Ivan was slain by his guards after more than twenty years as a prisoner when certain army officials (unknown to Ivan) sought to release him. His surviving siblings, who were born in captivity, were eventually released into the care of their aunt, Denmark's queen dowager Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. While in Denmark, they were educated in language and culture and given an aristocratic lifestyle that would have been unusual at court but not unheard of for members of the Russian royal family.
When they reached puberty, they were sent back to Russia where they were married to men chosen by the tsar. This arrangement continued after their husbands' deaths and resulted in several more children being born to them in captivity. Finally, in 1772, Tsar Peter III ordered Ivan's death to silence him once and for all. A guard named Orlov killed him in a planned assassination attempt that failed.
In 1776, Catherine II of Russia gave her daughter Anna a divorce so she could marry Louis XVI of France. The next year, Anna became the first queen in history when her husband acceded to the French throne. Her son, Alexander I, followed her to the grave in 1825. Thus, Ivan IV survived both of his parents and lived to see two of his children on the thrones of France and Russia.
He is remembered in Russia as a cruel tyrant who murdered his own father and mother to become emperor.
However, one of Catherine's devoted guards carried out her secret orders and assassinated Ivan. Soon after, Morovich and his supporters were executed. Ivan's parents both died in prison, his mother in 1746 at the age of 27 and his father in 1774 at the age of 59. He was only eight years old at the time of their death.
Ivan was declared an orphan at a very young age and was sent to be raised by his aunt, Princess Olga Petrovna of Russia. She was married to Peter III's brother, Charles, who was also imprisoned for life for conspiring against his brother. When Charles died in 1765, Peter freed Olga from her vows so she could marry him instead. This new marriage produced three children: Elizabeth, Andrei and Olga.
In 1774, when Peter III was killed, Olga went back to being a nun but was soon released again. She died two years later at the age of 44. After the deaths of his parents, Ivan was appointed as Prince of Russia by Peter III's sister, Maria Fyodorovna, who was acting as regent. However, many Russians didn't trust Maria or believe she was not capable enough to rule on her own. So they voted for Catherine to become the new ruler of Russia.
Ivan VI was slain following an effort to release him as part of a failed coup; Catherine, like Empress Elizabeth before her, had given strong instructions that Ivan be killed if such an attempt was made. The crime has been attributed to Prince Andrew and King George II.
Ivan VI was imprisoned in Schlüsselburg from 1468 until his death in 1503. Contemporaries reported that he became a devout man in prison and prayed for his murderers' souls. He was never married and left no children when he died. His closest relatives were his sister, Anastasia, and their husbands, Alexis and Michael.
Ivan's imprisonment is said to have damaged Russia's economy. To raise money for their brother's ransom, the princes took jobs as guards at Schlüsselburg Fortress. They spent most of their time drinking and hunting rather than guarding prisoners, and they are remembered for this fact by many Russians. Eventually, only Michael remained loyal to Ivan, but even he was captured and executed after trying to escape from prison.
With his uncle dead, Alexei was crowned as Ivan VI's successor. However, few Russians believed that he was worthy to rule and many protests were held during his reign. In 1547, he too was found dead in his bedroom, probably by suicide.