The Last Hanover: The Life and Reign of Queen Charlotte

We have a winner! The winner has recieved a private message from me, and their name will feature in the TL! Thank you all for playing!

(Would anyone like me to do another of these - possibly with a different prize?)
We have a winner! The winner has recieved a private message from me, and their name will feature in the TL! Thank you all for playing!

(Would anyone like me to do another of these - possibly with a different prize?)
Dam it I should have gone with my first choice of Eden lol
It’s always a great way to get interaction. Plus gives you additional ideas that may have not crossed your mind.
I'm sorry guys! I've got four days off in a row and I'm busting my ass to finish - promise!


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Chapter 15


“Oh this year - what a year! You see, we were right to name him as we did - one must be a conqueror to survive being born in a year such as this!”
HRH The Duke of Kendal to his sister-in-law HSH Princess Maria Antonia of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha-Kohary, December 1828

Oh what a year the year of 1828 will be remembered as. Starting off in France, on the 4th of January, Jean Baptiste Gay, vicomte de Martignac, becomes the minister of the interior and the de facto head of the cabinet. Martignac will achieve many things in his time in office, including abolishing censorship of the press. Officially he’s there to help promote compromise between the political parties - unofficially, he’s a sop that Charles X is planning on getting rid of as soon as politically convenient. Martignac is choosing to focus on the official reasons, however. And he sees what he thinks is a perfect situation to work on compromise. The Comte de Chambord, heir presumptive to the throne following his uncle, needs a governor to head his household and education. So far, he's been educated by his aunt Marie Therese and by Jesuits - this is considered by the growing liberal movement to be "a damning education for a king in a modern era" [1].

Not quite stupid enough to beat his head on the conservative Catholic brick wall that is the Marie Thérèse, Dauphine of France, Duchesse de Angoulême, Madame Royale, fille de France [2], Martignac goes to the second best option: Maria Carolina, Duchesse de Berry, and mother to the heir presumptive, and explains his concerns. Unsurprisingly, Maria Carolina declines to really get involved - she is currently content to leave the day to day of her children’s upbringing in the hands of Madame Royale, while she continues on her late husband’s art patronages - not his political ones. Rather like her great-great-aunt, Marie Antoinette [3], Maria Carolina has been content to stay out of politics thus far and hasn't seen much reason to get involved. The conversation does start some wheels turning, however, and gets Maria Carolina thinking. If Martignac thinks she has some influence - well, maybe he's not wrong. She writes to Charlotte on the issue and receives the following reply: Charlotte adds her voice to Maria Carolina's concerns, writing to her in early January: "It is not only the Lord who loves a joyful giver, dear heart; you must soon do what must be done for your boy, so that it shall feel natural to him, that his nature may grow alongside these beliefs and the beasts may detect no hint of falsehood in this in him. Giving his education unto them and they shall surely give his country unto him and trust unto you to guide him properly. As for Madame Royale, be kind - she has no child of her own to love and therefore loves yours as her own. One cannot fault her in this love. Allow Madame to direct Dieudonné [4] in religion, for one cannot fault her faith. Surely this shall suit all parties, for he must be a new king of an old faith and country."

(Charlotte will gain a reputation for international political 'meddling' but receive little praise for the outcomes of her meddling, a fact much commented upon by later biographers - indeed, Martignac will later comment that had he had the option, he would have written directly to Charlotte).

Despite Charlotte's encouragement, however, Maria Carolina won't be jumping in and making political waves just yet. For now, she's set her sights on what she thinks is a reasonable first goal and is dipping her toe in the water.

