It is said that any power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts completely. Russian rulers of different epochs were no exception to this rule, and they cannot be called ascetic people, even with great stretch. On the Russian tsars and queens are preserved many historical jokes. We offer you some of them.

Peter the Great and the Dwarfs

Emperor Peter I - one of the most eccentric Russian rulersEmperor Peter I - one of the most eccentric Russian rulers
Emperor Peter I loved dwarfs from childhood, and during his reign it was commonplace for noble nobles to keep the Lilliputians as fools. However, Peter himself brought this passion to the extreme. From time to time, he ordered the naked midget to be baked in a cake so that in the middle of dinner he would suddenly jump out of the cake for fear of the guests and for the amusement of the emperor.
Peter I arranged the wedding of the LilliputiansPeter I arranged the wedding of the Lilliputians
Peter even tried to breed dwarfs. At the wedding of the tsarist jester Yakim Volkov and the dwarf who served the Tsarina, more than seventy dwarfs, mostly poor peasants, were brought from all over Russia.They were dressed in specially made European styles, drunk with wine and forced to dance to entertain the audience. The emperor was very pleased.

Catherine II and the collection of erotica

According to rumors, the office, furnished with furniture made with frivolous carvings, adjoined the private chambers of the Empress in Gatchina Palace. The room was filled with the best examples of erotic painting and sculpture, and some of the exhibits were brought from the excavations of Pompeii.
Catherine II has collected a large collection of erotic sculpturesCatherine II has collected a large collection of erotic sculptures
According to the official version, the collection was destroyed in 1950. The catalog, released in the 1930s, and several photographs taken by German officers during World War II have been preserved. There is a version that the secret office of Catherine II was located not in Gatchina, but in Peterhof, and can still be found.

Ivan the Terrible and the unreal king

In 1575, Ivan IV unexpectedly abdicated the throne and declared that from now on he became a mere boyar Vladimir Moskovsky. He entrusted the throne to the baptized Tatar Simeon Bekbulatovich, a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. Simeon was officially crowned king in the Assumption Cathedral, and Ivan settled on Petrovka.From time to time, a retired king sent petitions to Simeon, in which he signed by Ivants Vasiliev.
Ivan the Terrible "for sight" abdicated the throneIvan the Terrible "for sight" abdicated the throne
During the 11 months of Simeon’s rule, Ivan with his hands returned to the treasury all the lands previously granted to monasteries and boyars, and in August 1576, just as suddenly, took the throne again. Simeon's relations with subsequent kings were extremely unfortunate. Boris Godunov ordered to blind him, False Dmitry I forced him to go to the monastery, Vasily Shuisky banished him to Solovki. The burial place of Simeon is located under the foundation of the Likhachev Plant's House of Culture, at the place where the necropolis of the Simonov Monastery used to be located.

Alexander II and his sense of humor

Once Alexander the Second, passing a small provincial town, decided to attend a church service. The temple was crowded. The head of the local police, seeing the emperor, began clearing his way among the parishioners with fists and shouts: “With respect! With trepidation! ”Alexander, having heard the words of the police master, laughed and said that he now understands exactly how humility and respect are taught in Russia. Another ironic phrase attributed to Alexander II: “It’s not difficult to rule Russia, but it’s pointless.”
Alexander II had a peculiar sense of humor.Alexander II had a peculiar sense of humor.

Alexander III and genealogy

The penultimate emperor, nicknamed the Peacemaker (with whom the Russian Empire did not participate in the wars), loved everything Russian, wore a broad beard and hardly put up with the fact that the royal family actually consisted of Germans. Soon after the coronation, Alexander gathered the closest courtiers and asked them who the father of Paul I really was. Historian Barskov replied that, most likely, Alexander Vasilievich Saltykov’s great-great-grandfather was Alexander. “Thank God!” The emperor exclaimed, crossing himself. - "So, in me there is at least a little Russian blood!"
Alexander III was a consistent SlavophileAlexander III was a consistent Slavophile

Elizaveta Petrovna and women's ego

Possessing a soft nature by nature, the daughter of Peter the Great did not make concessions only in matters of fashion and beauty. No one was allowed to copy the style of the clothes and the hairstyle of the empress's hair, or to appear at the reception in a dress that is a luxury superior to the dress of Elizabeth. At one of the balls, the empress personally cut off the hairpin and hairpins of the wife of the chief chamberlain Naryshkin with the hair, with the excuse that her hair was a bit like a royal haircut.
Elizaveta Petrovna most loved balls and outfits.Elizaveta Petrovna most loved balls and outfits.
Once the court hairdresser after the ball could not wash and comb Elizabeth's hair, stuck together from hairdressing potions. The Empress was forced to cut her hair. Immediately, the court ladies were ordered to shave and wear black wigs until the order was canceled. Only future Catherine II, who recently had a disease and lost her hair during the time, avoided shaving her head. Moscow ladies were allowed not to shave their heads on the condition that they hide their hairstyles under black wigs.

Paul I and official zeal

From childhood, Pavel Petrovich had a passion for strict order, military uniform and maneuvers. Alexander Suvorov, according to rumors, was removed from command of the army because of statements about the irrelevance of the Russian soldier of a German powdered wig and uncomfortable shoes with buckles. One day Paul led a training siege of a fortress, whose defenders were ordered to hold out by noon by all means.
Paul I spent a lot of time for funny battlesPaul I spent a lot of time for funny battles
Two hours before the end of the teachings, the emperor, along with the regiments besieging the fortress, fell under heavy rain.The commandant of the fortress was ordered to immediately open the gate and let in Pavel, but he flatly refused to carry out the order. The emperor got wet through. Exactly at twelve o'clock the gates opened, and Paul, in anger, burst into the fortress, attacked the commandant with reproaches.
His residence, Engineer Castle, Paul I built as a fortressHis residence, Engineer Castle, Paul I built as a fortress
He calmly showed the emperor his hand signed the order. Pavel had no choice but to praise the colonel for his performance and discipline. The commandant immediately received the rank of Major General and was sent to guard under the continued rain.

Alexander I and honesty

In the last years of his life, Alexander the First was a very God-fearing man. On Christmas Eve, making a pilgrimage trip, the emperor briefly stopped at the post station. Upon entering the station ranger's hut, Alexander saw a Bible on the table and asked if the caretaker often reads it.
By the end of his life, Alexander I became a very pious man.By the end of his life, Alexander I became a very pious man.
He assured the king that very often. Sending out of the room under some pretext of the caretaker, the emperor put five hundred-ruble banknotes between the pages of Scripture (gigantic forsometimes money) and soon left. Twelve days later, in Baptism, Alexander returned to St. Petersburg through the same station.
There is a legend that Alexander I did not die, but went to the skete under the name of the elder Fedor KuzmichThere is a legend that Alexander I did not die, but went to the skete under the name of the elder Fedor Kuzmich
Seeing the book in the same place, the emperor again asked the caretaker if he had read the book since they saw each other. The caretaker again warmly assured him that he had read it more than once. Alexander leafed through the Bible - bank notes were in place. He scolded the caretaker for deception and ordered the money to be distributed to orphans.
As you can see, nothing human was alien to the Russian rulers - including, says the editors of, not all of them kept marital fidelity. We invite you to read about the brightest in the Russian imperial dynasty.

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