Today’s birthday May 2nd 1729

[O.S. 21 April]   German born Russian Empress Catherine II, or Catherine the Great, the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 1762 until her death in 1796 and her reign was one of the most powerful in Europe. 

Catherine became monarch after a coup d’état which she was said to have led against the reign of her husband Peter III (February 21th 1728) resulting in his abdication. Shortly afterwards her husband was assassinated by the brother

Aleksej Orlov, of Catherine’s lover Grigori..

(Armorial bookplate of Catherine II (1729-1796), Empress of Russia) via  http://library.law.yale.edu/blogs/rare-books/2012-03?page=1)

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