Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia (Russian: Великая Княжна Елена Павловна) (24 December 1784 – 24 September 1803) was a daughter of Grand Duke, later Tsar Paul I of Russia and his second wife Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. After marrying the son and heir of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin she became spouse to the heir and thus dropped her Russian title.
Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna was born in Saint Petersburg, capital city of the Russian Empire. The arrival of a second daughter was happy news to her father, Tsarevich Paul Petrovich, who had lost his first wife Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt in childbirth, eight years before. She was also said to be very beautiful so her grandmother, the Empress Catherine, named her after Helen of Troy.
As a girl, Elena was educated privately at home, her first years' education being supervised by her paternal grandmother, the formidable Catherine II of Russia. As any other royal of her time, the Grand Duchess' education was focused mainly on art, literature and music. Her real purpose in life, eventually, would be to marry well and provide her husband-to-be with children.