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Scandalous Facts About Caroline Of Brunswick, The Spurned Queen

Dancy Mason

Royals like Princess Diana had some infamous marriages, but nothing compares to the nightmare Caroline of Brunswick had to endure. From literally the very beginning of her union with the rakish King George IV, Caroline’s life turned into a soap opera—and the drama only stopped with her tragic, jaw-dropping end. Buckle up for this one.


Caroline Of Brunswick Facts

1. She Was Mega Privileged

On the surface, Caroline was as spoiled a brat as they come. Her father Charles William was the Duke of Brunswick, while her mother Princess Augusta was the sister to the current King of England, George III. So yeah, Caroline was sporting some major pedigree from the very moment she was born. But when you looked closer, her family was utterly twisted.

2. Her Parents Were Dysfunctional

Despite her fairy-tale background, Caroline’s home life was nightmarish. Her father and mother despised each other, mostly because her dear old dad liked flaunting his chief mistress around the palace. Caroline didn’t escape unscathed, either. She later confessed that she felt like a “shuttlecock” between her parents, and that whenever she was nice to one, the other would get angry at her. Yet the dysfunction didn’t stop there.

3. She Was Beautiful

As Caroline grew up, people couldn’t fail to notice her show-stopping good looks. She not only had a stylishly robust figure and light, curly hair, but she also had charm to spare. One courtier described her as “most amiable, lively, playful, witty and handsome.” So pretty much the whole package. Still, while most girls would rejoice at skipping the awkward stage, this actually was really bad news for Caroline.

4. Her Parents Kept Her Locked Away

The more Caroline grew into her looks, the more her parents grew frantic that their high-society daughter would get into major trouble with men. Their response was chilling. Instead of tamping down their paranoia, they did everything they could to keep Caroline away from the opposite sex, and her governesses watched her every move. Oh, except then they went further.

5. She Was A Princess In A Tower

Seriously, Caroline’s parents had some severe trust issues. It got so bad that any time the family was entertaining guests, the royal chaperones forced Caroline to keep to her room—and stay away from the windows. Otherwise, all manner of men could peer in and ogle her indecently…I guess? And that was just in the privacy of her own home. Once she stepped foot outside, watch out.

6. She Was Forbidden To Do One Thing

Because Mommy and Daddy Brunswick weren’t total head cases, they did (very rarely) let Caroline attend public functions like balls. But there was a major catch. Caroline wasn’t allowed to even dance at these events and had to go sit at a card table with old ladies the moment the band struck the first chord. Yikes, I’m starting to think this girl isn’t going to turn out too well…

7. She Became A Rebel

Caroline did not react well to her parents’ smothering, which is pretty understandable. It’s just that her rebellion was utterly bizarre. After her family refused to let her go to yet another ball, Caroline finally had enough and put a plan into action. After her parents left to go to the function themselves, Caroline faked a violent illness that forced them to come back and see her. When they arrived, they received horrific news.

8.  She Got A Bizarre Vengeance

Let no one say that Caroline of Brunswick didn’t have chutzpah. When her mother and father rushed back home, the girl didn’t simulate a measly little flu or a freak case of the chickenpox. Nope, she went the whole nine yards. Not only did she insist that she was pregnant, but she also said that she was going into labor right then and there. This didn’t end well.

9. She Taught Her Parents A Lesson

Completely fooled, Caroline’s parents rushed out and brought a midwife to her bedside. That’s when Caroline completed her revenge. As soon as the midwife entered her room, Caroline suddenly dropped her façade and asked her mother, “Now, Madam, will you keep me another time from a ball?” Even though pretending you’re in labor has nothing to do with going to a ball, it’s definitely memorable—and it would come back to haunt Caroline in a big way.

10. She Received Indecent Proposals

Caroline may have had a ridiculously strict upbringing, but she was still a beautiful, wealthy aristocrat, and she had barely turned 13 before her parents started casting about for an eligible suitor. She received scads of proposals from English and Prussian princes, but none of them seemed to stick…and there might have been a scandalous reason for her many flings.

