David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley
He acts as Lord Great Chamberlain of the United Kingdom, as a ½ part holder of that office. Lord Cholmondeley is a descendant of Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of Great Britain and he is the son of Hugh Cholmondeley, 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley, and his wife, the former Lavinia Margaret Leslie. He is a descendent of both the Rothschild family and the Sassoon family through his grandmother, Sybil Sassoon. He has three sisters, the Ladies Rose and Caroline. Like numerous members of his family, Cholmondeley was educated at Eton College and he took classes at the Sorbonne. As David Rocksavage, he appeared in a small part in Eric Rohmers 1987 film,4 aventures de Reinette et Mirabelle. His professional name is derived from his title of Earl of Rocksavage and his chosen career was put on hold when he succeeded to the marquessate in 1990. In 1995, he directed the adaptation of Truman Capotes novel Other Voices. In 2007, he directed The Wreck, starring Jean Simmons, the film was shot in Norfolk.
It was renamed Shadows in the Sun and was released in 2009, Cholmondeley became Marquess of Cholmondeley on 13 March 1990, upon the death of his father. Cholmondeley does not sit in the House of Lords for debates as he is currently on leave of absence, the family seats are Houghton Hall in Norfolk, and Cholmondeley Castle, which is surrounded by a 7, 500-acre estate near Malpas, Cheshire. According to the Sunday Times Rich List in 2008, Cholmondeley has a net worth of approximately £60m. Houghton Hall, ancestral home of the Marquesses of Cholmondeley since the establishment of the title in 1815, has now opened some of its rooms to the public, in 1974, Cholmondeley was a Page of Honour to the Queen at the age of 14. He relinquished this role upon reaching the age limit of retirement in 1976, one moiety of the ancient office of Lord Great Chamberlain is a Cholmondeley inheritance. The second, fifth and seventh holders of the marquessate have all held this office, Cholmondeley began acting as the hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain to Her Majesty in 1990.
In the Queens Birthday Honours List for 2007, Lord Cholmondeley was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for his 17 years of service as Lord Great Chamberlain. Lord Cholmondeley married Rose Hanbury, a 25-year-old fashion model turned researcher, on 24 June 2009 and she is a daughter of Tim Hanbury, a website designer, and his fashion designer wife, Emma. Her paternal grandmother is Lady Rose Lambert, daughter of the 10th Earl of Cavan, the announcement that Lady Cholmondeley was expecting twins was revealed by Richard Kay of the Daily Mail and Mandrake of The Daily Telegraph
Colen Campbell was a pioneering Scottish architect and architectural writer, credited as a founder of the Georgian style. For most of his career, he resided in Italy and England, a descendent of the Campbells of Cawdor Castle, he is believed to be the Colinus Campbell who graduated from the University of Edinburgh in July 1695. He initially trained as a lawyer, being admitted to the Faculty of Advocates on 29 July 1702 and he had travelled in Italy from 1695–1702 and is believed to be the Colinus Campbell who signed the visitors book at the University of Padua in 1697. He is believed to have trained in and studied architecture under James Smith and his major published work, Vitruvius Britannicus, or the British Architect. Appeared in three volumes between 1715 and 1725, Vitruvius Britannicus was the first architectural work to originate in England since John Shutes Elizabethan First Groundes. Buildings were shown in plan and elevation, but some were in a birds-eye perspective, the drawings and designs contained in the book were under way before Campbell was drawn into the speculative scheme.
The success of the volumes was instrumental in popularising neo-Palladian Architecture in Great Britain, Campbell was influenced as a young man by James Smith, the pre-eminent Scots architect of his day, and an early neo-Palladian whom Campbell called the most experienced architect of Scotland. The somewhat promotional volume, with its excellently rendered engravings, came at a moment at the beginning of a boom in country house. When Benson, the new Surveyor was turned out of office, remodelled the front and provided an entrance gateway for Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington Stourhead, Wiltshire, 1721–24, as a seat for the London-based banker Henry Hoare. Wings were added in the 18th century, and Campbells portico was not executed until 1841, the famous landscape garden round a lake, somewhat apart from the house, was developed after Campbells death, by Henry Flitcroft. Pembroke House, London, for Henry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke,1723 and it was rebuilt in 1757 and demolished in 1913.
