Europe's Hope & Britain's Glory - A Georgian Alternate History

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by DrakeRlugia, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

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    Europe’s Hope and Britain’s Glory
    An Alternate History of the Reign of Queen Charlotte of Great Britain


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    Chapter I. A Good Tempered Man with Good Sense[/FONT]


    “I am told, God knows how truly, that when declared to the States-General, it did not please. The Dutch are naturally very jealous, and they imagined it was a trial to annex Holland and her commerce to this country forever. I will tell you, too, that I believe the subject of my quitting this country will be made a cause of much debate as soon as Parliament meets. My own family, and the head of it, too is very desirous I should leave it, which I cannot say I am, as I feel naturally excessively attached to this country I was born and educated in. […] A decided answer from the P. of P would be a blessing really to me, with this uncertainty preying on my health and spirits. He really is the best thing when compared to the P. of Orange. A good tempered man with good sense, he is my choice in this matter. No arguments, no threats, shall ever bend me to marry that detestable Dutchman.”

    Letter from Princess Charlotte of Wales to her friend and companion, Miss Knight

    It was 1814 when Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only child of the Prince Regent George and his estranged wife, Caroline of Brunswick, became the center of marital drama that seemingly emulated that of her own parent’s troubled marriage that had been arranged nearly twenty years before. The Prince Regent and his advisors had begun to seek out a match for the princess’ hand with the Napoleonic Wars coming to an end and all had come to the agreement that only one man was a suitable match for the young woman who would someday be the future Queen of Great Britain—the Prince of Orange, Willem whose father Willem VI was recently dubbed Sovereign Prince of the United Netherlands by the Eight Articles of London, a secret protocol between the Great Britain, Prussia, Austria, and Russia which had awarded the former Austrian Netherlands as well the former territories of the Dutch Republic to the House of Orange-Nassau, to create a buffer state on France’s border. It was natural in this situation that England would seek to bind the Netherlands close to them through the ties of marriage. The benefits, at least in the mind of the Prince Regent, far outweighed what his daughter, a silly girl thought.

    So began the courtship. The Prince of Orange had made a poor showing at a dinner party for the Prince Regent’s birthday when he became intoxicated. Charlotte was reluctant to her marriage to a foreigner, declaring that “I cannot quit this country, as Queen of England still less.” Despite the great secrecy over the match, it immediately leaked to the press. Papers began to compare Charlotte martial options, declaring if she would marry “the Orange or the Cheese,” the cheese referring to Prince William of Gloucester, popularly known as Silly Billy who was Charlotte’s second cousin and match widely preferred to that of the Prince of Orange; these rumors only incensed the Prince Regent, who believed his daughter was really planning to marry the Duke of Gloucester. Indeed, the pair were abused verbally by her father, causing Charlotte to declare, “He spoke as if he had the most improper ideas of my inclinations. I see that he is compleatly [sic] poisoned against me, and that he will never come round [to the idea of my marriage to someone else].” It was even stated by the Princess that if she did marry Orange, he would have to visit his frogs alone.

    The stress of this grave situation Princess Charlotte even sought advice from Earl Grey, a Whig peer who advised that she play for time. The Prince Regent set up a second meeting in December where Charlotte met the Prince of Orange; it was during this meeting that Prince George asked for her daughter’s answer regarding the match. She merely stated that she liked what she had seen so far, which her father took as an acceptance of the match. The Prince of Orange was immediately informed, and thus began Charlotte’s engagement to that detestable Dutchman.

    The marriage negotiations were severely prolonged due to the demands of Charlotte, who insisted that she should never be required to leave Britain against her own will. The English and Dutch diplomats on both sides saw no desire to see Britain and Holland united; even though it had been nearly a century before, both sides clearly remembered the reign of William III. The Dutch had no desire to see an absentee king who would merely use them for funds for his palaces in Britain and troops in his wars. Likewise, the British had no desire to be entangled into European affairs. Should France become resurgent and once more march across Belgium, Britain had no desire to be dragged into another messy war simply because their sovereign had been wedded in bed and throne to the future king of the Netherlands. An agreement was cleverly designed that the eldest son of the couple should inherit Britain whilst their second would inherit the Netherlands. Should there be only one son, then the Netherlands would pass to the German branch of the House of Nassau.

