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Tsaritsa (Bulgarian: царица; Russian: цари́ца), formerly spelled czaritsa (and in English usually tsarina or czarina, with the German feminine suffix), is the title of a female autocratic ruler (monarch) of Bulgaria or Russia, or the title of a tsar's wife.

"Tsaritsa" was the title of the female supreme ruler in the following states:

  • Bulgaria: in 913–1018, in 1185–1422 and in 1908–1946
  • Serbia: in 1346–1371
  • Russia: officially from about 1547 until 1721, empresses in 1721-1917 (tsaritsas – unofficially).



Since 1721, the official titles of the Russian male and female monarchs were Emperor (Russian: император, imperator) and Empress (Russian: императрица, imperatritsa), respectively, or Empress Consort. Officially the last Russian tsaritsa was Eudoxia Lopukhina, Peter the Great's 1st wife, ans the last Russian Empress was Alexandra Fyodorovna (Alix of Hesse), the wife of Nicholas II of Russia.

Several tsaritsas were the rulers of Russia, including empresses Catherine I (reigned 1725–27), Anna (1730–40), Elizabeth (1741–62), and Catherine the Great (1762–96). Others who gained the title unofficially by marrying a tsar were Elizabeth Alexeevna, Alexandra Fyodorovna (Charlotte of Prussia), Maria Alexandrovna, Maria Fyodorovna, and Eleonore of Reuss-Köstritz, who became Tsaritsa of Bulgaria following her marriage to Tsar Ferdinand.

Many princesses from Western Europe, who had to convert to Orthodox Christianity and change their given names accordingly, were given the middle name Fyodorovna not because their fathers were named Theodore but as an allegory based on the name of Theotokos of St. Theodore, the patron icon of the Romanov family.[1]


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