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The House Of Hanover

The family of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz

During the course of their marriage, King George III and Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Srelitz had fifteen children, all of whom, with the exception of Octavius and Alfred, survived to reach adulthood.

King George IV

George IV as Prince of WalesThe first born child of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz, George was born at St James's Palace, London, on 12 August 1762 and was christened George Augustus Frederick and became Prince of Wales a few days after his birth.

George became infatuated with the twice widowed and Catholic Mrs Maria FitzHerbert and entered into an illegal marriage with her on 15 December 1785 at her house in Park Street, Mayfair.

To increase his allowance to enable him to pay off his huge debts, he was later married to his first cousin Princess Caroline of Brunswick on 8 April 1795 at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace. The marriage produced one child Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales who was born on 7 January 1796, after which the couple seperated. George detested his wife who later caused a scandal by indulging in an affair with Bartolomeo Pergami while living on the continent.

George became Prince Regent on 5 February 1811 due to the incapacity of his father the king. His only legitimate child Princess Charlotte married Prince Leopold of of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld on 2 May 1816, but on 5 November, 1817 died after giving birth to a stillborn boy.

King George III died on 29 January 1820 and George was crowned as King George IV at Westminster Abbey on 19 July 1821, his wife, Caroline of Brunswick was refused admission to the ceremony at the doors of the abbey. At the end of his life George suffered from gout, arteriosclerosis and dropsy and died on 26 June 1830 at Windsor Castle. George IV was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.


Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

Frederick Duke of YorkFrederick, the second son of George III was born on 16 August 1763, at St. James's Palace, London and christened Frederick Augustus on 14 September 1763 at St James's, by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

On 27 February 1764, when Prince Frederick was but six months old, his father secured his election as Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. He studied at the University of Göttingen in Hanover and thereafter pursued a career in the army.

Frederick was created Duke of York and Albany and Earl of Ulster by his father on 27 November 1784. He retained the bishopric of Osnabrück until 1803, when, in the course of the secularisation preceding the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the bishopric was incorporated into Prussia.

Frederick married his cousin Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, the daughter of King Frederick William II of Prussia and Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg on 29 September 1791 at Charlottenburg, Berlin, and again on 23 November 1791 at Buckingham House. The marriage was not a happy one, there was no issue and the couple soon separated.

Frederick died of dropsy and cardio-vascular disease on 5 January 1827 at the home of the Duke of Rutland on Arlington Street, London, in 1827. After lying in state in London, Frederick's body was interred in St. George's Chapel, at Windsor.


William IV

William IVPrince William was born on 21 August 1765 at Buckingham House, the third child of King George III and Queen Charlotte, he was christened William Henry in the Great Council Chamber of St James's Palace on 20 September 1765.

George III created William Duke of Clarence and St Andrews and Earl of Munster on 16 May 1789. He pursued a career in the navy. William had ten illegitimate children, known as the FitzClarences, by his long term mistress, the Irish actress Dorothea Jordan, the eldest of which, George FitzClarence, was later given one of his father's titles of Earl of Munster.

Following the succession crisis created by the death of Princess Charlotte of Wales, William married the twenty five year old Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. The marriage produced two short lived daughters Princess Charlotte of Clarence and Princess Elizabeth Georgiana Adelaide of Clarence.

Since the second son of George III, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, had died in 1827, William succeeded to the throne on 26 June 1830 as King William IV on the death of his elder brother George IV.

William IV died on 20 June 1837 at Windsor Castle, where he was buried.


Charlotte, Princess Royal and Queen of Württemberg

Charlotte, Princess RoyalCharlotte, the oldest daughter and fourth child of King George III and Queen Charlotte was born on 29 September 1766 at Buckingham House, following the the birth of three sons, her parents were delighted to have a daughter. The new Princess was baptised Charlotte Augusta Matilda on 27 October 1766 at St James's Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Secker and officially designated as Princess Royal on 22 June 1789.

