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  #41  
Old 04-01-2009, 07:08 PM
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Pikul implied that Count Stanislas Poniatowski was Catherine's II only true love. They had deep feelings for each other. However, Catherine II and Count Poniatowski realised impossibility of their long-term relationships. He never married anyone, even for the sake of appearances.
Al, do you think it might have been a different love? Like Cleopatra who had a true, but young love with Ceaser, and a much more mature, but realistic, warts and all, love with Antony. I'm speaking of Poinatowski and Potemkin?
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  #42  
Old 04-01-2009, 07:20 PM
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That might be true. Prince Potemkin was rumoured to be morgantically married to Catherine II. The marriage supposedly took place either in the second half of 1774 (autumn) or in January, 1775. The interesting detail is that all the favourites after Potemkin were obliged to treat him with the utmost respect following Catherine's II example.
Generally speaking, he was a rational enegertic man. He was known for his progressive views on my issues. According to Montefiore, Potemkin was more than just tolerant towards Jews: he studied Jewish culture, enjoyed discussions with rabbis, and even patronized them. At the same, he was a man of extremes. Charles-Joseph de Ligne noted that Potemkin was grim and prone to mood changes. He could be philosopher and skilful administrator, and then behave like a child.
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  #43  
Old 04-02-2009, 12:32 AM
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I always thought Poniatowski was her early love, Prince Orlov her middle love and Prince Potemkin her last love. She was also very attached to a young lover that died ( can't recall the name) who came after Potemkin, somewhere in line. Had he lived, that relationship may have lasted longer. I recall reading an account of her meeting Poniatowski in later years and how they didn't have much to say to each other, or something. Reading that account was sad, but I'm not sure what book that was in.
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  #44  
Old 04-02-2009, 11:01 AM
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Prince Orlov was more of a dashing knight for Catherine II. You know the one, who saves and protects Princess and her castle from enemies.
It is understandable that love to Count Poniatowski faded away. When compared to Peter III, he was a nice change for young lonely Grand Duchess Catherine Alekseyevna. Rise to power and other men in her life made Catherine II realise that her feelings to Count Poniatowski were just sweet, but not resilient. Furthermore, Catherine II needed strong men, who would help her to retain the power she siezed through coup d'etat.
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  #45  
Old 04-02-2009, 01:00 PM
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But she did have a hand in making him king of Poland I believe. She must have believed he was strong enough to rule that. He wasn't the type of man she needed in Russia though. It would have been interesting if their daughter ( although Peter III was the girl's official father) had lived.
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  #46  
Old 04-03-2009, 01:56 PM
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Anyone think she contracted a legal Marriage with any other man after Peter III?
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:16 PM
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I doubt it. I think it was just rumors of a marriage with Potemkin.
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  #48  
Old 04-03-2009, 07:36 PM
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I doubt it. I think it was just rumors of a marriage with Potemkin.
I heard that rumor as well. And it would hardly be legal.
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  #49  
Old 04-03-2009, 10:13 PM
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I heard that rumor as well. And it would hardly be legal.
Nothing has been presented to prove that Cath. II ever married Potemkin.

On the other had, there are letters to Potemkin where Cath. II wrote "my dear husband", "my master" even "dear spouse". It is my opinion that she was stating words that caused Potemkin to feel less dominated and in doing so he was a willing partner who had his male ego in tact.

For a time they did live like husband and wife. He was a strong willed person and he was well liked. He seemed to understand politics and was very popular with everyone, especialy the generals. At some point, a warning bell went off in Cath. II's head. Potemkin was gaining too much popularity and rumors were being spread that they had married.

Interestingly, at this same time, Cath. II was being affected with her entry into menopause. [p. 202 CATHERINE THE GREAT LIFE AND LEGEND by John T. Alexander.]

I believe it was her fear of being dominated that caused her to never give herself fully to any male, even Potemkin.

Potemkin wasn't a fool and step back when her realized his time was drawing to a close. He even found Cath. II several handsome young lovers...

Potemkin was never to resume his place in her bed.

Although she had worried about being dominated, when he drew away she felt a lost...

Menopause doesn't turn off a woman's desire for sex. In fact, Cath. II was finding she had a new desire for sex.

Potemkin recommended Colonel Peter Zavadovskii...

Cath. II and Potemkin remained close friends even though the fire of romance had flickered out. She kept his place in the palace... She never dismissed him from her life.

If you ever get a chance, read about Potemkin. His military achievements were extraordinary as well as his ability to build castles out of sand.

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  #50  
Old 04-04-2009, 01:18 AM
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How involved does everyone think Catharine was in Peter III's death? Do you think she gave an order that caused his death directly, or do you think Gregory Orlov's brother simply knew that she expected the death of Peter III and so he killed him?
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  #51  
Old 04-04-2009, 01:32 PM
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How involved does everyone think Catharine was in Peter III's death? Do you think she gave an order that caused his death directly, or do you think Gregory Orlov's brother simply knew that she expected the death of Peter III and so he killed him?
Good question.

