Princess Wales
Second in line to the British throne
Princess Wales
Princess Charlotte of Wales was the only child of George, Prince of Wales (later to become King George IV) and Caroline of Brunswick. Had she outlived her father and her grandfather, King George III, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom, but she died following childbirth at the age of 21. Charlotte's parents disliked each other from before their pre-arranged marriage and soon separated.
Biography
Princess Charlotte of Wales's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of Princess Charlotte of Wales
News
News abour Princess Charlotte of Wales from around the web
Today Marks Anniversary of Tragic Death of Diana, Princess of Wales - SanDiego.com
Google News - over 5 years
August 31 st , 2011 marks the 14 th anniversary of the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. During the latter part of her much publicized life, Lady Diana was portrayed as a 'fairytale princess'
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Google News article
Toronto Adds Princess of Wales Theater As Opening Weekend Movie Launch-Pad - Hollywood Reporter
Google News - almost 6 years
The Toronto International Film Festival's takeover of the city's downtown after launching Bell Lightbox continues with plans for red carpet premieres in the adjoining Princess of Wales Theater on King Street. TORONTO -- In a surprise move,
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Google News article
Special Royal Wedding celebrations at the Princess of Wales, Bedminster - Bedminster People
Google News - almost 6 years
By Hannah2009 | Friday, April 29, 2011, 09:02 The Princess of Wales pub in Bedminster is rolling out the red carpet today for a special celebration of the Royal Wedding. The landlady, Sue Davis, has pulled out all the stops to put on a pub party worthy
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Google News article
Duchess, Princess, Wales or Windsor? - New Zealand Herald
Google News - almost 6 years
Speculation is rife over what title Kate Middleton will take after she marries Prince William of Wales. According to the Daily Telegraph, it is expected that the Queen will offer William a dukedom, which would give Kate the title of duchess
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Google News article
CUTTINGS; Forget Timing: A Layabout's Way to Plant Violas
NYTimes - almost 22 years
One cold spring morning last month, I couldn't resist buying a whole flat of Johnny-jump-ups at the Greenmarket in Brooklyn. They looked like a friendly army of little monkeys peering up at me from their table, and they brought back visions of the deep blue violets of my childhood that still grow wild along the cool banks of my family's woodland
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Princess Charlotte of Wales
    TWENTIES
  • 1817
    Age 21
    She ate heavily and got little exercise; when her medical team began prenatal care in August 1817, they put her on a strict diet, hoping to reduce the size of the child at birth.
    More Details Hide Details The diet, and occasional bleeding, seemed to weaken Charlotte. Stockmar was amazed at a treatment he saw as outdated, and declined to join the medical team, believing that, as a foreigner, he would be blamed if anything went wrong. Much of Charlotte's day to day care was undertaken by Sir Richard Croft. Croft was not a physician, but an accoucheur, or male midwife, much in fashion among the well-to-do. Charlotte was believed to be due to deliver on 19 October, but as October ended, she had shown no signs of giving birth, and drove out as usual with Leopold on Sunday 2 November. On the evening of 3 November, her contractions began. Sir Richard encouraged her to exercise, but would not let her eat: late that evening, he sent for the officials who were to witness and attest to the royal birth. As the fourth of November became the fifth, it became clear that Charlotte might be unable to expel the child, and Croft and Charlotte's personal physician, Matthew Baillie, decided to send for obstetrician John Sims. However, Croft did not allow Sims to see the patient, and forceps were not used. According to Plowden in her book, they might have saved her and the child, though there was a very high mortality rate when instruments were used in the era before antiseptics.
    At the end of April 1817, Leopold informed the Prince Regent that Charlotte was again pregnant, and that there was every prospect of the Princess carrying the baby to term.
    More Details Hide Details Charlotte's pregnancy was the subject of the most intense public interest. Betting shops quickly set up book on what sex the child would be. Economists calculated that the birth of a princess would raise the stock market by 2.5%; the birth of a prince would raise it 6%. Charlotte spent her time quietly, spending much time sitting for a portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1816
    Age 20
    The marriage ceremony was set for 2 May 1816.
