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How did Catherine the Great and Peter Die?

May 14, 2020
4 min read

‘The Great’ follows the story of Catherine, who is married to the emperor of Russia. When she finds him dull and spoiled, she decides that she would be a better fit for the country than her husband. It comes to her attention that in the condition of the emperor’s death, the power would fall in the lap of the empress. She decides to take advantage of this fact and starts planning a coup.

Bit by bit, she brings all the pieces on the set in her favor. She gets everyone on her side, from the nobles to the military. In the finale of the series, we find Catherine go forward with her plan. However, a few glitches come across her way, along with some betrayals. The show doesn’t get to the part where either she or her husband meet their death. How did this brawl end? How did Catherine the Great and Emperor Peter of Russia die? Here’s all you need to know.

Peter III Death

Unlike in ‘The Great’, Peter III was not a ruler when Catherine arrived in Russia. His aunt Elizabeth was still on the throne and he ascended to it in 1762. However, six months later, his wife’s coup came forth, and that signed his death warrant. With the help of her supporters, Catherine made Peter abdicate the throne. He was held captive in Ropsha, a settlement at a short distance from St Petersburg. However, days into his captivity, he died.

The reasons surrounding his death are varied, and none is confirmed. The most obvious suspect is Count Orlov, who is said to have assassinated Peter. Whether or not Catherine was involved in this is also a point of contention for some. However, there is another theory that suggests that his death was the result of a drunken brawl between him and a bodyguard at his prison. In any case, the official reason for his death was stated as hemorrhoids and an apoplexy stroke.

Catherine the Great Death

Catherine the Great led Russia through numerous progressive changes in the reign of 34 years. However, something at the end of her reign left her deeply disturbed, and it is believed that this event might have been the cause of her death, in the long run. In 1796, she arranged for her granddaughter to be married to King Gustav of Sweden. This union would render the girl a queen. A special ball was organized in which the announcement was to be made. However, Gustav had some reservations about the religion of his betrothed-to-be, so he decided to call out the engagement and left for Sweden.

This shock led to a decline in Catherine’s health. She recovered from it and planned for another big announcement regarding the country. In appointing her successor, she chose to leave her first son, Paul, out of it, seeing him unfit to be a ruler. Instead, she chose Alexander, her favorite grandson. However, before she could make her wishes public, she suffered a stroke.

Catherine the Great died in 1796 at the age of 67 and was buried at the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. Her death led people to create a lot of rumors. One claimed that she died on her toilet seat, which broke under her. While she had collapsed in the bathroom, she had spent many hours in her bed, with her servants taking care of her. Another rumor claimed that she had died in an attempt to have sex with a horse. Spread by her dissenters to stain her reputation, this is the thing that has clung to her name ever since.

Read More: Best Medieval Movies of All Time

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