Elisabeth Katharina Christine von Mecklenburg-Schwerin
- Born: 1718
- Marriage: Anthony Ulrich
- Died: 18 Mar 1746 at age 28
Another name for Elisabeth was Anna Leopoldovna.
Anna Leopoldovna, also known as Anna Karlovna, regent of Russia for a few months (1740 - 1741) during the minority of her baby son Ivan. She was the daughter of Catherine (sister of Empress Anna) and of Charles Leopold, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and born as Elisabeth Katharina Christine von Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
In 1739 she married Anthony Ulrich (1714 - 1776), son of Ferdinand Albert, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. On 5 October 1740 the empress Anne adopted their new-born son Ivan and proclaimed him heir to the Russian throne. A few days after this proclamation the empress died (28 October 1740), leaving directions regarding the succession, and appointing her favourite Ernest Biren, Duke of Courland, as regent. Biren, however, had made himself an object of detestation to the Russian people, and Anna Leopoldovna had little difficulty in overthrowing him (8 November 1740). She then assumed the regency, and took the title of Grand-Duchess, but she knew little of the character of the people with whom she had to deal, knew even less of the conventions and politics of Russian government, and speedily quarrelled with her principal supporters.
According to a Dictionary of Russian History, she ordered an investigation of the garment industry when new uniforms received by the military were found to be of inferior quality. When the investigation revealed inhuman conditions she issued decrees mandating a minimum wage and maximum working hours in that industry as well as the establishment of medical facilities at every garment factory.
She also presided over a brilliant victory by Russian forces at the Battle of Lapeenranta in Finland after Sweden had declared war against her Government.
In December 1741, the daughter of Peter the Great, who, from her habits was a favourite with the soldiers, excited the guards to revolt, overcame the insignificant opposition, and ascended the throne as empress Elizabeth. This coup was supported by the ambassadors of France and Sweden, possibly with financial inducements to members of the Guard's regiments who wanted to change the pro-British and pro-Austrian policies of Anna Leopoldovna's Government.
The victorious regime first imprisoned the family in the fortress of Dünamünde near Riga and then exiled them to Kholmogory on the Northern Dvina river. Anna eventually died on 18 March 1746 during childbirth. Her son Ivan VI was murdered in Shlisselburg on 16 July 1764, while her husband Anthony Ulrich died in Kholmogory on 19 March 1776. Her remaining four children were released from prison in 1780 and settled in Jutland.
Elisabeth married Anthony Ulrich, son of Ferdinand Albrecht II Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg and Antoinette Amalie. (Anthony Ulrich was born in 1714 and died in 1774.)