‘She would have behaved well’, said the Duke of Wellington, ‘her death is one of the most serious misfortunes the country has ever met with’. For Charlotte to have grown up worthy of the Duke of Wellington’s compliment was nearly a miracle. She had emerged confident and merry from a childhood that would have turned almost anyone else into a suspicious recluse. She had never known the security of family life. Instead, her little world, like the great world beyond it, had been a world of conflict and duplicity. From the days she was born until the day she was married, she had seldom been anything but a victim. Her tutors and governesses had misrepresented her whenever it suited them in the course of their vindicative little rivalries. The leaders of the opposition had manipulated her in their political manoeuvering. Worst of all, her own parents, whom she hardly ever saw, had used her as the principal pawn in their embarassingly public squabbles’

(extract from ‘Charlotte&Leopold’ by James Chambers)

Princess Charlotte of Wales by Dawe_(1817)

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