Maria Feodorovna

Danish Princess, Russian Empress and Dowager

The Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, formerly Princess Dagmar of Denmark, had spent over fifty years in Russia. After the revolution she lived in Denmark in retirement at Hvidøre north of Copenhagen. Among the russian émigrés her word was law, and her position as head of the Imperial family ensured that her influence was paramount among the Romanovs. Her husband Aleksander III died in his prime and two of her children died young. The revolution led to the destruction of the dynasty and the Church. Many members of her family was killed and she ended as the symbol of a bygone age. Many of her loyal servants, friends and courtiers followed her into exile 1919 – 1920 and later found a new life in Denmark after her death in 1928. In 2006 she was transferred from Roskilde Cathedral to be reinterred at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Skt. Petersburg. (Top illustration: Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, © KB/Royal Library, Creative Commons)

Princess Dagmar of Denmark. In 1852 Dagmar’s father became heir-presumptive to the throne of Denmark, largely due to the succession rights of his wife Louise as niece of King Christian VIII. In 1853, he was given the title Prince of.  Dagmar’s father became King of Denmark in 1863 upon the death of King Frederick VII. Due to the brilliant marital alliances of his children, he became known as the “Father-in-law of Europe.” Dagmar’s eldest brother would succeed his father as King Frederick VIII of Denmark. Her elder and favourite sister, Alexandra married Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) in March 1863. Within months of Alexandra’s marriage, Dagmar’s second older brother, Wilhelm, was elected as King George I of the Hellenes. Her younger sister Thyra became Duchess of Cumberland. She also had another younger brother, Valdemar who in turn married a princess Marie of Orléans.