The Trials & Tribulations of Princess Caroline

Prince George of Britain was reluctant to marry to father heirs to the British throne, especially since he was sort of married to Maria Herbert.  But his debts were high and his family and Parliament were determined. Following negotiations, the King and government agreed to settle his debts and increase his allowance when he married his first cousin, Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.

In 1795 the two married and the marriage was off to a rocky start from their wedding day and night. Prinny who demanded brandy at their first meeting claimed that he had barely managed to consummate the marriage. Caroline who was disillusioned that the soft and flabby Prince looked nothing like his portrait claimed that the he was so drunk that he collapsed and spent the night beside the fireplace. Prinny was disgusted by his wife’s poor manners and hygiene. Caroline who was 27 when they married evidently did not see a need to change clothes or wash often. Regardless, nine months later Princess Caroline delivered a baby, Princess Charlotte. The royal couple, however, separated permanently after the child’s birth.

Caroline in her new home flaunted her unconventional and ribald tastes. She spoke her mind to everyone and surrounded herself with people of questionable morality. Eventually she was no longer accepted in polite society, especially after she was suspected of bearing a bastard son. Prinny limited her access to her daughter to once a week under supervision. After George became Regent in 1814, for an annuity of £35,000  she left England for the Continent. On her trek through Germany,Switzerland, and Italy, her risque behavior and youthful dress (despite being middle-aged and obese) was reported by English spies. Worst of all, she began an extended affair with Bartolomeo Pergami, a handsome ex-soldier who was her chamberlain.

On the death of George III, Caroline returned to England (minus Pergami) to claim her rights as Queen. King George IV (Prinny) was determined to divorce her. He was so unpopular that the people supported Caroline and the bill of divorce had to be withdrawn. Prinny did, however, manage to keep her from attending his coronation. Caroline was turned away at every door to Westminster Abbey. She returned home that night, became ill, and died three weeks later. She was 53. She was returned to her homeland for burial. Tomorrow, A Princess’s Sad Story     RitaBay

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