Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the wife of King George III. She served as Queen of Great Britain and Queen of Ireland from her wedding in 1761 until the union of the two kingdoms in 1801, after which she was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1818, she was the Electress of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until the promotion of her husband to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, after which she was queen consort of Hanover. Charlotte was a patron of an amateur botanist who helped expand Kew Gardens, she was distressed by her husband's bouts of physical and mental illness, which became permanent in life and resulted in their eldest son's appointment as Prince Regent in 1811. George III and Charlotte had 15 children in total, she was the mother of two future British monarchs, George IV and William IV. Her other children included Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, Charlotte, Queen of Württemberg. Sophia Charlotte was born on 19 May 1744, she was the youngest daughter of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg and of his wife Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a small north-German duchy in the Holy Roman Empire. The children of Duke Charles were all born at the Unteres Schloss in Mirow. According to diplomatic reports at the time of her engagement to George III in 1761, Charlotte had received "a mediocre education", her upbringing was similar to that of a daughter of an English country gentleman. She received some rudimentary instruction in botany, natural history and language from tutors, but her education focused on household management and on religion, the latter taught by a priest. Only after her brother Adolphus Frederick succeeded to the ducal throne in 1752 did she gain any experience of princely duties and of court life; when King George III succeeded to the throne of Great Britain upon the death of his grandfather, George II, he was 22 years old and unmarried. His mother and advisors were anxious to have him settled in marriage; the 17-year-old Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz appealed to him as a prospective consort because she had been brought up in an insignificant north German duchy and therefore would have had no experience or interest in power politics or party intrigues.
That proved to be the case. The King announced to his Council in July 1761, according to the usual form, his intention to wed the Princess, after which a party of escorts, led by the Earl Harcourt, departed for Germany to conduct Princess Charlotte to England, they reached Strelitz on 14 August 1761, were received the next day by the reigning duke, Princess Charlotte's brother, at which time the marriage contract was signed by him on the one hand and Earl Harcourt on the other. Three days of public celebrations followed, on 17 August 1761, the Princess set out for Britain, accompanied by her brother, Duke Adolphus Frederick, by the British escort party. On 22 August, they reached Cuxhaven; the voyage was difficult. They set out at once for London, spent that night in Witham, at the residence of Lord Abercorn, arrived at 3:30 pm the next day at St. James's Palace in London, they were received by the King and his family at the garden gate, which marked the first meeting of the bride and groom. At 9:00 pm that same evening, within six hours of her arrival, Charlotte was united in marriage with King George III.
The ceremony was performed at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Secker. Only the royal family, the party who had travelled from Germany, a handful of guests were present. Upon her wedding day, Charlotte spoke no English. However, she learned English, albeit speaking with a strong German accent. Many observers considered her "ugly", one commented, "She is timid at first but talks a lot, when she is among people she knows." Less than a year after the marriage, on 12 August 1762, the Queen gave birth to her first child, Prince of Wales. In the course of their marriage, the couple became the parents of 15 children, all but two of whom survived into adulthood. St James's Palace functioned as the official residence of the royal couple, but the king had purchased a nearby property, Buckingham House, located at the western end of St James's Park. More private and compact, the new property stood amid rolling parkland not far from St James's Palace. Around 1762 the King and Queen moved to this residence, intended as a private retreat.