    Yet the match was already doomed. During the visit of the Allied Sovereign’s to Britain, Charlotte became besotted with Prince Friedrich of Prussia, an attachment which would ultimately shape the future of the British monarchy. Friedrich was the son of a minor Prussian Prince and the nephew of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Friedrich was the perfect match for Charlotte in her mind—he was Royal, Protestant, and best of all, a minor Prince, able to leave his homeland and reside in Britain. The future Queen thought herself finally saved; and yet although he was impressed by Charlotte and even made a good impression on the Prince Regent, he was not yet considered a competitor for Charlotte’s hands. What would he bring into the match? He could not compete with the Prince of Orange, future sovereign of the United Netherlands; not to mention the ties of commerce that could be forged between the Low Countries. Friedrich was a sensible man, but the Prince of Wales was not stuck on sensible. Not yet at least.

    Charlotte’s mind was only filled for her Prussian. Despite a chance meeting with Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld[1], a Russian Cavalry Lieutenant, Charlotte remained attached to Prince Friedrich. He was given numerous invitations to call upon her, and Friedrich took his chance, receiving an interview with the princess who was chaperoned by the Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia. It was this private meeting which cemented Charlotte’s feelings. “I shall have him or no one else.” Friedrich found himself greatly impressed by Charlotte, both her wit and her intelligence. In writing to her father, he apologized at the length of their meeting but asked if he might be able to call upon her in the future. Likewise, he wrote to his uncle, the King of Prussia: “She is such a charming and amiable girl; I can only hope to see her as much as I can whilst I am here.”

    Charlotte and Friedrich’s time together continued. It was not directly encouraged by the Prince Regent, who felt embarrassed that Charlotte was snubbing her supposed fiancé. At the Queen’s Court on June 8th, Charlotte danced with Friedrich all night, having danced only once with the Prince of Orange; it was the Prussian whom she invited to the Ascot and naval review as well before his departure. By time the visit of the sovereign’s had ended, Charlotte was very clearly in love with Friedrich, or at least greatly charmed by him. Friedrich felt likewise, and the public took notice. The outcry against the Dutch match, incensed at the very beginning, only became more terrible when the public saw that Charlotte had found her choice—a choice that was not the Prince of Orange.

    This very public campaign was championed by the Princess of Wales, Caroline of Brunswick. She was estranged from her husband yet greatly opposed to the match. By July, Charlotte could not go out without great crowds urging her to not marry the Prince of Orange and to not abandon her mother. It was at this time that Charlotte informed her intended fiancé, Willem that if they wed her mother would have to be welcomed into their home. This was an impossible suggestion that Willem could not abide by and resulted in the marriage negotiations coming to an end. Despite the fine details agreed upon and proper engagement settled, Charlotte had no cares. She did not want Willem, she wanted Friedrich. Thus she broke the engagement off. Her father’s response was harsh, with Charlotte being ordered to remain at Warwick House until she accommodated herself to her match with the Dutch Prince. Communications were severed and she was ordered not to contact Prince Friedrich.

    So began a battle of wits between father and daughter. With it, would be settled the future of Charlotte’s marriage, Europe’s hope, and Britain’s glory.


    [1] The POD. Essentially, Charlotte remains more besotted with Prince Frederick and never considers Prince Leopold. They have a friendly meeting but that is that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  2. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

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    So begins my second proper TL; a similar theme as PoP (a surviving person), but more limited in scope. It's sort of a cliche POD, often asked (Princess Charlotte of Wales surviving), but never explored. So here we go. This will be more limited in scope than PoP, and I think, shall only cover Charlotte's life time from 1813-1814, onward. The major PoD is her attachment to the Prince of Prussia. She was besoted with one (either Prince Augustus or Frederick), but he never made any interest known. So she took Leopold... and promptly died. Here we explore a totally different partner with survival.

