Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the family of Tsar Nicholas II, the last monarch of Russia, and gained considerable influence in late imperial Russia, in c. 1910s.
Rasputin was originally sent for when the Empress, desperate to have her son Alexei healed from his illness, allowed the starets (mystical man of God) to treat her son.
Overjoyed by Rasputin’s apparent healing of the tsarverich, the weak little boy on whom the dynasty relied upon, Alexandra showered him with gifts. He began wearing a silk blouse, had a personal secretary, and was given a car. He also began making policy suggestions to Alexandra, who was filling in for Nicholas while he was away at the front, like some kind of ancient tsar-warrior leading his troops. In real life he could do little – he had only ever obtained the rank of colonel in the army.