History Blog

 RSS Feed

Category: Women in History

  1. Almost Queens: Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Princess of Wales

    Posted on

    Caroline of Ansbach and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Streilitz are the best known of the Hanoverian Queens. As the wives of, respectively, King George II and King George III, they wore the consorts crown. George I's wife Sophia had been imprisoned for years when he came to the throne, and George IV's wife Caroline of Brunswick was never crowned or recognised by her husband as Queen. William IV's wife Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen is generally forgotten about, possibly because attention tends to focus more on her husband's battles over their niece, the future Queen Victoria.

    But between Caroline and Charlotte should have been another Queen. The untimely death of George III's father, Frederick Prince of Wales, meant that his wife Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha suddenly went from Queen-in-Waiting to Dowager Princess of Wales, and would instead have to watch her daughter-in-law get the coronation she might otherwise have expected for herself.

  2. Royal Mistresses: Nell Gwyn

    Posted on

    “Let not poor Nellie starve”.

    This is reported to be one of the last requests that King Charles II made to his brother James shortly before his death. Charles had had multiple mistresses during his life, and Eleanor “Nell” Gwyn was just one of several long-term favourites. But unlike her contemporaries, who had powerful families and connections to protect them after his death, Nell was a commoner who could easily be dropped by her supporters, thus the request that his brother help her after he was gone.