Alexander I of Russia (23 December 1777 – 1 December 1825), also known as Alexander the Blessed served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and Ruler of Poland from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania. He was born in Saint Petersburg to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, later Emperor Paul I, and Maria Feodorovna, daughter of the Duke of Württemberg. Alexander was the eldest of four brothers.
Alexander (Aleksandr) II Nikolaevich (29 April 1818, Moscow – 13 March 1881, Saint Petersburg), also known as Alexander the Liberator was the Emperor, or Czar, of the Russian Empire from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881. He was also the Grand Duke of Finland and the King of Poland.
Alexander III Alexandrovich (10 March 1845 – 1 November 1894) reigned as Emperor of Russia from 13 March 1881 until his death in 1894. Unlike his father, liberal-leaning Alexander II, Alexander III is considered by historians to have been a repressive and reactionary tsar.
Andronikos III Palaiologos, Latinized as Andronicus III Palaeologus reigned as Byzantine emperor 1328–1341, after being rival emperor since 1321. Andronikos III was the son of Michael IX Palaiologos and Princess Rita of Armenia (renamed Maria). His maternal grandparents were King Levon II of Armenia and Queen Keran of Armenia.
Andronikos II Palaiologos (25 March 1259, Nicaea – February 13, 1332, Constantinople) — also Andronicus II Palaeologus — reigned as Byzantine emperor from 1282 to 1328. He was the eldest surviving son of Michael VIII Palaiologos and Theodora Doukaina Vatatzina, grandniece of John III Doukas Vatatzes.
Nicholas II (18 May 1868 – 17 July 1918) was the last Czar of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is currently regarded as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until his abdication on 15 March 1917.
Michael (born 25 October 1921) reigned as King of the Romanians from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930, and again from 6 September 1940, until forced to abdicate by the communists backed up by orders of Stalin to the Soviet armies of occupation on 30 December 1947. He is also a Prince of Hohenzollern .
Carol II (15 October/16 October 1893 – 4 April 1953) reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand I, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria. He was the first of the Romanian royal family who was baptized in the Orthodox rite. Carol was born in Peleş Castle.
Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, born 2 May 1729, reigned as Empress of Russia from 9 July 1762 until her death (17 November 1796). Under her direct auspices the Russian Empire expanded, improved its administration, and continued to modernize along Western European lines. Catherine's rule re-vitalized Russia, which grew ever stronger and became recognized as one of the great powers of Europe.
Elizaveta Petrovna (29 December 1709 – 5 January 1762), also known as Yelisavet and Elizabeth, was the Empress of Russia (1741–1762) who took the country into the War of Austrian Succession (1740–1748) and the Seven Years' War (1756 – 1763). On the eve of her death in 1762, the Russian empire spanned almost 4 billion acres (more than 16 million square kilometres). Her domestic policies allowed the nobles to gain dominance in local government while shortening their terms of service to the state.
Peter I the Great or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov (9 June 1672 – 8 February 1725) ruled Russia and later the Russian Empire from 7 May 1682 until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his weak and sickly half-brother, Ivan V. He carried out a policy of modernization and expansion that transformed the Tsardom of Russia into a 3-billion acre Russian Empire, a major European power.
Peter III (21 February 1728 – 17 July 1762) was Emperor of Russia for six months in 1762. According to most historians, he was mentally immature and very pro-Prussian, which made him an unpopular leader. He was supposedly assassinated as a result of a conspiracy led by his wife, who succeeded him to the throne as Catherine II.
Nicholas I, (6 July 1796 – 2 March 1855), was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers. Nicholas I was born in Gatchina to Emperor Paul I and Empress Maria Feodorovna. He was a younger brother to Alexander I of Russia and Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia.
Boris Feodorovich Godunov (c. 1551 – 23 April 1605) was de facto regent of Russia from 1584 to 1598 and then the first non-Rurikid tsar from 1598 to 1605. The end of his reign saw Russia descend into the Time of Troubles.
Ivan IV Vasilyevich, known in English as Ivan the Terrible (25 August 1530, Moscow – 28 March 1584, Moscow) was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533. The epithet "Grozny" is associated with might, power and strictness, rather than horror or cruelty. Ivan oversaw numerous changes in the transition from a medieval nation state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first Tsar of a new and more powerful nation.
Michael VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus (1223 – December 11, 1282) reigned as Byzantine emperor 1259–1282. Michael VIII was the founder of the Palaeologan dynasty that would rule the Byzantine Empire until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. He recovered Constantinople from the Latin Empire in 1261 and transformed the Empire of Nicaea into a restored Byzantine Empire.
John V Palaiologos or Palaeologus, (18 June 1332 – February 16, 1391) was the son of Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos and Anna of Savoy. His maternal grandparents were Count Amadeus V of Savoy and his second wife Maria of Brabant. He succeeded his father as Byzantine Emperor in 1341, at age nine.
Alexei Mikhailovich Romanov (9 March 1629 – 29 January 1676) was the Tsar of Russia during some of the most eventful decades of the mid-17th century. On the eve of his death in 1676, the Tsardom of Russia spanned almost 2 billion acres (8 million square kilometres).
Ivan V Alekseyevich Romanov was a joint tsar of Russia (with his younger half-brother Peter I) who co-reigned between 1682 and 1696. He was the youngest son of Alexis I of Russia and Maria Miloslavskaya. His reign was only formal, since he had serious physical and mental disabilities. He sat still for hours at a time and needed assistance in order to walk. Ivan V was the 11th child of Tsar Alexis.
Ivan III Vasilevich (22 January 1440, Moscow – 27 October 1505, Moscow), also known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow and "Grand Prince of all Russia" (Великий князь всея Руси) Sometimes referred to as the "gatherer of the Russian lands", he tripled the territory of his state, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. He was one of the longest-reigning Russian rulers in history.