Queen Caroline (1683-1737)
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Queen Caroline (1683-1737)

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She was with regard to power as some men are to their amours: the vanity of being thought to possess what she desired was equal to the pleasure of possession itself.
Lord Hervey.

Additional Information on
Queen Caroline (1683-1737)

Caroline of Anspach was a German Princess who married George II in 1705, and fortunately for her adopted country was not only fair haired and good-looking, but also highly intelligent. She endured with fortitude not only the consistent infidelity of her husband but also the constant difficulties with his father who, after initially welcoming their popularity, returned from Hanover and became consumed with jealousy. He finally banished them from court in 1717.

In spite of her husband's affairs they managed to have eight children, three sons and five daughters, and if not particularly fond of her sons, Caroline clearly loved her daughters and was very upset when her father-in-law had all of the children removed from their parents and put under his supervision. George I succeeded in turning the eldest, Frederick, against his own parents, who in return cordially loathed him all his life.

The clever Caroline, who was deeply interested in politics and determined to work in league with George I's prime minister Sir Robert Walpole after their banishment, soon turned the situation to her and England's advantage. Caroline was in complete agreement with Walpole that it was necessary to keep out of the continental wars and focus on developing trade with the American and Indian colonies. After George I's death her husband wanted to get rid of his father's chief adviser but she persuaded him to change his mind and manipulated George to effect Walpole's policies. Caroline was also equally effective in handling her husband's infidelities, making them work to her advantage also.

After Caroline reached the age of fifty she became steadily more incapacitated, possibly with cancer, and eventually died in 1737. Her husband was inconsolable at his loss, he had even slept in a cot by her bed during her final illness, and never married again. The frightful Frederick died before his father in 1751.


Oh, my lord! If this woman should die, what a scene of confusion will here be! Who can tell into what hands the king will fall?
- Sir Robert Walpole, in Lord Hervey's Memoirs .

The queen loved reading, and the conversation of men of wit and learning. But she dared not indulge herself so much as she wished to do in this pleasure for fear of the king, who often rebuked her for dabbling in all that lettered nonsense (as he called it).
- Lord Hervey's Memoirs.

Here lies, wrapt up in forty thousand towels,
The only proof that Caroline had bowels.
- Alexander Pope, Epitaph on Queen Caroline.

As Queen Caroline lay dying, George II was by her bedside, distraught:
Caroline: You must marry again
George: No, no!... I shall have mistresses instead
Caroline: Great Heavens, that is no impediment!

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