Ward's Book of Days.
Pages of interesting anniversaries.
What happened on this day in history.
On this day in history in 1821, died Caroline of Brunswick.
Caroline was a queen of Great Britain who led a scandalous life and was ostracised from the court.
Caroline was the daughter of the Duke of Brunswick and, on her mother’s side of the family, a niece of king George III. She married her cousin, George, Prince of Wales, so that when she became queen in due course, she would outrank her parents. George, for his part, only married Caroline to increase his personal allowance from Parliament.
The marriage was doomed from the start. George complained of Caroline’s repulsive looks and lack of personal hygiene. Caroline said that George was fat, offensive and ugly. They were both correct. George’s personal letters reveal that they only had sex on three occasions, but this was sufficient to produce an heir, Princess Charlotte.
George complained that he was not the father, but a trial by the Privy Council exonerated Caroline from blame. After this the couple separated. Caroline was banished to a private residence where she had affairs with the politician George Canning and Admiral Sir Sydney Smith.
When George became Regent for his mad father, Caroline was persuaded to leave the country. She lived in Italy in a relationship with her manservant Pergami. She was not invited to her daughter Charlotte’s wedding, and when Charlotte died in childbirth, Caroline was not allowed to attend the funeral.
When George came to the throne as George IV, Caroline returned to London and demanded to be crowned queen at George’s coronation. When this was refused, she tried to get into the Abbey for the coronation but was thrown out.
George then started divorce proceedings but before the House of Lords could hear the case, Caroline died. Her body was sent to her family in Brunswick for burial and on her coffin were inscribed the words “The injured queen of England”.
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