Monday, February 28, 2011

Your Favorite King or Queen Story?

Let's talk about real British Kings and Queens here. Many of them led lives that in the interest and intrigue department were larger than life. Most everyone knows about Henry VIII and his poor hapless wives. It may not have been all about lust... what intrigues me is that he seemed to believe that in order to please God, he had to come up with a wife that could produce a son, and yet God seemed to accept the daughters that he left to the throne as being adequate. Lol. I'd love to hear from some of you historians about Henry VIII and his views. And his wives.

Another favorite of mine is the wife of the Regent, later George IV. Her name was Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales. George hated her from the first time he set eyes upon her, and shortly after their wedding night, about the time she became pregnant, he retired her to her own house with her own staff, never to take her back to his own home. Their daughter, Charlotte of Wales, was also given her own house and household as a child! She was not allowed to see much of her mother, who was rumored to be living a life of excesses. Caroline adopted several children and sent them off to foster homes, but she kept one boy at her side that people felt was her own son. Due to pressures from their troubles, Caroline left for the Continent, where she was living when her daughter, Charlotte, died in childbirth after her stillborn son. This left the nation without an heir to the throne in a younger generation, and the brothers of George IV had to go about dumping their mistresses and "bastards" to find a suitable princess to marry, young enough to have a child. Charlotte's widower, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld provided his sister to the Duke of Kent, and they became the parents of the future Queen Victoria. Caroline stayed on the Continent, where she spent her time until George III died and her husband was to take the throne. She then returned, hoping to be crowned alongside him, but was rebuffed at the entrance to Westminster Abbey where the coronation was held. She had to leave, humiliated, and died within a few weeks. What a world, and no wonder William has been allowed to marry the girl he loves!

The disastrous marriage: A study of George IV and Caroline of BrunswickThe disastrous marriage: A study of George IV and Caroline of Brunswick

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