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Unknown Princess
March 15, 2017
7:51 pm
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Prof H

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Frederica Charlotte, Duchess of York and Albany, could have been the mother of a king or queen of England.  Her marriage to Prince Frederick, the second son of George III, was arranged by his brother the Prince Regent.  Married, although hardly legally himself, to Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert, the Prince Regent apparently saw his next younger brother as the appropriate person to father an heir to the Hanoverian monarchs.

Frederica Charlotte was 16 at the time of her marriage.  Within a very few years it had collapsed (there were serious rumors she was a lesbian) and she withdrew to Oatlands with a close female companion and hordes of animals. Her welcome in England had been enthusiastic even though she came from an equally scandalous family.  Her mother Elisabeth Charlotte had been caught in yet another scandalous affair and imprisoned in the castle of Stettin for 71 years until she died at 91.

Frederica Charlotte and her husband remained amicable but never thought of reconciling, even to produce the desperately needed heir.  Frederica occupied herself with high stakes gambling and her menagerie of exotic animals (she was much devoted to her pet monkeys)

Frederica was yet another example of the poor choices many of the sons of George III and Queen Charlotte made until the necessity of producing an heir (any heir) after the death in childbirth of Princess Charlotte led Prince Edward, Prince William, and Prince George to try their hands at settling down with sober German princesses.

"If I had been born crested not cloven, you would not talk to me thus, sir."  Elizabeth I of England  

March 15, 2017
8:57 pm
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Prof H

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It may indeed have been the Prince Regent's complicated marital history (as Mrs. Fitzherbert's husband he was hardly free to contract a legal marriage with a German or other princess) that led to his younger brother Frederick's unhappy and childless marriage to Frederica Charlotte of Prussia.  It was also have had something to do with the parliamentary grant Frederick received on his marriage.  None of the sons of George III (with the exception of Octavious and Alfred who died as toddlers) was ever given any training in money management.  They were shipped off to the army or the navy but were expected to wait till their marriage to received grants to support them.  By that time, their debts had piled up so outrageously high that there was no way even the most generous grant would bail them out.

Frederick and Fredericka were incompatible and childless (a fact known to their families within a few years of their marriage--one always wonders who was responsible), but that hefty parliamentary grant was probably enough to keep them more or less married.

The younger brothers, in their rush to the altar after Princess Charlotte's death, also had their eyes on the cash although none of them (not even Prince Elbert when he came to marry Queen Victoria) got anything near the 50,000 Leopold of Coburg pocketed on his marriage to Charlotte.

"If I had been born crested not cloven, you would not talk to me thus, sir."  Elizabeth I of England  

March 15, 2017
9:22 pm
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Susan
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To be fair to Frederica, Frederick also had issues: being in the army that caused him to be away from home and many affairs including one with a Mary Anne Clark that ultimately caused a national scandal in which Frederick was accused of allowing his mistress to influence him in the granting of commissions in the army. The House of Commons brought charges up against Frederick.  He was acquitted, but resigned as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army because of the scandal.  Eventually, it was revealed that Mary Anne Clark had been paid off by Frederick's chief accuser in the House of Commons and his position as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army was restored.

When Princess Charlotte of Wales died in childbirth leaving no heir in the second generation, Frederica was 50 years old, beyond childbearing age.  It is mind-boggling that King George III had 15 children and Charlotte was the only legitimate grandchild despite the fact that twelve of his fifteen children were still living at the time of Charlotte's death in 1817, ranging in age from 55 to 40. George III should have had a ton of grandchildren by then, so the blame about having no heirs should be spread around to Frederick and all of his siblings.  King George III and Queen Charlotte also deserve much blame for sheltering their daughters in extreme ways and for not pushing their sons to have legitimate heirs. Two of their sons were having very long-term affairs (William had 10 children with his mistress!) and a third son had married (twice!) in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act.

George III's daughters spent most of their time with their parents and sisters and their living conditions came to be known as “the Nunnery.” None of the daughters was allowed to marry at the age when most princesses would marry. Perhaps this over-protection of King George III’s daughters was due to what happened to his sister Caroline Matilda when she married King Christian VII of Denmark.  Christian’s mental illness led to Caroline Matilda having an affair, being caught, the execution of her lover, her exile, and her early death from scarlet fever at age 23.

