|Princess of Wales, Duchess of Edinburgh|
Portrait by Charles Philips, upon the occasion of her marriage
|Born||30 November 1719|
Gotha, Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
|Died||8 February 1772 52) (aged|
Carlton House, London, England
|Burial||15 February 1772|
|Spouse||Frederick, Prince of Wales|
|Father||Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg|
|Mother||Princess Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst|
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (30 November 1719 – 8 February 1772) was Princess of Wales by marriage to Frederick, Prince of Wales. She was one of only four Princesses of Wales who never became queen consort as her eldest son succeeded her father-in-law as George III of the United Kingdom in 1760 rather than her spouse, who had died nine years earlier. Augusta was presumptive regent of Great Britain in the event of a regency between the death of her spouse in 1751, until the majority of her son in 1756, though in the event her father-in-law, George II, lived until 1760.
Princess of Wales is a British courtesy title held by the wife of the Prince of Wales, who is, since the 14th century, the heir apparent of the English or British monarch. The first acknowledged title holder was Eleanor de Montfort, wife of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. It has subsequently been used by wives of post-conquest princes of Wales.
Frederick, Prince of Wales, KG, was heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death from a lung injury at the age of 44. He was the eldest but estranged son of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach, and the father of King George III.
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's social rank and status. She holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles, but historically, she does not share the king's political and military powers. A queen regnant is a queen in her own right with all the powers of a monarch, who (usually) has become queen by inheriting the throne upon the death of the previous monarch.
Princess Augusta was born in Gotha to Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1676–1732) and Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst (1676–1740). Her paternal grandfather was Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, eldest surviving son of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.
Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, was a duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.
Anhalt-Zerbst was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the House of Ascania, with its residence at Zerbst in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. It emerged as a subdivision of the Principality of Anhalt from 1252 until 1396, when it was divided into the principalities of Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen. Recreated in 1544, Anhalt-Zerbst finally was partitioned between Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Köthen, and Anhalt-Bernburg in 1796 upon the extinction of the line.
Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, was a duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. He was the fourth but eldest surviving son of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Altenburg and Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg.
In 1736, it was proposed that she marry 29-year-old Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King George II of Great Britain and Queen Caroline. Originally, Frederick was intended to marry the eldest daughter of the King of Prussia. A marriage alliance between Great Britain and Prussia had been an ambition for many years. However, when George II suggested that his eldest son would marry the eldest (unmarried) daughter of the King of Prussia, while his second (unmarried) daughter would marry the eldest son of the Prussian king, the King of Prussia demanded that his eldest son should likewise marry the eldest (unmarried) daughter of the King of Great Britain, and George II refused to agree to this demand.
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death in 1760.
Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach was Queen of Great Britain as the wife of King George II.
Louisa Ulrika of Prussia was Queen of Sweden between 1751 and 1771 by her marriage to King Adolf Frederick, and queen mother during the reign of King Gustav III.
Around the time the Prussian plan was cancelled, there were rumours afoot that Frederick may marry Lady Diana Spencer, granddaughter of the Duchess of Marlborough, and that such a marriage had been proposed to him when he visited the duchess's lodge at Richmond.Queen Caroline felt a need to arrange a marriage for her son quickly, in order to preempt any possibility of such a mésalliance. She therefore suggested to the king that, when he next visited Hanover, he should also visit Saxe-Gotha and view the princesses there. The king did so, and informed the queen that he considered Augusta suitable. When the matter was broached with Frederick, he simply replied that he would accept any bride his father decided was suitable for him. His attitude arose from a desire to obtain an additional allowance from Parliament to be financially independent of his father. In al events, the marriage between Frederick and Augusta was swiftly decided upon.
Diana Russell, Duchess of Bedford, was a member of the Spencer family known for the unsuccessful attempt of marriage with Frederick, Prince of Wales.
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough rose to be one of the most influential women of her time through her close friendship with Anne, Queen of Great Britain. Sarah's friendship and influence with Princess Anne were widely known, and leading public figures often turned their attentions to her in the hope that she would influence Anne to comply with requests. As a result, by the time Anne became Queen, Sarah’s knowledge of government, and intimacy with the queen, had made her a powerful friend and a dangerous enemy.
