Princess Ekaterina Pavlovna Bagration , nee Countess Skavronskaya ( December 7, 1783 - May 21 ( June 2 ), 1857 , Venice ) is the wife of the commander of Bagration , famous in Europe for her beauty and unconcerned behavior.
|Ekaterina Pavlovna Bagration|
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The daughter of Count Pavel Martynovich Skavronsky , a messenger in Naples, known for his emotional instability associated with excessive love of music, and Ekaterina Vasilievna Engelhardt , niece and at the same time favorite of His Grace Prince Potyomkin .
Under the patronage of Emperor Paul I, she was married to General Bagration in 1800 . The wedding took place on September 2, 1800 in the church of the Gatchina Palace.
The marriage took place exclusively at the will of the emperor, who decided at the end of successful Gatchina maneuvers to arrange the family happiness of the hero. Pavel in the palace church declared the courtier of his intention to attend the ceremony of wedding of Prince Bagration with Countess Skavronskaya, who was said to be in love with Count Pavel Palen at that time . The groom was astounded. No one dared argue with the monarch. The shocked bride in the Empress ’s chambers was "removed with diamond tattoos to the crown." [four]
Here is what General Langeron wrote about this alliance:
“Bagration married the little niece of [granddaughter] pr. Potemkina ... This rich and brilliant couple did not fit him. Bagration was only a soldier, had the same tone, manner, and was terribly ugly. His wife was as white as he was black; she was beautiful as an angel, shone with her mind, the liveliest of the beauties of St. Petersburg, she was not long satisfied with such a husband .... "
The Wandering Princess
In 1805, the princess finally broke up with her husband and left for Europe. The couple did not have children. Bagration called the princess to return, but she remained abroad under the pretext of treatment. Having left abroad, she made, as they said about her, "from her carriage, as it were, a second fatherland." In Europe, Princess Bagration was very successful, gained fame in the court circles of different countries.
Catherine scandalously became famous throughout Europe. Nicknamed “Le bel ange nu” (“Naked Angel”) for her passion for transparent dresses and “Chatte blanche” (“White Cat”) for her limitless sensuality, she married General Prince Peter Bagration. From her mother, she inherited an angelic facial expression, alabaster white skin, blue eyes and a cascade of golden hair.- S.S. Montefiore . Potemkin 
In Dresden, she became the mistress of Prince Metternich and from him in 1810 gave birth to a daughter, Clementine  , named after her father. Palmerston noted in his memoirs that the princess wears an exclusively white translucent Indian muslin , which openly encircles her form.
Having settled in Vienna, the princess becomes the mistress of the pro-Russian anti-Napoleonic salon. (It is curious that Metternich had an affair with Napoleon’s sister Carolina , Murat’s wife).
Having no official authority, the princess takes up a secret diplomatic post. She boasted that she knew more political secrets than all the messengers put together. Under her influence, Austrian high society begins to boycott the French embassy. In her face Napoleon found a serious political opponent.- L. Tretyakova. “Bagration - our wives ...” 
Presumably, she influenced her lover-minister: “After many years, the princess was pleased to recall that it was she who persuaded Metternich to agree to Austria joining the anti-Napoleonic coalition.” There were also rumors about her connection with Saxon diplomat Friedrich von Schulenberg (Graf Friedrich von Schulenberg), Prince of Württemberg, Lord Charles Stewart and others  .
Goethe met her in Carlsbad  and was delighted with her beauty when she began a new affair - with Prince Ludwig of Prussia, who cut off her connection with Princess Solms for her sake. The prince soon died in the battle of Saalfeld in Thuringia, and the princess returned to Vienna again.
|Princess Bagration, having forgotten her mother and Russia, lives on the last delights. ( A. I. Turgenev . Diary. November 2 / October 21, 1825 ).|
Prince Bagration nevertheless loved his wife; shortly before his death, he ordered the artist Volkov two portraits - his and his wife. The emperor put pressure on him, and Clementine, the daughter of Metternich, was recorded legal, in the Bagration family.
Journalism usually writes that Bagration experienced significant financial difficulties caused by the need to supply his wife with funds in foreign voyages and pay her bills. This statement raises questions and is perhaps an artistic exaggeration, since Catherine was one of the two daughters of P.M. Skavronsky, the heir to the entire huge Skavronsky fortune, and her sister Maria Palen and niece Julia Samoilova had their own money and were financially independent from the spouses. Princess Bagration, unlike the prince, had money, but how it was divided between the spouses is not indicated. Around 1807, he laid the Oryol estate of his wife in the treasury, which caused indignation of her relatives  .
In 1812 , after Borodin , the princess was widowed.
Congress of Vienna
In 1814, she shone at the Vienna Congress , where "Russian Andromeda " competed with the Duchess of Sagan , "Cleopatra of Courland", Metternich's next mistress, for the favor of Alexander I  . Both lionesses settled in the luxurious Palais Palm , each occupying its own half  . The existing “love square” aroused considerable interest among others  .
They say that the emperor’s interest was not only the beauty of the princess (“Princess Bagration, whose wit was even more seductive than the complexion”  ), but also the information she had:
“The secret agent of Russia was called, for example, the beautiful Princess Yekaterina Bagration,” wrote a contemporary, “an intelligent and adroit schemer, a woman extremely frivolous. During the Congress of Vienna, Emperor Alexander visited her in the evenings and during these visits, which dragged on until the late hours, he listened to messages of interest to him ”  .
