|Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen|
Portrait by Sir William Beechey, c.1831
| Queen consort of the United Kingdom |
|Tenure||26 June 1830 – 20 June 1837|
|Coronation||8 September 1831|
|Born||13 August 1792|
|Died||2 December 1849 57) (aged|
Bentley Priory, Middlesex, England
|Burial||13 December 1849|
William IV of the United Kingdom
(m. 1818;died 1837)
|Father||George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen|
|Mother||Luise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg|
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (Adelaide Louise Theresa Caroline Amelia; German : Adelheid; 13 August 1792 – 2 December 1849) was Queen of the United Kingdom and Queen of Hanover as the wife of King William IV. Adelaide was the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, and Luise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and joined 38 other sovereign states in the German Confederation in June 1815. The kingdom was ruled by the House of Hanover, a cadet branch of the House of Welf, in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1837. Since its monarch resided in London, a viceroy handled the administration of the Kingdom of Hanover.
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded his elder brother George IV, becoming the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover.
Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is named after her.
Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2017, greater Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1,333,927. Adelaide is home to more than 75 percent of the South Australian population, making it the most centralised population of any state in Australia.
South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and fifth largest by population. It has a total of 1.7 million people, and its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second largest centre, has a population of 28,684.
Adelaide was born on 13 August 1792 at Meiningen, Thuringia, Germany, the eldest child of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen; her mother was Luise Eleonore, daughter of Christian Albrecht, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. She was titled Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, Duchess in Saxony with the style Serene Highness from her birth until the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), when the entire House of Wettin was raised to the style of Highness . She was baptised at the castle chapel on 19 August. Her godparents numbered twenty-one, including her mother, the Holy Roman Empress, the Queen of Naples and Sicily, the Crown Princess of Saxony, the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and the Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld.
Meiningen is a town in the southern part of the state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in the region Franconia and has a population of around 24,300 (2019). Meiningen is the capital and the largest town of the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district. From 1680 to 1920, Meiningen was the capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen.
Thuringia, officially the Free State of Thuringia, is a state of Germany.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Saxe-Meiningen was a small state, covering about 423 square miles (1,100 km2). It was the most liberal German state and, unlike its neighbours, permitted a free press and criticism of the ruler. At the time, no statute existed which barred a female ruling over the small duchy and it was not until the birth of her brother, Bernhard, in 1800, that the law of primogeniture was introduced.
Saxe-Meiningen was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin dynasty, located in the southwest of the present-day German state of Thuringia.
Bernhard II Erich Freund, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen was a Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.
Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate son to inherit his parent's entire or main estate, in preference to shared inheritance among all or some children, a child other than the eldest male, a daughter, illegitimate child or a collateral relative. In some cases the estate may instead be the inheritance of the firstborn child or occasionally the firstborn daughter. The descendant of a deceased elder sibling inherits before a living younger sibling by right of substitution for the deceased heir. In the absence of any children, brothers succeed, individually, to the inheritance by seniority of age. Among siblings, sons usually inherit before daughters. In the absence of male descendants in the male-line, there are variations of primogeniture which allocate the inheritance to a daughter or a brother or, in the absence of either, to another collateral relative, in a specified order.
By the end of 1811, King George III was incapacitated and, although still King in name, his heir-apparent and eldest son George was Prince Regent. On 6 November 1817 the Prince Regent's only daughter, Princess Charlotte, died in childbirth. Princess Charlotte was second in line to the throne: had she outlived her father and grandfather, she would have become queen. With her death, the King was left with twelve children and no legitimate grandchildren. The Prince Regent was estranged from his wife, who was forty-nine years old, thus there was little likelihood that he would have any further legitimate children. To secure the line of succession, Prince William, Duke of Clarence, and the other sons of George III sought quick marriages with the intent of producing offspring who could inherit the throne. William already had ten children by the popular actress Dorothea Jordan, but, being illegitimate, they were barred from the succession.
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.
George IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover following the death of his father, King George III, on 29 January 1820, until his own death ten years later. From 1811 until his accession, he served as Prince Regent during his father's final mental illness.
Dorothea Jordan also known interchangeably as Mrs Jordan, and previously Miss Francis or Miss Bland, was an Anglo-Irish actress, courtesan, and the mistress and companion of the future King William IV of the United Kingdom, for 20 years (1791-1811) while he was Duke of Clarence. Together they had ten illegitimate children, all of whom took the surname FitzClarence.
