‘The Royal Family, blind to any rift between the parents, wrote ecstatic letters after visits to the Princess and her baby; and the King in his pious optimism, was hopeful that this charming infant would be the means of reconciling her parents. But the Prince was determined that his wife should have no part in the bringing up of their child. He enjoyed organizing, and from his country retreat drew up elaborate rules for the running of the Royal Nursery. Fussy as he was over his own health, he was scrupulously particular over his daughter’s.“To prevent the possibility of infection being carried into the Royal Nursery it is absolutely forbidden that there should be any intercourse between the attendants belonging to the young Princess and any other part of the Household.” The Princess, he ordered, was to be moved in her cradle into Lady Dashwood’s room when the nursery was being cleaned. When the baby was carried out into the garden, she was to have a gentleman in attendance as well as a governess and the nurse – this presumably in case of attempted kidnapping. The Princess of Wales was to see her daughter once a day, either before or after the daily outing, and with governess and nurse always in attendance. Needless to say, as time went on, the Princess contrived to see her daughter more often, and to take her out driving, which she found was a great success with the London public, who could not have enough of the plump blonde Princess of Wales and her lovely baby, and delightedly cheered the carriage as it passed. The Prince, invariably greeted, when he drove through the streets, by a stony silence, added this to his list of grievances against his wife.’
[an extract from ‘Prinny’s Daughter: A Biography of Princess Charlotte of Wales’ by Thea Home]
Picture: Caroline Princess of Wales and her daughter Princess Charlotte by Thomas Lawrence
‘During the first few years of her life, Charlotte saw more of her father than her mother. But it was only just more. The Prince was often away from Carlton House, and when he was there his time with his daughter was always brief. Although he was said to be good with children, he only played with them and he soon tired of it. He devoted much more of his energy to preventing his wife and parents from influencing his daughter than he did to trying to influence her himself.
Eventually, however, when the Prince’s affections were restored from Lady Jersey to Mrs Fitzherbert, he decided that he wanted Carlton House to himself again. So his wife was given apartments in Kensington Palace, and his eight-year-old daughter and all her staff were moved into Warwick House, a crumbling old brick building which stood just to the east of Carlton House.From then on, for the rest of her childhood and throughout her youth, Princess Charlotte Augusta, who was fully expected to succeed her father one day as Queen of England, lived in a household of her own, in the company of no one who was not paid to be there.’
[an extract from ‘Charlotte&Leopold’ by James Chambers]