Tag Archives: st.james palace

Bad Fairy At The Christening

‘On Thursday, February 11 the baby was christened in the great drawing-room of St. James Palace. Lady Dashwood, who was hard up, was given a dress for the occasion, made of satin covered in lace. The baby was also covered in lace, and her cradle, cushion and lace-trimmed sheet were given by the Queen. “I regret”, she wrote to her son, “that my finances will not allow me to offer more.”

Charlotte Augusta were the names bestowed upon the child, after her two grandmothers, who were also her godmothers. Her dotting grand-papa, King George, stood godfather, and it must have seemed, as she lay in her lace-trimmed cradle, surrounded by beaming royal countenances, that an auspicious future lay ahead of this fortunate infant.

But one bad fairy was there in the background, although it was Charlotte’s mother rather than Charlotte who was affected by her presence. As far as Caroline was concerned, Lady Jersey was always there, smiling, cool, perfectly dressed, entirely sure of herself (…) basking in the Prince’s favour, Lady Jersey made it her business to humiliate his wife whenever she could. It cannot have been difficult: Caroline was gauche, unversed in etiquette, stumbling in her English and apt when nervous to blurt out tactless comments and opinions, or to make coarse jokes, all of which were noted by Lady Jersey and relayed to the Prince.’

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

st james palace

Picture: St. James Palace, London, UK

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Marriage Doomed Before It Even Began

‘Lord Malmesbury’s long and difficult mission was nearly accomplished. Now all that remained for him was to escort the Princess into St. James’s Palace and introduce her to her bridegroom. No one but Malmesbury was present at this historic meeting, and it is through his eyes that we see the dumpy, cocksure girl, into whom he had tried to instil a proper humility and grace of manner, attempting, as she had been taught, to kneel to the Prince. ‘He raised her (gracefully enough), and embraced her, said barely one word, turned round, retired to a distant part of the apartment, and calling me to him, said, “Harris, I am not well; pray get me a glass of brandy.” I said, “Sir, had you not better have a glass of water?” Upon which, he, out of humour, said, with an oath, “No. I will go directly to the Queen;” and away he went.”All Malmesbury’s diplomatic training could not give him words with which to fill that appalling silence. He must at that moment have seen the disaster which lay ahead. Fortunately, the Princess, less sensitive, wished to vent her feelings. “My God,” she cried, “is the Prince always like that?” and added, “I find him very fat, and nothing like as handsome as his portrait.’

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

Lady Jersey Gives The Princess A Hard Time

‘After an hour’s wait, the Princess was met at Greenwich by a small deputation which included Lady Jersey, who had been responsible for the delay by not being ready. Upon arrival at Greenwich she criticized the Princess’ dress, and tried, not very kindly, to make improvements. The Princess, who knew more than Malmesbury thought she knew about Lady Jersey, was not pleased. The party then prepared to set out for St. James’s. There was an altercation, as Lady Jersey announced that she could not sit opposite the Princess, since travelling with her back to the horses made her feel ill. Malmesbury, who by this time had had his fill of Lady Jersey, said that in this case she had better sit with him in the second carriage, and an equerry, Mr. Ashton, should travel with the Princess. “This, of course, settled the business,” said Malmesbury. Lady Jersey sat with her back to the horses, as arranged by the King.’[an extract from ‘Prinny’s Daughter: A Biography of Princess Charlotte of Wales’ by Thea Home]

caroline and lady jersey