Considerable allowances were likely to be voted by Parliament to any royal duke who married, and this acted as a further incentive for William to marry. Adelaide was a princess from an unimportant German state, but William had a limited choice of available princesses and, after deals with other candidates fell through, a marriage to Adelaide was arranged. The allowance proposed was slashed by Parliament, and the outraged Duke considered calling off the marriage. However, Adelaide seemed the ideal candidate: amiable, home-loving, and willing to accept William's illegitimate children as part of the family.The arrangement was settled and William wrote to his eldest son, "She is doomed, poor dear innocent young creature, to be my wife."
Adelaide's dowry was set at 20,000 florins, with additional three separate annuities being promised by her future husband, the English regent, and the State of Saxe-Meiningen.
Adelaide married William in a double wedding with William's brother, Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, and his bride Victoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen, on 11 July 1818, at Kew Palace in Surrey, England. They had only met for the first time about a week earlier,on 4 July at Grillon's Hotel in Bond Street. Neither William nor Adelaide had been married before, and William was twenty-seven years her senior.
Despite these unromantic circumstances, the couple settled amicably in Hanover (where the cost of living was much lower than in England), and by all accounts were devoted to each other throughout their marriage. Adelaide improved William's behaviour; he drank less, swore less and became more tactful.Observers thought them parsimonious, and their lifestyle simple, even boring. William eventually accepted the reduced increase in his allowance voted by Parliament.
On the Continent, Adelaide became pregnant, but in her seventh month of pregnancy, she caught pleurisy and gave birth prematurely on 27 March 1819 during the illness. Her daughter, Charlotte, lived only a few hours. Another pregnancy in the same year caused William to move the household to England so his future heir would be born on British soil, yet Adelaide miscarried at Calais or Dunkirk during the journey on 5 September 1819. Back in London, they moved into Clarence House, but preferred to stay at Bushy House near Hampton Court where William had already lived with Dorothea Jordan. She became pregnant again, and a second daughter, Elizabeth, was born on 10 December 1820. Elizabeth seemed strong but died less than three months old on 4 March 1821 of "inflammation in the Bowels".Ultimately, William and Adelaide had no surviving children. Twin boys were stillborn on 8 April 1822, and a possible brief pregnancy may have occurred within the same year.
Princess Victoria of Kent came to be acknowledged as William's heir presumptive, as Adelaide had no further pregnancies. While there were rumours of pregnancies well into William's reign (dismissed by the King as "damned stuff"), they seem to have been without basis.
At the time of their marriage, William was not heir-presumptive to the throne, but became so when his brother Frederick, Duke of York, died childless in 1827. Given the small likelihood of his older brothers producing heirs, and William's relative youth and good health, it had long been considered extremely likely that he would become king in due course. In 1830, on the death of his elder brother, George IV, William acceded to the throne. One of King William's first acts was to confer the Rangership of Bushy Park (for thirty-three years held by himself) on Queen Adelaide.This act allowed Adelaide to remain at Bushy House for her lifetime.
The King and Adelaide were crowned on 8 September 1831 at Westminster Abbey. Adelaide was deeply religious and took the service very seriously. William despised the ceremony, and acted throughout, it is presumed deliberately, as if he was "a character in a comic opera", making a mockery of what he thought to be a ridiculous charade.Adelaide alone among those attending received any praise for her "dignity, repose and characteristic grace".
Adelaide was beloved by the British people for her piety, modesty, charity, and her tragic childbirth history. A large portion of her household income was given to charitable causes. She also treated the young Princess Victoria of Kent (William's heir presumptive and later Queen Victoria) with kindness, despite her own inability to produce an heir and the open hostility between William and Victoria's mother, the Dowager Duchess of Kent. She refused to have women of questionable virtue attend her Court. Wrote Clerk of the Privy Council Charles Greville of her, "The Queen is a prude and refuses to have the ladies come décolletées to her parties. George the 4th, who liked ample expanses of that kind, would not let them be covered."
Adelaide attempted, perhaps unsuccessfully, to influence the King politically. She never spoke about politics in public; however, she was strongly Tory.It is unclear how much of William's attitudes during the passage of the Reform Act 1832 were due to her influence. The Press, the public and courtiers assumed that she was agitating behind the scenes against reform, but she was careful to be non-committal in public. As a result of her alleged partiality, she became unpopular with reformers. Unbelievable rumours circulated that she was having an affair with her Lord Chamberlain, the Tory Lord Howe, but almost everyone at court knew that Adelaide was inflexibly pious and was always faithful to her husband. The Whig Prime Minister, Lord Grey, had Lord Howe removed from Adelaide's household. Attempts to reinstate him after the Reform Bill had passed were not successful, as Lord Grey and Lord Howe could not come to an agreement as to how independent Howe could be of the government.
