List of Russian monarchs

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Monarchy of Russia
Lesser CoA of the empire of Russia.svg
Цари и правители земли Русской от Рюрика до Александра III.(хромлит.Абрамова) (p)1886г ГИМ e1t3.jpg
Tree of Russian rulers
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. It includes the princes of medieval Rus′ state (both centralised, known as Kievan Rus′ and feudal, when the political center moved northeast to Vladimir and finally to Moscow), tsars, and emperors of Russia. The list begins with the semi-legendary prince Rurik of Novgorod, sometime in the mid 9th century (c. 862) and ends with emperor Nicholas II who abdicated in 1917, and was executed with his family in 1918.

The vast territory known today as Russia covers an area that has been known historically by various names, including Rus', Kievan Rus',[1] the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, and the sovereigns of these many nations and throughout their histories have used likewise as wide a range of titles in their positions as chief magistrates of a country. Some of the earliest titles include kniaz and velikiy kniaz, which mean "prince" and "grand prince" respectively but are often rendered as "duke" and "grand duke" in Western literature; then the title of tsar, meaning "caesar", which was disputed to be the equal of either a king or emperor; finally culminating in 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.

Rurikids, 862–1598[edit]

Parts of the land that is today known as Russia was populated by various East Slavic peoples from before the 9th century. The first states to exert hegemony over the region were those of the Rus' people, a branch of Nordic Varangians who entered the region occupied by modern Russia sometime in the ninth century, and set up a series of states starting with the Rus' Khaganate circa 830. Little is known of the Rus' Khaganate beyond its existence, including the extent of its territory or any reliable list of its khagans (rulers).

Princes of Novgorod[edit]

Traditionally, Rus' statehood is traced to Rurik, a Rus' leader of Novgorod (modern Veliky Novgorod), a different Rus' state.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Rurik
  • Рюрик
830 – 879862879Founder of Rurik DynastyRurikids
Oleg
  • the Seer
  • Олег Вещий
855 – 912879882Relative of Rurik and regent of his son, Prince IgorRurikids

Grand princes of Kiev[edit]

Rurik's successor Oleg moved his capital to Kiev (now Ukraine), founding the state of Kievan Rus'. Over the next several centuries, the most important titles were Grand Prince of Kiev and Grand Prince of Novgorod whose holder (often the same person) could claim hegemony.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Askold and Dir
  • Haskuldr and Dýri
    Аскольд и Дир
9th century842[2][3][note 1]882Rus' chieftains and members of Rurik's armyAskold: Kyi
Oleg
  • the Seer
  • Олег Вещий
855 – 912882Autumn 912Successor of Askold and Dir as a regent of Rurik's sonRurikids
Igor I
  • Игорь Рюрикович
878 – 945913Autumn 945Son of RurikRurikids
Saint Olga
  • Святая Ольга
890 – 969945964Wife of Igor I and regent of Sviatoslav IRurikids
(by marriage)
Sviatoslav I
  • Святослав Игоревич
942 – 972964March 972Son of Igor I and OlgaRurikids
Yaropolk I
  • Ярополк Святославич
950 – 980March 97211 June 980Son of Sviatoslav I and PredslavaRurikids
Saint Vladimir I
  • 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
  • the Cursed
  • Святополк Владимирович (Окаянный)
980 – 101915 July 1015Autumn 1016Son of Vladimir I
Overthrown by Yaroslav of Novgorod
Rurikids
Yaroslav I
  • 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[edit]

