The man who would later become the Russian emperor Peter III Fyodorovich was born on this day in 1728, in the German city of Kiel.
He acceded the Russian throne in 1762, having the right to it as he was the grandson of the famous Peter the Great. However, Peter III was Peter the Great’s grandson through the female line, meaning he was not a member of the Romanov dynasty. Even so, his dynasty continued to be called Romanov in Russia, even though its real name was Holstein-Gottorp.
Peter III was born in the city of Kiel – an important German Baltic port. He was approximately the peer of Giacomo Casanova and George Washington. His aunt, the Russian empress Elisabeth, ordered him to be brought to Russia and named him her successor. She also arranged his marriage to her cousin, Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst (who was also German, like Peter III).
When Empress Elisabeth died, Peter III became the Russian emperor. It is interesting that he allegedly never learned to speak Russian properly. His reign was a brief one, since he was deposed by his own wife, the mentioned Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst, who then became the Russian empress Catherine the Great. Peter III was imprisoned and, shortly after, assassinated.