There is a long list of why Cath.'s future desire to be the Empress of Russia was best to be a widow, not that of a wife, who was holding the key to the living uspured Peter III's prison and Regent for Paul, who might send her off to some nunnery when he became Tsar.

Since I still have CATHERINE THE GREAT, LIFE AND LEGEND by John T. Alexander on my desk, I'll quote what he wrote p. 15:

>>For more than a century, only hearsay contradicted the official version of Peter's death. In 1881, however, was published the letter of Aleksei Orlov to Catherine that informed her of the violent deed, took full responsibility for it, and begged her forgiveness. To this day many circumstances of death remain murky... This much is certain: Peter was murdered -- probably strangled or smothered in much the same fashion that his son, Emperor Paul, would be for decades later. the act occurred with the direct complicity of Alexei Orlov and Fedor Bariatinskii, as Orlov's letter additted, and in the presence of several other persons -- perhaps as many as fourteen. Evidently drink inflamed the scene; some later suspected poison. In fact, Catherine demanded a postmortem, which revealed nothing.<<

Alexander repeats one of the versions of the murder then adds:
>>Although the news stunned the Empress momentarily...., she recovered quickly and moved swiftly to cope with the consequences<<.





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  #52  
Old 04-04-2009, 05:45 PM
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I don't think Catharine ordered his death, but she knew it was in her best interest and Alexei Orlov etc knew it had to be done, and that it would benefit her. Did people know at the time that she had a demanded postmortem or not?
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  #53  
Old 04-05-2009, 09:56 AM
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I don't think Catharine ordered his death, but she knew it was in her best interest and Alexei Orlov etc knew it had to be done, and that it would benefit her. Did people know at the time that she had a demanded postmortem or not?
I don't know the answer.

Bear's Opinion: I would suspect that she made sure people were told that Peter III had not been poisoned, because that was, after all, the purpose of the postmortem.

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  #54  
Old 04-05-2009, 10:17 AM
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According to Joan Haslip in her book CATHERINE THE GREAT, Cath. II wrote the following to Poniatowki [p. 125]:

>>Catherine asserted that Peter abdicated of his own free will ... It was after his arival at Peterhof, which was completely surrounded by her troops, "...that I deemed it wiser to place him under guard, in order to protect him from the insults of my overzealous soldiery." A specially chosen escort of officers and soldiers under the command of Alexis Orlov escorted him that evening to his country estate of Ropsha...., which he had always liked.<<

p. 126
>>Everything was done to make his confinement as pleasant as possible. She writes, "He was given everything except his liberty: his wishes were immediately complied with. HIs French valet, his violin, his favorite litte Negro...and his pet dog, Mopsy, were sent to him"<<

>>Cahterine sounds so sweet and reasonalbe in her letter to Poniatowski. There is no mention of the humiliatations...<<

She goes on to tell us that it was claimed that Peter collapsed in a dead faint when he heard the name of his final desination.

p. 130
>>By leaving her husband to the mercy of the Orlovs, Catherine became an accessory to crime.<<

p. 31
>>On July 6..she received the news she was waiting to hear. The ex-emperor had died in circumstances so mysterious that even the most servile of courtiers could not believe the jailors [stet] to be innocent.<<

>>If Catherine was shocked, it was probably at herself, as to how quickly she had assimiliated [stet] the standards of the country she was going to rule.<<

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  #55  
Old 04-05-2009, 10:21 AM
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Pikul in "Favourit: Chronicles of Catherine's II reign" also noted that Alexei Orlov killed Peter III. However, it is not clear how exactly he did. Some witnesses said Orlov strangled him, whereas others argued that he stabbed Peter III with a fork. I am not sure what kind of support Peter III had among courtier and people, but Catherine II did not feel secure with Peter III being locked. The Orlov brothers saw an opportunity to improve their fortunes by helping Catherien to seize the power.
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  #56  
Old 04-06-2009, 07:29 PM
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I'm sure she knew, she just put little bees in the correct people's ears to suggest her wishes. Cleopatra had done the same in her time and she was just as apt a ruler as Catherine.
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  #57  
Old 04-07-2009, 12:18 AM
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Yes, I agree, Catharine wasn't shocked. She knew it had to be done, and especially in Russia you had to be ruthless to get power. She had never cared for Peter as a person anyway, and their marriage was very unhappy. He didn't rule Russia very well and I think Catharine really looked down on him.
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  #58  
Old 04-07-2009, 04:24 PM
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Just before Peter III died Alexi Orlov wrote on Tuesday, wrote Katharine Anthony in her book CATHERINE THE GREAT P. 177:
>>Little Mother...: Health we all wish you for countless years. We and the whole command are well as this letter leaves us, but our monster has grown very sick and has had an unexpected attack of colic. And I am afraid that in the end he might die tonight and fear still more again that he mightlive. The first fear I have because he chatters pure nonsense, and that does not amuse us; and the seonc fear, because he is really dangerous for us all because he often speaks as if he had his former position.<<