    Major butterflies from the instant:

    • The Coburgs definitely won't come to prominent.
    • No "rush" for Charlotte's royal uncles to contract marriages to beget an heir. Cumberland will probably still marry his cousin from Mecklenburg, though; he married her before Charlotte died and before any great rush began. Possibly Clarence (OTL William IV) will find a wife as he'll be the next King of Hannover. He may leave it to Cumberland, though.
    • We'll see some changes in other countries but not touching upon that yet ;) All I'll say is a major theme of this TL is bright young things; a term I apply to certain neighboring younger monarchs coming to the throne in the 1820s and 1830s. Just like the late 18th century saw Enlightened Absolutism en vogue, we'll see a new formed of enlightened rule in this period; re: constitutional rule, less direct control from the monarch, parliamentary responsibility, ect. But I won't spoil it.
     
  3. SavoyTruffle Memeber

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    With Clarence inheriting Hanover, perhaps it gets a better fate than OTL?

    And the POD means that the butterflies will make our German minister have a very different fate from OTL...
     
  4. CandyDragon Party-Poopin Pappy

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    This is quite interesting. Subscribed...
     
  5. Velasco As High as Honour

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    Fantastic start.

    Two quick questions:

    1. Is it at all possible for the King of Hanover to legitimise a morganatic marriage?
    2. Any chance of Victoria still being born, becoming either future Duchess of Kent or even marrying a son of Charlotte's?
     
  6. My Username is Inigo Montoya Je suis Orlando

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    Subscribed!:)
     
  7. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the early comments, all! :)


    • No, I don't think so. Morganatic marriages, while not recognized in English law, were pretty enshrined in German law. There's also the issue of the Royal Marriages Act; I don't think a future King of Hannover would risk losing his English properties by risking such a thing. Because at least in England, such a law didn't even even allow morganatic marriages. If a Royal Duke married and had permission, it was a legally binding union.
    • Possible, but doubtful. Victoria was born because of the circumstances. After Charlotte died, George III's surviving sons rushed to contract marriages to sire the next heir to the throne, excepting Sussex IIRC, who was content in his invalid union, and the Prince of Wales and York, who were both married. The only duke who married before 1817 was Cumberland, so he'll probably still marry his cousin from Schwerin. The only other duke I see marrying in this TL might be Clarence given his position to inherit Hannover. The Duke of Kent will remain happily tied to his mistress and running up debts. ;)
     
  8. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    That's a great start! I'm looking forward to see how it continues!

    Also, I liked the subject. As you said, "Queen Charlotte" is oftenly mentioned here but rarely developed. And the twist between Leopold and Frederick is interesting as well, as probably the Saxe-Coburg won't leave their position as minor German nobles.
     
  9. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

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    Hannover will at the very least get a liberal constitution a bit earlier, as Clarence was the one who gave them the constitution that Ernst deposed of. George IV himself, seemed to be too busy with his lifestyle, given Hannover received no constitution after the Congress of Vienna until 1819, but even then it merely denoted the changes in Hannover, that it was a kingdom rather than an electorate.

    I'd like to think that Clarence would sire an heir to continue liberal tradition in Hannover, but I'm not sure. Cumberland was apparently the only Royal Duke who was willing to maintain that link between Britain and Hannover; George IV and William IV were represented by the Duke of Cambridge; the Hannoverians would've preferred even him to Ernst, but he'd not replace his brother. So I wonder if Clarence would even bother to take a wife, or rather move his witty mistress and brood of bastards to Hanover once George IV eats himself to death.

    And true, re: Bismarck; but at this point in time (1814), he's still just a twinkle in his father's eye. ;) And given the period, it's not unlikely he might be still born or die young... or perhaps even be born Wilhelmine (!) von Bismarck! :D but Germany will definately have some changes. Prussia is the second power after Austria in the Confederation, but Hannover isn't totally devoid. She had some good deposits of coal and iron IIRC, and Ernst spearheaded his own currency union, the Steuerverein in 1834 to counterbalance the Zolleverein, although it was shortlived and broke down by 1841.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  10. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, the POD has been widely discussed but otherwise rarely developed. Most tend to go with the development of her surviving her childbirth as well, rather than picking out a new suitor all together.
     