The Queen came to favor this residence, spending so much of her time there that it came to be known as The Queen's House. Indeed, in 1775, an Act of Parliament settled the property on Queen Charlotte in exchange for her rights to Somerset House. Most of her 15 children were born in Buckingham House, although St James's Palace remained the official and ceremonial royal residence. During her first years in Great Britain, Charlotte's strained relationship with her mother-in-law, Princess Augusta, caused her difficulty in adapting to the life of the British court; the queen mother interfered with Charlotte's efforts to establish social contacts by insisting on rigid court etiquette. Furthermore, Augusta appointed many of Charlotte's staff, among whom several were expected to report to Augusta about Charlotte's behavior; when she turned to her German companions for fr
Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel
Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel was a cadet member of the house of Hesse-Kassel and a Danish general field marshal. Brought up with relatives at the Danish court, he spent most of his life in Denmark, serving as royal governor of the twin duchies of Schleswig-Holstein from 1769 to 1836. Charles was born in Kassel on 19 December 1744 as the second surviving son of Hesse-Kassel's hereditary prince, the future Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel and his first wife Princess Mary of Great Britain, his mother was a daughter of King George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach and a sister of Queen Louise of Denmark. His father, the future landgrave, left the family in 1747 and converted to Catholicism in 1749. In 1755 he formally ended the marriage with Mary; the grandfather, William VIII, Landgrave of Hesse, granted the county of Hanau and its revenues to Mary and her sons. The young Prince Charles and his two brothers and Frederick, were raised by their mother and fostered by Protestant relatives since 1747.
In 1756, Mary moved to Denmark to look after Queen Louise of Denmark's children. She took her own children with her and they were raised at the royal court at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen; the Hessian princes remained in Denmark, becoming important lords and royal functionaries. Only the eldest brother William returned in 1785, upon ascending the landgraviate. Charles began a military career in Denmark. In 1758 he was appointed colonel, at the age of 20 major general and in 1765 was put in charge of the artillery. After his cousin, King Christian VII, acceded to the throne in 1766, he was appointed lieutenant general, commander of the Royal Guard, knight of the Order of the Elephant and member of the Privy Council. In 1766, he was appointed Governor-General of Norway, a position he held until 1768 but which remained titular, as he never went to Norway during this period. In 1763, his elder brother William married Danish Princess Caroline. Charles followed suit on 30 August 1766 at Christiansborg Palace — his wife was Louise of Denmark, Charles thus became brother-in-law to his cousin, King Christian VII.
The marriage took place despite advice given against it, due to many accusations of debauchery by Prince Charles and the poor influence he had on the King. Shortly after, Charles fell into disfavour at court, in early 1767 he and Louise left Copenhagen to live with his mother in the county of Hanau, they would have their first child, Marie Sophie, there in 1767 and their second child, William, in 1769. In 1768, Charles purchased the landed property and village of Offenbach-Rumpenheim from the Edelsheim family. In 1771 he had the manor expanded into a princely seat, his mother Mary lived in the palace until her death in 1772. In 1781, Charles sold the Rumpenheim Palace to Frederick. In 1769, Prince Charles of Hesse was appointed royal Governor of the twin duchies of Schleswig and Holstein on behalf of the government of his brother-in-law, King Christian VII of Denmark and Norway. Charles took up residence at Gottorp Castle in Schleswig with his family, they would have their third child Frederick there in 1771.
In 1770, King Christian VII gave his sister the estate of Tegelhof in Güby between the City of Schleswig and Eckernförde. From 1772 to 1776, Charles had a summer residence constructed on the site which he named Louisenlund in honour of his wife. In September 1772, Charles was appointed commander-in-chief of the Norwegian army and he and Louise moved to Christiana; the assignement was a consequence of the coup d'état of King Gustav III of Sweden on 19 August 1772 and the subsequent prospect of war with Sweden. While in Norway, Princess Louise gave birth to their fourth child Juliane in 1773. Though Charles returned to Schleswig-Holstein in 1774, he continued to function as commander-in-chief of the Norwegian army until 1814. At the time of his return from Norway, he was appointed field marshal. During the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778-79, he acted as a volunteer in the army of Frederick the Great and gained the trust of the Prussian king. Once, when Frederick was speaking against Christianity, he noticed a lack of sympathy of Charles' part.