On 18 May 1797, Charlotte was married at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, London to Prince Frederick of Württemberg, the eldest son and heir apparent of Duke Frederick II Eugene of Württemberg and his wife, Margravine Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt. Charlotte was Frederick's second wife. They had only one child, a stillborn daughter, who was born and died on 27 April 1798.

Frederick succeeded his father as the reigning Duke of Württemberg on 22 December 1797, in 1800, the French army occupied Württemberg and the Duke and Duchess were forced to flee to Vienna. Duke Frederick assumed the title Elector of Württemberg on 25 February 1803. As a result of his providing France with a large auxiliary force, Napoleon recognized the Elector as King of Württemberg on 26 December 1805 and on 1 January 1806 Frederick and Charlotte were crowned King and Queen of Wurtemburg. Frederick died in October 1816.

Charlotte returned to Britain for the first time since her wedding in 1797 to have surgery for dropsy. She died at Ludwigsburg Palace the following year and is buried there in the royal vault there.


Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn

Edward Duke of KentPrince Edward was born on 2 November 1767 and baptised Edward Augustus on 30 November 1767. He was named after his paternal uncle, the Duke of York and Albany, who had died several weeks earlier.

Edward was educated at Lüneburg and later Hanover and followed a career in the army. He was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Earl of Dublin by his father the king on 23 April 1799.

Following the succession crisis created by the death in childbirth of Princess Charlotte of Wales, Edward agreed to desert his long term mistress, Julie St. Laurent and married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the daughter of Duke Franz Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and sister of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld husband of the recently deceased Charlotte. Victoria was the widow of Emich Carl, Prince of Leiningen, with whom she had two children, Carl and Feodora.

The marriage of Edward and Victoria was a happy if short lived one, and produced one child, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent who was born on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace, London and later succeeded to the throne as Queen Victoria on the death of her uncle William IV on 20 June 1837.

Edward, Duke of Kent died of pneumonia on 23 January 1820 at Woolbrook Cottage, Sidmouth in Devon, and was buried at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.


Princess Augusta

Princess Augusta Augusta, the second daughter of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was born on 8 November 1768 at Buckingham House, London and christened Augusta Sophia on 6 December 1768, by Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Great Council Chamber at St. James's Palace.

Augusta, who was considered 'the handsomest of all the Princesses', was painfully shy, and stammered when in front of people she did not know. She was educated at Kew under the supervision of Lady Charlotte Finch and Miss Planta.

In 1785, the Prince Frederick of Denmark (later King Frederick VI) indicated he wished to marry a British Princess and prefered Augusta to her older sister Charlotte. The King however, would not entertain the idea, after the treatment of his younger sister Princess Caroline Matilda by the prince's father, King Christian VII.

In 1797, Augusta received a proposal from Prince Frederick Adolf of Sweden, but her father seemed increasingly unwilling to allow his daughters to marry.

Augusta died unmarried on 22 September 1840 at Clarence House, St. James, London, and after lying in state at Frogmore, was buried at St George's Chapel, Windsor on 2 October.


Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg

Elizabeth Landgravine of Hesse-HombergPrincess Elizabeth was born at Buckingham House, London on 22 May 1770 and was christened in the Great Council Chamber at St. James's Palace, on 17 June 1770 by Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury.

It has been alleged that Princess Elizabeth was secretly married to George Ramus (1747-1808) and bore him a daughter, Eliza, in 1788. George Ramus was the son of Nicholas Ramus, who had been Page to Elizabeth's father King George. Any such marriage would have been null and void under the Royal Marriages Act 1772.

In 1808 Elizabeth declined a proposal from the exiled Duke of Orléans (later King of the French as Louis Philippe I) due to his Catholicism. During a ball in the British royal court in 1814 Elizabeth met the German Prince Frederick of Hesse-Homburg. When Elizabeth saw the Austrian officer in his Hussar's uniform, she is reported to have said: "If he is single, I will marry him!". Against all resistance the wedding took place on 7 April 1818 in the private chapel in Buckingham Palace. The marriage produced no children.

On 20 January 1820, Frederick succeeded his father as the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg. Elizabeth died on 10 January 1840 at age sixty nine in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse. She was buried in the Mausoleum of the Landgraves, Homburg in Germany.


