Surprising 7: Famous kings who became rulers as children

Ivan IV (the Terrible)

According to legend, even the birth of Ivan, the son of the Grand Prince of ‪#‎Moscow‬, Vasili III, was accompanied by bad omens: he was born with two teeth. Following his father’s death, little Ivan was three when he – in name – became the leader of the orthodox state. He was eight years old when his mother died as well, and from then on the Russian nobility, the boyars, took over government of the principality. By the time he was 17, he grew tired of his situation and – as the first in Russian history – had himself crowned as tsar.

At the beginning of the rule of ‪#‎Ivan‬, he effected a series of administrative reforms. However, following the ever increasing number of failures in foreign policy, and the death of his wife Anastasia in 1560, he completely lost his self-control. He became convinced that the boyars, whom he had hated since his childhood, had poisoned his wife and in his paranoia he began to see boyar conspiracies everywhere.

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