  11. SavoyTruffle Memeber

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    Oy, a female Bismarck is very interesting. :D
     
  12. Velasco As High as Honour

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    I'm not sure how ahistorical it is, but from the Baroque RPG I remember the head of the Haus having leeway in determining which marriages were equal or not. Perhaps in a very extreme case the King of Hanover, with an unapproved (but clerically valid?) marriage in England, could legitimise the issue thereof, naturally spending plenty of his time securing recognition from the other German princes.

    And ah, shame on no Victoria :( Will be interesting to see how the royal family and England develop in her absence!
     
  13. Geordie Married Man

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    Interesting. Consider me subscribed.
     
  14. AuroraBorealis Member

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    Charlotte will be this Tl's victoria
     
  15. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

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    They did to some extent, but it was pretty well known what was valid and what wasn't. Morganatic marriages were allowed, but entailed no succession rights, also this could be back-tracked, as the morganatic line succeeded in Baden IIRC. I think in by-gone times, there was also the Reichstag to dispute such marriages; one thing Vienna is credited with was the creation of so many paper royal highnesses: that even the tinest dirt back German duchy could be propelled into a better situation: despite reigning over tiny stem duchies, with populations of only tens of thousands, they were still considered equal marriage partners, to the Hannovers, Bourbons, Habsburgs, ect. This went with some families who had lost their lands in Napoleon's meditzation as well, IIRC.

    The issue with England is a marriage was valid or it wasn't. There was really no inbetween (ie: it's valid but your children can't succeed. It was either invalid and the children were bastards and Fitzwhathaveyous, or legal and they were princes and princesses, with succession rights) If they had the sovereign's permission or that of the council be they past twenty five, it was a valid union. Without, it wasn't. So, Sussex for instance probably had a clerically valid marriage, but it was still invalid as he had sought no permission. It's also the issue that any male line of George II needs the British sovereigns permission. Only princesses' offspring who had married into foreign families were exempted. This meant that the Kings of Hannover continued (and still do) to seek British sovereign's permission to marry. It's important their marriages are binding to protect their titles and property in England, but also their right to the succession. For instance, the Prince of Hanover married a Princess of Monaco; he still asked for Liz II's permission. Despite the fact he lost his succession rights per 1701 because of it, he still asked and was allowed so as to maintain his rights to the Cumberland titles and properties sequestered after 1918.

    Also, re: Kent. Perhaps I spoke too soon. Apperantly as early as 1816 he was considered marriage. Not for the succession of course, but rather to relieve his debts, as he was gambling on a Parliamentary Annuity upon his marriage. Leopold naturally pushed him towards Victoria's mother, and he even proposed in 1816, but she refused. He was also connected to Amalia of Baden, but she was in her forties and he wanted someone younger. So; I think with Charlotte surviving he may still marry, but not Victoria's mother. I think the Prince of Prussia might try to exert some influence, and Kent will be scheming for money to relieve his titanic debts of some 200,000 pounds. ;) So I think he'll seek a wife eitherway, although for very different reasons: I can see him just marrying someone for money and not being entirely happy with her... perhaps he doesn't abandon Mme. Saint-Laurent, his French mistress?
     
  16. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

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    Willem, Prince of Orange; the would be suitor of Charlotte of Wales, future Queen of Great Britain from 1814 to 1816

    Chapter II. Ill-Abused

    “After what has passed upon this subject this morning between us (which was too much conclusive to require further explanation), I must consider our engagement from this moment to be totally and forever at an end. I leave the explanation of this affair to be made by you to the Prince in whatever manner is most agreeable to you, trusting it entirely to your honor, of which I have never for a moment doubted. I cannot conclude without expressing the sincere concern I feel in being the cause of giving you pain, which feeling ism however, lessened in a degree by the hope that I stand acquitted in your eyes of having acted dishonourably by you in the case of this business, or of having ever raised false hopes in your mind with respect to my consenting to a residence abroad. […] It only remains for me to entreat you to accept my sincerest and best wishes for your happiness, and to express the kindness and interest I shall always feel towards you.
    ‘Charlotte.’
    — Letter from the Princess Charlotte to the Prince of Orange, breaking off their engagement.

