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Aleksandra Feodorovna

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ALEKSANDRA FEODOROVNA, Em press of Russia, consort of Emperor Nicholas I: b. 1 July 1798; d. 19 Oct. 1860. She was a daughter of King Frederick William III of Prussia and Queen Louise Charlotte Wilhel mine. Aleksandra Feodorovna's childhood belonged to the period of Prussia's down fall caused by Napoleon. After the defeat at Jena the Prussian royal family was constrained to move from one town to another and it was only after the Peace of Tilsit that it settled in Memel. On 15 Dec. 1809 the solemn entry of the royal fam ily into Berlin was celebrated by great masses of people. On that occasion the Queen of Prussia taught her daughter how to share the calamities and joys of the people. When in 1814 Grand Duke Pavpovich came to Berlin with his armies he was presented to Princess Charlotte and fell in love with her at first sight. The fair princess had confessed in a letter to her brother William her own love for the Russian grand duke and, after a long court ship she came to Saint Petersburg in 1817. The engagement took place on 25 June and the mar riage on 1 July of that year. She had conceived a warm love for everything Russian, especially the language, history, folk-lore customs, etc. Professor Zhukovski had helped her consid erably in her study of the language in which she showed remarkable progress. Until the ascent to the throne of Nicholas I her life flowed peacefully in the midst of her home: educating her children, cultivating music and singing, and exchanging a vast correspondence with her numerous friends. But afterward the

circle of her activities became considerably broader In 1836 all the institutions founded by Empress Marie Feodorovna passed over to her care; she personally studied, superintended, in creased and improved their scope. Some of them she reorganized radically. All the most important transactions, conducted by the state secretaries Villamov and Hoffman, had to be previously sanctioned by the wise Empress. In her later life she directed her attention to the education of young women and expended more than two-thirds of her enormous income on charities. Making a wholesome use of her immeasurable influence over her imperial con sort, Aleksandra Feodorovna often softened the outbursts of his temper and unusual roughness which characterized the epoch after 1848. Her trips abroad were crowned by enormous diplomatic successes. She left in her adopted country an imperishable memory of a good-hearted, noble and modest woman. Consult Daragan, (Vaspominaniya Kamer-Pazha' (Russkaya Starina 1875); A. T. von Grimm, Theodorovna, Kaiserin von Russland' (2 vols., Leipzig 1866).