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The Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the short reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine, freed Russian nobles from compulsory military or state service.

The diplomatic intrigue failed, largely due to the intervention of Sophia's mother, Johanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp.

Sophia had turned 16; her father did not travel to Russia for the wedding.

The bridegroom, known then as Peter von Holstein-Gottorp, had become Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (located in the north-west of present-day Germany near the border with Denmark) in 1739.

She applied herself to learning the Russian language with such zeal, she rose at night and walked about her bedroom barefoot, repeating her lessons (even though she mastered the language, she retained an accent).

This led to a severe attack of pneumonia in March 1744.

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