    More Details Hide Details On the wedding day, huge crowds filled London; the wedding participants had great difficulties in travelling. At nine o'clock in the evening in the Crimson Drawing Room at Carlton House, with Leopold dressing for the first time as a British General (the Prince Regent wore the uniform of a Field Marshal), the couple were married. Charlotte's wedding dress cost over ₤10,000. The only mishap was during the ceremony, when Charlotte was heard to giggle when the impoverished Leopold promised to endow her with all his worldly goods. The couple honeymooned at Oatlands Palace, the Duke of York's residence in Surrey. Neither was well and the house was filled with the Yorks' dogs and the odour of animals. Nevertheless, the Princess wrote that Leopold was "the perfection of a lover". Two days after the marriage, they were visited by the Prince Regent at Oatlands; he spent two hours describing the details of military uniforms to Leopold, which according to Charlotte "is a great mark of the most perfect good humour". Prince Leopold and his wife returned to London for the social season, and when they attended the theatre, they were invariably treated to wild applause from the audience and the singing of "God Save the King" from the company. When she was taken ill at the Opera, there was great public concern about her condition. It was announced that she had suffered a miscarriage.
    Leopold arrived in Britain in late February 1816, and went to Brighton to be interviewed by the Prince Regent.
    More Details Hide Details After Charlotte was invited as well, and had dinner with Leopold and her father, she wrote: The Prince Regent was impressed by Leopold, and told his daughter that Leopold "had every qualification to make a woman happy". Charlotte was sent back to Cranbourne on 2 March, leaving Leopold with the Prince Regent. On 14 March, an announcement was made in the House of Commons to great acclaim, with both parties relieved to have the drama of the Princess's romances at an end. Parliament voted Leopold £50,000 per year, purchased Claremont House for the couple, and allowed them a generous single payment to set up house. Fearful of a repetition of the Orange fiasco, George limited Charlotte's contact with Leopold; when Charlotte returned to Brighton, he allowed them to meet only at dinner, and never let them be alone together.
    In January 1816, the Prince Regent invited his daughter to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, and she pleaded with him to allow the marriage.
    More Details Hide Details On her return to Windsor, she wrote her father, "I no longer hesitate in declaring my partiality in favour of the Prince of Coburg—assuring you that no one will be more steady or consistent in this their present & last engagement than myself." George gave in and summoned Leopold, who was in Berlin en route to Russia, to Britain.
  • 1815
    Age 19
    In the early months of 1815, Charlotte fixed on Leopold (or as she termed him, "the Leo") as a spouse.
    More Details Hide Details Her father refused to give up hope that Charlotte would agree to marry the Prince of Orange. However, Charlotte wrote, "No arguments, no threats, shall ever bend me to marry this detested Dutchman." Faced with the united opposition of the Royal Family, George finally gave in and dropped the idea of marriage to the Prince of Orange, who became engaged to Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia that summer. Charlotte contacted Leopold through intermediaries, and found him receptive, but with Napoleon renewing the conflict on the Continent, Leopold was with his regiment fighting. In July, shortly before returning to Weymouth, Charlotte formally requested her father's permission to marry Leopold. The Prince Regent replied that with the unsettled political situation on the Continent, he could not consider such a request. To Charlotte's frustration, Leopold did not come to Britain after the restoration of peace, even though he was stationed in Paris, which she deemed to be only a short journey from Weymouth or London.
  • 1814
    Age 18
    Despite her isolation, Charlotte found life at Cranbourne Lodge surprisingly agreeable, and slowly became reconciled to her situation. At the end of July 1814, the Prince Regent visited Charlotte in her isolation and informed her that her mother was about to leave England for an extended stay on the Continent.
    More Details Hide Details This upset Charlotte, but she did not feel that anything she might say could change her mother's mind, and was further aggrieved by her mother's casualness in the leavetaking, "for God knows how long, or what events may occur before we meet again". Charlotte would never see her mother again. In late August, Charlotte was permitted to go to the seaside. She had asked to go to fashionable Brighton, but the Prince Regent refused, sending her instead to Weymouth. As the Princess's coach stopped along the way, large, friendly crowds gathered to see her; according to Holme, "her affectionate welcome shows that already people thought of her as their future Queen". On arrival in Weymouth, there were illuminations with a centrepiece "Hail Princess Charlotte, Europe's Hope and Britain's Glory". Charlotte spent time exploring nearby attractions, shopping for smuggled French silks, and from late September taking a course of heated seawater baths. She was still infatuated with her Prussian, and hoped in vain that he would declare his interest in her to the Prince Regent. If he did not do so, she wrote to a friend, she would "take the next best thing, which was a good tempered man with good sence... that man is the P of S-C" of Saxe-Coburg, i.e. Leopold. In mid-December, shortly before leaving Weymouth, she "had a very sudden and great shock" when she received news that her Prussian had formed another attachment.
    On 10 June 1814, Charlotte signed the marriage contract.
