Prince Platon Zubov

Born: 1767
Died: 1822, Rundale Palace (Courland)

Prince Platon Zubov commanded the guard at Tsarskoe Selo, where he was a second major of the Horse Guards Regiment. When Catherine the Great broke up with Count Alexander Dmitriyev-Mamonov, Count Nikolai Saltykov helped Zubov to catch the empress’s attention. On 21 June 1789, he departed from Catherine at eleven o’clock in the evening. Three days later, he was awarded ten thousand roubles and a signet ring with the empress’s portrait. Although commonly regarded as a man of limited capacity, he was appointed commander of the Cavalry Guards, master of the ordnance, governor general of Ekaterinoslav and Tauride Provinces and head of the Black Sea Fleet. The empress showered money, medals, estates and other gifts on her new favourite. A cowardly, cruel and miserly man, Zubov did not understand the first thing about government and proposed a series of hare-brained schemes, like incorporating Berlin and Vienna into the Russian Empire or an amphibious attack on Constantinople led by the sixty-five year-old empress. He later took part in the murder of Paul. Zubov died at the age of fifty-five in his castle in Courland and was buried at the St Sergius Hermitage near St Petersburg.

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