Princess Charlotte, the only child of Prince George (George IV – Prinny) and Princess Caroline, was born in 1796. Until her death in childbirth in 1817 at 21 years old, she was the heir to the British throne. Her father arranged for her to be raised with only occasional visits from her mother whom he hated. Since Prinny was did not pay close attention to her upbringing, the servants allowed the child additional visits with her mother. She was reported to be happy and something of a tomboy, if isolated and not very studious. She was moved from Carleton House so her father could conduct his affairs unencumbered.
In her teens, Charlotte was considered undignified. Without her overbearing father’s knowledge, she pursued attachments that were inappropriate. She defied her father’s ultimatum that she would marry his choice, the heir to the Prince of Orange. She held out for marriage to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a lieutenant-general in the Russian cavalry who was ineligible as a husband. Charlotte ran away to her mother’s home to end her engagement to the Prince of Orange. Her father confined her but she had the English people, some politicians, and her family members to support her. Her mother left the country, never to return until after Charlotte’s death.
Prinny relented and their marriage took place in 1815. The couple was very happy and her pregnancy following a miscarriage was welcomed by the British people. After a normal pregnancy, Charlotte went into labor for three days before delivering a large, stillborn male. During the evening, Charlotte started complaining of cramping, she died shortly after. Leo was devastated. Her physician committed suicide. The public went into deep mourning for the popular Princess who would have been their queen. Worse yet, she was the only legitimate grandchild of the King George III who had 15 children. Eventually, King George’s fourth son, Edward, married and fathered Queen Victoria.
Tomorrow, Prinny’s Friends Rita Bay