The gradual disintegration of 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 Rus' lands.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Iziaslav I
  • Изяслав Ярославич
1024 – 107820 February 105415 September 1068First son of Yaroslav I and Ingegerd Olofsdotter. OverthrownRurikids
Vseslav
  • 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
  • Изяслав Ярославич
1024 – 10782 May 106922 March 1073RestoredRurikids
Sviatoslav II
  • Святослав Ярославич
1027 – 107622 March 107327 December 1076Third son of Yaroslav I and Ingegerd Olofsdotter
Prince of Chernigov (1054–73)
Rurikids
Vsevolod I
  • Всеволод Ярославич
1030 – 10931 January 107715 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
  • Изяслав Ярославич
1024 – 107815 July 10773 October 1078RestoredRurikids
Vsevolod I
  • Всеволод Ярославич
1030 – 10933 October 107813 April 1093Retook the throne after Iziaslav's deathRurikids
Sviatopolk II
  • Святополк Изяславич
1050 – 111324 April 109316 April 1113Son of Iziaslav I
Prince of Novgorod (1078–88), Turov (1088–93)
Rurikids
Vladimir II
  • 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
  • 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, the Kievan Rus' fell into recession and a rapid decline. The throne of Kiev became an object of struggle between various territorial associations of Rurikid princes.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Yaropolk II
  • 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
  • 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
  • Всеволод Ольгович
1084 – 11465 March 113930 July 1146Grandson of Sviatoslav II via Oleg of Chernigov
Prince of Chernigov (1127–39)
Rurikids
Saint Igor II
  • Игорь Ольгович
1096

19 September 1146
1 August 114613 August 1146Younger brother of Vsevolod II. OverthrownRurikids
Iziaslav II
  • 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
  • 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
  • the Long Hands
  • Юрий Владимирович (Юрий Долгорукий)
1099 – 115720 March 115515 May 1157RestoredRurikids
Iziaslav III
  • Изяслав Давыдович
12th century19 May 1157December 1158Restored. Defeated by Mstislav of VolhyniaRurikids
Mstislav II
  • Мстислав Изяславич
1125 – 117022 December 1158Spring 1159Son of Iziaslav II. Сeded the throne to RostislavRurikids
Rostislav
  • Ростислав Мстиславич
1110 – 116712 April 11598 February 1161Restored. Overthrown by Iziaslav and fled to BelgorodRurikids
Iziaslav III
  • Изяслав Давыдович
12th century12 February 11616 March 1161Restored. Mortally wounded after failed siege of BelgorodRurikids
Rostislav
  • Ростислав Мстиславич
1110 – 1167March 116114 March 1167RestoredRurikids
Mstislav II
  • Мстислав Изяславич
1125 – 117019 May 116712 March 1169RestoredRurikids

In March 1169, a coalition of native princes led by Andrei of Vladimir sacked Kiev and forced Mstislav II to flee in Volhynia. Andrei's brother Gleb was appointed as prince of Kiev while Andrei himself continued to rule his realm from Vladimir on Klyazma. Since that time, Northeastern Rus′ centered in Vladimir has become one of the most influential Rus′ lands. In the southwest, Galicia-Volhynia had emerged as the local successor to Kiev. In the mid-14th century, Galicia-Volhynia fell under pressure from neighboring powers; Poland conquered Galicia and Lithuania took other Western Rus′ lands including Kiev.

Grand Princes of Vladimir[edit]

By the 12th century, the Grand Duchy of Vladimir became the dominant principality in Northwest Rus, adding its name to those of Novgorod and Kiev, culminating with the rule of Alexander Nevsky. In 1169 Prince Andrey I of Vladimir sacked the city of Kiev and took over the title of the grand prince to claim primacy in Rus'.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Saint Andrey I
  • the Pious
  • Андрей Юрьевич (Боголюбский)
c.1111 – 117415 May 115729 June 1174Son of Yuri I
Assassinated by local nobility
Rurikids
Mikhalko
  • 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
  • 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
  • Юрий Всеволодович
1189 – 1238121227 April 1216Son of Vselovod III and Maria ShvarnovnaRurikids
Konstantin
  • of Rostov
    Константин Всеволодович
1186 – 1218Spring 12162 February 1218Son of Vsevolod III and Maria Shvarnovna
Elder brother of Yuri II
Rurikids
Yuri II
  • Юрий Всеволодович
1189 – 1238February 12184 March 1238RestoredRurikids

Rus state finally disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1242. Its successor principalities started paying tribute to the Golden Horde (the so-called Tatar Yoke). From the mid-13th to mid-15th centuries, princes of North-Eastern Rus received a yarlyk (a special edict of Golden Horde khan).

