Grand Duke Paul Petrovich was the son of Peter III (whose father was Karl Friedrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp) and Catherine the Great, (whose grand-father was Prince Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp. Following the death of his first wife in childbirth in 1773, Grand Duke Paul Petrovich married Sophie-Dorothea von Württemburg, at which time she changed her name to Maria Feodorovna. The couple first met in Berlin and Frederick the Great had a hand in arranging the match. On the birth of their first child in 1777, Empress Catherine II gave her son the estate at Pavlovsk. The gift of two services shows the esteem in which Frederick held Grand Duke Paul Petrovich and the importance he placed on Russo-Prussian relations.