Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark)

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Maria Feodorovna (26 November 1847 – 13 October 1928), born Princess Dagmar of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and later Princess Dagmar of Denmark, was Empress consort of Russia as spouse of Emperor Alexander III. She was the second daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Cassel. Among her children was the last Russian monarch, Emperor Nicholas II, whom she outlived by ten years.

Contents

Family

Princess Marie Sophie Fredrica/Frederikke Dagmar of Denmark was named after her kinswoman Marie Sophie Fredrica of Hesse-Kassel (1767–1852), Queen Dowager of Denmark. Dagmar's father soon became an heir to the throne of Denmark, largely due to his wife's succession rights as niece of King Christian VII. Born in Copenhagen as a daughter of a relatively impoverished princely cadet line, she was baptized into the Lutheran faith. Her father became King of Denmark in 1863 on the death of King Frederik VII. Due to the brilliant alliances of his children, he became known as the "Father-in-law of Europe." She was the sister-in-law of King Edward VII, the husband of her older sister Alexandra of Denmark.

Most of her life, she was known as Maria Feodorovna (in Russian Мария Фёдоровна), the name which she took when converting to Orthodoxy immediately before her 1866 marriage to the future Tsar Alexander III. She was known within her family as Minnie.

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