Lord Herbert was inspired by it to design the similar Marble Hill at Twickenham for Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, houghton Hall, begun 1722, for Sir Robert Walpole, the Whig prime minister. Here Campbell was replaced by Gibbs, who capped the end pavilions with domes, and by William Kent. Mereworth Castle, Kent 1722 –25, Campbells most overtly palladian design, based on Villa La Rotonda, capped with a dome with no drum, waverley Abbey, Surrey ca 1723–25 for John Aislabie Nos 76 and 78 Brook Street, London W1,1725 –26. 76, which survives, was Campbells own house, the designs for its interiors published in his Five Orders of architecture and it carries a blue plaque commemorating him
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain.
The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
William Kent was an eminent English architect, landscape architect and furniture designer of the early 18th century. As a landscape gardener he revolutionised the layout of estates, but had limited knowledge of horticulture and he complemented his houses and gardens with stately furniture for major buildings including Hampton Court Palace, Chiswick House, Devonshire House and Rousham. Kent was born in Bridlington and baptised, on 1 January 1686, Kents career began as a sign and coach painter who was encouraged to study art and architecture by his employer. A group of Yorkshire gentlemen sent Kent for a period of study in Rome, by 18 November he was in Florence, staying there until April 1710 before finally setting off for Rome. In 1713 he was awarded the medal in the second class for painting in the annual competition run by the Accademia di San Luca for his painting of A Miracle of S. Andrea Avellino. During his stay in Rome, he painted the ceiling of the church of San Giuliano dei Fiamminghi with the Apotheosis of St.
Julian, the most significant meeting was between Kent and Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington. Kent started practising as a relatively late, in the 1730s. He is better remembered as an architect of the revived Palladian style in England, Burlington gave him the task of editing The Designs of Inigo Jones. With some additional designs in the Palladian/Jonesian taste by Burlington and Kent and these neo-antique buildings were inspired as much by the architecture of Raphael and Giulio Romano as by Palladio. Walpoles son Horace described Kent as below mediocrity as a painter, a restorer of science as an architect, a theatrically Baroque staircase and parade rooms in London, at 44 Berkeley Square, are notable. Kents domed pavilions were erected at Badminton House and at Euston Hall, Kent could provide sympathetic Gothic designs, free of serious antiquarian tendencies, when the context called, he worked on the Gothic screens in Westminster Hall and Gloucester Cathedral. When Kent died, the work was completed by Stephen Wright, as a landscape designer, Kent was one of the originators of the English landscape garden, a style of natural gardening that revolutionised the laying out of gardens and estates.
Smaller Kent works can be found at Shotover Park, including a faux Gothic eyecatcher and his all-but-lost gardens at Claremont, have recently been restored. It is often said that he was not above planting dead trees to create the mood he required. Kents only real downfall was said to be his lack of knowledge and technical skill. Claremont and Rousham are places where their joint efforts can be viewed and Rousham are Kents most famous works. At the latter, Kent elaborated on Bridgemans 1720s design for the property, adding walls, at Stowe, Kent used his Italian experience, particularly with the Palladian Bridge. At both sites Kent incorporated his naturalistic approach, the royal barge he designed for Frederick, Prince of Wales can still be seen at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Thomas Gainsborough FRSA was an English portrait and landscape painter and printmaker. He surpassed his rival Sir Joshua Reynolds to become the dominant British portraitist of the half of the 18th century. He painted quickly, and the works of his maturity are characterised by a light palette and he preferred landscapes to portraits, and is credited as the originator of the 18th-century British landscape school. Gainsborough was a member of the Royal Academy. He was born in Sudbury, the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woollen goods, and his wife, the artist spent his childhood at what is now Gainsboroughs House, on Gainsborough Street. The original building survives and is now a dedicated House to his life. Gainsborough was allowed to leave home in 1740 to study art in London and he assisted Francis Hayman in the decoration of the supper boxes at Vauxhall Gardens, and contributed to the decoration of what is now the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children. In 1746, Gainsborough married Margaret Burr, a daughter of the Duke of Beaufort.
