To find a wife, Russian tsars of XVI—XVII centuries staged parades of brides, which allowed only the most beautiful and healthy virgin. Boyar families competed for the chance to marry his bride. From the results of this medieval casting depended the fate of eminent birth and even the course of history of the Moscow Kingdom. The website
publishes a fascinating article about how was the Royal marriage.
Image source: Kulturologia.give the XV—XVI centuries, Russian tsars had a lot of problems in the choice of the bride. European Royal families were unwilling to send their daughters to this wild, isolated region. They also didn't want their pious Princess was baptized in the Orthodox faith.
To intermarry with the noble families of Russia were not much easier. Though the kings of Moscow and was considered to be omnipotent, in fact they were depending on the boyar families. Here marriage issues constantly interfered with intrigue and struggle for power.
In 1505, the future Tsar Vasily III decided to hold the first in Russia the bride bride to choose a perfect life partner. This custom, borrowed from the Byzantine Empire, became popular in Russia in the next two hundred years.
In the first stage, "selection", the representatives of the king visited all parts of the country with a special Royal decree. It was recommended to represent all young girls on "regional shows". Royal ambassadors selected candidates in many ways. The Tsar's bride had to be tall, beautiful and healthy. Great attention was paid to the presence of many children from her parents. Of course, checked the "political reliability" of the family of the girl.
From 500 to 1500 selected girls went to Moscow to participate in the next round of selection. The opponent was brought before a jury of his courtiers and physicians, where he was eliminated in several rounds. Here already began court intrigues. Noble families promoted their relatives and tried to drag them to the final. At the same time against a particularly promising candidates for the title of Queen even organized collusion.
Dozens of girls who passed the previous stages, went to the final round. It was very similar to the television show "the Bachelor."
They lived in a large beautiful house, all dressed in beautiful dresses. Finally, when he arrived the king to his room came the brides and bowed at his feet. The king gave each of the girls a handkerchief, embroidered with Golden or silver thread and pearls.
The king watched the candidates, when all dined together at one table, and in a private communication to make the right choice from this great company. When the king made his choice, he gave the bride a gold ring. In 1505, Solomonia Saburova was the first Queen, held a similar casting of Tsar Vasily III.
The other finalists took wives of powerful nobles, or they were sent home with money and expensive gifts, but could be exiled to Siberia, depending on the mood of the king.
Reviews of brides went out of fashion in the late XVII century. The Romanovs began to marry with European princesses, and Russia entered into the political life of Western Europe.