In response to an inquiry from the king, Charles said, "Sire, I am not more sure of having the honour of seeing you, than I am that Jesus Christ existed and died for us as our Saviour on the cross." After a moment of surprised silence, Frederick declared, "You are the first man who has declared such a belief in my hearing."In 1788, the Swedish attack on Russia during the Russo Swedish War forced Denmark-Norway to declare war on Sweden in accordance with its 1773 treaty obligations to Russia. Prince Charles was put in command of a Norwegian army which invaded Sweden through Bohuslän and won the Battle of Kvistrum Bridge; the army was closing in on Gothenburg, when peace was signed on 9 July 1789 following the diplomatic intervention of Great Britain and Prussia, bringing this socalled Lingonberry War to an end. On 12 November, the Norwegian army retreated back to Norway. During the retreat, the Danish-Norwegian army lost 1,500-3,000 men to hunger, poor sanitary conditions, exposure to continual autumn rainfall.
Prince Charles was criticised for his direction of the campaign and although he continued to function as commander-in-chief, he had lost his popularity in Norway. When the crown prince and regent of Denmark, the future Frederick VI married Charles's eldest daughter Marie Sophie
George V of Hanover
George V was the last king of Hanover, the only child and successor of King Ernest Augustus. George V's reign was ended during the Unification of Germany. Prince George of Cumberland was born on 27 May 1819 in Berlin, the only son of Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland — the fifth son of George III — and his wife, Princess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, he was baptized on 8 July 1819 at a hotel in Berlin where his parents were staying, by the Rev. Henry Thomas Austen, his godparents were the Prince Regent, the King of Prussia, the Emperor of Russia, the Crown Prince of Prussia, Prince William of Prussia, Prince Frederick Louis of Prussia, Prince Henry of Prussia, the Prince William of Prussia, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duke Charles of Mecklenburg, the Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, the Queen of the Netherlands, the Princess Augusta Sophia, the Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Homburg, the Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Princess Sophia, Princess Alexandrine of Prussia, the Electoral Princess of Hesse-Kassel, the Duchess of Anhalt-Dessau, Princess William of Prussia, Princess Ferdinand of Prussia, Princess Louisa of Prussia and Princess Radziwill.
George spent his childhood in Great Britain. He lost the sight of one eye following a childhood illness in 1828, in the other eye following an accident in 1833, his father had hoped that the young prince might marry his cousin Victoria, older by three days, thus keeping the British and Hanoverian thrones united, but nothing came of the plan. Upon the death of King William IV and the accession of Queen Victoria to the British throne, the 123-year personal union of the British and Hanoverian thrones ended due to the operation of Salic Law in the German states; the Duke of Cumberland succeeded to the Hanoverian throne as Ernst August, Prince George became the Crown Prince of Hanover. As a legitimate male-line descendant of George III, he remained a member of the British Royal Family, second in line to the British throne, until the birth of Queen Victoria's first child, Princess Royal, in 1840. Since he was blind, there were doubts as to whether the Crown Prince was qualified to succeed as king of Hanover.
George married, on 18 February 1843, at Hanover, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, the eldest daughter of Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, by his wife, Duchess Amelia of Württemberg. The Crown Prince succeeded his father as the King of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg as well as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, in the Peerage of Great Britain and Earl of Armagh, in the Peerage of Ireland, on 18 November 1851, assuming the style George V. From his father and from his maternal uncle, Prince Charles Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, one of the most influential men at the Prussian court, George had learned to take a high and autocratic view of royal authority. During his 15-year reign, he engaged in frequent disputes with the Hanoverian parliament. George was supportive of Austria in the Diet of the German Confederation; as the Austro-Prussian War started, the Prussian government sent a dispatch on 15 June 1866 demanding that Hanoverian troops submit to their authority or face war. Despite having concluded that Hanover could not win an armed confrontation with Prussia, George remained protective of his throne and refused the ultimatum.
