Who knew there were different kinds of princesses? The eldest daughter of Queen Charlotte, the wife of George II, was Charlotte, Princess Royal, the third princess to have that title. She eventually became Queen Charlotte of Württemberg.
Born on 29 September 1766 at Buckingham House, London, she was christened Charlotte Augusta Matilda at St James’s Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Secker. Charlotte was officially designated as Princess Royal on 22 June 1789.
After the birth of three sons in a row, her parents were delighted to have a Princess in the nursery. Like all of her siblings, Charlotte was inoculated in December 1768 along with her brother William. As the eldest daughter of the monarch, Charlotte was assumed to be destined for an important marriage on the continent, and her education was considered to be of the utmost importance, beginning when she was only eighteen months old. Since French was the official language in every European court, the little Princess was given a Frenchwoman to be her tutor, in order that she should have no accent. Her memory was another of her beginning subjects. She was taught to recite little verses and stories, and as a result had an almost uncanny ability to recall detail for the rest of her life.
On 18 May 1797, the Princess Royal was married at the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace, London to The Hereditary Prince Frederick of Württemberg, the eldest son and heir apparent of Duke Frederick II Eugene of Württemberg and his wife, Margravine Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt.
The younger Frederick succeeded his father as the reigning Duke of Württemberg on 22 December 1797. Duke Frederick II had two sons and two daughters by his first marriage to the late Princess Augusta (3 December 1764 – 27 September 1788), the daughter of Duke Karl II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Princess Augusta of Great Britain (the elder sister of George III) and the elder sister of Caroline of Brunswick, the estranged wife of the future George IV (then Prince of Wales). The marriage between Duke Frederick and the Princess Royal produced one child: a stillborn daughter on 27 April 1798.
In 1800, the French army occupied Württemberg and the Duke and Duchess fled to Vienna. The following year, Duke Frederick concluded a private treaty ceding Montbeliard to France and receiving Ellwanger in exchange two years later. He assumed the title Elector of Württemberg on 25 February 1803. In exchange for providing France with a large auxiliary force, Napoleon recognized the Elector as King of Württemberg on 26 December 1805. Electress Charlotte became Queen when her husband formally ascended the throne on 1 January 1806 and was crowned as such on the same day at Stuttgart, Germany. Württemberg seceded from the Holy Roman Empire and joined Napoleon’s short-lived Confederation of the Rhine.
However, the new elevated king’s alliance with France technically made him the enemy of his father-in-law, George III. George III, incensed by his son-in-law’s assumption of the title and his role of one of Napoleon’s most devoted vassals, accordingly refused to address his daughter as “Queen of Württemberg” in correspondence. In 1813, King Frederick changed sides and went over the Allies, where his status as the brother-in-law of The Prince Regent (later George IV) helped his standing. After the fall of Napoleon, he attended the Congress of Vienna and was confirmed as King. He died in October 1816.
As the Dowager Queen of Württemberg, Charlotte continued to live at the Ludwigsburg Palace, Stuttgart and received visits from her younger siblings, the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of Cambridge, the Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg, and Princess Augusta Sophia. She was a godmother (by proxy) at the christening of her niece, Princess Victoria of Kent (the future Queen Victoria), in 1819. In 1827, she returned to Britain for the first time since her wedding in 1797 in order to have surgery for dropsy. She died at Ludwigsburg Palace the following year and is buried there in the royal vault. Material from Wikipedia.
One of the bridesmaids was Lady Mary Cavendish Bentinck, a daughter of the 3rd Duke of Portland. The reference is here: http://books.google.ca/books?id=zaBOAAAAIAAJ&lpg=PA657&ots=AbCnPl4l9I&dq=lady%20mary%20bentinck%201843&pg=PA562#v=onepage&q=lady%20mary%20bentinck%201843&f=false
at page 562.
Whoops! Wrong generation. Lady Mary Cavendish Bentinck wasn’t born yet. Sorry about that. Please delete my comment; I was too late to catch it!
Great website, Charlotte. Glad I’ve stumbled upon it.
Thanks for the information anyway.