The paper on the relationship between the private status and public visibility of the European tour of “Comte & Comtesse du Nord” is accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography due to appear in fall 2019.
Intelligence, Diplomacy, Entertainment: The Son of Catherine II’s Incognito Tour through Europe
From September 1781 to November 1782 Grand Duke Paul Petrovich visited the major royal courts of Europe while traveling in the company of his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna under the pseudonym “Comte & Comtesse du Nord.” No other European prince ever undertook a journey of such a scale under the conditions of a high-status incognito journey. In spite of its cultural as well as political significance, the European tour of the Russian prince still remains a great unknown in many ways. By emphasizing the ceremonial meanings of the incognito status, this article argues that this particular practice of traveling should be seen as a highly flexible and innovative form of courtly mobility. The study addresses the seemingly paradoxical relationship between private status and public visibility of the traveling Russian court, illuminating some narratives spread in the European press.