Augusta did not speak French or English, and it was suggested that she be given lessons before the wedding, but her mother did not consider it necessary as the British royal family were from Germany.She arrived in Britain, speaking virtually no English, for a wedding ceremony which took place almost immediately, on 8 May 1736, at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, London.
Augusta of Saxe-Gotha left Hellevoetsluis 17 April 1736 and arrived at Greenwich on the royal yacht William and Mary on the 25th, where she was welcomed by her groom. On 27 April 1736, she was escorted to St James's Palace, London, where she met the rest of the royal family, followed by the wedding ceremony at the Royal Chapel. When she was introduced to the royal family, she made a favorable impression on the king and queen by throwing herself on the floor before them in a gesture of submission.
Hellevoetsluis is a small city and municipality on Voorne-Putten Island in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 46.27 km2 (17.86 sq mi) of which 14.71 km2 (5.68 sq mi) is water and it includes the population centres Nieuw-Helvoet, Nieuwenhoorn and Oude en Nieuwe Struiten, all former municipalities.
During the first year of marriage, Augusta could be seen playing with her doll in the windows of her residence, until her sister-in-law, Princess Caroline, told her to stop.Frederick took advantage of her inexperience when he had his then lover, Lady Archibald Hamilton, employed as her lady of the bedchamber after convincing her that there was no truth in the rumour of his affair. Augusta and Frederick had nine children, the last born after Frederick's death.
Frederick once stated that he would never allow himself to be influenced by his consort as his father was, and he thus never made Augusta his confidante.He did, however, instruct her to act in accordance with his wishes in his feud with his parents, and on several occasions, Frederick reportedly instructed her to snub them. When she attended the service of the German Lutheran Chapel, for example, which was also attended by the queen, Frederick instructed Augusta to make sure she always arrived after the queen, so that she would be forced to push in front of the queen to reach her place. This eventually made the queen insist that Augusta should be directed to her place by another entrance, which in turn caused Frederick to instruct Augusta to refuse to enter the Chapel if the queen had arrived before her.
When Augusta's first pregnancy was announced, the queen stated that she would be sure to witness to birth, to be assured that the pregnancy was indeed genuine. She reportedly wished the succession to pass to her second son. The birth of their first daughter, Princess Augusta, on 31 July 1737, took place at St James's after Princess Augusta was forced by Frederick to travel from Hampton Court Palace while in labour, in order to prevent his hated parents from being present at the birth.The delivery was traumatic: St James palace was not ready to receive them, no bed was prepared, no sheets could be found, and Augusta was forced to give birth on a tablecloth. Queen Caroline once said of her daughter-in-law and the inconveniences she was inflicted by her: "Poor creature, were she to spit in my face, I should only pity her for being under such a fool's direction, and wipe it off."
The circumstances of the birth of Princess Augusta led to a dispute between the Prince and Princess of Wales and the king and queen, who were not reconciled until public opinion during the Jacobite rebellion on 1745 pressured them to.After the reconciliation, the couple became less isolated from high society, allowing courtiers to appear at both courts without giving offence. Augusta made a good impression in society life, where she was described as pretty, elegant and as a considered hostess. On some occasions, the children of Augusta were made to give amateur theater performances for their guests, notably in 4 January 1749, when George, Augusta, Elizabeth, Edward and some of their playmates acted in the tragedy of Cato.
On 31 March 1751, Frederick unexpectedly died, making Augusta a widow. Dr. Doran described her at the death of her spouse: "She had, throughout her married life exhibited much mental superiority, with great kindness of disposition, and that under circumstances of great difficulty, and sometimes of a character to inflict vexation on the calmest nature. [...] She was then the mother of eight children, expecting shortly to be the mother of a ninth, and she was brought reluctantly to knowledge that their father was no more. It was six in the morning before her attendants could persuade her to retire to bed; but she arose again at eight, and then, with less thought for her grief than her anxiety for the honor of him whose death was the cause of it, she proceeded to the Prince's room, and burned the whole of his private papers. By this the world lost some rare supplementary chapters to the Cronique Scandaleuse!"
The king reportedly did not show much feeling upon the death of his son and the funeral was simple.On receiving the king's condolences, Augusta replied that she placed herself and her children upon his mercy and protection, and he was evidently touched by her widowhood and minor children, and was willing to show them consideration. Following Frederick's death, her role as mother of the heir-apparent to the throne became a more prominent one, and she was named prospective regent by the king and the parliament, should the king die during the minority of her eldest son, the Prince of Wales. This caused a controversy and opposition from Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, who had expected to be given that role instead. The role of designated regent became irrelevant when her son came of age upon his eighteenth birthday in 1756.
