Troubles is considered to have ended with the election of Michael Romanov to the throne in February 1613, thereby establishing the Romanov dynasty.[92]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
False Dmitry I[97]
  • Лжедмитрий I
1581

17 May 1606
20 June 160517 May 1606Claiming to be son of Ivan IV, he was the only impostor to actually sit on the throne of a major power. Backed by Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Murdered.Rurikids
(claimed)
Vasily IV[98]
  • Василий Иванович Шуйский
22 September 1552

12 September 1612
19 May 160617 July 1610Orchestrated a conspiracy against False Dmitry, proclaimed tsar by the nobles. Deposed and sent to Poland
Pretender: False Dmitry II (since June 1607)
Shuysky
Vladislav
  • Владислав Жигимонтович
9 June 1595

20 May 1648
6 September 1610November 1612
(resigned his claim in 1634)
King of Poland until 1632
Son of Sigismund III Vasa and Anne of Austria
Elected by the Seven Boyars, never assumed the throne
Pretenders: False Dmitry II (until 21 December 1610), False Dmitry III (July 1611 – May 1612)
Vasa

Romanovs (1613–1917)

Tsars of Russia

Main article: Tsar of all Russia

The Time of Troubles came to a close with the election of Michael Romanov as tsar in 1613.[92] Michael officially reigned as tsar, though his father, the patriarch Philaret (died 1633) initially held de facto power. However, Michael's descendants would rule Russia, first as tsars and later as emperors, until the Russian Revolution of 1917. Michael was succeeded by his only son, Alexis, who in turn was succeeded by his eldest son of his first marriage, Feodor.[92]

Following the death of Feodor, there were two candidates for the throne: his brother Ivan and his half-brother Peter, who were fifteen and nine years old, respectively.[92] Each candidate was supported by a competing clan, the Miloslavskys and Naryshkins.[92] At first, the throne was given to Peter, but as a result of the streltsy uprising in Moscow, a compromise solution was found and both Peter and Ivan were made co-monarchs in 1682, with Ivan's older sister Sophia ruling as regent.[92] Ivan was considered the senior tsar and Peter the junior tsar; however, due to Ivan being considered unfit for the role, Peter was able to remove his half-sister Sophia from power and take control of the throne at the age of 17 with the assistance of another streltsy uprising in 1689.[99] Peter then became the sole monarch in 1696 upon the death of Ivan.[99]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Michael[100]
  • Михаил Фёдорович
12 July 1596

12 July 1645
26 July 161312 July 1645Founder of Romanov Dynasty
First cousin once removed of Feodor I
Co-ruler: Patriarch Filaret (1619–1633)
Romanov
Alexis[101]
  • the Quietest
  • Алексей Михайлович (Алексей Тишайший)
9 May 1629

29 January 1676
12 July 164529 January 1676Son of Michael and Eudoxia StreshnevaRomanov
Feodor III[102]
  • Фёдор III Алексеевич
9 June 1661

7 May 1682
29 January 16767 May 1682Son of Alexis and Maria MiloslavskayaRomanov
Ivan V[103]
  • Иван V Алексеевич
6 September 1666

8 February 1696
7 May 16828 February 1696Son of Alexis and Maria Miloslavskaya
Younger brother of Feodor III and Sophia
Elder half-brother of Peter I
Co-ruler: Peter I
Regent: princess Sophia (8 June 1682 – 17 September 1689)
Romanov
Peter I[104]
  • Пётр I Алексеевич
9 June 1672

8 February 1725
7 May 16822 November 1721Son of Alexis and Natalya Naryshkina
Younger half-brother of Feodor III
Co-ruler: Ivan V (7 May 1682 – 8 February 1696)
Regent: tsaritsa dowager Natalia (7 May – 2 June 1682), princess Sophia (8 June 1682 – 17 September 1689)
Romanov

Emperors of Russia

Main article: Emperor of Russia

The Russian Empire was proclaimed by Peter the Great in 1721 following the creation of the imperial title in the aftermath of the Great Northern War.[105] Russia's territorial gains and increased standing as a key player on the European scene allowed it to upgrade its official status from tsardom to empire.[105] The full imperial title proposed in 1721 to Peter was "Father of the Fatherland, Peter the Great, All-Russian Emperor".[105] At his accession as the sole monarch of Russia in 1696, Peter held the same title as his father, Alexis: "Great Lord Tsar and Grand Prince, Autocrat of Great, Small and White Russia".[105] By 1710, he had styled himself as "Tsar and All-Russian Emperor", but it was not until 1721 that the imperial title became official.[105] The adjective "All-Russian" had been increasingly used to refer to the territories of modern-day Belarus and Ukraine as well.[82]

