[describing a diorama he made as a gift for his fiancee] Grand Duke Peter: This man is a deserter, and this man is a general. He's going to order this sergeant to give the man 100 lashes! I expect he'll die! Empress Elizabeth:
I imagine nothing, I suspect everything. An Empress with no enemies is no Empress.
[Grand Duke Peter III is ill] Frederick the Great: Say that prayers are being offered in every church in Prussia. Prussian Ambassador: With respect, Sire, I don't see that would do much good. Frederick the Great: If nothing else, it will show her how fast our sources of information are. You're doing good work, Ernst. Prussian Ambassador: Thank you, sire. I will leave within the hour. Frederick the Great: Don't drink too much vodka there. Prussian Ambassador: I'll try. [Catherine's betrothed, the Grand Duke, is ill] Catherine: Did you know, after two months, hardly anyone has spoken to me. It's as if I didn't exist! Sir Charles: Well, my dear, you hardly do. You are, I hesitate to say it, on the very brink of extinction. If the Grand Duke should die, you become the tiniest footnote to history. Everyone at Court knows that. But if he lives, however, you would certainly find yourself surrounded by thousands of new friends again, fawning all over you like puppies. Catherine: And you? Sir Charles: Ah, well. I am a foreigner, and an old man. I can afford the luxury of true friendship. [After operating on a drunk Grand Duke Peter to correct his sexual dysfunction] Alexi Orlov: What do we tell him? Doctor Lande: Tell him? I'd be astonished if he mentions it at all. Would you? Don't you young officers have some game where you measure your "weapon" on the table? If he asks, tell him that he cut it on a piece of broken glass. Then I suggest you tell him that he won the contest. Grand Duke Peter: I said no mourning! Catherine: I am told that black becomes me. AND I mourn. I mourn for a woman who once loved Russia, and I mourn for the Russia she loved. Grand Duke Peter: To the royal family! Catherine: Pray, tell the Grand Duke Peter, that the royal family consists of he, myself, and the Grand Duke Paul, our son. That is all. Grand Duke Peter: You are an ignoramus. Catherine: Every court has its clown, don't you think?