And so, she calls upon Louis Philippe, Duc d 'Orléans, and reveals a turn for political thinking that impresses her uncle deeply. Oh, she’s been spending her time amongst artists and the intelligentsia, but she’s been talking and thinking and -most importantly- listening during these art shows and operas. The details of the conversation are not recorded, but the outcome is thus: Maria Carolina's daughter, Louise, will marry Louis Philippe's son and heir Ferdinand Philippe. Not only will this keep her beloved daughter in France, it will serve to bind Orléans to Maria Carolina: should anything happen to Henri, Orléans' son can inherit the throne with the last Bourbon princess as the mother to his heirs, neatly tying the dynasties together [5]. Maria Carolina will also see to it that Orléans' other children will be "well matched and placed throughout Europe in such positions as to bring honor and glory unto their House" (being related to almost all of Catholic Europe, this is a promise she can be pretty confident of coming through on). Finally, she shall put it to the King to allow the sons of the Duc, whom His Majesty is friendly with and attempting to be friendlier with [6], to be companions to the Comte de Chambord. In return, Orléans will make no plays for the throne against her son, regardless of any... political situations that may occur.

Orléans, surprisingly, agrees to this deal and upholds it faithfully on his end, despite chiding from his spinster sister that "You give up the possibility of everything for a promise of something!". As he sees it, there's very little to lose: should Maria Carolina’s plans fail or her son die, he can go forward with his own plan with his son married to the Bourbon heiress -with the Bourbon blessing- and his own reputation more or less intact among the royal families of Europe. Should Maria Carolina succeed, he can enjoy seeing the prestige of the House d ’Orléans rise to its proper place, enjoy seeing his son still married to the Bourbon heiress, and enjoy having influence over the next generation or two of kings of France.

It’s a pretty good deal, all around. And Charles X is having - well, most of it. He does agree that the Orleans boys would make suitable household members for the Dauphin, and allows that they can join him in outdoor pursuits and lessons - lessons that will continue under the Comte's conservative Jesuit tutors. As to the matter of the engagement between Louise and Ferdinand Philippe - Charles is not saying no, but he’s not signing a betrothal contract either. As he generally gives the Duc to understand, he's fine with the marriage, barring any insane political situations that would require Louise's marriage abroad for the good of France. And thanks to some well placed words on Maria Carolina's part, Charles X even goes so far as to promise to remember Louis Philippe's children, as "our most close and dear cousins", in any political marriage schemes. It's a big win for the first time politician and Maria Carolina is feeling pretty good about herself and her influence.

Around this time, Infante Miguel of Portugal, the new regent for that country, stops in London on his way home from Vienna [7]. He is met at the dock by the Duke of Clarence, the Duke of Kendal, and other leading members of the English court. The Duke of Wellington is hoping that this visit will help get Miguel to see the virtues of constitutional monarchy like his brother Pedro did and accept the framework for Portugal [8]. A little backstory on Miguel: he’s previously been exiled from Portugal for supporting absolutism. Since his exile, he has been chilling in Vienna learning more about the joys of absolutism and screwing over everyone in sight from the modern Machiavelli, Prince Metternich, also known as the man who got that Italian upstart Napoleon married to an honest to God Austrian archduchess [9]. Miguel has always been clever and he has been paying attention during his time in Vienna, and now he’s back and ready to roll. At the behest of the government, Miguel is feted throughout London with banquets, concerts, pheasant hunts, and visiting public works - he is even invited out to Claremont for a few days, where he and Leopold spend “many hours talking frantically in their Austrian German” as Auntie Fred records. Miguel was introduced to Leopold’s brother and sister-in-law in Vienna, and brings gifts and letters from them to the Kendals [10]. He will report that he finds the Kendals “charming, charming, charming” and Charlotte in particular as “an example of both womanhood and royalty, a rose among thorns”; he will even invite them to visit Portugal once he’s settled in there and eventually attend his wedding to his niece, the Queen. Charlotte herself will remark in her diary that Miguel is “very cultured, charming, and clever - most passionate about Portugal”. Overall, the young couple and the regent seem to get on very nicely - oh, they find Miguel a touch traditional and he finds them a little too liberal, but nothing that can’t be covered over with politeness and courtly manners. Leopold even invites him to stand as a godparent to their new child.

