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Maria Feodorovna (Dowager Empress)
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    (November 26, 1847-October 13, 1928)
    Born in Copenhagen, Denmark
    Marie Sophie Frederikke Dagmar
    Danish Princess; christened with the name Dagmar
    Daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Cassel
    Empress of Russia, coronated in May 1883; spouse of Tsar Alexander III (reigned 1881–1894)
    Mother of the Tsar Nicholas II, the last monarch of the Russian Empire; Grandmother of Alexei Romanov, Anastasia Romanova, and Maria Romanova
    Portrayed by Helen Hayes in the Ingrid Bergman film 'Anastasia' (1956); Voiced by Angela Lansbury for the animated musical, of the same name (1997)
    She famously didn't get along with her daughter-in-law.
    She was known for being jealously possessive of all her sons (which would partly explain the disdain she had for Alexandra).
    She made Alexandra the scapegoat for her son's weakness as a ruler, and the Russian Empire's problems as a whole, for birthing a hemophiliac son whose well-being depended on a shady mystic.
    She has been accused of helping to plan a Coup d'etat against her son over his dependence on Rasputin.
    Reportedly, the plan was for her to meet privately with Nicholas to give him an ultimatum to leave Rasputin (or she would leave). If Nicholas refused, she would leave, thereby signaling that the Coup was on.
    Rumor has it that Alexandra was informed about the plans, and convinced him to order her to leave the capital (she left Petrograd for Kiev, never to return to the Royal Palace again).
    She has figured prominently into dramatizations of the 'Anastasia' story, which usually depict her being exiled in Paris, where she never resided (when in doubt, pick an exotic locale).
    The popular myth of her offering a million Ruble reward for information leading to her lost granddaughter is also a complete fabrication (although many young women claimed to be Anastasia, there was no 'contest' about who was the real Princess).
    At the time of her burial, a popular story claimed that The crowd around her coffin was so large that a Danish diplomat fell into her grave plot before the coffin was interred.
    She was played by Irene Worth in the film 'Nicholas and Alexandra.'
    She was haunted by the assassination of the Tsar Alexander II, which led to her becoming Empress (the public was wholly unenthused with the new Tsar but adored her as the new Empress).
    She and her family were almost killed when the Imperial train they were riding on at the time derailed from its tracks, causing the car's roof to nearly cave in on them.
    Her husband died a week before her birthday, after only fifteen years of marriage.
    During both the Russo-Japanese War and the first World War, she served as president of Russia's Red Cross division, as well as head of the sanitary train.
    Her concerns about Rasputin were legitimate ones, although she would come to regret her disdain for her daughter-in-law during her later years.
    She died having outlived four of her six children.
    She apparently lost the will to live after her beloved sister, Queen Alexandra of Great Britain, passed in 1925 (it was the final loss she could handle).
    She lived in denial about her son and his family's deaths after receiving the news, steadfastly claiming that it was a concocted lie by the Soviets to damper loyalists' spirits.
    She expressed virtually no interest in meeting with Anna Anderson whom many believed to be Anastasia (likely because even acknowledging that Anastasia survived would mean acknowledging that the rest of her family really had been killed as well).
    A statue of her likeness was unveiled near her favorite Cottage Palace in Peterhof (Sept. 26, 2006).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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