    More Details Hide Details Charlotte had become besotted with a Prussian prince whose identity is uncertain; according to Charles Greville, it was Prince Augustus, although historian Arthur Aspinall disagreed, thinking that her love interest was the younger Prince Frederick. At a party at the Pulteney Hotel in London, Charlotte met a Lieutenant-General in the Russian cavalry, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The Princess invited Leopold to call on her, an invitation he took up, remaining for three quarters of an hour, and writing a letter to the Prince Regent apologising for any indiscretion. This letter impressed George very much, although he did not consider the impoverished Leopold as a possible suitor for his daughter's hand. The Princess of Wales opposed the match between her daughter and the Prince of Orange, and had great public support: when Charlotte went out in public, crowds would urge her not to abandon her mother by marrying the Prince of Orange. Charlotte informed the Prince of Orange that if they wed, her mother would have to be welcome in their home—a condition sure to be unacceptable to the Prince Regent. When the Prince of Orange would not agree, Charlotte broke off the engagement. Her father's response was to order that Charlotte remain at her residence at Warwick House (adjacent to Carlton House) until she could be conveyed to Cranbourne Lodge at Windsor, where she would be allowed to see no one except the Queen.
  • 1813
    Age 17
    In 1813, with the tide of the Napoleonic Wars having turned firmly in Britain's favour, George began to seriously consider the question of Charlotte's marriage.
    More Details Hide Details The Prince Regent and his advisors decided on William, Hereditary Prince of Orange, son and heir-apparent of Prince William VI of Orange. Such a marriage would increase British influence in Northwest Europe. William made a poor impression on Charlotte when she first saw him, at George's birthday party on 12 August, when he became intoxicated, as did the Prince Regent himself and many of the guests. Although no one in authority had spoken to Charlotte about the proposed marriage, she was quite familiar with the plan through palace whispers. Dr. Henry Halford was detailed to sound Charlotte out about the match; he found her reluctant, feeling that a future Queen of Britain should not marry a foreigner. Believing that his daughter intended to marry William, Duke of Gloucester, the Prince Regent saw his daughter and verbally abused both her and Gloucester. According to Charlotte, "He spoke as if he had the most improper ideas of my inclinations. I see that he is compleatly poisoned against me, and that he will never come round." She wrote to Earl Grey for advice; he suggested she play for time. The matter soon leaked to the papers, which wondered whether Charlotte would marry "the Orange or the Cheese" (a reference to Gloucester cheese), "Slender Billy" Orange or "Silly Billy". The Prince Regent attempted a gentler approach, but failed to convince Charlotte who wrote that "I could not quit this country, as Queen of England still less" and that if they wed, the Prince of Orange would have to "visit his frogs solo".
  • 1811
    Age 15
    On 6 February 1811, Charlotte's father was sworn in as Prince Regent before the Privy Council, as Charlotte rode back and forth in the gardens outside Carlton House, trying to catch glimpses of the ceremony through the ground-floor windows.
    More Details Hide Details Charlotte was an enthusiastic Whig, as her father had been. However, now that he was exercising the powers of the monarchy, he did not recall the Whigs to office as many had expected him to do. Charlotte was outraged by what she saw as her father's treason, and, at the opera, demonstrated her support by blowing kisses in the direction of the Whig leader, Earl Grey. George had been raised under strict conditions, which he had rebelled against. Despite this, he attempted to put his daughter, who had the appearance of a grown woman at age 15, under even stricter conditions. He gave her a clothing allowance insufficient for an adult princess, and insisted that if she attended the opera, she was to sit in the rear of the box and leave before the end. With the Prince Regent busy with affairs of state, Charlotte was required to spend most of her time at Windsor with her maiden aunts. Bored, she soon became infatuated with her first cousin, George FitzClarence, illegitimate son of the Duke of Clarence. FitzClarence was, shortly thereafter, called to Brighton to join his regiment, and Charlotte's gaze fell on Lieutenant Charles Hesse of the Light Dragoons, reputedly the illegitimate son of Charlotte's uncle, Frederick, Duke of York. Hesse and Charlotte had a number of clandestine meetings. Lady de Clifford feared the Prince Regent's rage should they be found out, but Princess Caroline was delighted by her daughter's passion.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1807
    Age 11
    Princess Caroline's unconventional behaviour led, in 1807, to accusations that she had had sexual relations with other men since the separation.