However, how true that the princess “was in secret service” is unknown. It is believed that she was just a tool:
Those tricks that Alexander I applied at the beginning of the Vienna Congress in the fight against Metternich were female tricks. Desiring to discover the secrets of a crafty diplomat, he took possession of the likes of Princess Princess Bagration, the former mistress of Metternich, and then the likes of the Duchess Sagan, to whom the voluptuous Austrian prince had a special tenderness. It is known that the future creators of the Holy Alliance marked their relationship at that time with the most scandalous quarrel, and Metternich in his memoirs, although very false, even assured that Alexander challenged him to a duel.- G.I. Stockings . "Emperors: Psychological Portraits" 
|She has about eighty thousand livres of income, she loves no one, and maybe nobody loves her! A kind of mystery woman, a semi-Russian Parisian, a semi-Parisian Russian woman! The woman who has published all the romantic works that do not appear in print, the most beautiful woman in Paris, the most seductive! (...)|
If now Theodora despised love, then before, she must have been very passionate; an experienced voluptuous woman even had an effect on her way to stand in front of her interlocutor: she leaned coquettishly on the ledge of the panel, as a woman could lean, ready to fall, but ready to run away too, if only she was frightened by too ardent a look; gently crossing her arms, she seemed to breathe in the words of the interlocutor, listening favorably to them even with her eyes, and she radiated a feeling.
|Honore de Balzac. "Shagreen skin"  .|
In 1815 she moved to Paris , acquiring a mansion on the Champs Elysees (Rue Faubourg St. Honoré, 45), became famous there for her numerous love affairs and Potemkin diamonds, was under the supervision of a secret police, and kept a salon . Balzac visited him, he is mentioned in the Hugo novel “Les Miserables”. The princess's cook was Marie Antoine Carem , the creator of haute cuisine  . In one of his letters, Balzac says that the princess was one of two women with whom he wrote to Theodore in "Shagreen Skin"  .
January 11, 1830 became the wife of the English general and diplomat Caradoc, Lord Howden (Sir John Hobart Caradoc, 2nd Baron Howden of Howden and Grimston) ( 1799 - 1873 ), who was 16 years younger than her. She decided to leave the surname Bagration, and soon began to live separately with her new husband. Karadok was attractive for women, and when parting, there were even rumors that he was initiating a divorce, as he attracted the attention of the young Queen Victoria  .
By her advanced years, the princess lost her legs, and footmen drove her in a chair. She died at the age of 73, is buried in Venice.
- Two miniatures of Jean-Baptiste Isabey ( fr. Jean-Baptiste Isabey ), stored in the Louvre  .
- Mentioned is a portrait of Borovikovsky and Volkov.
In the literature
- Stella K. Hershan. "The Naked Angel." ISBN 3-937800-27-1 . A novel about the love of Catherine and Metternich.
- The character of Barbara Cartland ’s novel “Ice Maiden” .
- One of the main heroines of the historical novel by Mikhail Kazovsky "Katish and Bagration".
- Mentioned in Pikul ’s novel “Feather and Sword”
- Danilova, Albina Pendant Necklace. Nieces of Prince Potemkin. Biographical Chronicles. - M .: Eksmo Publishing House, 2006 .-- 608 p., Ill. (chapter "Catherine", dedicated to E. Engelhardt-Skavronskaya)
In the cinema
- In the historical and biographical film " Bagration " ( USSR , 1985 ), the role of Ekaterina Pavlovna Bagration (Skavronskaya) was played by Irina Alferova .
- Skavronsky // Russian Biographical Dictionary
- Bagratіon // Russian Biographical Dictionary
- Bagration, Peter Ivanovich // Russian Biographical Dictionary
- Ivchenko L. L. “Pray all of you for us, but we don’t seem to be scared ..." // Russian Archive: History of the Fatherland in evidence and documents of the 18th — 20th centuries: Almanac. - M .: TRITE Studio: Ros. Archive, 1996. - S. 247—256. - Vol. VII.
- S.S. Montefiore. Potemkin
- Princess Marie-Clementine . She was born on September 29, 1810 (According to other sources - in 1802 or in 1803, which is debatable by date). Marriage - July 12, 1828 with Otto, Count Blomé (Otto, Lehnsgraf von Blome). She died shortly after the wedding, having given birth to a son , who later became an Austrian diplomat and politician. The Bagrationi (Bagration) Dynasty
- Profile Magazine. L. Tretyakova. "Bagration - our wives ..."
- Waltz of Nations - Wiener Congress
- Goethe's diary, German
- Tymoshchuk V. Emperor Alexander I at the Vienna Congress. According to agents of the Vienna Secret Police // Russian Antiquity, 1914, January. Volume 157. - St. Petersburg, 1914
- Alexander I Pavlovich the Blessed
- E. Herrio. Beethoven's life. Vienna Congress Episode
- Profile Magazine. L. Tretyakova. "Bagration - our wives ..."
- Alexander I. An excerpt from the book of Chulkov by Georgy Ivanovich “Emperors: Psychological portraits”. Chapters XVII - XXIV
- Honore de Balzac. "Shagreen skin"
- French Gastronomy: The History and Geography of a Passion
- Juanita Helm Floyd. Women in the Life of Balzac. P. 154
- Memoirs of the Duchesse de Dino (afterwards Duchesse de Talleyrand Et de Sagan)
- Jean-Baptiste Isabey