Tag Archives: anne(nancy) barnard

Friendship With George Keppel (1)

‘At Carlton House, Charlotte’s only playmate had been Annie Barnard, the orphaned niece of her father’s coachman. Annie lived with her uncle and his wife above the stables and played with the Princess every day. She even dined with her, and for a few months they did their lessons together. But the move to Warwick House, beyond the safety of the stable-yard gates, was enough to separate them.As a replacement for Annie, Lady de Clifford introduced the Princess to one of her grandsons, the Hon. George Keppel, who was three years younger than she was. George was a pupil nearby at Westminster School. He was brought round regularly in a coach to play with Charlotte at Warwick House – and to supplement his meagre school diet in the kitchens – and sometimes, appropriately chaperoned, she went round to visit him at the school.Over forty years later, after he had succeeded his brother as Earl of Albemarle, George wrote a memoir which contains many of the most endearing anecdotes about the childhood of the Princess with “blue eyes”, “peculiarly blond hair” and “beautifully shaped” hands and feet. Among all the usual stories about fisticuffs, bolting horses and tears, he described an afternoon when Charlotte, who was visiting his parents’ house in Earl’s Court, crept out through a side gate and joined in at the back of a crowd that had assembled outside the main gate in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Princess.

He also recorded an afternoon when he and Charlotte helped out in the kitchen at Warwick House. As a result of their efforts, Lady de Clifford was served a mutton chop that was so heavily dressed and over – peppered that she summoned the servants in fury. But he did not record whether the incident was an intentional prank or merely the result of childish over – enthusiasm.’

[an extract from ‘Charlotte&Leopold’ by James Chambers]

George Keppel 6thEarlOfAlbemarle

Picture: George Keppel, 6th Earl of Albemarle (1799-1891) by an unknown author


‘Miss Charlotte and Miss Annie’

‘At two years old, Charlotte made a friend nearer her own age. Anne, or Nancy, Barnard was the orphaned niece of Thomas Deacon, the Prince’s coachman at Carlton House, and lived over the stables with her aunt and uncle. She was nearly two years older than Charlotte, and the little girls played together with their dolls and toys. “Sometimes,” said Anne in later life, “the Princess took me round the waist and danced round the garden with me…For three months we learned out lessons together.” Anne would present herself at nine o’clock each morning, and the little girls dined together, and were together all day. Who was the enlightened person who permitted this friendship? Perhaps the Prince, who used to pat Nancy on the head when he visited the stables, decided that she might be a good friend for his daughter: the fact that they learned their lessons together suggests a plan from on high. However this may be, the friendship brought out Charlotte’s best qualities, her warm – heartedness, her generosity and her loyalty. “The Princess,” said Anne, “hadn’t a bit of pride. She used to say we were Miss Charlotte and Miss Annie.”

This is in marked contrast to the attitude of Charlotte’s cousin, Princess Victoria, some twenty years later. A little girl, Lady Jane Ellison, was brought to play with her. “I may call you Jane,” said the future Queen Victoria, hastily removing all her toys, “but you must not call me Victoria.”

When Charlotte left Carlton House she gave “Miss Annie” a keepsake – a small wax doll with bright blue eyes, known to the little girls as “the great doll’s baby”. This plaything, with its well-worn waxen face, is now in the archives of the London Museum. It is about twelve inches long, dressed in a white muslin gown, with a straw bonnet trimmed with pale blue satin; and with it is Anne Barnard’s account of her friendship with the Princess, which endured to the end of Charlotte’s life.’

[an extract from ‘Prinny’s Daughter: A Biography of Princess Charlotte of Wales’ by Thea Home]


Picture: a 19th century wax doll http://dollmusem.blogspot.com/2013/06/wax-dolls-back-to-19th-century-and-our.html