Ernest Augustus I of Hanover

Ernest Augustus, King of HanoverErnest Augustus, the fifth son of George III, was born at Buckingham House, on 5 June 1771.

He was sent to Hanover in his adolescence for his education and military training. While serving with Hanoverian forces in Wallonia against Revolutionary France, he acquired a disfiguring facial wound. In 1799, he was created Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale.

Rumours, said to have been spread by his political enemies, stated that Ernest had murdered his valet and had fathered an illegitimate son by his sister, the Princess Sophia.

Ernest married his first cousin, the twice widowed Duchess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz on 29 May 1815, although his mother Queen Charlotte disapproved of the marriage, it proved to be a happy one and produced a son, George, later King of Hanover.

On the death of King William IV on 20 June 1837, Princess Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom and due to the Salic Law practiced in Hanover, which prohibited a woman inheriting, Ernest became the King of Hanover.

The King of Hanover died on 18 November 1851 after an illness of about a month and was buried in the mausoleum in the Herrenhausen Gardens.


Augustus , Duke of Sussex

Augustus Duke of SussexAugustus was born at Buckingham House, London on 27 January 1773. He was the ninth child and sixth son of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He was christened Augustus Frederick in the Great Council Chamber at St. James's Palace, on 25 February 1773.

He was educated at home before being sent to the University of Göttingen in Germany in the summer of 1786.

While travelling in Italy, he met Lady Augusta Murray (1768-1830), the second daughter of 4th Earl of Dunmore. They married secretly in Rome on 4 April 1793. The couple had two children, Augustus Frederick D'Este and Ellen Augusta Emma, Mademoiselle D'Este. Their marriage was annulled on the grounds that it contravened the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. Augustus was created Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Arklow on 27 November 1801.

He married for a second time on 2 May 1831, again in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act, to Lady Cecilia Letitia Buggin (1793-1873), the eldest daughter of Arthur Gore, 2nd Earl of Arran and Elizabeth Underwood.

The Duke of Sussex died at Kensington Palace in 1843 and since he specifically did not wish for a state funeral, was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery on 5 May 1843.


Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge

Adolphus Duke of CambridgeAdolphus was born at Buckingham House on 24 February 1774, he was the seventh son of George III and the youngest of his sons to survive childhood. He was christened on 24 March 1774 in the Great Council Chamber at St James's Palace.

He was educated at home until the summer of 1786, when he was sent to the University of Göttingen in Germany, after which he pursued a career in the army. He was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden on 17 November 1801.

Adolphus married his second cousin Augusta, the daughter of Prince Frederick of Hesse, first at Kassel, Hesse on 7 May and then at Buckingham Palace on 1 June 1818.

The couple had three children, George, who later succeeded his father as Duke of Cambridge, Princess Augusta, who married Adolphus Frederick V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg and Princess Mary Adelaide, who married Francis, Duke of Teck and later become the mother of Mary of Teck, who became the consort of King George V.

The Duke of Cambridge died on 8 July 1850 at Cambridge House, Piccadilly, London, and was buried at Kew. His remains were later removed to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.


Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Mary,Duchess of GloucesterPrincess Mary, the eleventh child of King George III and Queen Charlotte, was born on 25 April 1776 at Buckingham Palace, London and was christened on 19 May 1776, in the Great Council Chamber at St. James's Palace.

Mary, considered by some to be the most beautiful daughter of George III, had a sheltered upbringinging. She was married to her first cousin, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, the son of George III's younger brother, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace on 22 July 1816.

The couple lived at Bagshot Park and had no children, following the death of her husband, Mary moved to White Lodge in Richmond Park. Princess Mary was said to be the favourite aunt of her niece, Queen Victoria.

Princess Mary was the longest-lived and last survivor of all George III's fifteen children, she died at the age of eighty one on 30 April 1857 at Gloucester House in London.


Princess Sophia

Princess Sophia Princess Sophia was born at Buckingham House, London on 3 November 1777 and was baptised Sophia Matilda on 1 December 1777 in the Great Council Chamber at St James's Palace.

