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Karl Robert Reichsgraf von Nesselrode-Ehreshoven, also known as Charles de Nesselrode, (Lisbon, Portugal, 14 December 1780 - Saint Petersburg, 23 March 1862; Russian ? , Karl Vasilyevich Nesselrode) was a RussianGerman diplomat. For forty years (1816-1856) Nesselrode as foreign minister guided Russian policy; he was a leading European conservative statesman of the Holy Alliance.
Karl von Nesselrode was born at sea
near Lisbon, Portugal into the UradelNesselrode family which originated in the Bergisches Land. His father Count Wilhelm Karl von Nesselrode (1724 - 1810), a count of the Holy Roman Empire, served at the time as the ambassador of the Russian Empress to Portugal. His mother was Louise Gontard (1746-1785), whose family belonged to Huguenot noble families from Dauphiné that fled from France to Germany in 1700. In deference to his mother's Protestantism he was baptized in the chapel of the British Embassy, thus becoming a member of the Church of England.
After his father became the Russian ambassador to the Prussian court about 1787, Nesselrode's education in a Berlin gymnasium re-inforced his Germanic roots. Even though Nesselrode would work for the Russians for the next few decades of his life, he could neither read nor write Russian and spoke it only brokenly.
In 1788, at the age of 8, he officially entered the Russian Navy. With his father's influence, he secured the position of naval aide-de-camp to Emperor Paul (r. 1796-1801).
He then transferred to the army, and entered diplomatic service under Paul I's son and successor, Emperor Alexander I. He was attached to the Russian embassy at Berlin, and transferred thence to The Hague.
In August 1806 Nesselrode received a commission to travel in southern Germany to report on the French troops there; he was then attached as diplomatic secretary to Generals Kamenski, Buxhoewden and Bennigsen in succession.
Nesselrode became State Secretary in 1814 and was the head of Russia's official delegation to the Congress of Vienna, but for the most part Alexander I acted as his own foreign minister. In 1816, Nesselrode became Russian foreign minister, sharing influence with Count Ioannis Kapodistrias until the latter's retirement in 1822.
Foods named in his honour but devised by his chef M. Jean Mouy using chestnut puree are-
Nesselrode Pudding (Pouding à la Nesselrode), a thick custard cream with sweet puree of chestnut, raisins, candied fruit, currants, cherry liquor and whipped cream molded and served chilled as a bombe with maraschino custard sauce.
^Regarding personal names: Reichsgraf is a title, usually translated as Imperial Count, not a first or middle name. The female form is Reichsgräfin. Titles using the prefix Reichs- were not created after the fall of the Holy Roman Empire.
Golovin, Ivan Gavrilovich (1854). "Menshikoff, Orloff, Nesselrode". The Nations of Russia and Turkey and Their Destiny. London: Trübner. p. 149. Retrieved 2019. Charles Albert, Count Nesselrode, was born in 1770, on board an English vessel in sight of Lisbon.
Golovin, Ivan Gavrilovich (1854). "Menshikoff, Orloff, Nesselrode". The Nations of Russia and Turkey and Their Destiny. London: Trübner. p. 149. Retrieved 2019. His parents were Germans in the Russian service, and as there was no Protestant minister in the vessel, he was baptized according to the Anglican rite. England therefore, may claim the honour of reckoning him among her citizens.