Contrary to the wishes of the parliament, Hanover joined the Austrian camp in the war. As a result, the Prussian army occupied Hanover and the Hanoverian army surrendered on 29 June 1866 following the Battle of Langensalza, the King and royal family having fled to Austria; the Prussian government formally annexed Hanover on 20 September 1866, despite the King of Prussia, William I, being a first cousin of King George V of Hanover. The deposed King never acknowledged Prussia's actions. From exile in Gmunden, Austria, he appealed in vain for the European great powers to intervene on behalf of Hanover. From 1866 to 1870, George V maintained the Guelphic Legion at his own expense. While in exile from his throne, he was appointed an honorary full general in the British army in 1876. George V died at his residence in the Rue de Presbourg, Paris, on 12 June 1878. After a funeral service in the Lutheran Church at the Rue Chaucat, his body was removed to England and buried in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The king supported industrial development. In 1856 the "Georgs-Marien-Bergwerks- und Hüttenverein" was founded, named after him and his wife; the company erected an steel works which gave the city Georgsmarienhütte its name. 27 May 1819 – 20 June 1837: His Royal Highness Prince George of Cumberland, Prince of Hanover 20 June 1837 – 18 November 1851: His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Hanover, Prince of Great Britain and Ireland 18 November 1851 – 12 June 1878: His Majesty The King of Hanover By grant dated 15 August 1835, George's arms in right of the United Kingdom were those of his father, the whole differenced by a label gules bearing a horse courant argent. United Kingdom: Knight of the Garter, 15 August 1835 Kingdom of Hanover: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order, 1825. Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Royal Order of Leopold, 1853 Denmark: Knight of the Elephant, 23 November 1851
Princess Augusta of Great Britain
Princess Augusta Frederica of Great Britain was a British princess, granddaughter of King George II and the only elder sibling of King George III. She was a Duchess consort of Brunswick by marriage to Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, her daughter Caroline was the spouse of King George IV. Princess Augusta Frederica was born at London, her father was the eldest son of George II and Caroline of Ansbach. Her mother was Augusta of Saxe-Gotha; as the eldest child, she was born second in the line of succession to the British throne, after her father. This would change the next year in 1738. Fifty days she was christened at St. James's Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, her godparents were her paternal grandfather, the King, her grandmothers, Queen Caroline and the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Gotha. Her third birthday was celebrated by the first public performance of Rule, Britannia! at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire. Augusta was given a careful education, she was not described as a beauty, having loose mouth and a long face.
In 1761–62, a marriage was discussed between Augusta and her second cousin, the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. The negotiations were delayed; this obstacle was overcome due to a reason described by Walpole: "Lady Augusta was lively, much inclined to meddle in the private politics of the Court. As non of her children but the King, had, or had reason to have, much affection for their mother, she justly apprehended Lady Augusta instilling their disgust on to the Queen, she could not forbid her daughter's frequent visits at Buckingham House, but to prevent ill consequence of them, she accompanied her thither. This, was an attendance and a constraint the Princess of Wales could not support, her exceeding indolence, her more excessive love of privacy, the subjection of being with the Queen, whose higher rank was a never ceasing mortification, all concurred to make her resolve, at any rate, to deliver herself of her daughter. To obtain this end, the profusion of favors to the hated House of Brunswick was not though too much.
The Hereditary Prince was prevailed to accept Lady Augusta's hand, with four-scour thousand pounds, an annuity of £5.000 a year on Ireland, three thousand a year on Hanover." On 16 January 1764, Augusta married Charles William Ferdinand at the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace. The wedding was followed by a state dinner at Leicester House, congratulations from the House of Parliament, a ball given by the Queen and an opera performance at Covent Garden, before departing from Harwich on the 26th. Augusta never adapted to life in Brunswick due to her British patriotism and disregard of all things "east of the Rhine"; this attitude did not change with time, twenty five years after her marriage, she was described as: "wholly English in her tastes, her principles and her manners, to the point that her cynical independence makes, with the etiquette of the German courts, the most singular contrast I know". During her first pregnancy in 1764, she returned to Great Britain in the company of Charles to give birth to her first child.
