Peter III of Russia  

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On July 17, 1762 Catherine the Great becomes tsar of Russia upon the accidental murder of Peter III of Russia.

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Peter III (21 February [O.S. 10 February] 1728 – 17 July [O.S. 6 July] 1762) was Emperor of Russia for six months in 1762. He was born in Kiel as Charles Peter Ulrich of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, the only child of Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (the son of Hedvig Sophia of Sweden, sister of Charles XII), and Anna Petrovna (the elder surviving daughter of Peter the Great). The German Peter could hardly speak Russian and pursued a strongly pro-Prussian policy, which made him an unpopular leader. He was deposed and possibly assassinated as a result of a conspiracy led by his German wife, Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, who succeeded him to the throne as Catherine II. However, another theory is he died as a result of a drunken brawl with his bodyguard while he was being held captive after Catherine's coup.



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