Queen Charlotte, was born Duchess Charlotte Sophie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She was the Queen Consort of King George III. The marriage was a happy one. They had 15 children and all but two survived into adulthood. She wielded considerable power within the realm and never misused it. Queen Charlotte was put in charge of her husband, George III, who was suffering from increasing bouts of madness, now known to be due to an inherited disease, porphyria. He survived her by two years, although their son, George IV, had ruled the country as Prince Regent for many years. She developed a bond with her granddaughter, the wayward and rebellious Princess Charlotte, who was heir apparent to the throne. Princess Charlotte died in childbirth on November 5, 1817. Queen Charlotte died on November 17, 1818. Her granddaughter, Princess Victoria was born May 1819.
IN WHICH, CHARLOTTE, QUEEN OF ENGLAND, REFLECTS ON THE FUTURE OF THE THRONE AFTER HER GRANDDAUGHTER'S DEATH:
My dear - it is good of you to come and console me in my grief. It is such a sad day. The death of my granddaughter, Princess Charlotte, is so unexpected, so tragic. That young woman would have changed this gloomy country. The people loved her - she was one of them. Oh yes, she would have charmed those crusty old men in Parliament. She certainly charmed me - and I needed some charming.
Forgive the ramblings of an old woman, but you, as a mother, know that one's children are a constant source of disappointment - they never follow the path set out for them.
I followed the path planned for me. I was a princess, Charlotte Sophie of Mecklenburg, and was married to the English King, George III, at 16. He was 22 and had already had several love affairs. However, I followed my destiny. I became a Queen - Queen Charlotte.
I did feel HIS MAJESTY was disappointed I was not the beauty he had hoped I would be, but we got on well together and, after a while, fell in love. Our first-born George came the year after our marriage. I know this is a terrible thing to say, unnatural in a mother, but I have a great dislike of George. The people of England do not like his ways. He is lazy, a drunkard, a spendthrift and a womaniser. In short, a glutton. Our children were taught to be frugal.
HIS MAJESTY and I did not waste money. In fact, the English court was called "The Nunnery" with the reputation of being the dullest in Europe.
Even so, HIS MAJESTY and I supported all sorts of charities, such as the Queen's lying-in hospital in London, orphanages and Kew Gardens. I did so want my children to be talented and appreciate everything the world has to offer.
Then HIS MAJESTY pushed through a law - the Royal Marriages Act, which meant our children could not marry without consent and certainly could not marry a Catholic. How did that affect them? They just did not marry. George took up with Mrs FitzHerbert, a Catholic widow. As heir to the throne, it was ludicrous to think he would not produce a legitimate heir.
George was 26 when his father first showed signs of madness and the duties of state fell upon unprepared shoulders.
He had debts of £650,000 and, in an effort to persuade Parliament to pay off his debts, he agreed to marry his cousin, Caroline of Brunswick. At the time she seemed the most suitable, but George detested her. Still, they did their duty. A daughter was born and then they went their separate ways. Caroline took the little Princess, Charlotte Augusta, with her, who would, in time, be Queen of England.
At an early age, Charlotte was separated from her disreputable and eccentric mother and handed over to the care of her disreputable and selfish father. But she always had me, her grandmother. I loved and cherished that child. I had failed to groom her father, George, as a worthy Prince of Wales, Prince Regent, future King of England. But Charlotte - I knew she would be a great queen.
Oh yes, she did have several romances but when she met Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg that was that. Love at first sight.
After they married, it was up to Leopold to tame a princess, which he did. Charlotte had none of the self-discipline required of a princess and her manners were abominable. However, Leopold, having moved in the best society of Europe, was the ideal queen-maker. He was the ideal consort for the future Queen of England.
Then she was with child - and all appeared to be going well. But there were complications and she has died and so has her baby. Hope for the future has gone.
His current majesty is blind and mad, so George will be the next king. He already is Prince Regent. Now that Charlotte has died, who will be next? William? Oh dear no. He has 10 children, but all of them are illegitimate. I have heard that Edward, Duke of Kent, is rushing to get married at his age. They have found him a possible wife, Leopold's sister, a widow, Princess Viktoria.
I like her name, Victoria. The name of that ancient warrior queen, Boudicca, translates as Victoria. Maybe, maybe, they will have a daughter, another warrior queen. I feel the present kings have not been really worthy.
England needs a queen. Oh well, old women can dream, can't they?