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Yaroslav II
  • 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
  • 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
  • Андрей Ярославич
1222 – 1264December 124924 July 1252Son of Yaroslav II
Elder brother of Mikhail Khorobrit
Rurikids
Saint Alexander
  • 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

Alexander Nevsky was the last prince to reign directly from Vladimir. After his death, Northeastern Rus′ fell apart into a dozen principalities. The territory of the Grand Duchy 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.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Yaroslav III
  • of Tver
    Ярослав Ярославич
1230 – 127212641271Son of Yaroslav II and Fedosia Igorevna
Younger brother of Alexander Nevsky, Andrey II and Mikhail Khorobrit
Rurikids
Vasily
  • of Kostroma
    Василий Ярославич
1241 – 12761272January 1277Son of Yaroslav IIRurikids
Dmitry
  • of Pereslavl
    Дмитрий Александрович
1250 – 129412771281Son of Alexander NevskyRurikids
Andrey III
  • of Gorodets
    Андрей Александрович
1255 – 13041281December 1283Son of Alexander Nevsky
Younger brother of Dmitry of Pereslavl
Rurikids
Dmitry
  • of Pereslavl
    Дмитрий Александрович
1250 – 1294December 12831293RestoredRurikids
Andrey III
  • of Gorodets
    Андрей Александрович
1255 – 1304129327 July 1304RestoredRurikids
Saint Mikhail
  • of Tver
    Михаил Ярославич (Михаил Тверской)
1271 – 1318Autumn 130422 November 1318Son of Yaroslav III and Xenia of Tarusa
Murdered
Rurikids
Yuri III
  • of Moscow
    Юрий Данилович
1281 – 132513182 November 1322Grandson of Alexander NevskyRurikids
Dmitry
  • the Fearsome Eyes
  • of Tver
    Дмитрий Михайлович (Грозные Очи)
1299 – 1326132215 September 1326Son of Michael of Tver and Anna of Kashin
Murdered
Rurikids
Alexander
  • of Tver
    Александр Михайлович
1301 – 133913261327Son of Michael of Tver and Anna of Kashin
Younger brother of Dmitry
Rurikids
Alexander [ru]
  • of Suzdal
    Александр Васильевич
14th century13281331Grandson of Andrey II
Co-ruler: Ivan I of Moscow
Rurikids
Ivan I
  • 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
  • the Proud
  • of Moscow
    Симеон Иванович (Симеон Гордый)
7 November 1316

27 April 1353
1 October 134027 April 1353Son of Ivan I and HelenaRurikids
Ivan II
  • 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
  • of Suzdal
    Дмитрий Константинович
1322

5 July 1383
22 June 1360December 1362Son of Konstantin Vasilyevich of SuzdalRurikids
Saint Dmitry
  • 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 Dmitry the throne of Vladimir was succeeded only by princes of Moscow.

Grand Princes of Moscow[edit]

The Grand Duchy of Moscow, founded by Alexander Nevsky's youngest son Daniel, began to consolidate control over the entire Rus' territory in the 14th century. The Russians began to exert independence from the Mongols, culminating with Ivan III ceasing tribute to the Horde, effectively declaring his independence. His son Vasili III completed the task of uniting all of Russia by annexing the last few independent states in the 1520s.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Vasily I
  • Василий Дмитриевич
30 December 1371

27 February 1425
19 May 138927 February 1425Son of Dmitry I and Eudoxia DmitriyevnaRurikids
Vasily II
  • 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 the Rus[sia]
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
  • 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
  • Василий Иванович
25 March 1479

13 December 1533
6 November 150513 December 1533Son of Ivan III and Sophia PaleologueRurikids
Ivan IV
  • 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[edit]

Vasili's son Ivan the Terrible formalized the situation by assuming the title Tsar of All Rus' in 1547, when the state of Russia (apart from its constituent principalities) came into formal being.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Ivan IV
  • 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
  • the Blessed
  • Фёдор Иванович (Фёдор Блаженный)
31 May 1557

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

Godunovs, 1598—1605[edit]

Following the death of the Feodor I, the son of Ivan the Terrible and the last of the Rurik dynasty, Russia fell into a succession crisis. As Feodor left no male heirs, the Russian Zemsky Sobor (feudal parliament) elected his brother-in-law Boris Godunov to be Tsar.