11. She Had A Romeo And Juliet Story

Later on in her life, Caroline confessed an enormous secret. She claimed that during this royal speed-dating period, she was actually in love with an anonymous, lowborn man known only as “The Handsome Irishman.” Tragically, she had begged her father to allow her to marry him despite his low status, and the domineering patriarch refused point-blank.

Then again, an even more shocking rumor emerged from this time…

12. She May Have Been A Teen Mom

Though no sources can substantiate the claims, there were a lot of whispers that as a young teenager, Caroline got pregnant—for real this time—and had even given birth. Theories abound about the identity of the supposed father, with some believing it was this “Handsome Irishman” and others claiming it was a peasant from one of the houses Caroline often visited.

Whatever the truth was, the entire situation had big consequences.

13. She Was An “Old Maid”

These pregnancy rumors were so rampant, they were practically common knowledge at a certain point. Some people argued that it was this sordid past that kept the otherwise eligible bachelorette single for so long. By the time Caroline turned 26, she was already considered an old maid by the day’s standards, and her family began to wonder if her time had passed.

Until one fateful day…

14. She Bagged A Big Prince

The Brunswicks were beside themselves about their daughter’s fate, and they tried one last, desperate move. They opened up marriage talks with Caroline’s cousin, the future King George IV of England. At this point, George was Britain’s Prince of Wales, and one of the most sought-after royals in Europe. So how did the “tarnished” Caroline of Brunswick bag him? The answer to that is…super gross.

15. Her Fiancé Took Advantage Of Her

In truth, George and Caroline had the opposite of a fairy tale. George was messy, rakish, and—most importantly—so deeply in debt that parliament staunchly refused to increase his allowance unless he married an eligible European princess. Enter: Caroline of Brunswick. That’s right, our poor girl was nothing more than cash cow to George. And the drama doesn’t end there.

16. Her Prince Was Hiding A Secret

In 1794, Prince George and Caroline of Brunswick were officially engaged before ever having met each other. But the whole time, George was hiding a ruinous secret. He was already married. Yep, I’m not kidding. In 1785, he married his long-time mistress Maria Fitzherbert, although Parliament refused to recognize their union because of Fitzherbert’s lower social class. Well, this is heading for total disaster.

17. She Was A Dirty Girl

In March 1795, Caroline traveled to meet her, er, Prince Charming at long last…but it was not an auspicious beginning. For one, Caroline didn’t make a good impression on the way over. Her British guide Lord Malmesbury balked at Charlotte’s brassy, outspoken nature (but are you surprised? After all, this is the woman who pretended to go into labor in front of her own mother).

Another mark against Caroline? Malmesbury also noted the princess’s lack of hygiene. Look, if someone in the 18th century thinks you’re dirty, you’re dirty. However, Caroline did have one secret weapon.

18. She Performed An Act Of Bravery

Even though Lord Malmesbury was appalled at Caroline’s big personality, her boldness did recommend her in one way. On the journey over to England, they crossed near French battle lines and heard cannon fire. While many in the party trembled in fear, Caroline was completely unfazed. Still, she was about to come up against something that would faze her: Her husband to be.

19. She Was Shallow

Charlotte’s first encounter with Prince George shattered any illusions she might have had about a fairy tale romance. After all, George was notorious for loving women, cards, and big meals. Once she saw the prince, Caroline sniped that her new beau was “very fat and he’s nothing like as handsome as his portrait.” If you think that’s cold, though, just wait for George’s reply.

20. She Received A Major Insult

Reportedly, George took one look at Caroline and dealt her an ice-cold insult. Without saying much of anything to her, he turned to his manservant and asked for a glass of brandy, presumably to wash down his disappointment in his bride-to-be. Yeah, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight for these two, but the night had further indignities ahead.