Prior to King George’s first bout with what probably was porphyria in 1788, he had told his daughters that he would take them to Hanover and find husbands for them.  Further bouts occurred in 1801 and 1804, and prevented talk of marriage for his daughters. Queen Charlotte feared that the subject of marriage, which had always bothered her husband, would push him back into insanity.  She was stressed from her husband’s illness and wanted her daughters to remain close to her.  The sisters – Charlotte, Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, Sophia, and Amelia – continued to be over-protected and isolated which restricted them from meeting eligible suitors of their own age.

Three of the six daughters would eventually marry, all of them later than was the norm for the time. Charlotte married the future King Friedrich I of Württemberg when she was 31.  After the birth of a stillborn daughter, her marriage remained childless. Mary married her cousin Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester at the age of 40 and had no children. Elizabeth was the last daughter to finally escape from “the Nunnery” when she married Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg when she was 48. 

Susan

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March 15, 2017
11:10 pm
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shay

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Was the "nunnery" Kensington Palace?

Shay
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March 16, 2017
5:42 pm
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Prof H

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It is mind boggling to me that only three of the royal children (four if you count the Prince Regent) were allowed to marry while they were young enough to produce offspring. Frederick was pushed into marriage with a childless woman neither of whom had any affection for each other to provide the heir the PR was loathe to father.  The Princess Royal married very late, given the era, and lost her only baby.  At her death two layettes, one pink, one blue, both in perfect condition, were auctioned off.  She, and her younger sister Elizabeth, were however excellent stepparents.  Sophia apparently gave been to an illegitimate son who made her life misery.  Mary had to wait till her forties to marry her cousin William Henry of Gloucester whom she had loved for many years .Augusta was the one daughter who seems to have little interest in marriage.

It strikes me that one of the sons should have been forced to marry, long before George sank into madness.  George adored his daughters and wanted to keep them safe from the disasters his own sisters faced.  The Royal Marriages Act was designed to keep his sons from acting in the same manner as his brothers.  Yet no one seems to have thought far enough ahead to realized there needed to be an heir. 

An interesting book on the subject is Janice Hadlow's A Royal Experiment. Hadlow claims that George and Charlotte aimed to raise their children according to modern methods rather than the ways they'd been raised themselves. (This is a tad unfair to George's father Prince Frederick who aimed to imitate Rousseau).

"If I had been born crested not cloven, you would not talk to me thus, sir."  Elizabeth I of England  

March 16, 2017
6:18 pm
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Susan
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shay said
Was the "nunnery" Kensington Palace?  

No, Kensington Palace was not used by George III and his family. His grandfather King George II lived there, but after his death, when George III succeeded him, it became a home for lesser royals. Some of George III's children did have apartments there when they were older adults. "The nunnery" was actually just anywhere the sisters were living. It was more of an atmosphere than a physical place. The sisters lived sometimes with their brothers at Kew Palace, but most often at Lower Lodge (now called Royal Lodge) at Windsor.  They also lived at the Queen's House, now called Buckingham Palace, which was then a private retreat for their mother Queen Charlotte.

Susan

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March 16, 2017
9:41 pm
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Scott

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Just to add on to what Susan said above, out of George III's 15 children, only three ever lived at Kensington Palace.  

The Duke of Kent was given two floors of rooms beneath the State Apartments. (These had previously been the private apartments of King George II.)  After the Duke's death, his wife and daughter remained there until Victoria's accession in 1837.  

The Duke of Sussex lived in the original Apartment 1 on the southwest corner of the palace.  Following his death in 1843, his wife, The Duchess of Inverness, remained there until her death 30 years later.  

Princess Sophia, George III's 5th daughter and 12th child, had apartments next door to The Duke of Kent, where she lived until her death in 1848.

March 17, 2017
11:10 pm
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shay

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Susan said

shay said
Was the "nunnery" Kensington Palace?  

