I have a question. Praskovya Bruce (Countess) had been "best friend" to Catherine since the 14 year old latter arrived in St Petersburg . They would still be close until and for for many years after Catherine became Czarina. At least until Praskovya blotted her copybook with a putative Catherine "favourite" in the 1770s. My question is:- How would Countess Bruce have addressed Catherine in informal moments. Catherine called her "Brussja" so I am led to believe. This is not an idle question as I am trying to construct a dialogue between them.
Interesting question. I don't have any sources to rely on (you might find something in their published letters?), but if they went back that long I wouldn't be surprised if she adressed Catherine with some of the many Russian pet form of her name (Katya, Katyusha etc.) in informal moments. Remember also that it was very fashionable for lovers and intimate acquintances to adress each other "my heart" / mon cœur
etc. in the 17th and 18th centuries. But I would expect her to use more formal forms with other people present, perhaps madame
? And in public as Your Majesty.
PS I see in a letter to her brother linked from her Russian Wikipedia article Countess Bruce refers to the Catherine as "Sa Majesté
", so no overt informality even in her brother's presence.