Princess Dagmar, daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and sister Queen Alexandra of England and King George I of Greece, was betrothed to Tsarevitch Nicholas of Russia, a love match on both sides. Tragically, he died just months before their wedding. Out of duty she married his brother in 1866, and so fifteen years later this poor, obscure princess was raised to the heights of the Russian imperial throne when her husband became Alexander III, after the assassination of his father. Her son was Nicholas II, the last Tsar. More tragedy was in store. Her husband died in his prime and two of her sons died young. During the First World War, her advice unheeded, the Tsar took command of the army and she could only watch in despair as the country she loved was governed by her daughter-in-law Empress Alexandra and Rasputin, with disastrous results. Russia was engulfed in revolution, leading to the destruction of the dynasty and the Church. Many of her family disappeared, including two sons and five grandchildren--among them the controversial Anastasia. She escaped on a British warship and was brought to England. The most senior member of the dynasty to survive, her word was law amongst the emigres and her influence paramount among the surviving Romanovs. She had truly become Matoushka , the mother of the Russian People. She died in Denmark, a tragic relic of a bygone age. Using previously unpublished material from the Royal Archives and information in Russian, Danish and Finnish previously unavailable in English, this is the first biography of the Empress for 40 years and the first major work in English.