(They will all be backtracking these good feelings pretty quickly: Miguel call Leopold ‘an unmanned creature’ and Charlotte herself everything but a child of God, while Charlotte will publicly decry him as a modern Nero and Leopold will only refer to Miguel “that damned man” for the rest of his life). At the end of January, he is feted with a magnificent banquet and ball by George IV at Windsor Castle and closes the ball by dancing with Charlotte and giving her “a magnificent diamond bow brooch”. He leaves for Portugal on February 9th on the Portuguese frigate Pérola, arriving in Belem on February 22, having never quite made his new political plans clear [11].

Back in London, while George IV refuses to consider making his daughter the Princess of Wales - Wellington having picked up where his predecessor left off in this particular issue -, he is eventually worn down and agrees to grant Charlotte “the revenues of the Duchies of Cornwall and Rothesay” [12], while avoiding granting her the titles. It’s not her rightful titles but it is her income being doubled, so the Kendals are taking it as a win. It is due to that increase in income that the Kendals decide to travel to Scotland at the end of January, despite Charlotte’s pregnancy - they want to inspect the work to Falkland Palace, and use a portion of their new income to help speed up the work. The Kendals settle into Holyroodhouse Palace [13] where Aeneas Ranaldson MacDonell, the son of the infamous Chief Alexander of Clan MacDonell (who had earned himself such fame during Charlotte’s previous visit to Scotland) joins the household as an aide de camp to Leopold and the unofficial Scots language tutor to the children. A month later, the Chief himself dies, his estate mortgaged and encumbered [14], and his large family now destitute. Charlotte uses some of her new income to purchase the entire Glengarry estate for a song (amazing how people will give a future Queen a hell of a discount), which she immediately gives back to MacDonell’s son and heir. “Mac was ever loyal and dear to my heart,” she told his son when the young man fell to his knees to thank her for her kindness “Such things should be rewarded - all I ask is an invitation to his adored Glengarry”. Charlotte also takes three of Mac’s daughters -Caroline, Marsali, and Euphemia- into her household to serve as maids in waiting, and promises their mother to help find good marriages or positions for the other girls. The tradition of the MacDonell’s being loyal to the crown is cemented here, and will continue to current times - indeed, there will even be a MacDonell ‘remarkably close to the crown’ in the future. But that comes later.

On the thirteenth day of March, Miguel, the regent of Portugal (who really, really does not like being reminded he is only the regent), dissolves the Cortes without calling new elections, as stipulated in the Constitutional Charter. A decent chunk of important people take this as a sign that Miguel should be King and request that he revoke the Constitutional Charter, which he technically may have never signed anyway [15].

Despite plans to return to London in time to give birth, Charlotte remains at Holyroodhouse until April 30th, where her fourth son is born at dawn. The people of Scotland are ecstatic - this is the first time a member of the royal family has been born in Scotland since Robert, Duke of Kintyre and Lorne, in 1602 [16]. The baby’s name is, of course, instantly under discussion. The King sends a statement to Charlotte that makes it clear that the names James and Charles “cannot be considered to be accepted by us, as they bear the marks of a history that we would not see returned” [17]. George IV offers up Alfred as an optional name, while Auntie Fred throws out Robert or Francis. In the end, Leopold and Charlotte decide to give their son a royal Scottish name “from her glorious past, that cannot offend anyone” as she remarks cheekily to the Duchess of Cambridge. The new prince is to be named Alexander, for Alexander III of Scotland [18]. There will be a rumor in coming years that Leopold actually used the name for Alexander the Great, with an eye to the Greek throne for this son. (It's totally true, for those of you wondering).