No, Kensington Palace was not used by George III and his family. His grandfather King George II lived there, but after his death, when George III succeeded him, it became a home for lesser royals. Some of George III's children did have apartments there when they were older adults. "The nunnery" was actually just anywhere the sisters were living. It was more of an atmosphere than a physical place. The sisters lived sometimes with their brothers at Kew Palace, but most often at Lower Lodge (now called Royal Lodge) at Windsor.  They also lived at the Queen's House, now called Buckingham Palace, which was then a private retreat for their mother Queen Charlotte.  

I remember reading something years ago.  It was a quote from a royal about something along the lines of spinster aunts and referred to them living under one roof.  I thought this might be about what I read and attributed it to KP.

Shay
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March 18, 2017
7:50 am
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Susan
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shay said: I remember reading something years ago.  It was a quote from a royal about something along the lines of spinster aunts and referred to them living under one roof.  I thought this might be about what I read and attributed it to KP. 

That was King Edward VIII, the great great great grandson of King George III through his father and the great great grandson of King George III through his mother, who, when he was Prince of Wales, referred to Kensington Palace as "the aunt heap" because so many royal relatives lived there. Some of the royal relatives who lived there around that time include Helena, Duchess of Albany (widow of Prince Leopold), her daughter Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone and her husband Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone (Queen Mary's brother), and the widowed Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven (granddaughter of Queen Victoria, born Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine) whose grandson Prince Philip often stayed with her.

Susan

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March 19, 2017
5:32 pm
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shay

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You have a much better memory than I do Susan.Wink

Shay
The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

April 2, 2017
9:29 am
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Susan
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Prof H wrote: This reply really needs a different heading since I'm moving from princesses to princes.

I moved the post about Ernest, Duke of Cumberland to an existing thread: King George III's Obnoxious Sons. I also moved a post about George III's daughters Sophia and Amelia to an existing thread: The Royal Princesses: George III's Daughters.

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April 8, 2017
7:25 pm
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Gidzmo
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Scott said
Just to add on to what Susan said above, out of George III's 15 children, only three ever lived at Kensington Palace.  

The Duke of Kent was given two floors of rooms beneath the State Apartments. (These had previously been the private apartments of King George II.)  After the Duke's death, his wife and daughter remained there until Victoria's accession in 1837.  

The Duke of Sussex lived in the original Apartment 1 on the southwest corner of the palace.  Following his death in 1843, his wife, The Duchess of Inverness, remained there until her death 30 years later.  

Princess Sophia, George III's 5th daughter and 12th child, had apartments next door to The Duke of Kent, where she lived until her death in 1848.  

Apartment #1--wasn't that Princess Margaret's apartment?

"Men's evil manners we write in brass; their virtues we write in water."

--Griffith, Queen Katherine's servant (from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII")

April 9, 2017
1:33 pm
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Scott

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Gidzmo said

Apartment #1--wasn't that Princess Margaret's apartment?  

Margaret lived in #1A (which is where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live now).  However, it had originally been part of the very large Apt #1.

After the death of the Duchess of Inverness, apt #1 was given to Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll who died there in 1939.  

Then, in 1955, #1 was divided into two apartments - #1 and #1A.  Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent moved into the now-smaller #1 in 1955, and Pss Margaret moved into #1A in 1963.  

#1 was further reduced after Marina's death, creating a new apartment #4A (and possibly #4B).   

June 8, 2017
11:58 pm
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Scott said

Margaret lived in #1A (which is where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live now).  However, it had originally been part of the very large Apt #1.

After the death of the Duchess of Inverness, apt #1 was given to Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll who died there in 1939.  

Then, in 1955, #1 was divided into two apartments - #1 and #1A.  Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent moved into the now-smaller #1 in 1955, and Pss Margaret moved into #1A in 1963.  

#1 was further reduced after Marina's death, creating a new apartment #4A (and possibly #4B).     

#1A--The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Who else lives in Kensington currently?  I think the Michael Kents still do.

"Men's evil manners we write in brass; their virtues we write in water."

