Peter the Great

Peter I (1682-1725) succeeded to the throne after his half-brother Fyodor. But, in 1682, Peter was just 10 and too young to formally assume the throne. As a result, a battle over the throne ensued between the relatives of his father’s first wife (the Miloslavskys) and relatives of his mother (the Naryshkins). The battle turned bloody and finally a compromise was reached to jointly crown Peter and his half-brother Ivan. But, in reality, power was in the hands of Peter’s energetic and strong-willed half-sister and regent, Sofia. In the Kremlin museum today, you can see the two-seated throne of Peter and Ivan, which had a hidden window, through which Sofia, hidden behind the throne, could proffer advice to her two young charges. Later, when Peter I had grown and taken power into his own hands, he banished Sofia to Novodevichy Monastery for the rest of her life, after she failed in a coup attempt while Peter was out of Moscow.

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