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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Grand Prince Vasily III of Moscow (149 - 1533), Russian Prince

b. 25 March, 1479
d.  3  Dec, 1533 
r. 1505 to 1533

Grand Prince Vasily III(also spelled Basil) Ivanovich, Ivan III's son, came to the Russian throne in 1505, and greatly strengthened the monarchy, consolidatingd the numerous independent Russian principalities into a united Muscovite state by annexing Pskov (1510), Smolensk (1514) in a war with Sigismund I of Poland and Lithuania, Ryazan (1517), Starodub and Novgorod-Seversk by 1523.
Vasily was homosexual throughout his life. He went to the extent of announcing this fact to other gay men of his time by shaving off his beard when his twenty-year marriage to his first wife was terminated--being beardless was a sort of gay password at the time. 

During Vasily's second marriage, he was able to perform his conjugal duties only when an officer of his guard joined him and his wife in bed in the nude. 

After his death in 1533, he was succeeded by his better known son, Ivan III, who is also of queer interest, for his fondness for close male friends in female dress.  

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