Biographies Russian Rulers Romanov Tsarina Empress Elizabeth Alexeyevna

Empress Elizabeth Alexeyevna

Empress Elizabeth Alexeyevna, Princess Luise Marie Auguste of Baden, wife of Tsar Alexander I
Born: 1779, Karlsruhe (Baden)
Died: 1826, Belyov (Tula Province)

Princess Luise Marie Auguste of Baden was the third child and third daughter of Prince Karl Ludwig of Baden and Princess Friederike Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. She was born in Karlsruhe on 24 January 1779.

In 1792, Luise was invited to Russia by Catherine the Great as a prospective bride for her eldest grandson, the future Alexander I. She made a favourable impression and the couple were engaged in May 1793.

Alexander and Luise were married in St Petersburg on 28 September 1793, when she was fourteen and her husband was only fifteen. Before the ceremony, Luise converted to Orthodoxy and took the name of Elizabeth Alexeyevna.

While Alexander was still the heir, the young couple were happy together. But after he became tsar, Elizabeth lost all influence over him. Their two daughters, Maria and Elizabeth, both died in childhood.

Alexander neglected Elizabeth and started living with his mistress, Princess Maria Naryshkina, in her palace on the River Fontanka. But he later broke off their relationship and returned to his wife in 1819.

By this time, Elizabeth’s health was suffering. The doctors recommended that she go to rest in the south of Russia. Alexander accompanied her to the port of Taganrog on the Sea of Azov, where he died on 19 November 1825.

Elizabeth was too weak to return to St Petersburg for the funeral on 13 March 1826. She died on the journey home, at the town of Belyov on the River Oka, on 4 May 1826 – less than six months after the death of her husband.

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