21. Her Groom Snubbed Her

It didn’t take long for Caroline to realize her groom had a cruel streak in him the size of his well-fed girth. In fact, the woman Prince George had sent ahead to become Caroline’s Lady of the Bedchamber was none other than his current mistress, Frances Villiers. Unsurprisingly, the headstrong Caroline didn’t handle that well.

22. She Knew How To Throw Shade

Caroline spent her first meal with George (understandably) overcome with jealousy about his obvious preference for Villiers. Still, this woman could absolutely give as good as she got, and Caroline whiled away her time at the meal lobbing veiled insults at Villiers, much to George’s horror.  All in all, the marriage had a completely disastrous start.

Yet somehow, the downhill slide would only gain speed.

23. Her Wedding Was A Nightmare

Those 18th-century royals moved fast, and George and Caroline headed for the altar just three days after their absurdly dysfunctional first meeting. That’s when George really took it up a notch. Figuring the whole “first impressions” portion of the courtship was a wash anyway, he was rip-roaring drunk at his own wedding ceremony and apparently also deemed Caroline too unhygienic to be attractive. Uh, and then came the infamous wedding night.

24. She Did Her “Duty”

In an ensuing letter to his friend, George revealed all the gory details of his first night as Caroline’s husband—and they were even worse than you’d expect. He claimed that throughout their entire marriage, he and Caroline only had “intimate relations” a bare three times; twice on the wedding night and once the day after. As for how those lucky three times went? Well…

25. She Disgusted Her Husband

By the time Caroline hit the marriage bed with her new royal husband, their dislike for each other had curdled into bitter hatred. For his part, George claimed it “required no small [effort] to conquer my aversion and overcome the disgust of her person” when he did his duty, while Caroline recalled that George was so in his cups, he “passed the greatest part of his bridal night under the grate, where he fell, and where I left him.”

But even after this gong show of a wedding night, things still managed to get worse for the newlyweds.

26. Her Life Changed In The Blink Of An Eye

Just a few months after her wedding, Caroline made a horrific discovery. Well, horrific if you hate your husband: She was pregnant. Yep, apparently, three times is really all it takes, and she gave birth to Princess Charlotte on January 7, 1796, almost exactly nine months to the day of her wedding night. Still, on the bright side, you’d think giving George an heir would make Caroline’s life easier. But…you’d be wrong.

27. Her Husband Invaded Her Privacy

According to reports from the time, George didn’t just hate Caroline, he also tried to control her every move in increasingly humiliating ways. Frances Villiers, who was still both George’s mistress and Caroline’s Lady of the Bedchamber, reportedly snooped through Caroline’s private letters, using the information to gain advantages over the poor girl. That wasn’t enough for George, though.

28. She Was Literally Trapped In Her Marriage

In a tragic echo of her supremely unhappy childhood, the newspapers claimed that George refused to allow Caroline to go anywhere without his express permission, whether it was visiting friends or traveling abroad. So just like that, the vibrant (and sometimes pungent) Caroline of Brunswick was back to living in a gilded cage. But no bad deed goes unpunished.

29. The People Adored Her

Although Caroline had to endure the worst of her husband’s contempt, it backfired right in his face. See, while the public rightly thought George was a huge lush with an even bigger spending problem, they adored Caroline’s open manners and her “winning familiarity.” She soon became incredibly popular with the people, and George didn’t like her newfound fame one bit.

30. She Made Her Husband Jealous

If there was one thing Prince George lived for besides his nightcaps, it was the adoration of his underlings, so he did not take kindly to the idea that his hated wife Caroline was the darling of the British people and he was the butt of their jokes. His jealousy consumed him day in and day out—and it wasn’t long before it hit a breaking point.

31. She Fled Her Marriage

In April 1796, the bottom finally dropped out of Caroline’s “fairy tale.” George admitted in writing that they both were deeply unhappy and asked that they separate. By that summer, the royal couple were living in different residences. The next year, Caroline broke from her chains almost entirely, started residing in a private estate, and really let it all hang out…

32. She Went Wild

As soon as Caroline got away from George, dark rumors began to swirl. Many people whispered that in the privacy of her new home, Caroline was getting up to some very intimate acts. They claimed she continually “entertained” a series of handsome men, including the dashing soldiers Sir Sidney Smith and Captain Thomas Manby.