    Charlotte broke off her engagement to the Prince of Orange through letter, asking him to relay the information to her father, having worded it in such a way that the Prince of Orange would be forced to admit that the princess had spurned him. Quite naturally wishing no injury to his honor, he refused to do so and Charlotte was forced to bring up the courage to do so herself. What resulted was an explosion of words between the Wales where Charlotte was confined at her residence, Warwick House, until she came to her senses and agreed to marry the Prince of Orange, or until the Prince Regent decided a suitable punishment for his daughter for disobeying him. Charlotte, having recently turned eighteen, was humiliated. She saw herself as a grown adult, as a woman. Indeed, greatly influenced by the author Jane Austen in particular, Charlotte was aghast that her father could even think to force her into a marriage. Having endured his own arranged match, why would he force such a thing upon her?

    Charlotte wanted a choice in her future marriage; there were also obvious fears that sending her abroad would make it that much easier for her father to seek a divorce. If the Prince of Wales remarried and had a son, her position as heiress presumptive would be finished. Charlotte had reason to worry. The Prince Regent was not a calm man; everything about him screamed impulsive. He blew hot; he blew cold. He could swing between giddy and angry in mere moments, and it was openly reflected in his behavior towards his daughter. While the Princess of Wales contented herself with a benign neglect of her child, George alternated between obsessive control and awful neglect. He praised and indulged Charlotte one moment, then turned immediately railed into her. Charlotte was under strict surveillance at Warwick House and confided in her uncle, the Duke of Sussex that she was afraid of being abducted from there. He gave her one simple piece of advice:”Plagues you must expect. If you are firm, they are for a limited time. But if you should yield, they will last a lifetime. If you show yourself afraid, the game is clearly up. At this moment the public opinion is with you.” Charlotte’s fears readily relayed to the Duke of Sussex quickly became public gossip that the Prince of Wales planned to abduct his daughter. Charlotte wrote to her father a second time, offering to explain her conduct, but continued to make no promise of marriage to the Dutch Prince.

    Two days later, the Prince Regent called upon Charlotte and Miss Knight. George gave his daughter no time to speak, immediately breaking into a tirade regarding Charlotte’s conduct. He spoke not only of his humiliation, but her impropriety and seeming lack of honor. He attacked her for having not only entertained Prince Friedrich of Prussia in private, but others too, such as the well-known debauché, Prince Paul of Württemberg. He even brought up her light hearted romance with an officer Charles Hesse. Charlotte was blind struck by her father’s speech, revealing many things that she had kept secret from him—or so she had thought. For all his frivolity, the prince was a deeply secretive man and constantly worrying of possible plots by the Whigs (spearheaded by his oaf of a wife, Caroline) and so employed an extensive network of spies. This included spies within Charlotte’s household. The Prince Regent ended his ranting and raving and told Charlotte to return the following day, hoping to keep the suspense going. Charlotte was genuinely afraid, writing that “Tomorrow may probably be my last day, God knows, in this house.”

    It was at six the next evening when the Prince Regent finally returned, accompanied by the Bishop of Salisbury. Charlotte spoke with her father for only a little under an hour before she emerged in a craze—she was to be confined at Cranborne Lodge in Windsor until she agreed to marry the Prince of Orange. She would receive no visitors except the queen, once weekly, and all of her staff (including Miss Knight) was to be dismissed. “God Almighty, grant me patience!” Charlotte cried out. Her mind was filled with images of imprisonment and restraint, being carried away to the altar to marry a groom she had spurned; the very idea of such a nightmare caused her to slink away to her room in quite a hurry.

