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Charlotte Augusta, Princess

Charlotte Augusta, Princess (1796–1817). The daughter of George, prince of Wales, and Caroline of Brunswick, Charlotte bore the brunt of the hatred between her parents, who separated shortly after her birth. Much of her childhood was spent with little access to the outside world, though, largely through the efforts of her aunt, the duchess of Württemberg, she received a rounded education. In December 1813 she was betrothed to William, prince of Orange, but broke off the engagement, not wishing to move to Holland. Her stubbornness even managed momentarily to unite her warring parents, her father dismissing her entire household and her mother refusing to receive her. At length she was given lodgings at Windsor, but visitors were forbidden and letters had to be smuggled in. When, in 1816, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg proposed, Charlotte readily accepted and the marriage took place on 2 May at Carlton House (London). Charlotte died giving birth to a stillborn child on 5 November 1817: her accoucheur, Sir Richard Croft, shot himself.

Sue Minna Cannon

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