Caroline was finally turning into the bad girl she was born to be—and she wasn’t stopping any time soon.

33. She Became A Brood Mother

In addition to flirting up a storm with all the men in her radius, Caroline also developed a new quirk. Like Angelina Jolie after her, she started collecting an assortment of children, adopting a brood of eight or nine tots and doling them out to be fostered by various families in her district. In 1802, she even took a little boy named William Austin into her own house. As we’ll see, this was a very, very bad idea.

34. She Sent Obscene Letters

During this “Caroline gets her groove back” stage, the noblewoman also mercilessly started feuds with her well-to-do neighbors, the aristocrats Sir John and Lady Douglas. They claimed that the Princess loved to send them “obscene” and “harassing” letters whenever she could. To her dismay, Caroline quickly found out she had made the exact wrong enemies.

35. She Was In A Bitter Feud

There’s a reason good fences make good neighbors: That way, nosy jerks can’t spy on you. Apparently, Caroline of Brunswick never got the memo about that, because Sir John and Lady Douglas were able to do a lot of spying on the private quarters of her little household. Soon, they got their revenge by revealing the skeletons lurking in Caroline’s closet.

36. Her Neighbor Ratted Her Out

In retaliation, Lady Douglas ran to the government and claimed that Caroline had been carrying on affairs. The bitter neighbor even asserted that the future Queen had once confessed that she was pregnant and that her “adopted” son William Austin was really her illegitimate child. With these accusations, the ministers only had one option…and it wasn’t pretty.

37. She Was In The Middle Of An Infamous Investigation

Agape at the enormity of Caroline’s supposed scandals, the Prime Minster himself gathered a cadre of men and set up a secret snoop operation into her private life, calling it the “Delicate Investigation.” Well, despite its name, its methods were anything but delicate. They dug into every accusation about Caroline’s lovers and lifestyle, interviewing countless members of her household. The findings were more than surprising.

38. She Was A Flirt

After questioning Caroline’s servants, the Prime Minister grew to believe that Caroline had been inappropriately flirtatious with men, but at the same time, no one could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she had carried on an affair with any of her male companions. They soon dropped the inquest—but it was too little, too late. The damage was done.

39. She Lost Custody Of Her Daughter

Prince George was always trying to find new ways to stick it to his estranged wife, so during this “Delicate Investigation,” he kept Caroline far away from their daughter Charlotte. Afterward, this cruelty became tragedy. Even when the furor lapsed, George restricted Caroline’s visits to Charlotte to a mere once a week.

After years of a chilly détente, Caroline and George ignited their feud, and it reached an entirely new level.

40. Her Husband Tried To Freeze Her Out

Suddenly, all of England became “Team George” or “Team Caroline,” with the two royals going back and forth at each other through various propaganda campaigns. And boy, did George know how to play dirty. Not only did he leak some of the information from the Delicate Investigation, but he also regularly barred Caroline from attending the best parties of the day.

Don’t worry though, Caroline more than held her own…

41. Her Daughter Took Her Side

While George had the highest society on his side, Caroline still had support where it mattered. Her own daughter Charlotte, who could plainly see her daddy was a megalomaniacal loser, picked her mom in the split. Even the famous author Jane Austen once wrote, “Poor woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman and because I hate her Husband.” Truer words, Jane.

42. She Made A Great Escape

By the summer of 1814, Caroline hit a crisis. Fed up with facing off against her powerful husband, she escaped into a genteel exile and started jaunting through Europe’s hotspots and beyond. She visited Switzerland and Italy, as well as Constantinople and Nazareth. But since this is Caroline of Brunswick we’re talking about, she did not go without drama.

