172843 Peter III's childhood and education in Holstein; heir to the Russian throne The mother of Peter III, daughter of Peter I, died of consumption about two months after bringing him into the world in the little town of Kiel in Holstein, from the despair of being consigned to live there and from being so unhappily married. Karl Friedrich, Duke of Holstein, nephew of Charles XII, King of Sweden, and father of Peter III, was a weak, ugly, short, sickly and poor prince (see Bergholz's journal in Busching's Magazin). He died in the year 1739 and left his son, who was around eleven years old, under the guardianship of his cousin Adolph Friedrich, the Bishop of Lubeck and Duke of Holstein, since chosen King of Sweden as a result of the preliminary talks of the Treaty of Abo on the recommendation of Empress Elizabeth. Peter III's education was directed by Brummer, the Grand Marshal of the Court and a Swede by birth, and under him were Grand Chamberlain Bergholz, author of the aforementioned journal, and four chamberlains, two of whomAdlerfelt, the author of a history of Charles XII, and Wachmeisterwere Swedish, and the other two, Wolff and Mardefeld, were from Holstein. They raised the Prince for the throne of Sweden in a court that was too large for the country in which it was located and that was divided into several factions, which hated each other and vied to control the Prince's mind, which each faction wanted to shape. As a result, these factions inspired in him the reciprocal hatred they felt against the individuals they opposed. The young prince politely detested Brummer and his overbearing way and accused the Grand Marshal of excessive severity; he despised Bergholz, who was Brummer's friend and toady, and liked none of his attendants, because they hampered him. From the age of ten, Peter III was partial to drink. He had to make many public appearances and was never out of sight day or night. Those he liked best during his childhood and the first years of his stay in Russia were his two old valets: Kramer, a Livonian, and Romberg, a Swede. The latter was his favorite; he was a rather vulgar and rough man who had been a dragoon officer under Charles XII. Brummer and as a result Bergholz, who trusted blindly in Brummer, were attached to Adolph Friedrich, Prince Bishop of Lubeck and Prince Guardian and Administrator; all the others were unhappy with this Prince and even more with his entourage. Once Empress Elizabeth had ascended to the throne of Russia, she sent Chamberlain Korf to Holstein to summon her nephew, whom the Prince Administrator sent off immediately, accompanied by Grand Marshal Brummer, Grand Chamberlain Bergholz, and Chamberlain Ducker, Brummer's nephew. The Empress's joy was great when he arrived. She left shortly thereafter for her coronation in Moscow. She was resolved to declare the Prince her heir. But first he had to profess the Greek Orthodox faith. The enemies of Grand Marshal Brummer, notably Grand Chancellor Count Bestuzhev and the late Count N. Panin, who had long been Russian minister in Sweden, claimed to have in hand convincing proof that as soon as Brummer saw the Empress determined to declare her nephew heir apparent to the throne, he took as much care to spoil the mind and heart of his pupil as he had taken to make him worthy of the Swedish crown. But I have always doubted this atrocious allegation and have believed that the education of Peter III was undermined by a clash of unfortunate circumstances. I will relate what I have seen and heard, and that in itself will clarify many things. I saw Peter III for the first time when he was eleven years old, in Eutin at theHoogenboom, Hilde is the author of 'Memoirs', published 2005 under ISBN 9780679642992 and ISBN 0679642994.