The preliminary work on the Timelines of the Regency Era has now been presented. 50 years of happenings, events, births and deaths of prominent figures. It is not over. There are probably a good thousand more events to be recorded. In fact, at this point only those details through 1802 have been added into the Timeline.
The rest takes a great deal of editing, as well as searching and placing the graphics. The first years of 1787 to 1801 can all be found at Regency Assembly Press’ Timeline page
There are a lot of pictures shown there. It will add to your visualization of the Regency. But now, what to include in my daily posts. For months now we have had something new every day, and by the number of hits we are not getting, there is a small following.
Soon we will have an Edwardian Timeline, but for now, Regency Personalities is something I have thought to start on.
Over the next few days I thought it might be useful for me to have a guide.
Amongst other royalty and notables will be:
The not Queen Caroline
Wellington (the Military man)
Today, the next personality of our period, Princess Caroline, daughter of George IV. Much of this is work I have done for the English Historical Fiction Authors, of which I am a member of.
January 7th 1796 to November 6th 1817
Conceived and raised to one purpose, to be Queen of England. Unfortunately she died while still young.
George IV, Prince of Wales in 1794 was very much in debt.
William Pitt the Younger bribed George to take a wife that would ensure the succession. In the running were Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Caroline of Brunswick. Caroline had a tarnished past, but so too did George who was cohabiting with the great love of his life, Maria Fitzherbert. Lady Jersey (Mother-in-law of the Lady Jersey who was patroness of Almacks) was a mistress of George (she set her cap at him) right before his need for a royal marriage to absolve his crushing debts and urged George to take Caroline for a wife. Lady Jersey did not think she would be much of a rival (and she was right. But wrong about how much George really loved Maria Fitzherbert.)
Caroline was George’s first cousin, and yet the Princess was crude and coarse. Nothing as you would imagine a princess to be. On first sight, the parent’s of Charlotte did not like each other. George just prior to the wedding ceremony sent the Duke of Clarence (King William IV) to tell Mrs. Fitzherbert that she was the only woman he would ever love, and then went to marry Caroline drunk.
George said later they had sex precisely three times. One day short of nine months after the wedding Charlotte (named after her grandmother the Queen) was born.
At that time (just weeks after the wedding actually) the royal parents were separated though living at Carlton House. Three days after Charlotte was born George was officially finished with Caroline. George then placed sanctions on Caroline to visit her baby daughter, but the sympathetic staff of Carlton House allowed the Princess to spend time with the baby.
Charlotte was a healthy child. In her early years, she moved to her own residence of Montague House next to Carlton house and here, George Keppel, later the Earl of Albemarle visited often. Friends with the Princess, they noted that crowds often gathered to try and see the Princess. For one lark they went outside to join the crowd, unrecognized.
When Caroline was accused of adultery, ‘the delicate investigation’, Charlotte was not allowed to see her mother, and she obeyed those rules. After the conclusion they were once again able to see one another.
When George, as Regent, became a Tory (DWW-Tories were pro-monarchy and as Regent, he was nearly the monarch so can you blame him for switching?) his daughter supported his old causes, even blowing kisses to Charles Grey, the Whig leader.
Charlotte now, as a budding young woman in the 1810s found that she was under stricter rules than her father had been. She developed infatuations with her own first cousins, George FitzClarence (son of William IV), and then Charles Hesse (son of the Duke of York). FitzClarence was sent off to his regiment. Hesse and the princess had several clandestine meetings. Hesse then was sent off to Spain.
Due to the times, the Napoleonic wars continuing and the map of Europe being carved up, the future Queen of England was not one who could marry where she wanted and so her own fate was being carefully chosen. The Prince of Wales chose William, the son of William IV of Orange. Charlotte liked her cousin, William the Duke of Gloucester. When George IV got wind of that he let his daughter and her paramour both know of his displeasure. Eventually the press heard and wondered whether she would marry “the Orange or the Cheese”, “Slender Billy or Silly Billy”
George arranged for her daughter to meet Slender Billy, the Orange, and Charlotte agreed that she liked him well enough. Negotiations were undertaken to unite the two houses (Again as once before with William and Mary) Everything was agreed and then Charlotte met Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, also a Lieutenant General of Russian Cavalry.
Over the issue of allowing Princess Caroline to visit Charlotte in her house with William, William refused and so the headstrong Princess found her means to break the engagement.
George was angered over this and ordered her to Queen Charlotte at Windsor. But the Princess fled into the street, where a citizen helped her to hail a hackney cab. As a princess assuredly she never had need to knowledge of how to do so. She was taken to Princess Caroline’s house where she received sanctuary. Now the Prince Regent tried excessive means to get her to return to his house, the Whigs advising her to do so. But this became the Talk of the Town, a veritable ondit!
Such antics did not help George and his reputation much. And certainly did make of Charlotte a heroine for the people, since they had spent so many years not liking George. Charlotte, after this interval was never to see her mother again.
By the early months of 1815, Charlotte had decided on Leopold, “the Leo” and a courtship ensued. They were marriage on May 2 1816.
On November 5th, 1817 Charlotte gave birth to a stillborn boy, and though the Royal Family who had gathered were told that Charlotte was doing well, after midnight she began vomiting and complaining of stomach pains. She was soon dead.
DWW-Though a short life, and one where she had the chance to be as her cousin Victoria later became, a figure in English History, she had a life filled with unhappiness, the drama of her parents, and happiness. Her own bliss in marriage and then the pursuit of marriage. The suitors and the way she played them, knowing that she had more cards then her father since she would be a Queen.
If she had survived to go on and become queen with a young family, the Regency Age, I think would have continued and though Charlotte would have been the first English Queen with such a name, I do not think we would have had an era known as the Charlottian Period. The last picture we have of her, the gown, her hair done so, suggests to me that we would have seen society and culture mush different than what came with Victoria, and her era so tainted by the death of Albert later on.