During their visit in England, it was noted that the Brunswicks were cheered by the crowds when they showed themselves in public. This exposed them to suspicion at court. During their visit, her sister-in-law Queen Charlotte refused them some honors at court, such as military salutes; this attracted negative publicity toward the hosting royal couple. During the negotiations thirty years for the marriage of her daughter to the Prince of Wales, Augusta commented to the British negotiator, Lord Malmesbury, that Queen Charlotte disliked both her and her mother because of jealousy dating from the visit of 1764. Augusta regarded the residence in Brunswick as too simple, was bored with the scholarly tone of her mother-in-law's court during the summers, when her spouse was absent at camp. A summer retreat was built for her in the southern part of Braunschweig where she could spend time away from court, built by Carl Christoph Wilhelm Fleischer and called Schloss Richmond to remind her of England. In her retreat, Augusta amused herself spending her days eating heavy luncheons and playing cards with her favourites receiving English guests.
The marriage was an arranged dynastic marriage. However, Augusta was attracted by Charles' handsome looks and pleased with him. Shortly after the birth of her first daughter, she wrote: "No two people live better together than we do, I would go through fire and water for him", it was noted that she seemed to be unaware of his flirtations in London. In 1771-72, Augusta visited England on her mother's invitation. On this occasion, she was involved in another conflict with her sister-in-law Queen Charlotte, she was not allowed to live at Carlton House or St. James Palace despite the fact that it was empty at the time, but was forced to live in a small house on Pall Mall; the queen disagreed with her about etiquette, refused to let her see her brother the king alone. According to Mr. Walpole, the reason was jealousy on the part of the queen, she attended her mother's deathbed during her second visit to England, upon her return to Brunswick, extended her period of mourning, which led to her retirement from participation in court life.
When her sister, queen Caroline Matilda of Denmark, was convicted of adultery and exiled near Brunswick in Celle, Augusta took the habit to visit her for weeks on end, to the disapproval of her spouse an
Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt
Princess Friederike Caroline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt was a member of the House of Hesse and by marriage a Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She is a direct matrilineal ancestor of Queen Margarethe II of Denmark, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Albert II of Belgium, King Harald V of Norway, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. Friederike was born in Darmstadt, the eldest daughter of Prince George William of Hesse-Darmstadt, second son of Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, Countess Maria Louise Albertine of Leiningen-Falkenburg-Dagsburg, she married Duke Charles of Mecklenburg-Strelitz on 18 September 1768 in Darmstadt. They had eleven children together. Two daughters became queens consort as Louise would marry Frederick William III of Prussia and Frederica would marry Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover. Friederike died of complications resulting from child birth in Hanover, where her husband was field marshal of the household brigade. After her death her husband married her younger sister Charlotte in 1784.
In 1794 her husband succeeded to the throne of Mecklenburg-Strelitz as Charles II and in 1815 at the Congress of Vienna, he was raised to the title grand duke. She died at the age of 29, three days after giving birth to her tenth child, who lived just one day. Friederike is buried in the royal crypt of the church of St John the Baptist in Mirow. Friederike had eleven children between 1785, six of whom survived to adulthood. Two of her daughters married royalty, Louise becoming Queen of Prussia and Frederica becoming Queen of Hanover
Sophia Dorothea of Hanover
Sophia Dorothea of Hanover was a Queen consort in Prussia as spouse of Frederick William I. She was the sister of George II, King of Great Britain and the mother of Frederick II, King of Prussia. Sophia Dorothea was born on 16 March 1687, in Hanover, she was the only daughter of George Louis of Hanover King George I of Great Britain, his wife Sophia Dorothea of Celle. She was detested by King George II of Great Britain. After the divorce and imprisonment of her mother, she was raised in Hanover under the supervision of her paternal grandmother, educated by her Huguenot teacher Madame de Sacetot. Sophia Dorothea married her cousin, Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia, heir apparent to the Prussian throne, on 28 November 1706, they had met as children when Frederick William had spent some time in Hanover under the care of their grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, though Sophia Dorothea disliked him, Frederick William had felt an attraction to her early on. When a marriage was to be arranged for Frederick William, he was given three alternatives: Princess Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden, Princess Amalia of Nassau-Dietz, or Sophia Dorothea of Hanover.
