The Princess Augusta Sophia was a member of the British Royal Family, second daughter of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She was a Princess of the United Kingdom and a Princess of Hanover.
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She died on 22 September 1840 at Clarence House, St. James, London, and was buried at St George's Chapel, Windsor on 2 October, after lying in state at Frogmore.
More DetailsHide DetailsAs of 1789, as a daughter of the sovereign, Augusta Sophia had use of the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points, the centre point bearing a rose gules, the outer points ermine.
In 1828 Augusta was heard to remark to a friend: “I was ashamed to hear myself called Princess Augusta, and never could persuade myself that I was so, as long as any of the Stuart family were alive; but after the death of Cardinal York 1807, I felt myself to be really Princess Augusta”.
In 1797, she received a proposal from Prince Frederick Adolf of Sweden, a proposal given without the approval of the Swedish royal house.
More DetailsHide DetailsA British Princess, especially from so fertile a mother, was a prize, but Augusta's father seemed increasingly unwilling to allow his daughters to marry.
According to a flyer held by the V&A Archives, Princess Augusta was a patron of L. Bertolotto's flea circus.
By 1785, Augusta and Charlotte were reaching an age where they could be considered as potential brides for foreign Princes.
More DetailsHide DetailsIn that year the Prince Royal of Denmark (later King Frederick VI) indicated to King George III that he would break off every other discussed proposal for the hand in marriage of a British Princess. He was also supposed to prefer Augusta to her older sister. However, the King declared that after the horrible treatment of his younger sister by the Prince Royal's father, King Christian VII, he would never send one of his daughters to the Danish court. As their friends and ladies of the court began to get married, the Princesses wondered when their turn would come.
Augusta was soon a big sister again, with the birth of her youngest sibling Amelia in August 1783.
More DetailsHide DetailsShe stood as a godmother, along with Charlotte and George. Though the birth of her sister did not erase the pain she felt at losing her brothers, Augusta did not dwell on their deaths as her father did.
By the time they reached their teens, the three eldest Princesses were spending a great deal of time with their parents. They accompanied them to the theater, to the Opera, and to Court, and their once academic lessons began to wind down, with music and the arts becoming the new focus. They heard famous actresses such as Sarah Siddons read, and along with Charlotte and their parents, Augusta met John Adams when he was presented to the Queen. The three girls were always dressed alike at public functions, the only difference ever in their dresses being color. Though so often displayed in public, Augusta still was happiest at home, where she adored her younger brothers Ernest, Augustus, and Adolphus. She was also extremely close to her sister Elizabeth, as Charlotte was often haughty and overly conscious of her position as Princess Royal.
Since they were quickly approaching a marriageable age, Augusta and the Princess Royal were given their first lady-in-waiting in July 1783.
More DetailsHide DetailsAugusta frequently wrote to her elder brother William, who was in Hanover for military training. She was a good correspondent, telling him family news and encouraging him to tell her what was happening in his life. She reveled in his attention and in the little gifts he sent her, even though the Queen tried to discourage William from taking up his sister's valuable time. Though their academic lessons were nearly over, the Queen was loath to have her daughters waste time, and made sure that the Princesses spent hours studying music or art, learning many types of specialty work from different masters.
The Princesses did not "dress" until dinner, wearing morning gowns nearly all day. Even when "dressed", the Royal family often wore plain clothes, far removed from the ornate splendor of other courts. As there were six Princesses, the Queen's expenses even for these clothes was enormous, and she tried to keep costs down and within the allowance she was given. Moving into this new phase of life meant that the amount of money the Queen was spending on her three eldest daughters was rapidly increasing. The Princesses constantly needed dresses, hats, trimmings, fans, and other items. The quarterly expense for their clothes was estimated to be £2000, and the expense of all their servants and tutors added to that. Yet it all paid off in one way: the Princesses were quickly becoming a familiar sight to the public.
In 1782, Augusta was debuted at the King's birthday celebrations.
More DetailsHide DetailsAs she was still terrified of crowds, her mother did not tell her daughter about her debut until two days before it happened. Later that year, the Princess' youngest brother Alfred died, followed eight months later by her next youngest brother Octavius. When the Princesses went to see the summer exhibition in 1783 at the Royal Academy, they were so distraught by the portraits of their two youngest brothers that they broke down and cried in front of everyone.
She strongly disliked the political tensions that by 1780 had sprung up between her elder brothers and their parents, and preferred to occupy herself with her coin collection.
More DetailsHide DetailsAs all her sisters were, Augusta was sheltered from the outside world so much that her only friends were her attendants, with whom she kept up a frequent correspondence.
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