Portrait of Peter III
Peter Fyodorovich (1728–1762) was the son of Tsesarevna Anna Petrovna and Duke Charles Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp. He was the grandson of two irreconcilable enemies: the Russian emperor Peter I and the Swedish king Charles XII. He was raised in the spirit of Swedish patriotism, which was expressed, among other ways, in a hatred of Russia. From 1742, he was the heir to the Russian throne. From 25 December 1761 to 28 June 1762, he was Emperor Peter III. He was never crowned. In imitation of Peter I, he intended to conduct a series of reforms. His "Manifesto on the Freedom of the Nobility", the abolition of the Secret Investigative Affairs Office and the secularisation of church lands be came the foundation for the subsequent legislative activities of Catherine II. In traditional historiography, he is characterised, and not without reason, as an ignorant, weak-minded Russophobe. He was overthrown in a palace coup led by his own wife, the future Empress Catherine II. He is depicted in the uniform of the Preobrazhensky Life Guards Regiment. He wears the officer badge and the ribbon and star of St Andrew.