Aleksandra von Engelhardt
Lady in Waiting
Aleksandra von Engelhardt (1754-1838) was a Russian noble. She was also known as Sasjenka and Countess Branicka. She was a lady-in-waiting and most appreciated of Catherine the Great. In addition, Aleksandra was a confident and niece of Grigory Potympkin. But also there were rumours that she was his mistress as well. During the reign of Catherine, Aleksandra was considered not only as a close member for the Imperial family which was taken for granted until her death, but also as one of the most notable socialites at the Russian Imperial court. Some sources stated that Aleksandra was nursing Potemkin when he was severely sick, and he died in her arms.
Did You Know?
Aleksandra was also noted as a businesswoman who played an influential force at the Russian court. She was a major persona in exposure to adultery between Ivan Rimsky-Korsakov, and Catherine's confidant and lady-in-waiting, Praskovja Bruce which resulted in both the fall of Korsakov and Bruce.
Other interesting facts:
Aleksandra von Engelhardt was initially uneducated and ignorant but soon she was given a sophisticated polish and managed to become the most favoured woman at the Russian court. British ambassador Harris reported that she received gifts and presents in exchange for information, and recommended her as an excellent informer. She also was functioning as a British agent which involved monetary rewards.