In October 1834, a great fire destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster, which Adelaide considered divine retribution for the vagaries of reform.When the Whig ministry of Lord Melbourne was dismissed by the King, The Times newspaper blamed the Queen's influence, though she seems to have had very little to do with it. Influenced by her similarly reactionary brother-in-law, the Duke of Cumberland, she did write to the King against reform of the Church of Ireland.
Both William and Adelaide were fond of their niece, Princess Victoria of Kent, and wanted her to be closer to them. Their efforts were frustrated by Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent. The Duchess refused to acknowledge Adelaide's precedence, left letters from Adelaide unanswered and commandeered space in the royal stables and apartments for her own use. The King, aggrieved at what he took to be disrespect from the Duchess to his wife, bluntly announced in the presence of Adelaide, the Duchess, Victoria and many guests, that the Duchess was "incompetent to act with propriety", that he had been "grossly and continually insulted by that person", and that he hoped to have the satisfaction of living beyond Victoria's age of majority, so that the Duchess of Kent would never be Regent. Everyone was aghast at the vehemence of the speech, and all three ladies were deeply upset.The breach between the Duchess and the King and Queen was never fully healed, but Victoria always viewed both of them with kindness.
Queen Adelaide was dangerously ill in April 1837, at around the same time that she was present at her mother's deathbed in Meiningen, but she recovered.By June, it became evident that the King was fatally ill himself. Adelaide stayed beside William's deathbed devotedly, not going to bed herself for more than ten days. William IV died from heart failure in the early hours of the morning of 20 June 1837 at Windsor Castle, where he was buried. Victoria was proclaimed as Queen, but subject to the rights of any issue that might be born to Adelaide on the remotely possible chance that she was pregnant.
The first queen dowager in over a century (Charles II's widow, Catherine of Braganza, had died in 1705, and Mary of Modena, wife of the deposed James II, died in 1718), Adelaide survived her husband by twelve years.
In early October 1838, for health reasons, Adelaide travelled to Malta aboard HMS Hastings, stopping at Gibraltar on the way and staying on the island for three months. Lacking a Protestant church on Malta, the queen dowager paid for the construction of the Collegiate Church of St Paul in Valletta. In the summer of 1844, she paid her last visit to her native country, visiting Altenstein Palace and Meiningen.
Queen Adelaide had been given the use of Marlborough House, Pall Mall in 1831, and held it until her death in 1849.She also had the use of Bushy House, Bushy Park at Hampton Court. Suffering from chronic illness, Adelaide often moved her place of residence in a vain search for health, staying at the country houses of various British aristocracy. She became a tenant of William Ward and took up residence at the latter's newly purchased house, Witley Court in Worcestershire, from 1842 until 1846. Whilst at Witley Court she had two chaplains – Rev. John Ryle Wood, Canon of Worcester and Rev. Thomas Pearson, Rector of Great Witley. She financed the first village school in Great Witley. From 1846 to 1848, she rented Cassiobury House from Lord Essex. During her time there, she played host to Victoria and Albert. Within three years, Adelaide had moved on again, renting Bentley Priory in Stanmore from Lord Abercorn.
A semi-invalid by 1847, Adelaide was advised to try the climate of Madeira for the winter that year, for her health. Here she donated money to the poor and paid for the construction of a road from Ribeiro Seco to Camara de Lobos.
Queen Adelaide's last public appearance was to lay the foundation stone of the church of St John the Evangelist, Great Stanmore. She gave the font and when the church was completed after her death, the east window was dedicated to her memory.
She died during the reign of her niece Queen Victoria on 2 December 1849 of natural causes at Bentley Priory in Middlesex and was buried at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. She wrote instructions for her funeral during an illness in 1841 at Sudbury Hall:
I die in all humility … we are alike before the throne of God, and I request therefore that my mortal remains be conveyed to the grave without pomp or state … to have as private and quiet a funeral as possible. I particularly desire not to be laid out in state … I die in peace and wish to be carried to the fount in peace, and free from the vanities and pomp of this world.
Queen Adelaide's name is probably best remembered in the Australian state of South Australia, founded during the brief reign of William IV. The capital city of Adelaide was named after her at its founding in 1836; the Queen Adelaide Club for women is still active, and a bronze statue of Queen Adelaide stands in the foyer of the Town Hall. The Queen Adelaide Society was inaugurated in Adelaide in 1981 by the late Dorothy Howie with the twin objectives of promoting public awareness of Queen Adelaide and to provide an annual donation to a South Australian children's charity.
There is a village named Queen Adelaide in Cambridgeshire, which takes its name from one of the many public houses named after the queen.