During the remaining years of the reign of George II, Augusta chose to live in seclusion with her children, devoting herself to their care.The few occasions when she did appear in public, the king gave her the same ceremonial role and honours previously given to the queen, and she was honored the same way by the public as well as the court.
However, Augusta suffered a loss of popularity as a widow. She was to be criticised for her manner of raising her children, as she isolated them from the outside world into a secluded family environment, seldom meeting people outside the family.Shortly after being widowed, she began to be influenced by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, her son's tutor, and rumours spread that they were having an affair. This was due to her being adamant that Bute was visiting her, and not her son, during his back door visits to tutor the prince. Both were pilloried in the press.
As her eldest son came of age, the king attempted to arrange a marriage. His favoured choice was a princess of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel or a princess of Prussia, but Augusta refused, favouring a member of her own family, the House of Saxe-Gotha.
On 25 October 1760, her son succeeded his grandfather as George III. The year after his succession, he married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Her relationship with her daughter-in-law was not a good one. Augusta reportedly made it difficult for Charlotte to establish social contacts by referring to court etiquette.Furthermore, she initially appointed a large part of Charlotte's court staff, several of whom were suspected of reporting to Augusta about Charlotte's behaviour. When Charlotte turned to her German companions for friends, she was criticised by Augusta for keeping favourites, notably her close confidant Juliane von Schwellenberg.
Augusta had an acknowledged political influence upon her son, who "strove to follow the counsels she gave", and in which he trusted.Reportedly, she was in turn influenced by Lord Bute, who was appointed prime minister with her support in 1762. His appointment caused a serious crisis and exposed both Augusta and Bute to such public hostility that Bute had to resign from his post the following year. Thackeray described the public sentiments and the circulating rumours: "Bute was hated with a rage there have been few examples in English history. He was the butt for everybody's abuse; for Wilkes, for Churchill's slashing satire, for the hooting of the mob who roasted his booth, his emblem, in a thousand bonfires; that hated him because he was a favourite and a Scotsman, calling him Mortimer, Lothario, and I known not what names, and accusing his royal mistress of all kinds of names – the grave, lean, demure, elderly woman, who, I dare say, was quite as good as her neighbours. Chatham lent the aide of his great malice to influence the popular sentiment against her. He assailed, in the House of Lords, 'The secret influence, more mighty than the throne itself, which betrayed and dogged every administration'. The most furious pamphlets echoed the cry 'Impeach the King's mother', was scribbled over every wall at the Court end of the town".
When the King had a first, temporary, bout of mental illness in 1765, Augusta and Lord Bute kept Queen Charlotte unaware of the situation.The Regency Bill of 1765 stated that if the King should become permanently unable to rule, Charlotte was to become Regent. Augusta was suggested as regent, but there was fierce opposition to her appointment, as there were concerns of the influence of Lord Bute in her potential regency, and fears that should she become regent, Bute would de facto rule as "King".
Augusta reportedly resented the marriages of her younger sons, which took place without her consent.
In 1769, the spouse of her daughter Caroline Matilda, Christian VII of Denmark, visited Great Britain. During his visit, Augusta, upon the initiative of Caroline Matilda, asked him publicly during a dinner to reinstate Louise von Plessen, a favourite of Caroline Matilda whom Christian had fired, to her position.He answered that he had made a sacred vow never to do so, but that if Caroline Matilda preferred von Plessen's company over his, so be it. In the end, Louise von Plessen was not reinstated, and Augusta apparently asked Caroline Matilda not to press the matter and to show more affection to Christian.
In 1770, rumors about Caroline Matilda, the queen of Denmark, began to circulate. In particular these concerned the mental state of her spouse as well as the fall of prime minister Bernstorff, in which Caroline Matilda was rumoured to have participated.When Augusta visited her eldest daughter in Brunswick that year, she also took the opportunity to see Caroline Matilda, who received her in breeches, which at that time was regarded as scandalous. Upon Augusta's lamentations, her daughter answered: "Pray, madam, allow me to govern my own kingdom as I please!"
