The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas

In Imperial times women had no power over him. The sphere of influence of the peasant and the boyar wives was limited to raising children and crafts. Wedding custom of the bride's father took the whip, lightly whipped daughter and saying: "Give their power over you into the hands of your husband, and now for disobedience he will teach you." The Queens situation was no better.

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas

Wife Russian rulers until Peter I, though dressed in gold and ate from silver, but most of life spent under lock and key in the chambers. German diplomat Herberstein, who lived at the court of Tsar Ivan the terrible wrote:

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas

Portrait of Marfa Sobakina and reconstruction of her appearance

When the king came time to get married, the bride was declared, which exhibited the most beautiful girls. Often the contestant chose "to pull", but it happened that the ruler himself had determined his future wife. For example, Ivan the terrible, one of the wives — Martha Sobakina picked for her beauty from a thousand candidates.

The Royal wedding took place on a clear plan. The bride was led to the Golden chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, where she was preparing for the ceremony. On the marriage day the girl came to Garnet ward, where arrived the groom. In carpets, the hall was set tables with treats.

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas"Boyar wedding feast". The Painting By K. E. Makovsky

In the chamber under the reading of prayers the bride and groom combed, pre-moistened comb wine. Young went to the Church for the wedding and came back for the feast. According to the wedding rituals of Russia, during the feast, the bride and groom did not eat and did not drink.

The main task of the Queen was the work of the heirs male. In her spare time she sewed, knitted, and was engaged in charitable activities. Traditionally Moscow Queen contained workshops on embroidery patterns and symbols on the vestments of the priests, the covers for Church vessels, the relics of the saints, shrouds. Embroidery was the chief entertainment of the aristocrats of tsarist Russia.

The only reason to leave the king's chamber was a pilgrimage in one of the many monasteries. At home the Queen was served by fifty servants, and entertained her "top of the boyar". With them, the ruler was reading religious books and singing Orthodox songs. The guard chambers were carrying two dozen boyar sons, aged 10 to 17 years. Most of these were relatives of the Queen, who as adults, were to serve to her husband.

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinasThe Royal apartments in the Kremlin of Moscow

According to historical documents, the Moscow court of the ruler consisted of 300 people. An important role of the Queen was the intercession for her husband. Her name was written petitions asking to put in a word or pardon fell out of favor, priest or nobleman. Royal wife slept in different rooms, and to beget heirs there were separate chambers.

The Queen was forbidden to show his face to strangers, otherwise her and the heirs could jinx it. Even during Church services she was standing behind the light curtain. Outside the chambers the girl moved in a closed carriage, and when it came to the doctor, she was behind the screen. Complaints the patient is passed through a boyar, and even the pulse of the Queen probed through the fabric.

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas"Red square in the second half of the XVII century". The Picture Of A. M. Vasnetsov

However, there were exceptions: the tsarina Irina Godunova personally took foreign ambassadors, attended the meetings of the Boyar Duma and corresponded with the Queen of England Elizabeth I.

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas"The choice of the bride Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich". The Painting By K. E. Makovsky

Freely behaved and the wife of Alexei Mikhailovich Romanov — Natalia Naryshkin. The Queen was driven around Moscow in a carriage with the Windows open and visit, though in secret, the first in the history of Russian theatrical representation. Contemporaries wrote that Alexei and Natalia loved each other, and the king tried to entertain his beloved wife, inviting her to observe the reception of ambassadors or rituals.

Father of Ivan the terrible, Grand Prince Vasily III, the first Moscow ruler, got married to a girl named Salome Saburova, who was descended from an old boyar family. Marriage entered into for love, but after 20 years of marriage, wife gave birth to the Prince heir. In 1525 Vasilii accused spouse in infertility and sent her to a convent. It was the first in the history of Russia the divorce.

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas"Great vows". Painting MV Nesterov

Woman wear black clothing did not want the road to the monastery resisted. Then one of the nobles struck the former ruler of the whip and reminded that this is a fate she has in store for the Grand Prince himself. Basil married second time 17-year-old Lithuanian noblewoman Elena Glinskaya. The Church condemned divorce, but against the ruler did not. From this marriage the Prince was born the son Ivan, who went down in history under the nickname the terrible.

Ivan the terrible — a record for the number of wives. The first Russian Tsar of them was eight. Three women Ivan survived, and three more forcibly tonsured a nun. One of them — Anna Vasiljkovi the king was married only four months. When the girl terrible tired, he forced the poor to dress in monastic clothing.

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas"Messengers from Ermak on the red porch before Ivan the Terrible". The Picture S. R. Rostworowska

Peter the great forcibly tonsured wife Eudoxia Lopukhina a nun, and under a military escort was sent to the Suzdal-Pokrovsky monastery. In the monastery, Evdokia was a novel with major Stepan Glebov.

The Golden cage: how the life of Russian tsarinas"Eudoxia Lopukhina. On the veil". The Picture E. K. Kamynina

When Peter found out about the lover, then ordered to put poor at stake, and ex-wife to flog. The second king's wife Catherine after his death, ordered to transfer the Lopukhin in a prison cell. From the dungeons her in 1727 freed Peter II.

Keywords: Marriage | Ivan the terrible | Peter the great | Russia | Wedding tradition

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