Woldemar Freedericksz

Count Adolf Andreas Woldemar Freedericksz (Russian: Владимир Борисович Фредерикс, romanized: Vladimir Borisovich Frederiks; 28 November [O.S. 16] 1838 – 1 July 1927) was a Finno-Russian statesman who served as Imperial Household Minister between 1897 and 1917 under Nicholas II. He was responsible for the administration of the Imperial family's personal affairs and living arrangements, as well as the awarding of Imperial honours and medals.

Woldemar Freedericksz
Frederix Vladimir.jpg
Minister of the Imperial Court
In office
18 May [O.S. 6] 1897 – 12 March [O.S. 28 February] 1917
MonarchNicholas II
Preceded byIllarion Vorontsov-Dashkov
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born28 November [O.S. 16] 1838
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died1 July 1927(1927-07-01) (aged 88)
Kauniainen, Finland
Resting placeKauniainen Cemetery
Military service
AllegianceRussian Empire
Branch/serviceRussian Imperial Army
Years of service1856–1917
RankGeneral of the Cavalry



Coat of arms of the Freedericksz family (ru) of 1798.

Adolf Andreas Woldemar Freedericksz was born on 28 November [O.S. 16] 1838 to Finnish Baron Bernhard (Boris Andreyevich) Freedericksz and Baltic German noblewoman Emma Matilda Helene (Emma Adolfovna) von Wulff and the family traditionally believed in Lutheran faith. There had been several stories dedicated to the family's origin. The first was that the family probably originated from Arkhangelsk. Jürgen Freedericksz, who was a Dutch merchant, was the first ever recorded ancestor of the family, and the family was recordedly formed by his son, Johan (Ivan Yuryevich) Freedericksz. The baronial title of the family was granted by Catherine the Great in 1773. The second version was that the family was formed by the son of Jöran Fredriksson, a Swedish soldier captured during The Great Northern War. In the late 18th century, the Freedericksz family dominated in the fiefs given to them in what was later to be known as Old Finland. In 1853, Woldemar's father Bernhard was naturalized into the Finnish House of Nobility as the baronial family number 36 under the name Freedricksz. Upon Woldemar Freedericksz's death in 1927 the Finnish baronial family was extinct in the male line, and was completely extinct by the time of the deaths of Woldemar's daughters Eugenie and Emma.[1] His Russian comital title was never accepted into the Finnish nobility. Woldemar himself married to Hedwig Johanna Alexandrina (Jadwiga Aloizievna) Boguszewska and had two daughters, Baronesses Eugenie Valeria Josefina (Evgenia-Valentina-Zhozefina Vladimirovna) and Emma Helena Sofia (Emma-Elena-Sofia Vladimirovna) Freedericksz.


As the part of a wealthy family, Freedericksz received home education at an early age. Succeeding Count Vorontsov-Daskov at the Ministry at the age of 60, Freedericksz established a close relationship with the Tsar and the Tsaritsa, calling them 'mes enfants' in private. He was praised in this role by the French ambassador, Maurice Paléologue, who called him 'the very personification of court life'. However, in later life, he became forgetful and ill and often fell asleep during conferences. Freedericksz was a strong conservative who described the deputies of the First Duma as: "The Deputies, they give one the impression of a gang of criminals who are only waiting for the signal to throw themselves upon the ministers and cut their throats. I will never again set foot among those people."[2]

Later lifeEdit

Freedericksz's grave in Kauniainen, Finland.

His private mansion in St. Petersburg was pillaged and set on fire on the first day of February Revolution. After the Revolution, Freedericksz lived in Petrograd before being allowed in 1925 to leave for Finland, where he spent the last years of his life.

Honours and awardsEdit

Russian orders and decorationsEdit


Foreign orders and decorationsEdit

Cultural depictionsEdit

He was portrayed in the 1971 film Nicholas and Alexandra by Jack Hawkins. In 1983, he was portrayed by Vsevolod Safonov in the 1983 film Anna Pavlova directed by Emil Loteanu. He was also portrayed in 1997's Anastasia as Woldemar.


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  2. ^ Massie (1967) p. 242
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  12. ^ M. & B. Wattel (2009). Les Grand'Croix de la Légion d'honneur de 1805 à nos jours. Titulaires français et étrangers. Paris: Archives & Culture. p. 518. ISBN 978-2-35077-135-9.
  13. ^ "Großherzogliche Orden", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (in German), Karlsruhe, 1910, p. 42
  14. ^ "Rother Adler-orden", Königlich Preussische Ordensliste (supp.) (in German), vol. 1, Berlin: Gedruckt in der Reichsdruckerei, 1895, p. 7 – via hathitrust.org
  15. ^ Italy. Ministero dell'interno (1920). Calendario generale del regno d'Italia. Rome: Tipographia delle Mantellate. p. 58.