She would, doubtless, have made a model tsaritsa of the pre-Petrine period, but, unfortunately, she was no fit wife for such a vagabond of genius as Peter the Great.
Immediately afterwards Peter was proclaimed tsar by the patriarch, and the first ukaz issued in Peter's name summoned Matvyeev to return to the capital and act as chief adviser to the tsaritsa Natalia.
It was especially embellished by the tsaritsa Elizabeth.
Her girlhood was passed at Ismailovo near Moscow, with her mother, an ignorant, bigoted tsaritsa of the old school, who neglected and even hated her daughters.
In 1682 the party of progress, headed by Artamon Matvyeev and the tsaritsa Natalia, passed Ivan over and placed his half-brother, the vigorous and promising little tsarevich Peter, on the throne.
After the death of the tsaritsa Natalia, Peter's mother, in 1694, his influence increased still further.
Henceforth the new tsaritsa was her husband's inseparable companion.
The situation was regulated by the reception of Martha into the Orthodox Church, when she was rechristened under the name of Catherine Alekseyevna, the tsarevich Alexius being her godfather, by the bestowal upon her of the title Gosudaruinya or sovereign (1710), and, finally (17 i i), by her public marriage to the tsar, who divorced the tsaritsa Eudoxia to make room for her.