Why Emperor Peter III was crowned 34 years after his death

On July 21, 1762, Emperor Peter III, who had been deposed from the throne, was buried in St. Petersburg in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, who died shortly after the overthrow in prison under mysterious circumstances.

The very fact of the burial of the emperor, albeit removed from power, in the Lavra caused surprise: traditionally, the tomb of the country's rulers was the Peter and Paul Cathedral. And the funeral was held quite modestly, without the honors received in such a case.

The thing is that Emperor Peter III was in power for a short time, just over six months, and did not have time to go through the rite of crowning the kingdom, which was supposed to be performed in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The emperor postponed this solemn ceremony, and in the summer of 1762 he was deprived of power with the direct participation of his wife, the future ruler of Catherine II.

But, the ceremony of the wedding to the kingdom of Emperor Peter III still took place, however, 34 years after his death - in 1896. It was then, after a long reign, that Catherine II died, and the son of the late Empress and Peter, Paul I, ascended the throne.

Catherine had not yet been buried, but Pavel had already issued a decree: to deliver the remains of the emperor, who died many years ago, from the Alexander Nevsky Lavra to the Winter Palace, and hold, albeit belatedly, the wedding ceremony. The centuries-old tradition was even broken, it was decided not to carry the coffin with the body of Peter III to Moscow.

In the Aleksanro-Nevsky Monastery, the coffin of Peter III was opened, after which Paul venerated the remains of his father, demanding the same from the courtiers. After that, the crown was placed on the coffin.

Soon the remains of the emperor were transferred to the home church of the Winter Palace. It was decided to bury the former spouses, Peter and Catherine, at the same time in the Peter and Paul Palace. The funeral ceremony stretched for one and a half miles.

The slabs of Peter and Catherine bear the same date of burial, it may seem that they lived happily ever after, and died on the same day.

By the way, the mysterious death of Peter III in 1762 gave rise to a whole series of impostors who pretended to be an emperor who had miraculously escaped. In total, historians have counted more than forty of them. The most famous is, of course, Emelyan Pugachev. Everyone knows about him. Much less is known about Stefan Mal. And he even managed to become the king of Montenegro.

The story is rather complicated: the Montenegrin officer Marko Tanovic, who has been to St. Petersburg several times, suddenly noticed that a farm laborer from one of the wealthy peasants is surprisingly similar to Emperor Peter III. It was strange that the farm laborer spoke many languages ​​and was well acquainted with the situation in Russia.

The popularity of this man became such that Stefan even managed to take the throne of Montenegro. In 1773 he died during an assassination attempt. Many Montenegrins sincerely believed that this ruler was the real Peter III.