Tsars of Russia[edit]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Boris
  • Борис Фёдорович Годунов
1551

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

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

Time of Troubles[edit]

Devastated by famine, rule under Boris descended into anarchy. A series of impostors, known as the False Dmitrys, each claimed 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.

Tsars of Russia[edit]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
False Dmitry I
  • Лжедмитрий I
1581

17 May 1606
20 June 160517 May 1606Claiming to be son of Ivan IV, he was the only imposter to actually sit on the throne of a major power. Backed by Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Murdered.Rurikids
(claimed)
Vasily IV
  • 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 since 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[edit]

Tsars of Russia[edit]

The Time of Troubles came to a close with the election of Michael Romanov as Tsar in 1613. Michael officially reigned as Tsar, though his father, the Patriarch Philaret (died 1633) initially held the real power. However, Michael's descendants would rule Russia, first as Tsars and later as Emperors, until the Russian Revolution of 1917. Peter the Great (reigned 1682–1725), a grandson of Michael Romanov, reorganized the Russian state along more Western lines, establishing the Russian Empire in 1721.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Michael
  • 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
  • the Quietest
  • Алексей Михайлович (Алексей Тишайший)
9 May 1629

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

7 May 1682
29 January 16767 May 1682Son of Alexis and Maria MiloslavskayaRomanov
Ivan V
  • 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
  • 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[edit]

(Also Grand Princes of Finland from 1809 until 1917; and Kings of Poland from 1815 until 1917)

The Empire of Russia was declared by Peter the Great in 1721. 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) spoke little Russian, having been 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 (both Peter and Catherine were descended from the House of Rurik). 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 Empire in 1917.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Peter I
  • 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
  • Екатерина I Алексеевна
15 April 1684

17 May 1727
8 February 172517 May 1727Second wife of Peter ISkowroński;
Romanov (by marriage)
Peter II
  • 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
  • Анна Иоанновна
7 February 1693

28 October 1740
13 February 173028 October 1740Daughter of Ivan V and Praskovia SaltykovaRomanov
Ivan VI
  • 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)
Brunswick-Bevern
Elizabeth
  • Елизавета Петровна
29 December 1709

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

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

17 November 1796
9 July 176217 November 1796Wife of Peter IIIAscania; Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov (by marriage)
Paul I
  • 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
  • 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
Constantine
  • Константин Павлович
27 April 1779

27 June 1831
1 December 182526 December 1825Son of Paul I and Maria Feodorovna
Younger brother and heir presumptive of Alexander I
Secretly abdicated in 1823, proclaimed emperor in capital, abdicated again)
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Nicholas I
  • Николай I Павлович
6 July 1796

2 March 1855
26 December 18252 March 1855Son of Paul I and Maria Feodorovna
Younger brother of Alexander I and Constantine
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Alexander II
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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[edit]

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[4]
He is not usually recognised as an emperor, as Russian law did not allow Nicholas II to disinherit his son
[5]
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[6]
Recognised by a congress of legitimists delegates in Paris in 1926[7]
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 does not exist.

Timeline of monarchs[edit]

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[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to the Tale of Bygone Years, the date is not clearly identified.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glenn E. Curtis (1996). "Kievan Rus' and Mongol Periods". Russia: A Country Study. Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Suszko, Henryk (2003). Latopis hustyński. Opracowanie, przekład i komentarze. Slavica Wratislaviensia CXXIV. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego. ISBN 83-229-2412-7.
  3. ^ Tolochko, Oleksiy (2010). The Hustyn' Chronicle. (Harvard Library of Early Ukrainian Literature: Texts) ISBN 978-1-932650-03-7.
  4. ^ Montefiore, Simon S. (2016) The Romanovs, 1613–1918 London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, pp. 619–621
  5. ^ "The Abdication of Nicholas II: 100 Years Later". The Russian Legitimist. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  6. ^ Almanach de Gotha (182nd ed.). Almanach de Gotha. 1998. p. 214.
  7. ^ Shain, Yossi The Frontier of Loyalty: Political Exiles in the Age of the Nation-State University of Michigan Press (2005) p.69.

External links[edit]