Saturday, 2 March 2013

Charlotte - The Lost & Forgotten Princess

There is a very poignant reminder of Princess Charlotte in the Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Needlework Collection - a sampler (F219) worked by Elizabeth Harrison in 1837 which commemorates the short life - just 22 years - of this sad princess.

A child of a broken and unhappy marriage, she described her mother, Caroline of Brunswick, as bad. Qualifying that by adding, but she would not have become as bad as she was if my father had not been infinitely worse. Charlotte's father was the Prince Regent, later King George IV. A charming and beautiful young woman, here seen in the most fashionable attire - including a fabulous cashmere shawl, she did find happiness for a time in her short marriage to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg Gotha. When she died in childbirth, having given birth to a still-born son, in 1817 the public grief was immense - like that which overwhelmed the nation on hearing of the death of Princess Diana in 1997.

With her death, two generations were lost and this loss, now almost quite forgotten, can still be found on all manner of artefacts, some of which you can see in the collection of The Royal Pavilion in Brighton until 10 March, 2013.

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