Catherine the Great Haiku

Play with toy soldiers,

Dear husband. With the flesh ones,

I’ll depose your ass.

Peter III of Russia died under extremely shifty circumstances 256 years ago today, after being overthrown by his fed up German wife. (You might know her better as Catherine the Great.)

They’d been married for 16 years by that point and they hadn’t been happy ones. Peter was… well. He was an abusive little jerk who enjoyed playing with toy soldiers, drinking a lot, and smacking Catherine. (It is true that he suffered under an equally terrible tutor before being whisked away to his Auntie Empress Elizabeth’s court in Russia, but that explains, not excuses.) He often forced Catherine to play the role of a toy soldier, running her through drills for hours.

He also did his level best to alienate practically in Russia, including annoying them all with his big ol’ crush on Prussia. Who they were at war with. Meanwhile, Catherine was busy charming everyone up to and including Empress Elizabeth and spending so much time studying the Russian language that she nearly got sick and died.

They also came to live in separate palaces, slept around on each other, and that there was a big ol’ question mark over the matter of their children’s paternity.

Then Empress Elizabeth died, Peter became Tsar, and shit went down.

During his very brief reign, Peter attempted some social reforms, which was good, but made him unpopular with the aristocracy. But what I really think cooked his goose was 1) trying to make the Orthodox Church more Lutheran and 2) immediately ending the war with Prussia as soon as his aunt died and giving them back everything Russia had gained… when Russia was WINNING. And then making an alliance with them. The fuck.

So Catherine didn’t find it that hard to get the soldiers on her side, have him arrested, get ordained by the waiting and eager clergy, and ship Peter off to a very short exile.

So it goes.

(Still sick. Argh.)

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