    Despite being eighteen, Charlotte was still a virtual child. She had no establishment of her own; she was instead financed by parliamentary annuity of £13,000 per that was managed by her father, who himself was in terrible financial straits. Himself possessing an annuity of some £135,000 and known for his elegant and luxurious tastes, one would except Charlotte kept in similar style. Yet the Prince Regent had no qualms keeping the purse-strings on his daughter’s parliamentary income tightened. One instance of his stingy budget for her was that for her wardrobe—£800. This was certainly an acceptable sum for a young child, but for a woman of Charlotte’s station, a princess and future Queen of England? It was woefully inadequate. It was more than that, even. It was unacceptable. The princess was like her father and imbued with a taste for fine luxuries. She also proved a great spendthrift like he was—accumulating debts to the tune of £22,000 by 1814. Yet her debts were a pittance compared to the mountain of £650,000 that the Prince Regent had racked up in his pursuits. Further restrictions that seemed suitable only for little children were imposed upon Charlotte; she was barred from many adult amusements such as balls and masques, instead forced to partake in juvenile assemblies surrounded by girls much younger than her. She could also attend the opera, but would sit at the back of the royal box and leave before the end. Still attended upon by a governess, the Prince Regent saw fit to keep. She had no company her own age, but rather company from the same generation of her grandparents.

    The mention of Cranbourne caused Charlotte to shudder with fear. It brought up only one term: the nunnery—Windsor Castle, conjuring up images where Charlotte was watched by her grandmother. Charlotte was quickly haunted by the other “company” there in the guise of her nosy, spinster aunts—the Princesses Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia. All in their forties, they had been forgotten behind in the marriage game, by the rule that no younger daughter could marry until her eldest had married first—a chance that was missed by all the daughters of George III and Queen Charlotte except for eldest, the Princess Royal Charlotte. Even then, her marriage to Friedrich of Württemberg came late, in 1797 when she was already thirty-one and in an era when most girls married quite young and grandmothers by forty. For those four princesses who were not so lucky to escape into marriage, they were confined not only because any talk of marriage might send George III further into madness but also because of their overbearing mother who wished to retain her daughters as companions. As middle aged spinsters, they devoted themselves mostly to embroidery (a task that Charlotte herself despised), as well as embarking in their own scandals, with the Princess Sophia having even born a son by one of the king’s equerries. Charlotte disliked them all, except for the Princess Sophia, whom she found to actually be quite kind to her. This place is where her father wanted to send her. To lock her up in some drafty lodge with only a weekly visit from her grandmother, who would no doubt want to embroider.

    It was a terrible idea to even think about. Her mind swirling with these images of boredom, compounded with the abuse she had endured, Charlotte embarked on what would become the first true rebellious moment of her life. Safely within her room, she asked her ladies maid for both a bonnet as well as a shawl. She then slipped down the back stairs, through the court yard, and out into Charring Cross. In the midst of London in the evening, this was the first time Charlotte had ever been out into the city without any attendants. With the help of a passerby, she managed to hail a hackney cab and to Connaught Place, her mother’s home. The place was empty when Charlotte arrived, as Caroline was at Blackheath, but the princess did not waste anytime; she ordered herself a meal like a true Hannoverian and called upon two people she knew would support her: her uncle, the Duke of Sussex and Henry Brougham, a leading Whig. The Princess of Wales finally returned home a few hours after Charlotte’s arrival, but was remarkably cool towards her daughter’s tears and entreaties. Charlotte’s mother had little issue using her daughter against her husband when it suited her interests, but having the heiress to the throne within her home would only cause difficulties in regards to her own freedom and would cramp her own style to socialize as she pleased. Not surprisingly, the Princess of Wales wanted her daughter out of her home as soon as possible.

    Meanwhile at Warwick House, the Prince Regent was oblivious that his daughter had even left, believing she was merely throwing a tantrum. When he attempted to toss Miss Knight out of the house (and did so), it was only when she overheard the news and returned to inform him that he knew exactly what was going on. Yet much like the overgrown child he was, George could only be gleeful. “Good! Now Europe shall see how disobedient and wild she really is! No one will want to marry her now!” These cross words only brought Miss Knight to tears; eager to help, she announced that she had heard Charlotte say she would go to her mothers, with the Bishop of Salisbury offering to collect her. Prince George agreed—albeit begrudgingly. He called for the Lord Chief Justice, as well as the Lord Chancellor, Lord of the Duchy of Cornwall and his personal advisor to go collect what he termed that unruly thing from Connaught Place. The Duke of York was similarly alerted to the situation and sent to fetch Charlotte—with a warrant in hand should she refuse to come willingly.