    More Details Hide Details Caroline was caring for a young child, William Austin, who was alleged to be her child by another man. The Prince of Wales hoped that what was termed "the Delicate Investigation" would turn up evidence of adultery that would permit him to get a divorce, and forbade Charlotte to see her mother. The investigators did not interview Caroline or her purported lovers, but concentrated on Caroline's servants. When the servants were asked if Caroline had appeared pregnant, some said yes, some no, some were uncertain, and others indicated the Princess was so overweight that it was impossible to tell. The servants could confirm no individual as a lover, though Caroline's footman, Joseph Roberts, stated that the Princess "was very fond of fucking". Charlotte was aware of the investigation. The ten-year-old was deeply hurt when mother and daughter caught sight of each other in the park, and Caroline, obedient to the Prince's command to have no contact with Charlotte, pretended not to see her. To George's bitter disappointment, the investigating committee found no evidence Caroline had had a second child, though it noted that the Princess's behaviour was very much open to misconstruction. The King, who was fond of Caroline, had refused to see her during the investigation, but began to receive her again afterwards. After the conclusion of the Delicate Investigation, the Prince reluctantly allowed Charlotte to see her mother again, with the condition that William Austin not be a playmate.
  • 1805
    Age 9
    In 1805, the King began making plans for Charlotte's education, and engaged a large staff of instructors for his only legitimate grandchild, with the Bishop of Exeter to instruct her in the faith that King George believed one day Charlotte, as queen, would defend.
    More Details Hide Details The King hoped that these teachers would "render her an honour and comfort to her relations, and a blessing to the dominions over which she may hereafter preside". According to Holme, this instruction made little impression on Charlotte, who chose to learn only what she wanted to learn. Her piano teacher was composer Jane Mary Guest, and Charlotte became an accomplished pianist.
  • 1798
    Age 2
    In December 1798, the Prince invited his estranged wife to spend the winter at Carlton House, which she refused to do.
    More Details Hide Details It was the last serious effort at reconciliation, and its failure meant there was little likelihood that George would have a legitimate son who would come between Charlotte and the British throne. Caroline visited her daughter at Carlton House, and sometimes Charlotte was driven out to Blackheath to visit her mother, but was never allowed to stay in her mother's house. During the summers, the Prince leased Shrewsbury Lodge at Blackheath for his daughter, which made visitation easier, and according to Alison Plowden, who wrote of George's relationship with his wife and daughter, Caroline probably saw as much of her daughter as she wanted to. When Charlotte was eight, her father, whose affections had returned to Fitzherbert, decided that he wanted Carlton House to himself. He took over his wife's apartments (Caroline received space in Kensington Palace instead), and moved their daughter into Montague House, adjacent to Carlton House. As James Chambers, another Charlotte biographer, put it, the young Princess "lived in a household of her own, in the company of no one who was not paid to be there". The move took place without the presence of Charlotte's governess, Lady Elgin (widow of Charles Bruce, 5th Earl of Elgin), with whom she was very close. Lady Elgin had been forced to retire, ostensibly on account of age, but most likely because George was angry that Lady Elgin had taken Charlotte to see the King without George's permission.
  • 1797
    Age 1
    In August 1797, Caroline left Carlton House, establishing herself in a rented home near Blackheath and leaving her daughter behind—English law at the time considered the father's rights to minor children paramount.
    More Details Hide Details However, the Prince took no action to further restrict Caroline's access to her daughter.
  • 1796
    Age 0
    On 11 February 1796, the little princess was christened Charlotte Augusta, after her grandmothers, Queen Charlotte and Augusta, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in the Great Drawing Room at Carlton House by John Moore, Archbishop of Canterbury.
    More Details Hide Details Her godparents were the King, Queen and Duchess of Brunswick (for whom the Princess Royal stood proxy). Despite Caroline's demands for better treatment now that she had given birth to the second-in-line to the throne, George restricted her contact with the child, forbidding her to see their daughter except in the presence of a nurse and governess. Caroline was allowed the usual daily visit which upper class parents paid to their young offspring at this time; she was not allowed any say in the decisions made about Charlotte's care. Sympathetic household staff disobeyed the Prince and allowed Caroline to be alone with her daughter. George was unaware of this, having little contact with Charlotte himself. Caroline was even bold enough to ride through the streets of London in a carriage with her daughter, to the applause of the crowds. Charlotte herself was a healthy child, and according to her biographer, Thea Holme, "The impression one gets from all the early recorded stories of Charlotte is of a happy recklessness, and a warm heart." As Charlotte grew, her parents continued to battle, and to use the young girl as a pawn in their conflict, with both parents appealing to the King and Queen to take their side.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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