--Griffith, Queen Katherine's servant (from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII")

June 9, 2017
8:11 am
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Scott

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Gidzmo said

#1A--The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Who else lives in Kensington currently?  I think the Michael Kents still do.  

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in Apt #1

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Apt #1A

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent in Apt 10

The Duke and Duchess of Kent in Wren House (behind the palace)

Prince Harry in Nottingham Cottage (behind the palace)

And there have been media reports that Princess Eugenie will be moving into Ivy Cottage (behind the palace)

June 9, 2017
7:06 pm
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I understand many longtime household staff also have accommodations at the palace (studio or 1 bedroom units).

Shay
The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

June 9, 2017
7:53 pm
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Prof H

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Now that the long time boyfriend Dave Clark is no long in the picture, IVY Cottage may be available for Eugenie. It's interesting that the Hanoverian princesses were all kept from marrying until they were "older" than usual  (Wasn't "Royal" 30 or 31?; I know Augusta never married and Elizabeth was 48). Royal and Elizabeth were among the happiest of stepmothers at least,

Some of the other children were the victims of fate.  Sophia apparently allowed herself to be seduced by the terrible General Garth.  Mary, in love, as such as it went, was desperate to marry her cousin William but by the time George IV allowed them to marry they were in their forties.  Their marriage was not unhappy but it was good late for them to have children.  Amelia died of tuberculosis when she was in her twenties, still waiting for the chance marry her lover.  Frederick had a barren wife, Ernest had "character deficiencies" and did not marry till he was in his forties t a woman of dubious character who may have murdered her first husband.  Edward never married although unlike Frederick he was devoted to his mistress for over twenty years.  It was only when Princess Charlotte died in childbirth that Edward entered the "marriage stakes."  Adolphus was happily and legally married twice but was stumped by the royal manage age.  Augustus was much in the same situation.  The youngest sons, the beloved Octavius and Alfred, died as children.

Even when George III was about to come to the point to marry off his daughters, his first illness struck him down.  He had promised the gils to take them to Germany to find them husbands.

Only the Idiotic Prince Regent had a shot at a legal marriage (Caroline of Brunswick met the qualifications of the RMA, she clearly was  fertile; she apparently became pregnant on her wedding night--like Catherine of Aragon and Elizabeth of York), but Prinny was simply so spoiled he could not bring himself to attempt to maKE SAID MARRIAGE WORK.

It always amazes me that of all the children, and with a happy enough marriage until George's first breakdown, Goegre and Charlotte could not produce legitimate grandchildren-or at least one legitimate grandchild who herself/himself could gv birth to a living healthy child.

Twenty or so years later all anyone had to do was to pop Victoria and Albert into bed and wait for nine healthy children to appear every one or two or at the most three years,  Only the unfortunately Leopold, the brighter of the brood, haphysical problems.

The irony sometimes sounds me,

"If I had been born crested not cloven, you would not talk to me thus, sir."  Elizabeth I of England  

June 9, 2017
8:34 pm
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Scott

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Prof H said
Now that the long time boyfriend Dave Clark is no long in the picture, IVY Cottage may be available for Eugenie.   

I don't think that Ivy Cottage was ever even mentioned as a potential home for Beatrice, with or without Dave Clark.  Until recently, the cottage was occupied, and it wasn't until after it became vacant that it was suggested as a possible home for Eugenie. Currently, the two Princesses share a 4-bedroom apartment at St. James's Palace.  

shay said

I understand many longtime household staff also have accommodations at the palace (studio or 1 bedroom units).

There are over 40 separate apartments/flats within the confines of Kensington Palace, from small studios to large, multi-bedroom apartments.  There are two buildings of staff apartments behind the main palace, plus several larger accommodations in the palace itself.  There are also numerous apartments which are rented out to the general public...albeit, after undergoing one heck of a background check!  

June 18, 2017
9:00 pm
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Interestingly, the Chief of the Defence Staff used to have an Official Service Residence at Kensington (this started after Diana's passing).  That went away in the defence cuts.

21st Century Kensington

"Men's evil manners we write in brass; their virtues we write in water."

--Griffith, Queen Katherine's servant (from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII")

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