25 Nov: Elizabeth of Russia’s Bloodless Coup

Wearing an armoured breastplate, clasping a silver cross and seizing an Army spontoon, 31 year old Elizabeth Petrovna appeared at the HQ of the elite Preobrazhensky Regiment guards in St. Petersburg on 25th November, 1741 – intent on over-throwing Tzar Ivan VI (a baby), and seizing the Russian throne for herself.

Although she was the daughter of Peter The Great, she was also illegitimate, and overlooked in the line of succession. But her coup was bloodless, and she oversaw a productive cultural period for the dynasty – including her role in selecting Catherine The Great.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly recall Elizabeth’s fondness for food, fashion and f***ing; posit that her husband Alexis Razumovsky was a bit like Dolly Parton’s beau Carl Dean; and explain why, if you’re staging a coup, you should always slit your drums…

Further Reading:

• ‘Elizabeth I, Empress of All Russia’ (Unofficial Royalty, 2018): http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/empress-elizabeth-i-of-russia/

• ‘Decadent Facts About Empress Elizabeth Of Russia, The Last Romanov’ (Factinate): https://www.factinate.com/people/empress-elizabeth/

• ‘St Petersburg Palaces of the Romanovs’ (RT, 2021): 

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