Friday, November 21, 2008

Tart of the Week: Princess Caroline


The marriage of George, Prince of Wales to his consort is either a tale you want to laugh at or just shake you head in pity. For Caroline of Brunswick, it was definitely not a laughing matter. But our tarts usually don't take these things lying down...well, in a manner of speaking they don't...
Caroline of Brunswick was born in 1768, the daughter of the Duke of Brunswick and Princess Augusta of Wales, George III's sister. Caroline turned out to be an average-looking girl who was nice enough, but she had a few bad habits. She was noted to be crass and vulgar and didn't see any reason to bathe often. She had even been described as smelling "like a farmyard." So who better to sell her off in marriage to than her cousin, the Prince of Wales.

If you recall, the prince was already very much, although illegally, married to Mrs. Fitzherbert. He had merely agreed to the marriage in order to get his father to pay off the massive debts he had accrued. Well, the wedding spelled doom from the start. The cousins met for the first time three days before the wedding. Caroline was 26, and considered an extreme spinster, especially by rich aristocrat standards. The 32 year old George was instantly disgusted, after their initial contact he recoiled and asked for a drink. At the wedding, Caroline's gown was so over-decked in jewels and ermine fur, she could barely stand under the weight of it. When George got to the altar it was only with the assistance of his groomsmen because he was so incredibly drunk that he couldn't stand. Meanwhile, he kept staring back longingly at his trusty tart, Lady Jersey, who had already begun torturing the poor, stinky princess. When everyone went to retire after the celebrations George ended up passed out on the bedroom floor, too drunk to perform his husbandly duties. In the morning when he woke up, he deflowered his bride and then vowed never to touch her again.

Nine Months later Princess Charlotte was born. Two days after that George made up his will, leaving everything to Mrs. Fitzherbert and a shilling to Caroline. He also wanted Caroline to have no part in raising her daughter. He hated Caroline so bad, and for no good reason either! After two years of dealing with George's immature behavior toward her, Caroline was finally like, "F this!!" and allowed herself to be banished to a country estate. The English people were sad; they had been cheering her on since they hated George and Lady Jersey so much.

Once Caroline had a house to herself she decided that if George was going to spend his days cheating on her with countless women, why shouldn't she be able to do the same? And that is what she did. With women and men. She was also rumoured to dance half-naked at dinner parties. While Harriet was visiting the continent, she unexpectedly ran into Caroline:
"The first thing I saw in the room was a short, very fat, elderly woman, with an extremely red face (owing I suppose, to the heat) in a girl's white frock looking dress, but with shoulder, back and neck, quite low (disgustingly so), down to the middle of her stomach....She was dancing and at the end of the dance a pretty little English boy ran up and kissed her. I was staring at her from the oddity of her appearance, when suddenly she nodded and smiled at me, and not recollecting her, I was convinced she was mad, till William pushed me, saying: 'do not you see the Princess of Wales nodding to you?'"
Caroline's sadness at the loss of visiting her daughter caused her to adopt children left and right. When George caught wind of this (eventually) he saw it as an opportunity to accuse Caroline of bearing other men's children. He launched an investigation of her fidelity in 1806 which didn't prove anything against her. Still, Caroline decided to move out of England to avoid any further investigation.

While living in Europe Caroline partied hard and racked up huge amounts of debt. She also continued sleeping around. Meanwhile (in 1813) her only daughter, Charlotte, died in childbirth. Caroline was devestated. In 1820 George III finally kicked the bucket and it was time for George IV to be crowned. Caroline came racing home to claim her right as queen. As you can guess, George attempted to prevent this at all cost. First, he offered her large amounts of money-but Caroline wanted the power to help the people of England, and money couldn't lure her away. Next, George sued her for adultery, a crime that could stripe her of her title and head. It was at this trial that Caroline claimed she had committed adulterly with only one man: George, her husband. She had a solid point too because he was technically married to Mrs. Fitzherbert, whom he never divorced. The jury saw her point too and George lost his case.

However on the night of the coronation Caroline suddenly fell ill with severe abdominal pains. She was convinced she had been poisoned, and quite honestly, who can blame her for this claim. She died three weeks later, just barely a queen of England.

5 comments:

  1. Caroline is one of my favorite wronged royals. George barred her from his Coronation and she was left outside the doors kicking and screaming. Poor Caroline.

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  2. Poor, poor Caroline. It makes me glad that she utilized her time wisely as a tart after the way George treated her.

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  3. Georgie had her poisoned...I just KNOW he did, the LOUT!

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  4. It was Mrs. Fitzherbert, not Fitzhubert.

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  5. Woops! You caught my typo, thanks for letting me know.

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