On the twelfth day of May, the little prince is baptised in the private chapel at Holyroodhouse by Llewelyn Lewellin, now private chaplain to the Kendals, with the names ‘Alexander Leopold Arthur’. His godparents include the Duke of Wellington, as thanks for his efforts on Charlotte’s behalf (the Old Beef personally travels to Scotland for the christening and insists on holding the baby at the font - and no, he doesn’t cry. He’s got allergies, damn it) [19]; the Prince of Leiningen (represented by the new Laird of Glengarry); Prince Wilhelm of Brunswick (represented by Baron Stockmar) [20]; Princess Wilhelm of Prussia (represented by Miss Marsali MacDonell) [21]; the Queen of Wurttemberg (represented by Baroness Stockmar) [22]; and Princess Maria Antonia of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha-Kóhary (represented by Lady Romney). As a christening gift, the little prince is named the patron of the Royal Free hospital by his grandfather, which was founded the day before his birth by William Marsden. While his parents officially take charge of the patronage for now, in later years, Alexander will be remembered for his devotion to this cause as well as his own interest in medicine - he will be one of the first royals to complete a degree, and the first to complete a medical degree. On May 9th, the Sacramental Test Act is passed by Parliament, allowing Catholics the option to serve as government officials for the first time in years. Charlotte, a friend to Catholics, is thrilled at this news and writes to Wellington that “to have such an Act passed under your leadership is a glittering jewel in your service, sir”.

Summer for the rest of the world comes in varying degrees of good, however. In France, the political tensions are rising - Charles X’s blatant dislike of Martignac is becoming more, well, blatant, and there’s rumors that he’s looking to remove the minister as soon as he can think of someone to take his place. Hard to find good ultra-royalist help these days, you know. Martignac is choosing to continue to keep his head down and hope for the best. It’s a good strategy, in theory. In Coburg, Victoire, the Dowager Duchess of Kent, takes to her new role as Landsmutter like a duck to water, and takes her nephews under her wing before her bags are unpacked. She takes over the boys completely, giving them an equally smothering and indulgently demanding relationship that will backfire in every way you can imagine, and then some more. Her particular favorite is the outgoing, charismatic, vivacious Ernst, the copy of his father, Victoire’s adored brother and “savior”. She cares less for Albrecht, who far more resembles his mother - Victoire has gotten territorial about the boys and if she had her way, Luise would never been mentioned in Coburg again (as it happens, the Duke of Coburg also feels this way, so it’s pretty rare that Luise is mentioned). In Lichtenberg, Luise settles in as the Landsmutter, and waits to see her sons. (She’s also spending time with her new secret husband, Baron Alexander von Hanstein, but that’s still very hush hush at the moment).

In Saxe-Meiningen, Marie and Bernhard are saddened by the death of their fourth child and second son, named Georg for his paternal grandfather, at six months old. It’s not all bad news, however: in Leiningen, Karl and Auguste welcome their second daughter, named Anna [23]. (Victoire views this as bad news, however, as this is their second daughter that is most definitely NOT named for her - the first is named Friederike, for her maternal grandmother). And in Thurn and Taxis, Feodore and Maximilian Karl welcome their first child, a son named Karl Leopold, after two years of miscarriages. Leopold and Charlotte stand as godparents to the new little mite, unaware of all the scandal that is coming in his future. Let’s just say, he is a prime example of the fact that unimaginable wealth combined with poor impulse control does, in fact, have consequences.

It's Portugal who wins the "Worst Summer of the Year'' award, or "Best" depending on your political views. It's a great time to be an absolutist. On May 3, 1828, nobles who had been nominated by Pedro to the new Chamber of Peers invite Miguel to convene a new cortes consisting of the Three Estates with a view to deciding the legitimate succession to the throne. At the aforementioned Cortes in June, the Bishop of Viseu proposed that Miguel should assume the crown since "...the hand of the Almighty led Your Majesty from the banks of the Danube to the shore of the Tagus to save his people...". On June 23, Miguel -the regent and fiance for the actual Queen, Maria- has decided that his current situation is really not working for him any longer and has claimed the throne for himself. Legally, he has a bit of an argument: the Fundamental Laws of Portugal state that anyone who makes war on Portugal and becomes a sovereign state loses their rights to the Portguese throne, i.e. Miguel’s brother Pedro and thus his niece / fiancee Maria [24]. On July 7th, Miguel is proclaimed as the absolute ruler of Portugal, and on July 15th, the Cortes of the Three Estates closes. Except for a few easily squashed rebellions, some exiled liberals, and the island Terceira, all of Portugal seems to be supporting the new King.