43. She Took Up A Scandalous Favorite

While gallivanting around, Caroline picked up a new male favorite, the handsome Italian Bartolomeo Pergami. He started out as her servant but quickly became the head of her entire household and entourage. The pair grew very close, taking their meals together and traveling everywhere side by side. So it wasn’t long before some very convincing rumors started circulating…

44. She Was The Subject Of Rampant Gossip

Just about everyone thought that Pergami and Caroline were romantically involved, despite the fact that both of them were married to other people. In fact, none other than the poet Lord Byron—a messy betch who loved drama if there ever was one—wrote to his publisher and gossiped about the pair, despite this being none of his freaking business.

Of course, Caroline’s, ahem, unsubtle behavior didn’t exactly help clear her name…

45. She Flaunted Her New Man

Now, I don’t want to stop a girl from having her fun, but Caroline had just been in hot water back in England over rumors of adultery, so I do wish she was a little more discreet. During their sojourns, Pergami traveled with practically everyone in his family, including his brother, mother, and daughter. The one person missing? His wife.

Oh, and then there’s this little tidbit: While out east, Caroline instituted the “Order of Caroline”…and nominated Pergami as its Grand Master. Guys, c’mon. Byron is gonna have a field day with that one. But from great scandal, Caroline soon moved to utter heartache.

46. She Lost Her Only Child

In November 1817, an unimaginable tragedy hit the royal family. Caroline’s daughter Princess Charlotte, who had just gotten married to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, perished while giving birth to a stillborn son. In the blink of an eye, George and Caroline lost their beloved child and their royal line. And then Caroline’s grief turned into a profound sense of betrayal.

47. Her Husband Got Her Back

Caroline was utterly devastated when she found out about her daughter’s end—but it was how she found out that was truly tragic. George, ever the colossal jerk, refused to write to his wife and tell her their only daughter was gone. Instead, he left the duty to Prince Leopold, who delayed writing it because he was, you know, in mourning. The results of this were barbarous.

48. She Found Out About Her Daughter’s Fate By Accident

Even though George didn’t bother to inform Caroline, he did send a letter to the Pope letting him know. Completely by chance, the courier carrying this letter passed by where Caroline was living, and tried to offer her his condolences. This meant that Caroline learned about her only child’s death…from a random courier. Look, I wish I could say George didn’t amp up this douchebaggery, but he definitely did.

49. She Became Very Vulnerable

Unfortunately for Caroline, losing Princess Charlotte meant she lost another incredibly important thing: Any hope of regaining influence at court. She was no longer the mother of the heiress to England, which left her more vulnerable to George’s incessant attacks on her character, her independence, and her livelihood. You can bet he took full advantage of this.

50. Her Husband Tried To Destroy Her

Around 1819, Caroline’s husband dealt her his most chilling attack yet. Now that they didn’t even share a daughter, George was absolutely foaming at the mouth to make their separation official and divorce Caroline for good. Since this wasn’t easy to do, he launched a new investigation, the Milan commission, to prove she was committing adultery with Bartolomeo Pergami. It did not go the way he wanted.

51. Everyone Knew Her Secrets

To be fair, George did gather some damaging details from the commission, with one of his emissaries coming back and reporting, “They are to all appearances man and wife.” But George needed either cold, hard adultery evidence or else a confession to really divorce Caroline, and Caroline insisted this was “impossible” to admit.

Once more, the royals were at a stalemate…until fate dealt them both another wrenching twist.

52. She Became Queen Of England

In 1820, George’s father passed, turning him into King George IV of England—and Caroline of Brunswick, at least technically, into Queen Caroline. This kicked their catastrophic marriage into overdrive. Unable to just sit back and enjoy his kingship, George was demonically bent on keeping Caroline from a crown, even going so far as to have the clerics remove her name from the liturgy in the Church of England. And that wasn’t all.

53. She Got A Restraining Order

With the news that her husband was now king, the still-exiled Caroline started to inch closer and closer to an English homecoming, much to the panic of George’s ministers. They were so sure that total war would break out if Caroline set foot on the cliffs of Dover, they agreed to pay her an extra 50,000 pounds a year to stay the heck away. Did Caroline listen? No. Should she have? 100% yes.

