Anna Leopoldovna

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H.I.H. Anna Leopoldovna, Grand Duchess and Regent of Russia

Anna Leopoldovna (А́нна Леопо́льдовна) (1718 - 18 March, 1746), also known as Anna Karlovna (А́нна Ка́рловна), regent of Russia for a few months (1740 - 1741) during the minority of her baby son Ivan, was the daughter of Catherine (sister of the empress Anne) and of Charles Leopold, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

In 1739 she married Anton Ulrich (1714 - 1776), son of Ferdinand Albert, duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. On 5 October, 1740 the empress Anne adopted their new-born son Ivan and proclaimed him heir to the Russian throne. A few days after this proclamation the empress died (28 October 1740), leaving directions regarding the succession, and appointing her favourite Ernest Biren, duke of Courland, as regent. Biren, however, had made himself an object of detestation to the Russian people, and Anna Leopoldovna had little difficulty in overthrowing him (8 November, 1740). She then assumed the regency, and took the title of Grand-Duchess, but she knew little of the character of the people with whom she had to deal, knew even less of the conventions and politics of Russian government, and speedily quarrelled with her principal supporters.

In December 1741, the daughter of Peter the Great, who, from her habits, was a favourite with the soldiers, excited the guards to revolt, overcame the insignificant opposition, and ascended the throne as empress Elizabeth.

The victorious regime threw the erstwhile baby Tsar Ivan into prison, where he afterwards perished. Anna Leopoldovna and her husband suffered banishment to a small island in the Northern Dvina river, then to Kholmogory, where on 18 March 1746 she died in childbirth.

Original text from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.it:Anna II di Russia

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