Anna Pavlovna of Russia


Anna Pavlovna was the daughter of the Russian tsar Paul I. When her father was murdered, her oldest brother Alexander I became the new tsar. Alexander was friends with the Dutch crown prince Willem, and it was he who ensured that his sister Anna married Willem. One condition of the marriage was that Anna would be able to keep her Russian Orthodox faith. She remained devout her entire life, and had her own chapels at her palaces.

It was difficult for Anna to adjust to living in the Netherlands after leaving Russia. Etiquette was very strict at the Russian court, and she was accustomed to living in large, luxurious palaces. The simple Dutch court was very different.

Willem and Anna had three sons and a daughter. A fourth son died at a young age. After her husband and her son Alexander died in quick succession, Anna no longer had any desire to remain at court. She withdrew to her country homes near The Hague.

Married to