Peter issued a decree in 1722 in which the sovereign would be free to appoint a successor, referring to a number of historical precedents, including the conduct of Ivan III, who initially chose his grandson as his successor.[106] This was later detailed in Pravda voli Monarshei v opredelenii Naslednika Derzhavy Sovei ("The righteousness of the monarch's will in appointing the successor in his reign"), a major political treatise written in its defense,[107] which was only circulated widely following Peter's death, and argued on the basis of an abundance of examples from both biblical and secular history that it was fully correct for a ruler to appoint his own successor without being bound by traditional family succession rules.[106] Peter died in 1725 without naming a successor.[106]

Officially, Russia would be ruled by the Romanov dynasty until the Russian Revolution of 1917. However, direct male descendants of Michael Romanov came to an end in 1730 with the death of Peter II of Russia, grandson of Peter the Great. The throne passed to Anna, a niece of Peter the Great, and after the brief rule of her niece's infant son Ivan VI, the throne was seized by Elizabeth, a daughter of Peter the Great. Elizabeth would be the last of the direct Romanovs to rule Russia. Elizabeth declared her nephew, Peter, to be her heir. Peter, who would rule as Peter III, was a German prince of the House of Holstein-Gottorp before arriving in Russia to assume the imperial title. He and his German wife Sophia changed their name to Romanov upon inheriting the throne. Peter was ill-liked, and he was assassinated within six months of assuming the throne, in a coup orchestrated by his wife, who became Empress in her own right and ruled as Catherine the Great. Following the confused successions of the descendants of Peter the Great, Catherine's son Paul I established clear succession laws which governed the rules of primogeniture over the imperial throne until the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Peter I[91]
  • the Great
  • Пётр I Алексеевич (Пётр Великий)
9 June 1672

8 February 1725
2 November 17218 February 1725Son of Alexis and Natalya Naryshkina
Younger half-brother of Feodor III, Sophia and Ivan V
Regarded as one of the greatest Russian monarchs
Romanov
Catherine I[108]
  • Екатерина I Алексеевна
15 April 1684

17 May 1727
8 February 172517 May 1727Second wife of Peter ISkavronsky [ru] (by birth)
Romanov (by marriage)
Peter II[109]
  • Пётр II Алексеевич
23 October 1715

30 January 1730
18 May 172730 January 1730Grandson of Peter I via the murdered Tsesarevich Alexei
Last male of the direct Romanov line
Romanov
Anna[110]
  • Анна Иоанновна
7 February 1693

28 October 1740
13 February 173028 October 1740Daughter of Ivan V and Praskovia SaltykovaRomanov
Ivan VI[111]
  • Иван VI Антонович
23 August 1740

16 July 1764
28 October 17406 December 1741Great-grandson of Ivan V
Deposed as a baby, imprisoned and later murdered
Regents: E. J. von Biron (until 20 November 1740), Anna Leopoldovna (since 20 November 1740)
Mecklenburg-Brunswick-Romanov [ru]
Elizabeth[112]
  • Елизавета Петровна
29 December 1709

5 January 1762
6 December 17415 January 1762Daughter of Peter I and Catherine IRomanov
Peter III[91]
  • Пётр III Фёдорович
21 February 1728

17 July 1762
5 January 17629 July 1762Grandson of Peter I
Nephew of Elizabeth
Deposed and later murdered
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Catherine II[113]
  • the Great
  • Екатерина II Алексеевна (Екатерина Великая)
2 May 1729

17 November 1796
9 July 176217 November 1796Wife of Peter III
Niece-in-law of Elizabeth of Russia
Died of a stroke
Ascania (by birth)
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov (by marriage)
Paul I[114]
  • Павел I Петрович
1 October 1754

23 March 1801
17 November 179623 March 1801Son of Peter III and Catherine II
Assassinated
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Alexander I[115]
  • the Blessed
  • Александр I Павлович (Александр Благословенный)
23 December 1777

1 December 1825
23 March 18011 December 1825Son of Paul I and Maria Feodorovna
First Romanov King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Nicholas I[116]
  • Николай I Павлович
6 July 1796

2 March 1855
1 December 18252 March 1855Son of Paul I and Maria FeodorovnaHolstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Alexander II[117]
  • the Liberator
  • Александр II Николаевич (Александр Освободитель)
29 April 1818

13 March 1881
2 March 185513 March 1881Son of Nicholas I and Alexandra Feodrovna
Nephew of Alexander I
Assassinated
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Alexander III[118]
  • the Peacemaker
  • Александр III Александрович (Александр Миротворец)
10 March 1845

1 November 1894
13 March 18811 November 1894Son of Alexander II and Maria AlexandrovnaHolstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Saint Nicholas II[119]
  • Николай II Александрович
18 May 1868

17 July 1918
1 November 189415 March 1917Son of Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna
Abdicated the throne during the February Revolution
Murdered by the Bolsheviks
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov

Pretenders after Nicholas II

Further information: Restoration of the Russian monarchy

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Michael Aleksandrovich
  • Михаил Александрович
4 December 1878

13 June 1918
15 March 191716 March 1917Younger brother of Nicholas II
Abdicated after a nominal reign of only 18 hours,
ending dynastic rule in Russia[120]
He is not usually recognised as an emperor, as Russian law did not allow Nicholas II to disinherit his son
[121]
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Nikolai Nikolaevich
  • Николай Николаевич
6 November 1856

