Gregory Orlov was not the father of Catherine's son Paul. In her memoirs, Catherine implied that Paul's real father was a court official named Sergei Saltykov. Her affair with Orlov did not begin until 1760, when Paul was six. See more
[Catherine's betrothed, the Grand Duke, is ill
Did you know, after two months, hardly anyone has spoken to me. It's as if I didn't exist!
Well, my dear, you hardly do. You are, I hesitate to say it, on the very brink of extinction. If the Grand Duke should die, you become the tiniest footnote to history. Everyone at Court knows that. But if he lives, however, you would certainly find yourself surrounded by thousands of new friends again, fawning all over you like puppies.
Ah, well. I ...