The artists work, consisting of landscape paintings, was not selling well. He returned to Sudbury in 1748–1749 and concentrated on painting portraits, in 1752, he and his family, now including two daughters, moved to Ipswich. Commissions for personal portraits increased, but his clientele included mainly local merchants and he had to borrow against his wifes annuity. The Artists family and Self-Portrait In 1759, Gainsborough and his moved to Bath. There, he studied portraits by van Dyck and was able to attract a fashionable clientele. In 1761, he began to work to the Society of Arts exhibition in London. He selected portraits of well-known or notorious clients in order to attract attention, the exhibitions helped him acquire a national reputation, and he was invited to become a founding member of the Royal Academy in 1769. His relationship with the academy was not a one and he stopped exhibiting his paintings in 1773. In 1774, Gainsborough and his moved to London to live in Schomberg House. A commemorative blue plaque was put on the house in 1951, in 1777, he again began to exhibit his paintings at the Royal Academy, including portraits of contemporary celebrities, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland
Church of England parish church
In England, there are parish churches for both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. References to a church, without mention of a denomination, however. This is generally true for Wales, although the Church in Wales is dis-established, the Church of England is made up of parishes, each one forming part of a diocese. Almost every part of England is within both a parish and a diocese and these ecclesiastical parishes are often no longer the same as the civil parishes in local government. Larger towns and cities, even those with cathedrals, still have ecclesiastical parishes, each parish is ministered to by a parish priest, usually called a vicar, rector or priest-in-charge. More rarely the parish priest is known as a perpetual curate, in one instance only the priest is also, by historical custom, officially known as an archpriest. A parish may be served by a number of chapels of ease, unused redundant parish churches may exist in parishes formed by the merging of two or more parishes, or because of the cost of upkeep.
These redundant churches may survive as ruins, remain empty, or be converted for alternative uses, Church of England parish churches are the oldest churches to be found in England, often built before the 16th-century reformation, and so originally Roman Catholic. A number are substantially of Anglo-Saxon date and all subsequent periods of architecture are represented in the country, most parishes have churches that date back to the Middle Ages, though often with many additions and/or alterations. The parish churches of the City of London are particularly famous for their Baroque architecture, each building reflects its status and there is considerable variety in the size and style of parish churches. Some very large former monastic or collegiate churches are now parish churches, as well as their architecture, many Church of England parish churches are known for their interesting and beautiful church fittings which are often remarkable survivals. These may include monuments, wall paintings, stained glass, floor tiles, carved pews, choir stalls and fonts, the Church of England parish church was always fundamental to the life of every community, especially in rural areas.
Notable Church of England parish churches include, Norfolk, St. Swithin, Cornwall, St Petrocs Church, the church building is late medieval and the largest parish church in Cornwall. Boston, Lincolnshire, St Botolphs Church, The Stump, lantern interior,62 misericords, London, St Gabriels, Cricklewood, a New Wine church which is home to an historic organ used in BBC radio recitals. Bristol, St Mary Redcliffe Church, Twin porches, Perpendicular interior,1,200 roof bosses, Kensington, Holy Trinity, Evangelical Anglican church where the Alpha course was first developed. Burford, Oxfordshire, St Johns Church, Merchants guild chapel, Red Indian memorial, Kent, St Martins, oldest surviving CofE parish church of English origin Cheadle, Staffordshire, St Giless Church, Pugins complete 13th-century recreation. Christchurch, Christchurch Priory, Norman exterior, Decorated screen, Perpendicular tombs, Gloucestershire, St John the Baptists Church, Perpendicular porch, fan vaults, merchants tombs. City of London, St Magnus the Martyr, Wren church situated at the end of old London Bridge, Devon, Crediton Parish Church, a former collegiate church which was rebuilt in the 15th century and has some fine monuments
A listed building or listed structure, in the United Kingdom, is one that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The statutory bodies maintaining the list are Historic England in England, Cadw in Wales, Historic Scotland in Scotland, the preferred term in Ireland is protected structure. In England and Wales, an amenity society must be notified of any work to a listed building which involves any element of demolition. Owners of listed buildings are, in circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them. When alterations are permitted, or when listed buildings are repaired or maintained, slightly different systems operate in each area of the United Kingdom, though the basic principles of the listing remain the same. It was the damage to caused by German bombing during World War II that prompted the first listing of buildings that were deemed to be of particular architectural merit. The listings were used as a means of determining whether a building should be rebuilt if it was damaged by bombing.
