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Profile of the Day: Catherine II

On May 2, 1729, Russian Empress Catherine II was born. Also known as Catherine the Great, her long reign came to be known as the Golden Age of Russia.

Profile of the Day: Catherine II

Catherine II / British Library, Flickr

Although she would become the country’s longest-ruling female leader, Catherine was not Russian by birth. She was born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst in Stettin, then a part of Prussia. Her father was a minor Prussia prince and served as a general for Frederick William I of Prussia. At the age of 15, she married Peter III, heir to the Russian throne.

Catherine assumed the Russian throne after a coup d’etat forced her husband to abdicate just 6 months after he was crowned Emperor. A few days after his abdication, Peter was killed. Catherine reigned from 1762 until her death on November 17, 1796 at the age of 67. During her rule, Catherine transformed Russia into one of the great powers of Europe.

Explore Catherine II’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the Russian Empress.

View Catherine II’s Geni Profile


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