Empress of Russia from 1881. Daughter of Christian IX and Louise of Hesse-Kassel. Married in 1866 to the Russian Grand Duke and heir to the throne, Alexander III. They had six children, of whom the second-eldest child died shortly after birth.
Already when Dagmar was a child, it was obvious to Christian IX that Dagmar was able-minded and possibly the most intelligent of his children. When she became engaged to the Russian Grand Duke and heir to the throne, Nicholas, she immediately began learning Russian language, customs and culture and converted to the Orthodox church. Her name was changed to Maria Feodorovna in Russian. Unfortunately, Grand Duke Nicholas died before the marriage and Dagmar became engaged and later married to Nicholas’ younger brother, Grand Duke Alexander, the next heir to the throne.
The life of Empress Dagmar was characterised by great contrast. As a child she and her family lived frugally in the Yellow Palace but when she arrived in Russia the riches of the Royal family were unimaginable. While the Royal family was rich, the largest part of the Russian people lived in great poverty. This chasm led to the Russian revolution in 1917 when Dagmar’s eldest son, Nicholas II was emperor. During the revolution Dagmar managed to escape, first to England to her sister Queeen Alexandra. Later she came to Denmark where, together with Alexandra, she bought the villa Hvidøre.