Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Page 3 Profile: Catherine the Great, Russian empress

David Cameron in drag?

Yes, according to one University of York student. Final year history and politics student Sophie Gadd, who spotted the oil painting of the 18th century Russian Empress in a Berlin museum, tweeted that the autocrat was a dead ringer for the British Prime Minister.

It’s the cheeks, the nose…

Many would agree – the tweet went viral yesterday – although Mr Cameron was presumably unaware as he is visiting Afghanistan.

Anyway, back to the Great one.

Born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst in Prussia in 1729, Russia’s longest-ruling female leader changed her name to Catherine when she married Grand Duke Peter, heir to the Russian throne. Their marriage was unhappy and soon after Peter’s ascension to the throne in 1762, he was overthrown in a bloodless coup and Catherine declared Empress. Her husband was later assassinated, possibly on the orders of his wife.

Blimey!

That’s not all. Catherine went on to have a string of lovers that she promoted to high office, most notably Grigori Potemkin. Then there’s the rumour that she kicked the bucket while engaging in some sort of interaction with a horse. She didn’t – it was a stroke.

But she must have done something, well, great?

Aside from her rather scandalous personal life, Catherine’s three decade rule is often considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire. She expanded the country’s border southwards and westwards and was known as a political and social reformer early on in her reign. She modernised Russian life by convening the Legislative Commission in 1767 and was a patron of the arts, literature and education.

Not such a bad comparison for Cameron after all.

And their facial similarities may not be a coincidence either. It turns out that the Prime Minister and the Russian sovereign are in fact related – according to The Spectator, they are second cousins, nine generations removed. And before you ask, that sounds like gobbledygook to me too.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?