Russian Empress: Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova
Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova , born Princess Charlotte of Prussia (13 July 1798 – 1 November 1860), was Empress consort of Russia. She was the wife of Emperor Nicholas I, and mother of Emperor Alexander II.
Born as Princess Charlotte of Prussia, she was the eldest surviving daughter of Frederick William III of Prussia, and Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Her childhood was marked by the Napoleonic wars and the death of her mother when Princess Charlotte was twelve years old.
In 1814 her marriage was arranged for political reason with Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich of Russia, the future Tsar Nicholas I. They fell in love with each other and married in 1817. Upon her marriage, Princess Charlotte converted to Russian Orthodoxy, and took the Russian name Alexandra Feodorovna. Ideally matched with her husband, she had a happy marriage that produced a large family; they had seven children.
At the death of her brother in law, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, in December 1825, Alexandra’s husband became the new Russian Emperor. Alexandra enjoyed her husband’s confidence in affairs of state, but she had no interest in politics other than her personal attachment to Prussia, her native country. She was the obedient and admiring supporter of her husband’s views.
Her personality was completely overshadowed by Nicholas I’s strong character. As empress consort, Alexandra Feodorovna had no interest in charity work. Her chief interests were in family affairs, dancing, balls and jewels. After 1841 her health deteriorated. She spent long sojourns abroad in search for a respite to her frail constitution.
The death of her youngest daughter, Alexandra, in 1844, was a terrible blow. As she became largely an invalid, Nicholas I took mistresses, but Alexandra retained her husband’s love. She survived Nicholas I by five years and died in 1860, a much loved matriarch of her family.