There are Adelaide Streets, Adelaide Avenues and Adelaide Roads throughout the former empire; there is also Adelaide Hospital (now the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Tallaght) in Dublin, and an Adelaide railway station in Belfast. Australia has two Adelaide Rivers, in the Northern Territory and Tasmania, and an Adelaide Reef in Queensland. The town of Adelaide (originally Fort Adelaide) in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, as well as Sir Benjamin D'Urban's short-lived colony in the same area, Queen Adelaide Province. Queen's Park, Brighton is also named in her honour, as is Adelheidsdorf in Lower Saxony, Germany. The Citadel in Port Louis, capital of the Republic of Mauritius, is named Fort Adelaide for her, the building having been started during the reign of William in 1834. In 1832 Adelaide Township was surveyed in what became the western part of Middlesex County in Ontario (now part of the municipality of the Township of Adelaide-Metcalfe). There is a small group of islands in southern Chile named Queen Adelaide Archipelago and Adelaide Island in the British Antarctic Territory.
In honour of the Queen's many visits, several places in Leicestershire were named after Queen Adelaide. They include Queen Street in Measham and the Queen Adelaide Inn (now demolished) in Appleby Magna. There is also the Queen Adelaide Oak in Bradgate Park (once home to Lady Jane Grey), under which Queen Adelaide had picnicked on venison and crayfish from the estate.
Asteroid 525 Adelaide is also named in her honour.
In 1849 there was a cholera epidemic in the East End of London. The following year, Queen Adelaide's dispensary opened in Warner Place, Bethnal Green. It moved to William Street in 1866 and by 1899 was handling 10,000 medical and dental patients a year.In 1963, the funds that had set up the dispensary became Queen Adelaide's charity, which still operates today.
Queen Victoria's firstborn child, Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise, took her second name from her great-aunt, who was also the child's godmother.
Queen Adelaide was played by Harriet Walter in the 2009 film The Young Victoria , as a kindly but practical counsellor to the inexperienced queen.Delena Kidd portrayed her in the 2001 television serial Victoria & Albert .
The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom are impaled with her father's arms as Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. The arms were Quarterly of nineteen, 1st, Azure, a lion barry Argent and Gules (Landgrave of Thuringia); 2nd, Gules, an escarbuncle Or and a shield at the centre point Argent (Cleves); 3rd, Or, a lion rampant Sable (Meissen); 4th, Or, a lion rampant Sable (Jülich); 5th, Argent, a lion rampant Gules crowned Azure (Berg); 6th, Azure, an eagle displayed Or (Palatinate of Saxony); 7th, Or, two pales Azure (Landsberg); 8th, Sable, an eagle displayed Or (Palatinate of Thuringia); 9th, Or, semé of hearts Gules a lion rampant Sable crowned of the second (Orlamünde); 10th, Argent, three bars Azure (Eisenberg); 11th, Azure, a lion passant per fess Or and Argent (Tonna in Gleichen); 12th, Argent, a rose Gules barbed and seeded Proper (Burgraviate of Altenburg); 13th, Gules plain (Sovereign rights); 14th, Argent, three beetles' pincers Gules (Engern); 15th, Or a fess chequy Gules and Argent (Marck); 16th, Per pale, dexter, Gules, a column Argent crowned Or (Roemhild), sinister, Or, on a mount Vert, a cock Sable, wattled Gules (Hannenberg); 17th, Argent three chevronels Gules (Ravensberg); and over all an inescutcheon barry Or and Sable, a crown of rue (or a crancelin) in bend Vert (Saxony).
As the Duchess of Clarence, she used the arms of her husband (the royal arms with a label of three points Argent, the centre point bearing a cross Gules, the outer points each bearing an anchor Azure) impaled with those of her father, the whole surmounted by a coronet of a child of the sovereign.
|Princess Charlotte of Clarence||27 March 1819||Died a few hours after being baptised, in Hanover.|
|Stillborn child||5 September 1819||Born dead at Calais or Dunkirk.|
|Princess Elizabeth of Clarence||10 December 1820||4 March 1821||Born and died at St James's Palace.|
|Stillborn twin boys||8 April 1822||Born dead at Bushy Park.|
|Ancestors of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen|
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Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg was a daughter of Ernst I, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Feodora of Leiningen. By her marriage to Georg of Saxe-Meiningen, she would become Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen upon his accession to the ducal throne in 1866.
Princess Augusta Louise Adelaide Caroline Ida of Saxe-Meiningen was the daughter of Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and his wife Princess Marie Frederica of Hesse-Kassel. She was the mother of Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen .|
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Cadet branch of the House of WettinBorn: 13 August 1792 Died: 2 December 1849
Title last held byCaroline of Brunswick
| Queen consort of the United Kingdom |
Title next held byAlbert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
as Prince consort
| Queen consort of Hanover |
Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz