Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom

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Princess Elizabeth
Princess Elizabeth (1770-1840).jpg
Portrait by Sir William Beechey, 1797
Landgravine consort of Hesse-Homburg
Tenure20 January 1820 – 2 April 1829
Born22 May 1770
Buckingham House, London
Died10 January 1840(1840-01-10) (aged 69)
Free City of Frankfurt, German Empire
Burial17 January 1840
Mausoleum of the Landgraves, Homburg
House Hanover
Father George III of the United Kingdom
Mother Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom (22 May 1770 – 10 January 1840) was the seventh child and third daughter of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. [1] After marrying the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, Frederick VI, she took permanent residence in Germany as landgravine.

George III of the United Kingdom King of Great Britain and Ireland

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.

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George III

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the wife of King George III. She served as Queen of Great Britain and Queen of Ireland from her wedding in 1761 until the union of the two kingdoms in 1801, after which she was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1818. She was also the Electress of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until the promotion of her husband to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, after which she was also queen consort of Hanover.


Landgrave was a noble title used in the Holy Roman Empire, and later on in its former territories. The German titles of Landgraf, Markgraf ("margrave"), and Pfalzgraf are in the same class of ranks as Herzog ("duke") and above the rank of a Graf ("count").


Early life

The Princess Elizabeth was born at Buckingham House, London on 22 May 1770. [2] Her father was the reigning British monarch, George III, the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. Her mother was Queen Charlotte (née Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz). She was christened in the Great Council Chamber at St. James's Palace, on 17 June 1770 by Frederick Cornwallis, the Archbishop of Canterbury. [3] Her godparents were The Hereditary Prince of Hesse-Cassel (her paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain, stood proxy), The Princess of Nassau-Weilburg (her paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Dowager Countess of Effingham, former Lady of the Bedchamber to The Queen, stood proxy) and The Crown Princess of Sweden (another paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Countess of Holderness, Lady of the Bedchamber to The Queen, stood proxy). [4]

Buckingham Palace Official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Frederick, Prince of Wales heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death

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.

The Princess' upbringing was very sheltered and she spent most of her time with her parents and sisters. King George and Queen Charlotte were keen to shelter their children, particularly the girls. However, in 1812, Princess Elizabeth purchased The Priory at Old Windsor in Berkshire as her private residence.

Old Windsor village and civil parish in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England

Old Windsor is a large village and civil parish, in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, in Berkshire, England. It is bound by the River Thames to the east and Windsor Great Park to the west.

Berkshire County of England

Berkshire is one of the home counties in England. It was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters patent were issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. The county town is Reading.

Character and interests

Elizabeth was known for her insistently optimistic attitude in spite of her stilted existence. [5] Although she longed for marriage and a family of her own, Elizabeth was determined to enjoy her life by exploring and developing her varied interests and hobbies. Elizabeth was a talented artist, producing several books of her own engravings to benefit various charities. She was the only one of George III's children to share his interests in agriculture, running her own model farm at a rented cottage in Old Windsor. She took great delight in the products of her garden, as well as the eggs, milk, and butter from her flocks of chickens and cows. Elizabeth was equally fond of rich food and drink and was known among the family for her tendency to gain weight, criticism about which she was very sensitive. [6]

Elizabeth was also known for her well-developed sense of humor and maintained a large collection of jokes and witticisms. [7] She had an open and plainspoken nature, and disliked excessive "politeness". She was closest to her sister Augusta and - uniquely among her sisters – her brother Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. Elizabeth was also the closest daughter to their mother, which contributed to Charlotte's reluctance to let her marry. [8]

Princess Augusta Sophia of the United Kingdom princess of England

Princess Augusta Sophia of the United Kingdom was the sixth child and second daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn Prince of Great Britain

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, was the fourth son and fifth child of Britain's king, George III, and the father of Queen Victoria.

Clandestine marriage?

It is alleged[ who? ] that Princess Elizabeth went through a form of marriage with George Ramus (1747–1808) and bore him a daughter, Eliza, in 1788. George Ramus was the son of Nicholas Ramus, who had been Page to Elizabeth's father King George. Any such marriage would have been null and void under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, but several of Elizabeth's brothers contracted similar alliances with commoners before marrying German princesses later in life. Eliza Ramus (1788–1869) was allegedly adopted and brought up by her uncle, Henry Ramus (1755–1822) of the East India Company. She married James Money (1770–1833), also of the East India Company, and her daughter Marian Martha (1806–1869) married George Wynyard Battye (1805–1888), a Bengal Judge. In widowhood, Eliza Ramus lived at 28 Chester Square in London, where she educated her Battye grandsons, all ten of whom became army officers, and cared for them when they were on sick or convalescent leave from India. [9]

Royal Marriages Act 1772 law requiring potential heirs to the British throne to receive royal permission to marry

The Royal Marriages Act 1772 was an act of the Parliament of Great Britain, which prescribed the conditions under which members of the British royal family could contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the royal house. The right of veto vested in the sovereign by this act provoked severe adverse criticism at the time of its passage. It was repealed as a result of the 2011 Perth Agreement, which came into force on 26 March 2015. Under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, the first six people in the line of succession need permission to marry if they and their descendants are to remain in the line of succession.

East India Company 16th through 19th-century British trading company

The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) or the British East India Company and informally as John Company, Company Bahadur, or simply The Company, was an English and later British joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with Mughal India and the East Indies, and later with Qing China. The company ended up seizing control over large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonised parts of Southeast Asia, and colonised Hong Kong after a war with Qing China.