5 January 1929
8 August 192225 October 1922Grandson of Nicholas I
Proclaimed Emperor of Russia by the Zemsky Sobor of the Provisional Priamurye Government while being in exile
His nominal rule came to an end when the areas controlled by the Provisional Priamurye Government were overrun by the communists
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Kirill Vladimirovich
"Cyril I"
  • Кирилл Владимирович
30 September 1876

12 October 1938
31 August 192412 October 1938Grandson of Alexander II
Claimed the title Emperor of All the Russias while in exile[122]
Recognised by a congress of legitimists delegates in Paris in 1926[123]
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov

The rights of Kirill Vladimirovich and his heirs to the imperial throne of Russia have been repeatedly questioned following his marriage with Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The principles laid down by Paul I in the Act of Succession 1797 turned out to be not completely flawlessly formulated, and, as a result, the interpretation of these is not always obvious, and Russia now has no indisputable contender for the throne. Moreover, for more than a hundred years the throne itself has ceased to exist. Nevertheless, when in 1915 Nicholas II, before the lack of successible grand dukes, allowed them to retain their personal rights, as it had happened in practice with Alexander II after his second and morganatic marriage, Kirill Vladimirovich's issue was never deemed to be considered morganatic, nor were they demoted from grand dukes to mere princes.

Timeline of monarchs

Feodor IIvan the TerribleVasili IIIIvan III the GreatDmitry ShemyakaVasily the SquintYury of ZvenigorodVasily II the DarkVasily IDmitry DonskoyDmitry of SuzdalIvan II of MoscowSimeon the ProudIvan KalitaAlexander of TverDmitry of TverYury of MoscowMichael of TverAndrey of GorodetsDmitry of PereslavlVasily of KostromaYaroslav IIIAlexander NevskyAndrey IIMikhail KhorobritSviatoslav III of VladimirYaroslav II of VladimirKonstantin of RostovYuri IIVsevolod the Big NestYaropolk IIIMikhail of VladimirAndrey BogolyubskyIziaslav IIIRostislav IYuri DolgorukiyIziaslav IIIgor IIVsevolod IIViacheslav I of KievYaropolk IIMstislav IVladimir MonomakhSviatopolk IIVsevolod ISviatoslav IIVseslav of PolotskIziaslav IYaroslav the WiseSviatopolk I of KievVladimir the GreatYaropolk ISviatoslav IOlga of KievIgor IOleg of NovgorodRurik
Nicholas II of RussiaAlexander III of RussiaAlexander II of RussiaNicholas I of RussiaAlexander I of RussiaPaul I of RussiaCatherine II the GreatPeter III of RussiaElizabeth PetrovnaIvan VI of RussiaAnna IoanovnaPeter II of RussiaCatherine I of RussiaPeter I of RussiaIvan V of RussiaFeodor III of RussiaAlexis of RussiaMichael RomanovWładysław IV VasaFalse Dmitry IIVasily ShuyskyFalse Dmitry IFeodor IIBoris Godunov

See also

Note

  1. ^ Not including legendary rulers of Novgorod such as Gostomysl.[3]

References

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  49. ^ Morby 2002, p. 168, Constantine (brother).
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  102. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Theodore III (son).
  103. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Ivan V (brother).
  104. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Peter I, the Great (brother; emperor 1721).
  105. ^ a b c d e Feldbrugge 2017, p. 152.
  106. ^ a b c Feldbrugge 2017, p. 156.
  107. ^ Cracraft, James (30 June 2009). The Revolution of Peter the Great. Harvard University Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-674-02994-1.
  108. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Catherine I (Martha) (widow).
  109. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Peter II (grandson of Peter I).
  110. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Anne (daughter of Ivan V).
  111. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Ivan VI (maternal grandson of Catherine, sister of Anne; deposed, died 1764).
  112. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Elizabeth (daughter of Catherine I and Peter I).
  113. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Catherine II, the Great (Sophia of Anhalt (widow).
  114. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Paul I (son).
  115. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Alexander I (son).
  116. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Nicholas I (brother).
  117. ^ Morby 2002, p. 169, Alexander II (son).
  118. ^ Morby 2002, p. 170, Alexander III (son).
  119. ^ Morby 2002, p. 170, Nicholas II (son; deposed, died 1918; provisional government, then Soviet rule).
  120. ^ Montefiore, Simon S. (2016) The Romanovs, 1613–1918 London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, pp. 619–621
  121. ^ "The Abdication of Nicholas II: 100 Years Later". The Russian Legitimist. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  122. ^ Almanach de Gotha (182nd ed.). Almanach de Gotha. 1998. p. 214.
  123. ^ Shain, Yossi The Frontier of Loyalty: Political Exiles in the Age of the Nation-State University of Michigan Press (2005) p.69.

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Further reading