This novel describes the life of Caroline of Brunswick. Her childhood was spent in her native country of Germany and the book begins at the wedding of her sister Charlotte. Charlotte was marrying Frederick William, Prince of Wurtemburg. Caroline was distraught after her sister's absence. Although sixteen years old she still succumbed to temper tantrums if her life was not going well.
Her parents were not in the least caring and loving to her and so she looked for
affection outside the royal household.
One of her greatest desires was to marry for love and have children. When she met an army officer the pair fell madly in love,her mind was full of thoughts of marital bliss.
At the age of twenty her parents decided on her husband , firstly the Duke of York but then George,Prince of Wales(the future George IV) was mentioned and the chance of their daughter becoming the Queen of England was too much for her parents to dismiss.Although George's affairs were renowned Caroline's parents continued with the wedding plans.
On arrival in England Caroline realised that this marriage was a huge mistake.
'He hates me, she thought. He could not have expressed it more clearly than if he had stated it in words. If they had let us meet before this and he had treated me so I would never have married him,'
So the marriage continued, as Caroline sunk into more despair, she found that she was pregnant. This was wonderful news , a child of her own , this was what she had always desired. This child for her to love with or without the Prince's affection.
'The Prince, having made up his mind that as soon as Caroline was pregnant his duty towards her and the State ended, had one purpose in mind; and only the thought of the freedom which would come with success gave him the necessary enthusiasm to achieve that end.'
Consequently his flirtatious lifestyle continued . As Caroline tried to find friendship with people outside court circles , George began his campaign to try and abandon her.His callous behaviour towards his wife continued through out her life.
Before reading this book my knowledge of the Georgian era was very limited. I found this a very sad and emotional book, one I did enjoy reading as I was hoping for a happy ending, but alas this wasn't to be. George IV's treatment of Caroline was appalling . I believe that her demenour and perhaps her manners were not usual in the English court. However, I feel that these flaws in her character were partly due to her childhood; a childhood without much love and no guidance or discipline; a childhood without any consideration. Caroline's greatest desire was a happy marriage and children and although giving birth to one daughter, Charlotte, the Royal family denied her access to the child and in my opinion the only person who truly loved her.
This was a special book for me, not many books make me weep, these pages I will remember for a long time. They reminded me that everyone , whether Royal or commoner needs love.
As Caroline herself wrote for her coffin;
'Here lies Caroline of Brunswick, the injured Queen of England.'