by Susan Flantzer
Princess Louisa of Great Britain was born on December 6, 1724 at Leicester House in London, England. Her father was the future King George II of Great Britain and her mother was Caroline of Ansbach. Louisa was the fifth daughter and the youngest child of her parents’ nine children. Among her siblings were Frederick, Prince of Wales (the father of King George III) and Anne, Princess Royal who married William IV, Prince of Orange. Anne and William are ancestors of the Dutch Royal Family. Upon the death of Louisa’s grandfather, King George I, in 1727, Louisa’s father became King of Great Britain.
On December 11, 1743, the 19-year-old princess married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Norway, the son and heir of King Christian VI of Denmark and Norway. King Christian hoped that this marriage would cause the British government to support his or his son’s claim to the Swedish throne. Furthermore, the Danish government hoped (incorrectly) that marriage would put a damper on Crown Prince Frederik’s affairs and drunkenness. The couple got along reasonably well and although Frederick continued his affairs, Louisa pretended not to notice them. The couple had five children:
- Christian (1745 – 1747)
- Sophia Magdalena (1746 – 1813) married King Gustav III of Sweden, had issue
- Caroline (1747 – 1820) married William I, Elector of Hesse, had issue
- King Christian VII of Denmark (1749 – 1808) married his first cousin Princess Caroline Matilda of Wales, had issue
- Louise (30 January 1750 – 12 January 1831) married Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel, had issue
Louisa was popular with the Danish people and was interested in music, dance, and theater. The Danish people greatly appreciated Louisa’s efforts to learn and speak Danish and her insistence that her children learn Danish, a rarity in an almost German-language Danish court.
Louisa’s husband succeeded his father as King Frederik V in 1746, but sadly Louisa died only five years later at the age of 27. While pregnant with her sixth child, Louise died at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark after undergoing painful surgery for a strangulated umbilical hernia, similar to the surgery that had killed her mother Caroline of Ansbach. She was buried in Roskilde Cathedral, the burial place of the kings and queens of Denmark, in Roskilde, Denmark.