Sophia was forced to live her life as a companion of her mother and was not allowed to mix with anyone outside of the Royal Court. Rumours arose about an alleged incestuous relationship with her brother, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, who later became the King of Hanover, however, it is unclear whether there was truth to these rumours.

Sophia did however, enter into a relationship with her father's chief equerry, Major-General Thomas Garth, who was thirty-three years her senior. Gossip spread of the existence of an illegitimate child and it has been alleged that, sometime before August 1800, Sophia gave birth to a child fathered by Garth in Weymouth. Rumour also declared that the child was the product of an incestuous affair with her elder brother the Duke of Cumberland, who was deeply unpopular in England.

After being afflicted by blindness for over ten years, on 27 May 1848, Princess Sophia became ill at her home at Vicarage Place, Kensington and died later that day, she was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London, as she wished to be near her brother, Prince Augustus, Duke of Sussex.


Prince Octavius

Prince Octavius The eighth son of George III was born on 23 February 1779, at Buckingham House, London and accordingly christened Octavius on 23 March 1779, in the Great Council Chamber at St James's Palace.

The king was devoted to Octavius, who was too young to cause trouble and anxiety that his elder brothers had caused their father. George III was known to be particularly affectionate and indulgent with his younger children.

Six months after the death of his younger brother Alfred, Octavius and his sister Sophia were taken to Kew Palace in London to be inoculated against the smallpox virus. While Sophia recovered well, the four year old Octavius became ill and died several days later, on 3 May 1783, at Kew Palace. On 10 May, he was buried beside his brother Alfred at Westminster Abbey. King George III later ordered their remains transferred to St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on 11 February 1820.

The young prince's death left his father devastated and had a marked effect on the mental and physical health of Queen Charlotte, who at the time was pregnant with her youngest child Princess Amelia.


Prince Alfred

Prince AlfredPrince Alfred, the ninth son of King George III, was born on 22 September 1780, at Windsor Castle, and was baptised by Frederick Cornwallis Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Great Council Chamber at St James's Palace on 21 October 1780.

Alfred seems to have been a pleasant child with a charming disposition. In 1782, he was inoculated against smallpox, unwell after the innoculation, he was taken to Deal by his nurse Lady Charlotte Finch to recover, it was hoped that the sea air, bathing in sea water would improve his condition. However, he continued to break out in spots and was troubled by his chest.

When Alfred was returned to Windsor in August 1782, he was examined by the royal doctors who realized that the child had only weeks to live.

After suffering bouts of fever and continuing severe problems with his chest, Prince Alfred tragically died on 20 August 1782, at Windsor Castle, he was aged under two years old.

Alfred was buried at Westminster Abbey, though his remains were later moved to the Royal Vault in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on 11 February 1820.


Princess Amelia

Princess AmeliaPrincess Amelia was born on 7 August 1783, at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, the youngest of George III and Queen Charlotte's fifteen children and was christened at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace on 17 September 1783.

Amelia was said to be her father's favourite child , George III affectionately called her 'Emily'. Amelia was would suffer from poor health throughout her life and at the age of fifteen, she started to exhibit the early symptoms of what later turned out to be tuberculosis.

In 1801 while staying at the seaside resort of Weymouth to improve her health, Amelia met Charles FitzRoy, an equerry who was twenty one years older than herself, and the son of Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton. Amelia fell in love with FitzRoy, although she she could not legally marry him due to the provisions of the Royal Marriages Act.

In 1808, Amelia suffered a severe attack of measles, and although she made a temporary recovery, in October of 1810 she was contracted St. Anthony's fire (erysipelas). An anxious George III summoned his daughter's physicians to him at seven o'clock every morning and three or four other times during the day, questioning them minutely as to her condition. She lingered a few days more, before dying on 2 November. Her will stated all her possessions were be given to Charles FitzRoy. Amelia was buried in the royal vault in St George's Chapel, Windsor. After her death, the mental health of her devastated father declined into madness.