|Princess Caroline of Brunswick by Sir Thomas Lawrence (c1804)|
© National Portrait Gallery, London
George IV when Prince of Wales by John Hoppner (1792)
© The Wallace Collection
|Engraving of Princess Caroline|
from La Belle Assemblée (1806)
I am indifferent to my marriage, but not averse to it; I think I shall be happy, but I fear my joy will not be enthusiastic. The man of my choice I am debarred from possessing, and I resign myself to my destiny.2
Pretty face — not expressive of softness — her figure not graceful — fine eyes — good hand — tolerable teeth, but going — fair hair and light eye-brows, good bust — short.3
from Diaries and Correspondence of James Harris,
First Earl of Malmesbury, Volume III (1834)
Princess Caroline very missish at supper. I much fear these habits are irrecoverably rooted in her — she is naturally curious, and a gossip.3
First impressionsWe regret the apparent facility of the Princess Caroline's character—her want of reflection and substance— agree that with a steady man she would do vastly well, but with one of a different description, there are great risks.3
I esteem and respect my intended husband, and I hope for great kindness and attention ... I shall strive to render my husband happy.2
I, according to the established etiquette, introduced ... the Princess Caroline to him. She very properly ... attempted to kneel to him. He raised her (gracefully enough), and embraced her, said barely one word, turned round, retired to a distant part of the apartment, and calling me to him, said, "Harris, I am not well; pray get me a glass of brandy."3
Our inclinations are not in our power; nor should either of us be held answerable to the other, because nature has not made us suitable to each other. Tranquil and comfortable society is, however, in our power; let our intercourse, therefore, be restricted to that.4
|George, Prince of Wales|
from Memoirs of George IV
by Robert Huish (1830)
A disastrous marriage
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(1) The Act of Settlement of 1701 prevented George from marrying a Catholic, and the Royal Marriage Act of 1772 required the King’s consent to his marriage until he was over 25 years of age. As George III was vehemently opposed to his children marrying beneath them, this effectively left only German royalty as potential spouses.
(2) From a letter dated 28 November 1794 quoted in Opinions on Politics, Theology, &c by Henry Brougham (1839).
(3) From Diaries and Correspondence of James Harris, First Earl of Malmesbury, Volume III (1834).
(4) From John Fairburn's account of the trial of Queen Caroline (1820)(see sources for full title).
(5) From Huish's Memoirs of George IV (1830).
Sources used include:
Brougham, Henry, Baron Brougham and Vaux, Opinions on Politics, Theology, &c (1839)
Cobbett, Cobbett's Political Register (1813)
Fairburn, John, The whole proceedings on the trial of Her Majesty, Caroline Amelia Elizabeth, Queen of England, for 'adulterous intercourse' with Bartolomeo Bergami (1820)
Harris, James, First Earl of Malmesbury, Diaries and Correspondence of James Harris, First Earl of Malmesbury, Volume III (1834)
Huish, Robert, Memoirs of George IV (1830)
Parissien, Steven, George IV, The Grand Entertainment (2001)
Watson, J Steven, Oxford History of England: The Reign of George III 1760-1815 (1960)