The Swedish match was preferred by his father, who wished to form a matrimonial alliance with Sweden, thus the official Finck was sent to Stockholm under the pretext of an adjustment of the disputes regarding Pomerania, but in reality to observe the princess before issuing formal negotiations: Frederick William, preferred Sophia Dorothea and tasked Finck with making such a deterring report of Ulrika Eleonora to his father that he would encounter less opposition when he informed his father of his choice. A marriage alliance between Prussia and Hanover was regarded as a noncontroversial choice by both courts and the negotiations were swiftly conducted. In order for Sophia Dorothea to make as good an impression as possible in Berlin, her grandmother, Electress Sophia, commissioned her niece Elizabeth Charlotte, Princess of the Palatinate to procure her trousseau in Paris, her bridal paraphernalia attracted great attention and was referred to as the greatest of any German Princess yet. The wedding by proxy took place in Hanover on 28 November 1706, she arrived in Berlin on 27 November, where she was welcomed by her groom and his family outside of the city gates and before making her entrance into the capital.
Thereafter followed a second wedding, the stately torch-dance, six weeks of banquets and balls. Sophia Dorothea was described as tall, with a beautiful slender figure and dignified with big blue eyes. Though not regarded as beautiful, she was seen as quite attractive at the time of her marriage and described as charming in her manners, making a good impression in Berlin. Frederick William called her "Fiekchen". Sophia Dorothea and Frederick William differed from each other in every aspect and the marriage suffered as a result. Sophia Dorothea was interested in art, science and fashion, while Frederick William was described as an unpolished and spartan military man with rough manners. Though he was never unfaithful to her, he was unable to win her affection. One of the most important differences between them was that Sophia Dorothea, unlike her husband, loved entertainment, something he regarded to be frivolous. Frederick William contemplated divorcing her the same year they married and, judging by her letters, accused her of not wanting to be married to him.
According to Morgenstern, "He had none of that astonishing complaisance by which lovers, whether husbands or friends, seek to win the favor of the beloved object. As far as can be gathered from the words he let drop, the crossing of his first love might have been the innocent cause of this. In 1708, after the death of her firstborn son, the physicians declared that Sophia Dorothea was not to conceive again, which prompted the remarriage of her father-in-law. However, she gave birth to several children in the following years, to a son who survived in 1712. In 1713, her father-in-law Frederick I died and was succeeded by her spouse Frederick William I, making her queen of Prussia. At the time of the accession, Prussia was at war with Sweden, Sophia Dorothea accompanied Frederick William during the campaign of 1715, though she soon returned to Berlin to give birth to her daughter. During the war, the king left directions to his ministers to consult her and take no action without her approval in the case of emergency.
In 1717, she hosted Peter the Great on his visit to Berlin at her own palace Monbijou, as per the king's request, vandalized as a result. Sophia Dorothea's first favorite was her maid of honor, von Wagnitz, dismissed after an intrigue in which Kreutz and her mother tried to make her the king's mistress, as well as being a spy of the French ambassador Rothenburg. Queen Sophia Dorothea was admired for her gracious manners and nicknamed "Olympia" for her regal bearing, but scarred by smallpox and overweight with time, she was not called a beauty, she was known as haughty and ambitious, but Frederick William disliked her interference in politics, as it was his belief that women should be kept only for breeding, kept submissive as they would otherwise dominate their husbands. The king was known for his parsimony and dislike of idleness to such a degree that he woul