Listing was first introduced into Northern Ireland under the Planning Order 1972, the listing process has since developed slightly differently in each part of the UK. In the UK, the process of protecting the historic environment is called ‘designation’. A heritage asset is a part of the environment that is valued because of its historic. Only some of these are judged to be important enough to have legal protection through designation. However, buildings that are not formally listed but still judged as being of heritage interest are still regarded as being a consideration in the planning process. Almost anything can be listed – it does not have to be a building and structures of special historic interest come in a wide variety of forms and types, ranging from telephone boxes and road signs, to castles. Historic England has created twenty broad categories of structures, and published selection guides for each one to aid with assessing buildings and these include historical overviews and describe the special considerations for listing each category.
Both Historic Scotland and Cadw produce guidance for owners, in England, to have a building considered for listing or delisting, the process is to apply to the secretary of state, this can be done by submitting an application form online to Historic England. The applicant does not need to be the owner of the building to apply for it to be listed, full information including application form guidance notes are on the Historic England website. Historic England assesses buildings put forward for listing or delisting and provides advice to the Secretary of State on the architectural, the Secretary of State, who may seek additional advice from others, decides whether or not to list or delist the building. In England and Wales the authority for listing is granted to the Secretary of State by the Planning Act 1990, Listed buildings in danger of decay are listed on the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register
18th century English gardens and French landscape gardening often featured mock Roman temples, symbolising classical virtues. Other 18th century garden follies represented Chinese temples, Egyptian pyramids, ruined abbeys, or Tatar tents, sometimes they represented rustic villages and cottages to symbolise rural virtues. Many follies, particularly during times of famine, such as the Irish potato famine, were built as a form of relief, to provide employment for peasants. The concept of the folly is subjective and it has suggested that the definition of a folly lies in the eyes of the beholder. Typical characteristics include, They have no other than as an ornament. Often they have some of the appearance of a building constructed for a purpose, such as a castle or tower. Equally, if they have a purpose, it may be disguised and they are buildings, or parts of buildings. Thus they are distinguished from other garden ornaments such as sculpture, follies are deliberately built as ornaments. They are often eccentric in design or construction and this is not strictly necessary, however, it is common for these structures to call attention to themselves through unusual details or form.
There is often an element of fakery in their construction, the canonical example of this is the sham ruin, a folly which pretends to be the remains of an old building but which was in fact constructed in that state. They were built or commissioned for pleasure, follies began as decorative accents on the great estates of the late 16th century and early 17th century but they flourished especially in the two centuries which followed. Many estates had ruins of houses and Roman villas, lacking such buildings. However, very few follies are completely without a practical purpose, apart from their decorative aspect, many originally had a use which was lost later, such as hunting towers. Follies are misunderstood structures, according to The Folly Fellowship, a charity that exists to celebrate the history and they were usually in the form of Roman temples, ruined Gothic abbeys, or Egyptian pyramids. In France they sometimes took the form of romantic farmhouses and cottages, sometimes they were copied from landscape paintings by painters such as Claude Lorrain and Hubert Robert.
Often, they had symbolic importance, illustrating the virtues of ancient Rome, in the 18th century, the follies became more exotic, representing other parts of the world, including Chinese pagodas, Japanese bridges, and Tatar tents. The Irish Potato Famine of 1845-49 led to the building of several follies, the society of the day held that reward without labour was misguided. However, to hire the needy for work on useful projects would deprive existing workers of their jobs, construction projects termed famine follies came to be built
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of Her Majestys Government in the United Kingdom. The prime minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party, the office is one of the Great Offices of State. The current prime minister, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016. The position of Prime Minister was not created, it evolved slowly and erratically over three hundred years due to acts of Parliament, political developments, and accidents of history. The office is therefore best understood from a historical perspective, the origins of the position are found in constitutional changes that occurred during the Revolutionary Settlement and the resulting shift of political power from the Sovereign to Parliament. The political position of Prime Minister was enhanced by the development of political parties, the introduction of mass communication. By the start of the 20th century the modern premiership had emerged, prior to 1902, the prime minister sometimes came from the House of Lords, provided that his government could form a majority in the Commons.
