In Petersburg she had enjoyed the special protection of a grandee who occupied one of the highest posts in the Empire.
His son Paul, called the duc de Beauvillier, was several times ambassador to England; he became' chief of the council of finance in 1685, governor of the dukes of Burgundy, Anjou and Berri from 1689 to 1693, minister of state in 1691, and grandee of Spain in 1701.
The Military Governor of Moscow, who had been assiduous in sending aides-de-camp to inquire after the count's health, came himself that evening to bid a last farewell to the celebrated grandee of Catherine's court, Count Bezukhov.
The senate is composed of members of three classes: (I) members by right of birth or officeprinces, nobles who possess an annual income of 60,000 pesetas (L2,400), and hold the rank of grandee (grande), a dignity conferred by the king either for life or as an hereditary honor, captains-general of the army, admirals of the navy, the patriarch of the Indies, archbishops, cardinals, the presidents of the council of state or of the Supreme Court, and other high officials, all of whom must have retained their appointments for two years; (2) members nominated by the sovereign for life; and (3) members elected three each by the 49 provinces of the kingdom, and the remainder by academies, universities, dioceses and state corporations.
This stout young man was an illegitimate son of Count Bezukhov, a well-known grandee of Catherine's time who now lay dying in Moscow.