Elizaveta Vorontsova

Aug 24, 1739 - Feb 2, 1792

Elizaveta Romanovna Vorontsova was a mistress of Emperor Peter III of Russia. During their affair, rumors suggested that Peter had intentions of divorcing his wife Catherine in order to marry Vorontsova.
She belonged to the celebrated Vorontsov family that reached the pinnacle of power during the last years of the reign of Empress Elizabeth —Elizaveta's uncle, Mikhail Illarionovich, served as Imperial Chancellor from 1758 to 1765. Her father, General Roman Vorontsov, governed the provinces of Vladimir, Penza, Tambov, and Kostroma, where his name became a byword for graft and inefficiency.
Following her mother's death in 1750, the 11-year-old Elizaveta was attached to the Oranienbaum court of Grand Duke Peter's wife, Grand Duchess Catherine Alekseyevna. Accounts portray Elizaveta as extremely uncouth: She "swore like a soldier, squinted her eyes, smelled bad, and spit while talking". Baron de Breteuil compared her appearance to that of a "scullery maid of the lowliest kind". Catherine wrote of her as "very ugly, extremely dirty child with an olive skin". Peter, however, developed a fondness for her, which the court was at a loss to explain.
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