Augusta died of cancer of the throat at age 52 at Carlton House. Her funeral procession attracted troublemakers who followed the coffin to the grave shouting insults.
Princess Augusta enlarged and greatly extended Kew Gardens after her husband's death. Sir William Chambers built several garden structures for her. One of these, the lofty Chinese pagoda built in 1761, still remains.
|Princess Augusta, Duchess of Brunswick||31 July 1737||23 March 1813||Married, 1764, Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; had issue.|
|George III||4 June 1738||29 January 1820||Married, 1761, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; had issue.|
|Prince Edward, Duke of York||25 March 1739||17 September 1767||Died aged twenty-eight, unmarried.|
|Princess Elizabeth||10 January 1741||4 September 1759||Died aged eighteen, unmarried.|
|Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester||25 November 1743||25 August 1805||Married, 1766, Maria, Countess Waldegrave; had issue.|
|Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland||7 November 1745||18 September 1790||Married, 1771, Anne Luttrell; no issue.|
|Princess Louisa||19 March 1749||13 May 1768||Died aged nineteen, unmarried.|
|Prince Frederick||13 May 1750||29 December 1765||Died aged fifteen, unmarried.|
|Caroline Matilda, Queen-consort of Denmark and Norway||11 July 1751||10 May 1775||Married, 1766, Christian VII, King of Denmark and Norway; had issue.|
Several places in British America were named in honour of Augusta:
|Ancestors of Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha|
Charlotte, Princess Royal, was Queen of Württemberg as the wife of King Frederick I. She was the first daughter and fourth child of King George III of the United Kingdom and his wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, was a great-grandson of King George II and nephew and son-in-law of King George III of the United Kingdom.
Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Denmark was heir presumptive to the thrones of Denmark and Norway. He was the surviving son of King Frederick V by his second wife, Juliana Maria of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.
Caroline Matilda of Great Britain was by birth a Princess of Great Britain and member of the House of Hanover and by marriage Queen consort of Denmark and Norway from 1766 to 1772.
Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was the wife of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the mother of Duke Ernst II and Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. She was the paternal grandmother of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. She is also the paternal great-great-great grandmother of Elizabeth II.
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the daughter of Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Maria Antonia Koháry de Csábrág. Her father was the second son of Francis Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf.
Princess Augusta Frederica of Great Britain was a British princess, granddaughter of King George II and the only elder sibling of King George III. She was a Duchess consort of Brunswick by marriage to Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Her daughter Caroline was the spouse of King George IV.
Princess Elizabeth was a member of the British Royal Family, a grandchild of King George II and sister of King George III.
Princess Louisa of Great Britain was a grandchild of King George II and sister of King George III.
Prince Frederick, was a member of the British Royal Family, a grandchild of King George II and the youngest brother of King George III.
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was a duchy ruled by the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in today's Thuringia, Germany. The extinction of the line in 1825 led to a major re-organisation of the Thuringian states.
Nicolay - refer to Nobility particle) is a European noble family of the Ancien Régime with its roots in the south of France at the early part of the 14th Century. There is however, evidence to suggest that its origins stretch further back to the growth of the city state of Florence at the beginning of the Florentine Renaissance. The Nicolay family was originally associated with the French noble classes of the Nobles of the Robe and the Nobles of the Sword. It is well documented that members of the House of Nicolay became highly influential in the spheres of national government, law, the church, academia, military and diplomatic service, as well as the arts. They held the titles of marquis, count and baron.
Princess Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst was, by birth, a Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst and, by marriage, a Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. She was the maternal grandmother of George III of the United Kingdom.
Duchess Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was the maternal grandmother of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
Karoline Amalie of Hesse-Kassel, was a German princess and member of the House of Hesse-Kassel by birth, and Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg by marriage.
Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, German: Luise, Prinzessin von Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was Duchess consort of Mecklenburg-Schwerin through her marriage to Frederick Francis I, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, Louise was also a member of the House of Mecklenburg.
Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Hildburghausen was the child of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg and his wife, Duchess Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She was the wife of Prince Paul of Wurttemberg and mother to his five children.
Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen was a member of the House of Saxe-Meiningen and a Princess of Saxe-Meiningen by birth and a member of the House of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and Duchess consort of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg through her marriage to Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.
Duchess of Edinburgh is the principal courtesy title held by the wife of the Duke of Edinburgh.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha .|