Two Cousins

‘Once it was agreed that the Prince was free to marry, the next step was to find him a bride. There were two candidates, both of whom were his cousins. One was Princess Louise of Mecklenburg – Strelitz, whose father was the brother of his mother, Queen Charlotte. The other was Princess Caroline of Brunswick, whose mother was a sister of his father, the King.The Queen was enthusiastically in favour of Princess Louise*, not only because Louise was her niece and reputedly the better looking, but also because, like many other people at court, she had heard too many unsavoury rumours about Princess Caroline. The Brunswicker Princess was said to be coarse and uninhibited. She was said to have had several affairs, one with an Irish officer in her father’s army, and it was known that earlier marriage negotiations had been broken off without reason.’
[an extract from ‘Charlotte&Leopold’ by James Chambers]

‘Surprised by pleased, the King stipulated only that his son’s wife must be a Protestant and a princess, which inevitably meant a German princess, and offered to send some suitably “confidentinal” person on a talent-spotting expedition. But it seemed that the Prince had already made up his mind to throw the handkerchiefmin the direction of
his cousin Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. King George was thought to disapprove of marriages between such close relations – Caroline was his niece – and he continued to urge his son to make “particular enquiries about her person and manners”. Nevertheless he could not hep feeling complimented that his sister’s child should have been thus singled out and told William Pitt that she was the person who “naturally must be most agreeable to me”. The Queen, on the other hand, remained noticeably tight-lipped, telling her son Ernest that she was resolved never to speak
about the marriage, “so that no one should say she had any hand in anything”. She had never cared for Caroline’s mother, she went on, but she would make the Princess welcome and hoped, though plainly without conviction, that the couple would be happy. It has been suggested thather attitude was due to pique that her own niece, Louise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz, had been passed over. The explanation probably lies in the fact that Queen Charlotte had heard some very disturbing reports about the Princess Charlotte: that her governess had to stick closely to her side at dances in order to prevent her from making an exhibition of herself by having “indecent conversations” with men; that her parents had forbidden her to speak to anyone at all except her governess; that all amusements had had to be banned because of her unbridled passions and generally “indecent conduct”.’
[an extract from ‘Caroline&Charlotte’ by Alison Plowden]
Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Picture: portrait of Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz by Jozef Maria Grassi
* Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz later became the much loved Queen of Prussia, read about her more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_of_Mecklenburg-Strelitz

 

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