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Prince Alexander Borisovich Kurakin, sometimes spelled Kourakine ( ; January 18, 1752 - June 24, 1818) was a Russian statesman and diplomat, a member of the State Council (from 1810), ranked Actual Privy Counsellor 1st Class (see Table of Ranks).

Born in Moscowmarker to a long line of Russian diplomats, he was the great grandson of the famous Boris Kurakin. He moved into St. Petersburgmarker in 1764 following the death of his father, Boris Alexandrovich Kurakin. There he became acquainted with Great Prince Pavel Petrovich, future Emperor Paul I of Russia, and remained one of his most trusted friends. This friendship, though, did not meet the approval of then reigning Catherine II, and so Kurakin was forced to depart abroad. In 1776, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

After Catherine II's death Kurakin was allowed to return to St. Petersburg in 1796 and resumed his career, becoming Vice Chancellor in 1796. During the reign of Alexander I Kourakin became the Ambassador of Russia in Viennamarker in 1806 and in Parismarker in 1808, taking an active part in the arrangement for the signing of the Treaty of Tilsit.

In 1810 and after he issued numerous notes to Tsar Alexander, warning him of the imminent war. After the last futile attempt to reconcile Russian-French relationship on his meeting with Napoleon on April, 15, 1812 and subsequent departure of Napoleon marking the start of the invasion of Russia, Kurakin resigned as the Ambassador.

While in Paris, Kurakin was famously referred to as a "diamond prince", due to magnificence and richness of his costumes. Interestingly, it was one of such costumes that actually saved his life during a fire that happened on a ball given by Schwarzenberg, the Austrian ambassador on July 1, 1810. When escorting women out of the blazing hall, he fell aground and was trampled over by panicking crowd, but his richly decorated coat has protected him from the intense heat.Nevertheless, he was badly burned and was confined to bed for several months.


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