54. She Committed A Defiant Act

On June 5, 1820, Caroline said “screw you” to her haters and landed in England anyway. The moment she did, it was utter pandemonium. Riots broke out in support of the spurned queen and against King George’s conservative reputation, leading Caroline to become a surprise figurehead for radical political reform. But then George unleashed his master plan.

55. Her Husband Took Her To Court

The very day after Caroline landed in England, George took two green bags over to Parliament and plopped them down in front of the benches. Their contents were absolutely scandalous. It was all the evidence he had been sitting on from his “Milan commission,” and the peers considered them convincing enough to launch a public trial against Caroline.

Suddenly, years of George’s machinations were coming to fruition. Jeez, how the heck is Caroline going to get out of this one?

56. She Was Found Guilty

From the start, the trial against Caroline looked bad, and to make matters worse, the scandal caused an absolute frenzy in the press. Witnesses claimed Caroline and Pergami slept in the same bed, kissed in public, and were often around each other half dressed. Um, yeah, they were definitely lovers. So after hearing the testimony, the House of Lords passed a bill that would strip Caroline of her title and dissolve her marriage. Only, if you think that’s the end—not so fast.

57. She Escaped Certain Ruin

By this point, King George IV was probably breaking out a celebratory drink or eight, but fate had other plans in store. In the end, the bill could only be a symbolic gesture. Caroline was far too popular in the House of Commons, so the pernicious edict never even went beyond the stuffy House of Lords. Ha! Take that, Georgie.

58. She Had A Legendary Comeback

Now, what was Caroline doing the whole time this trial was raging? Being her own bad self, naturally. In addition to courting an alliance with the radicals of England, she also had time to slap down an infamous bon mot about the scandal. To friends, she “confessed” she had only committed adultery once: “with the husband of Mrs. Fitzherbert, the king.” Yow.

But as beloved at Caroline was, her excruciating downfall was coming.

59. She Stepped Over The Line

On July 19, 1821, King George IV finally had his official coronation—and Caroline came one step closer to her tragic end. Bolstered by her popularity with the masses and her victory over her trial, she pushed to attend the royal coronation even though George had expressly forbid her. Spoiler: This idea backfired HARD.

60. She Suffered A Huge Humiliation

The minute Caroline rode up to the ceremony at Westminster, she suffered an embarrassment so total, it has lived in infamy ever since. She strutted toward the front doors of the building, but King George was ready for her. His men fulfilled his orders and humiliatingly turned Caroline away. Ouch. Except, the truly mortifying part was yet to come…

61. She Refused To Give Up

Instead of taking her lumps and going home, Caroline simply couldn’t admit defeat in the face of her husband’s cruelty. Furious, she scurried away from the front doors and tried to get in through the doors by the East Cloister next. No luck. Then the West Cloister—no luck. Increasingly frantic, Caroline went to Westminster Hall, in full view of the arriving guests. In the coming seconds, England’s glitterati witnessed a jaw-dropping sight.

62. Soldiers Attacked Her

According to one eyewitness, when Caroline reached the Westminster Hall entrance, the men posted up at the door had the audacity to put a bayonet up to the chin of the Queen of freaking England. They were fully ready to turn her away, if not by persuasion then by force. To top it all off, a chamberlain then slammed the doors in Caroline’s face. Oh girl, please give up now.

63. She Gave Up In Shame

Sadly, though, this train wreck was in full swing, and Caroline had one last humiliation in store. She now tried to sneak in through the famous “Poet’s Corner” in Westminster, only to have yet another of King George’s lackeys head her off at the pass. At long last, the man convinced Caroline what she was doing was madness and sent her back to her carriage. Yet dark consequences were ahead.

64. The People Turned On Her

Caroline of Brunswick had been on top of the world, but it took just a few minutes for it all to come crashing down. Her unhinged and undignified display at George’s coronation made her popularity with the people plummet instantly, and crowds even jeered her as she rode out of the coronation site with her tail between her legs.

