‘”She is received at Court,” Lord Minto’s son, Gilbert Elliot, told his father, “and they have been able to keep her quiet without insisting upon anything impossible or unreasonable, so that I hope that subject is at rest for ever…”
But he was wrong. While Caroline lived, the subject of her behaviour was never for long at rest. The King, suffering from rapidly increasing blindness, groped uncertainly towards his wayward daughter-in-law, hoping for signs of affectionate remorse. But affection and remorse were two emotions never experienced by Princess Caroline. Her attitude to her daughter Charlotte was always lacking in warmth of feeling, but Charlotte was by nature affectionate, and sensitive to affection. During the long-drawn out Delicate Investigation, she was cut off from all intercourse with her mother and it is significant that in November 19806, while it was dragging to its conclusion, she turned to her father for comfort.
“Forgive me, my dearest papa, for writing to you when you have so much business, but I saw you so unwell last night that I could not help writing to enquire how you are. Believe me, my dearest papa, that my whole aim is to gain your regard and affection; if I should lose that, I shall be destitute of everything in this world most dear to me; but I trust that that will never happen. Oh how I wish I could see more of you! but I hope I shall in time. I am sensible how irksome it must be to you to see me, feeling I can be no companion to you to amuse you when in health and spirits, & am too young to soothe you when in affliction. Believe me I am always truly happy when I do see you, & that whether absent ot present I am, my dearest papa, your ever affectionate & dutiful daughter.”
The wording of this letter may owe something to Lady de Clifford; but the sentiments expressed give a sad picture of a lonely child, written perhaps after one of those meetings with her father, which later were [not] so frequent, when his mind was on other things and Charlotte was ignored.’
[an extract from ‘Prinny’s Daughter: A Biography of Princess Charlotte of Wales’ by Thea Home]