The Royal Bride

On May 2, 1816, Princess Charlotte of Wales, only child of the future George IV and his detested wife, Caroline of Brunswick, married Leopold of Saxe Coburg at Carlton House in London. Had things gone well, Charlotte would have inherited the throne after her father’s death, and in all likelihood, Queen Victoria never would have existed.

Poor Charlotte was the product of a spectacularly miserable marriage. George only married Caroline because Parliament promised to pay off his debts if he did, and he was so disgusted with his new wife he was barely able to consummate the marriage (and he only made it through the ceremony because he was drunk). But consummate the marriage he did (three times, according to the prince) and the result was little Charlotte. Naturally, she was destined to be an only child. Soon after her birth, her parents separated, and her mother had little say in Charlotte’s upbringing, though they continued to see each other often.

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