On Saturday evening (p. 178-9) Alexei Orlov wrote to Cath II his regrets:

>>...I myself do not know how the misfortune happened. we are lost if you have not mercy upon us. Little Mother, he lives no longer in this world. But no one had thought that, and how should we have had the thought to lift hand against the Czar: But empress, the misfortune has happened. It came to a quarrel at table between him and Prince Feodor << [Bariatinksy]>>: we could not separate them, and already he was no more. We cannot ourselves remember what we have done, but we are all to the last man guilty and deserve death.<< He continues with his guilt which hold no farther information as to the details of Peter III's death.

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  #59  
Old 04-07-2009, 04:42 PM
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Who was this Prince Feodor Bariatinksy?

Valerian Obolensky: Russians In Exile - The History of a Diaspora - Part 1 - Chapter 3 - The Russian Nobility

>>The hierarchy of the nobility
The top of the hierarchy is occupied by the male descendants of Rurik, and within that group the hierarchy is determined by the seniority of the lineage. Books can be written about each aristocratic lineage, but I restrict to a short description of some lineages that are mentioned in this book.

The lineage of Bariatinsky descends from Michael Vsevolodovich (1195-1246), Grand Duke of Chernigov and monarch of Kiev, descendant of Rurik in the 12th degree. Michael was canonized for his valour in the battle against the Mongols, and burned alive by the hordes of the regional Mongol Khan Batu, because he didn't want to give up Christianity. In the 17th century the Bariatinsky's were mainly military men and diplomats. In the 18th century Prince Ivan Bariatinsky was Governor of Russia Minor and he had two sons: Feodor and Ivan. Prince Feodor was one of the murderers of Tsar Peter III (see: Orlov), and Prince Ivan married the Princess of Holstein-Beck, a cousin of Peter III. He became Ambassador of Russia at the court of Louis XVI. Prince Ivan Sergeevich Bariatinsky (1740-1811) was plenipotentiary Minister of Russia in France, from 1773 to 1783. Field Marshall Prince Alexander Ivanovich Bariatinsky (1814-1879) was Viceroy of the Caucasus, and freed the Caucasus from enemy montagnards. In March 1872 Tsar Alexander II appointed him chairman of a commission which had to improve the efficiency of the War Ministry. When Nicholas II, who still was Tsarevich in those days, in October 1890 left for a voyage around the world, he was accompanied by his brother George and the Princes Bariatinsky and Obolensky. Each one of the Princes shot a tiger in India, which annoyed Nicholas because he didn't manage to shoot anything at all.<<



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  #60  
Old 04-07-2009, 04:55 PM
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Background of the Orlovs
http://valobol.blogspot.com/2006/03/...42516417021314
:>>The lineage of Orlov closes the hierarchic ranks of the Russian nobility. Peter the Great took pleasure in attending the executions personally, and he even assisted the executioners. At one of these occasions a young man by the name of Ivan was asked to put down his head on the chopping-block. On the way Ivan picked up the chopped-off head of one of his comrades, and said to Peter the Great, `If you're keen on heads, why don't you take this one? It's much more handsome than mine.' Peter was baffled with so much guts and made Ivan a soldier in his army. Ivan soon proved to be a real brave bantam, and was made an officer, as a result of which he was raised to the peerage. Ivan's only son Grigori, Governor of Novgorod, became five sons: Ivan, Grigori, Alexis, Feodor and Vladimir. Grigori Grigorievich (1734- 1783), a blue eyed giant, was the lover of Catharina the Great and gave her a son, Alexis, who was born in April 1762 and would become the progenitor of the aristocratic lineage of Bobrinsky. Together with his brothers, all of them officers, Grigori decided to kill Tsar Peter III, so Catharina II could seize to power. On July 18, 1762 Tsar Peter III was strangled by Alexis Orlov (1737-1807), in presence of his brothers and Feodor Bariatinsky. After Catharina was through with Grigori Orlov, it was the turn of another giant: Grigori Potemkin. He wasn't a very attractive man after Alexis Orlov had cut out one of his eyes during a duel. Subsequently Alexis became Catharina's lover. Alexis Grigorievich Orlov became Admiral of the Russian fleet and defeated the Turks at Chesme. In 1775 he withdrew to his estate. He left one daughter: Anna Orlov-Chesmensky.
Vladimir Orlov, who died in 1832, only had one son: the later Senator Grigori, who died in 1826. Ivan Orlov has no legitimate descendants.

Feodor Orlov had many illegitimate children, and Catharina II allowed all of them to use the name of Orlov. One of them, General Alexis Orlov, was a highly valued and internationally well known statesman. Feodor Grigorievich Orlov is considered the progenitor of all the later aristocratic Orlovs.<<
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