Chester Square square located in Londons Belgravia district

Chester Square is a small residential garden square located in London's Belgravia district. Along with its sister squares Belgrave Square and Eaton Square, it is one of the three garden squares built by the Grosvenor family when they developed the main part of Belgravia in the 19th century. Chester Square is named after the city of Chester, near to which Eaton Hall, the ancestral home of the Grosvenor family, stands.


In 1808 Elizabeth was reluctantly obliged to decline a proposal from the exiled Duke of Orléans (later King of the French as Louis Philippe I) due to his Catholicism and her mother's opposition. [10]

During a ball in the British royal court in 1814 Elizabeth got to know the German Prince Frederick of Hesse-Homburg. When Elizabeth saw the Austrian officer in his elegant Hussar's uniform, she is supposed to have said, "If he is single, I will marry him!" Four years later, Elizabeth received a letter indicating that Frederick was asking for her hand in marriage. Elizabeth was immediately interested, and her surviving sisters were supportive. Although Frederick was said to be overweight and smell constantly of tobacco from his beloved meerschaum pipes, Elizabeth was undeterred in her goal to marry him. Queen Charlotte refused to permit the union for weeks fearing Elizabeth's unavoidable move to Germany, but finally acquiesced when her daughter refused to back down.

Against all resistance, the wedding took place on 7 April 1818 in the private chapel in Buckingham Palace in Westminster. Elizabeth wore a dress made of silver tissue and Brussels lace with ostrich feathers adorning her hair. She was led to the altar by her second eldest brother, the Duke of York. Neither her eldest brother the Prince Regent nor her father attended the wedding, each kept away by gout and severe mental illness respectively. [11] The new couple honeymooned at the Prince Regent's house in Brighton.

It was not a real "love match", in spite of the mutual understanding and respect; in fact it was an agreement with which both were satisfied. Elizabeth was able to escape the constrictive environment of her home by moving to Germany with her husband, and Frederick gained many advantages by becoming allied with the British royal family. However, Frederick remarked during his honeymoon that he was surprised to be happy and content in Elizabeth's presence; Elizabeth found her new husband to be intelligent, generous, and affectionate. The marriage lasted until Frederick's death in 1829 and was described as very happy.

Later life

On 20 January 1820, Frederick succeeded his father as the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg. Thanks to Elizabeth's dowry and annual allowance, he was able to remodel the palace in Homburg. For her part, Landgravine Elizabeth could bid farewell to the rigid court etiquette she had disliked in England and as one would say today, "find herself", as she could do much as she liked in her new environs. [12] She also built him the Gothic House in the castle's grounds.

Elizabeth founded a care center and school in Hanover for children of working mothers. While she was past childbearing age herself, Elizabeth found fulfillment in working with the children attending the school.

She died on 10 January 1840 at age 69 in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany. She was buried in the Mausoleum of the Landgraves, Homburg, Germany.


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles


As of 1789, as a daughter of the sovereign, Elizabeth had use of the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points, the centre point bearing a cross gules, the outer points each bearing a rose gules. [14]

Coat of Arms of Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg.svg


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  1. Hall, Mrs. Matthew (1858). The Royal Princesses of England from the Reign of George I. London: Routledge. p. 333. Retrieved 2010-11-08. The Princess Elizabeth, destined in after years to become Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg, was the third daughter of George III and Queen Charlotte... born on the 22nd of May, 1770, between eight and nine o'clock A.M.
  2. Beatty, Michael A. (2003). The English Royal Family of America, from Jamestown to the American Revolution. US: McFarland & Co. p. 203. ISBN   0-7864-1558-4 . Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  3. Hall (1858). See p.336: "On the 17th of June, the young Princess was christened in the great council-chamber by the Archbishop of Canterbury, when she was named Elizabeth."
  4. "Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings". Archived from the original on 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
  5. Hadlow, Janice (2014). A Royal Experiment (1 ed.). New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC. ISBN   978-0-8050-9656-9.[ page needed ]
  6. Robertson, Jillian (1977). The Royal Race for the British Crown: 1817-1819 (1 ed.). London and Tiptree, Colchester, Essex: Blond & Briggs Ltd. ISBN   978-0-8563-4068-0.
  7. Fraser, Flora (2006). Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III (1 ed.). London: Anchor Books. ISBN   9781400096695.[ page needed ]
  8. Robertson, Jillian (1977). The Royal Race for the British Crown: 1817-1819 (1 ed.). London and Tiptree, Colchester, Essex: Blond & Briggs Ltd. ISBN   978-0-8563-4068-0.
  9. Battye, Evelyn Desirée (1984), "The Fighting Ten", London: British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia, ISBN   0-907799-09-4.
  10. A. W. Purdue, daughters of George III (1766–1857) in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004).
  11. Robertson, Jillian (1977). The Royal Race for the British Crown: 1817-1819 (1 ed.). London and Tiptree, Colchester, Essex: Blond & Briggs Ltd. ISBN   978-0-8563-4068-0.
  12. Peter, Bernhard (2007 and 2009). "Das Schloss in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe – Geschichten der Landgrafen Teil 4 (in German)". Galerie: Photos schöner alter Wappen Nr. 436. Dr. Bernhard Peter. Retrieved 9 April 2016.Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. The London Gazette: 25 April; 19 May 1818 [ dead link ]
  14. Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
  15. Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 5.
Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 22 May 1770 Died: 10 January 1840
German royalty
Preceded by
Caroline of Hesse-Darmstadt
Landgravine consort of Hesse-Homburg
20 January 1820 – 2 April 1829
Succeeded by
Augusta Amalia of Nassau-Usingen