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Royal Family: The other Princess Charlotte who should have been Queen but died giving birth at the age of 21

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Royal Family: The other Princess Charlotte who should have been Queen but died giving birth at the age of 21

There have been many royal figures over the years who were born to carry out major roles but never had the opportunity to fulfil them for a variety of reasons. From being deposed to dying before they came to the throne, there are several examples to choose from.

One royal who was destined to take on a hugely important role was Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, the only daughter of King George IV. An incredibly well-loved royal, Charlotte was seen as a glimmer of hope for the family as she was a welcome change from her unpopular father and mentally ill grandfather, King George III.

Charlotte's life was quite challenging and was fraught with family conflicts. But had she lived, she would have come to the throne after her father and ruled as Queen Charlotte I.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

Princess Charlotte was born on January 7, 1796, to King George IV (then Prince of Wales) and Caroline of Brunswick. Her parents were cousins but had never met and were repulsed by one another when they eventually did.

Just nine months after they married, Charlotte was born at Carlton House in London. Her grandfather King George III was delighted by her birth but her father was disappointed that she was a girl.

Her parents did not get along and shortly after her birth Prince George made a will directing that his wife would have no role in the upbringing of their child. He then bequeathed all his worldly goods to his mistress and left Caroline just one shilling.

Princess Charlotte was often left on her own under the control of a governess and was allowed very little contact with her mother.

Prince George said that Caroline could have no say in his daughter's upbringing and refused her the right to be alone with her child without her governess present.

Royal staff often disobeyed the commands of the prince and allowed Caroline to be alone with her daughter - she was even bold enough to take Charlotte on public carriage rides in the park.

As George and Caroline couldn't stand to be in one another's company, there was very little chance of Charlotte being displaced in the line of succession by a younger brother.

While George hardly saw his daughter in person, he was incredibly strict with her treatment and set about many rules that she was forced to follow - including where in the royal box she had to sit at the opera and that she had to leave before the end of the performance.

She was the only child of George IV of Great Britain and Caroline of Brunswick

Getty She was the only child of George IV of Great Britain and Caroline of Brunswick

Princess Charlotte is remembered for being very passionate and had many notable infatuations, including with two of her illegitimate cousins. She met with them in clandestine meetings that many members of the Royal Family helped to facilitate as they did not approve of George's treatment of his daughter.

The princess married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield in 1816 after many difficult months of trying to convince her father to allow the match.

After one miscarriage a few months after their wedding, Charlotte became pregnant again and it was expected that she would carry the baby to term. On November 5, a large stillborn born was born and Charlotte passed a few hours later during the night.

The nation went into mourning, with shops closing for two weeks. The Prince of Wales was so upset by the news that he could not attend her funeral. Prince Leopold was said to have never recovered but did eventually become the King of the Belgians and had to marry again. He named his first daughter after his late wife. 

Reference: My London: Rebecca Russell

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