    Miss Knight made her way to Connaught Place as well. The rumbling of carriages outside the home of the Princess of Wales had caused a great commotion, and Princess Caroline was anything but happy. Her entertaining was interrupted by her own daughter’s dramatics; the lead Whig within the home, Mr. Brougham was steadfast in his advice to the princess, that when Miss Knight did arrive at Connaught Place, Charlotte was in the drawing room with him, her mother, and Miss Elphinstone. Miss Knight and Charlotte spoke in private, where Charlotte had calmed down some. She agreed to go to Cranborne, but demanded that Miss Knight accompany her and she also be able to receive visits from Miss Elphinstone. The small ruckus that Charlotte’s flight had caused was soon becoming much bigger. Her mother was able to keep most of the Prince Regent’s dignitaries outside, but was forced to admit the Duke of York. By holding them at bay, the Chancellor and Chief Justice soon gave up and left Connaught Place; they would not bother themselves with such trivial family affairs that had no concern of theirs.

    Charlotte was finally coaxed to meet with her uncle, York. He kept the warrant hidden and was very diplomatic in listening to all sides of the story. What he could see is that everyone, from Mr. Brougham to her own mother was encouraging her to return back to Warwick House. It all came to a head when, asked by Sussex, Brougham was even forced to admit that were the Prince Regent to employ force in this matter that any resistance would be unlawful, Charlotte was still terrified to return home, complaining loudly how badly she had been treated by her father. Yet Brougham did his best to reassure Charlotte that the Prince Regent could not force her to marry anyone she did not want too, but Charlotte was wearing out the hospitality of her own mother as well as the patience of those encouraging her to return home.

    It was only when Brougham appealed to Charlotte’s love of the melodramatic that he forced her to return home. If she returned now, he asserted, the empty streets would soon be full of her supporters and that riots would break out in support of her right to remain in England. Overestimating the love that the English people loved her, she listened to Brougham drum on about rioters tearing at Carlton House, soldiers demanding her freedom, and the whole city lighting up in support of her, their princess and their future queen as well. It was then that Charlotte finally agreed to return home, but only if a royal carriage fetched her.

    She had ridden in her last hackney cab. And if her father should insist on the match to Orange? Then six sealed letters should be made public, all signed, that stated that the marriage was taking place without her consent and against her will.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  17. SavoyTruffle Memeber

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    It really must be fun to have such a mercurial, immature father. :eek:
     
  18. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

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    It really must have been quite strange to say the least! :D The whole scene was taken from OTL too; but given that this is Regency period, I am not surprised at immature, overtly obssessive George's nature, as he really did have total control over the situation for the first time in his life. What is surprising is Charlotte was so badly used by both sets of parents when it suited them. In actuality, neither had custody....George III did. And he promptly went mad. Charlotte did have a budget of £13,000 per annum as stated, the same as her elderly aunts... but her father had no idea on budgeting it. And it wasn't really hers, she lacked a proper settlement, such as the £60,000 settlement George IV had received in 1783, that came with it's home, servants, ect. Charlotte had a grant an annuity, but it was paid out of George IV's pocket, hence his childish behavior and absurd budgeting for the girl.

    And of course, Caroline only wanted her when it suited her to hurt George's images. She never actually wanted her around for too long. Cramped her style; plus, Caroline herself only receive 35,000 pounds. She was weigh in over her head in socializing with that money, she wasn't about to waste it on rearing her daughter. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  19. DrakeRlugia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Missouri
    Bump. Any other comments or critiques? I know the story is Anglo-centric, but it'll be branch out once we get past the engagement and marriage. ;) All comments help me keep going, guys!
     
  20. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet"

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Subscribed. My inbox is getting crowded, but subscribed anyway.

    It'll be interesting to see what you do with Charlotte and family — I have a few little plans for them in my own TL.