Somehow, though, that was just the beginning of the nightmare.

65. She Fell Gravely Ill

After this catastrophically bad day, Caroline went home with her nerves in shreds. By the time the sun set, she had fallen seriously ill. To ease her suffering, Caroline took some milk of magnesia as well as some drops of laudanum, hoping to sleep it off and come back swinging in the morning. But like so much else in her life, this didn’t go according to plan.

66. She Knew The End Was Near

After a few weeks passed, Caroline came to a terrifying conclusion. Her condition and ill health weren’t getting better. On the contrary, she realized that she was nearing the end of her life. Without time to think, she began to organize her affairs for when she passed…and she started lobbing some seriously disturbing accusations.

67. She Accused The King Of A Horrific Act

Throughout her illness, Caroline frequently said that she thought she had been poisoned and, given the suspicious timing of her sickness, many people began to whisper that King George IV was the one who had orchestrated the chilling act. After all, what could be better for him than conveniently getting rid of his pesky wife? Historians, however, have come to an entirely different conclusion.

68. She Had A Mysterious Sickness

While Caroline’s own doctors believed she had an intestinal obstruction that was wreaking havoc on her body, modern experts today think she could have been suffering from some kind of cancer that decided to rear its ugly head in the middle of her mental anguish. Whatever the truth, though, Caroline’s end was nothing short of heartbreaking.

69. She Died Young

On August 7, just weeks after her humiliating display at Westminster, Caroline of Brunswick passed in her residence at 10:25 pm. The Queen of England was only 53 years old at the time of her passing, yet she somehow managed to stuff three lifetimes’ worth of intrigue into her short time on Earth. And that’s not all. As if to cement her scandal-maker reputation, Caroline managed to start some drama from beyond the grave…

70. She Burned All Her Belongings

Caroline of Brunswick was a drama queen to end all drama queens, and she knew how to make an exit. Before she went, she burned up all her memoirs, notebooks, and letters, ensuring that King George IV couldn’t ever get a hold of any of her best-kept secrets and besmirch her name. But that wasn’t even her best posthumous swing.

71. She Had Iconic Last Words

Caroline planned every last detail of her funeral like the total boss she was, and these plans included an utterly iconic request for the inscription on her tomb. She had it read: “Here lies Caroline, the Injured Queen of England,” just in case King George could ever forget what an enormous donkey he was. Oh, and there was one more thing.

72. She Caused A Riot

The dearly departed queen managed to cause one last riot. On the day of her funeral, George’s ministers, fearing unrest among Caroline’s mourners, decide to re-route her procession. Well, this only made the crowd even angrier. Chaos broke out in the streets, with commoners throwing bricks at the honor guard and two civilians perishing in the fray. Sure, it wasn’t healthy mourning, but it was dramatic. And honestly, isn’t that exactly what Caroline would have wanted?

73. She Was A Celebrity

As balls-to-the-wall ridiculous as Caroline of Brunswick’s story is today, it was magnified during her own time. The royal in-fighting between George and his wife was on the tongues of everyone in the United Kingdom, with the critic William Hazlitt once writing, “It struck its roots into the heart of the nation; it took possession of every house or cottage in the kingdom.”

If Caroline wanted infamy, she sure got it.

74. Her Husband Was Loathsome

All right, I’ve truly saved the best for last. George and Caroline’s relationship was full of drama, betrayal, pettiness, and revenge, but nothing beats this little piece of cruelty. Once Caroline’s daughter Princess Charlotte was born, George immediately changed his last will and testament—and he left his royal wife a disturbing “gift.”

75. She Received A Brutal Snub

Get this, guys: Not three days after Princess Charlotte came into the world, George updated his will and gave all his possessions to “Maria Fitzherbert, my wife,” just to really drive the point home to Caroline about who mattered most to him. Meanwhile, George left Caroline…one single shilling. Caroline, this guy deserved everything he got.

Sources: 1, 2, 3


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Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team