However as the power of the aristocracy waned during the 19th century the convention developed that the Prime Minister should always sit in the lower house. As leader of the House of Commons, the Prime Ministers authority was further enhanced by the Parliament Act of 1911 which marginalised the influence of the House of Lords in the law-making process. The Prime Minister is ex officio First Lord of the Treasury, certain privileges, such as residency of 10 Downing Street, are accorded to Prime Ministers by virtue of their position as First Lord of the Treasury. As the Head of Her Majestys Government the modern Prime Minister leads the Cabinet, in addition the Prime Minister leads a major political party and generally commands a majority in the House of Commons. As such the incumbent wields both legislative and executive powers, under the British system there is a unity of powers rather than separation. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister guides the process with the goal of enacting the legislative agenda of their political party.
The Prime Minister acts as the face and voice of Her Majestys Government. The British system of government is based on an uncodified constitution, in 1928, Prime Minister H. H. Asquith described this characteristic of the British constitution in his memoirs, In this country we live. Our constitutional practices do not derive their validity and sanction from any Bill which has received the assent of the King, Lords. They rest on usage, convention, often of slow growth in their early stages, not always uniform, the relationships between the Prime Minister and the Sovereign and Cabinet are defined largely by these unwritten conventions of the constitution. Many of the Prime Ministers executive and legislative powers are actually royal prerogatives which are still vested in the Sovereign
Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians
The piano nobile is the principal floor of a large house, usually built in one of the styles of Classical Renaissance architecture. This floor contains the reception and bedrooms of the house. The piano nobile is often the first or sometimes the second storey, located above a ground floor containing minor rooms, the reasons for this were so the rooms would have finer views, and more practically to avoid the dampness and odors of the street level. This is especially true in Venice where the piano nobile of the many palazzi is especially obvious from the exterior by virtue of its windows and balconies. Examples of this are Ca Foscari, Ca dOro, Ca Vendramin Calergi, larger windows than those on other floors are usually the most obvious feature of the piano nobile. Often in England and Italy the piano nobile is reached by an outer staircase. Kedleston Hall is an example of this in England, as is Villa Capra in Italy, most houses contained a secondary floor above the piano nobile which contained more intimate withdrawing and bedrooms for private use by the family of the house when no honoured guests were present.
Above this floor would often be an attic floor containing staff bedrooms, in these instances, occasionally in museums etc. the principal piano nobile is described as the primo piano nobile to differentiate it. Though often found, this usage is potentially misleading, rooms in the piano nobile are always the grandest, the term is not used in Britain. This arrangement of floors continued throughout Europe for as long as large houses continued to be built in the classical styles and this arrangement was designed at Buckingham Palace as recently as the mid-19th century. Holkham Hall, Osterley Park and Chiswick House are among the innumerable 18th-century English houses which employed this design, Life in the English Country House. Harris, John, de Bellaigue, Geoffrey, & Miller, English Country Houses, Early Georgian 1715–1760 London, Country Life. Pavilion Books Ltd. Kaminski Marion and Architecture of Venice,1999, Könemann, ISBN 3-8290-2657-9 Masson, Georgina
Catherine the Great
Catherine II of Russia, known as Catherine the Great, was a Russian monarch. She was the female leader of Russia, reigning from 1762 until her death in 1796 at the age of 67. She came to following a coup détat when her husband. Russia was revitalised under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever, in both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. In the west, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherines former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, in the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America. Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, and many new cities, an admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and the continued to depend on serfdom. This was one of the reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachevs Rebellion of cossacks.
The period of Catherine the Greats rule, the Catherinian Era, is considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire. The Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine. Construction of many mansions of the nobility, in the classical style endorsed by the Empress and she enthusiastically supported the ideals of The Enlightenment, thus earning the status of an enlightened despot. Catherine was born in Stettin, Kingdom of Prussia as Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, she was nicknamed Figchen. Her father, Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, belonged to the ruling German family of Anhalt, two of her first cousins became Kings of Sweden, Gustav III and Charles XIII. In accordance with the prevailing in the ruling dynasties of Germany, she received her education chiefly from a French governess. She once wrote to her correspondent Baron Grimm, I see nothing of interest in it, although Catherine was born a princess, her family had very little money.
Catherines rise to power was supported by her mothers relatives who were both wealthy nobles and royal relations. Catherine first met Peter III at the age of 10, based on her writings, she found Peter detestable upon meeting him. She disliked his pale complexion and his fondness for alcohol at such a young age, Peter still played with toy soldiers