Princess Charlotte of Wales

Princess Charlotte of Wales (Charlotte Augusta; 7 January 1796 – 6 November 1817) 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. Prince George left most of Charlotte's care to governesses and servants, but only allowed her limited contact with Princess Caroline, who eventually left the country. As Charlotte grew to adulthood, her father pressured her to marry William, Hereditary Prince of Orange (later King of the Netherlands), but after initially accepting him, Charlotte soon broke off the match. This resulted in an extended contest of wills between her and her father, and finally the Prince of Wales permitted her to marry Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (later King of the Belgians). After a year and a half of happy marriage, Charlotte died after giving birth to a stillborn son.

Charlotte's death set off tremendous mourning among the British, who had seen her as a sign of hope and a contrast both to her unpopular father and to her grandfather, whom they deemed mad. As she had been King George III's only legitimate grandchild, there was considerable pressure on the King's unwed sons to marry. King George III's fourth son, Edward, Duke of Kent, fathered the eventual heir, Queen Victoria.

Read more about Princess Charlotte Of Wales:  Background, Girlhood, Adolescence, Isolation and Courtship, Marriage and Death, Aftermath, Ancestry

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