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Paul I was the Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. Paul was born in the Palace of Empress Elisabeth in St Petersburg. He was the son of Elizabeth's heir, her nephew, the Grand Duke Peter, later Emperor Peter III, and his wife, the Grand Duchess Catherine, later Empress Catherine II. In her memoirs, Catherine strongly implies that Paul's father was not Peter, but one of her lovers, Sergei Saltykov. Supporters of Catherine's claim assume that Peter III was sterile, and was unable to even engage in normal sexual relations with her until he had a surgical operation performed, and so could not have sired the boy himself. Although the story was much aired by Paul's enemies, it is possible that this was simply an attempt to cast doubt on Paul's right to the throne, in order to prop up Catherine's own somewhat shaky claim. He physically resembled the Grand Duke so one might doubt the claims of illegitimacy.

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Paul I was the Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. Paul was born in the Palace of Empress Elisabeth in St Petersburg. He was the son of Elizabeth's heir, her nephew, the Grand Duke Peter, later Emperor Peter III, and his wife, the Grand Duchess Catherine, later Empress Catherine II. In her memoirs, Catherine strongly implies that Paul's father was not Peter, but one of her lovers, Sergei Saltykov. Supporters of Catherine's claim assume that Peter III was sterile, and was unable to even engage in normal sexual relations with her until he had a surgical operation performed, and so could not have sired the boy himself. Although the story was much aired by Paul's enemies, it is possible that this was simply an attempt to cast doubt on Paul's right to the throne, in order to prop up Catherine's own somewhat shaky claim. He physically resembled the Grand Duke so one might doubt the claims of illegitimacy. More...

 
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