In a romantic move that will be the fodder for barely accurate historical movies and novels for generations, Miguel sweeps in at the last minute and marries Princess Ludovika of Bavaria. He had previously asked for her hand after he met her in Vienna at her sister Sophie’s wedding [25] - her father refused, partially due to Miguel’s exile and the reasons therefore, and partially because he had plans to marry her to a kinsman, Duke Maximilian Josef in Bavaria. Ludovika is not keen on the proposed match at all, having seen her older sisters become an Empress, Queens, and an Archduchess. Miguel has barely taken the throne before he sends, in rather forceful language, to Ludovika’s half brother, Ludwig I of Bavaria (her father having passed in the meantime) [26]. Miguel all but begs to be allowed to marry Ludovika, offering an alliance, money, whatever Ludwig could ask for. Miguel also writes to Maximilian Josef - who was on board with this plan from day one - and offered one of his two unmarried sisters, Isabel Maria or Maria da Assunção, in place of Ludovika, as well as his “undying friendship and devotion”. He writes to the Emperor of Austria, Ludovika’s brother-in-law, asking for his aid in this matter. He writes to Charlotte and Leopold (who, given the whole political situation, refuse to even open the letter). He writes to the Pope. Miguel, knowing that Ludovika was a comfort to her mother and that at least part of the reason for her arranged marriage to Maximilian Josef was to keep her close, writes to the Dowager Queen of Bavaria, offering her a home at his court, in any palace she should choose, to be in constant attendance on her daughter and never parted from her “for more than a few hours, should your heart desire so”. Like most of the things in his life at this moment in time, this goes Miguel’s way. The betrothal between Ludovika and Maximilian Josef is broken off, and Miguel and Ludovika are married in Lisbon on the first day of September in a double wedding with his sister Maria da Assunção and Maximilian Josef [27].

(In credit to Miguel, the marriage with Ludovika will be one of the few things he does right in his life - they will remain utterly devoted to one another through feast and famine, and he will repeatedly praise her as “a pearl amongst stones”.)

(Maximilian Josef and Maria da Assunção will tolerate each other politely until his death, at which point she will go on living her life as she wishes to, and rather contentedly at that.)

On October 5th, the court is plunged into mourning following the death of Charlotte’s beloved aunt, the dowager Queen of Wurttemberg. Charlotte is heartbroken at the loss and writes to her step-cousin, the King of Wurttemberg, “my heart is simply breaking at the knowledge that she is no longer here, that never again shall I receive a letter or anything from her”. Unbeknownst to Charlotte at the time, the last part is not quite true. But more on that later. On October 7th, the erstwhile Queen of Portugal, Maria, arrives in London seeking asylum. Unfortunately the government of the Duke of Wellington still officially supports Miguel’s government, even though everyone’s slowly backing away from outright support and quickly moving into “how the hell do we stop him”, so help isn’t very forthcoming [28]. Charlotte invites Maria to privately stay at Claremont for a few weeks while she sorts out her plans and will later write to Maria Carolina in France that “my heart simply breaks for her, poor darling, without friend or mother, with that horrible father and treasonous uncle, all alone in the world”. It is believed that this period of time in London is what laid the lifelong foundation of friendship between Maria and Lolly, Charlotte’s eldest daughter - for the rest of their lives, they will exchange letters and gifts and meet whenever possible. Maria, for her part, will also remain devoted to Charlotte, remembering her kindness and taking it upon herself to write and thank her for “[her] fine example of Queenship, which I draw inspiration from each day”. On October 25th - October being quite a busy month this particular year, as Auntie Fred notes - , the St. Katharine Docks are opened in London, the opening attended by the King himself. It is not a popular event - some 1,200 houses and the medieval St. Katharine Hospital had been destroyed to make way for the docks, which cost over 2 million pounds to build and are unable to accommodate big ships, making their success unlikely [29]. Clever Leopold takes this as a chance for some good public relations and starts a campaign in his son George’s name to help find new homes for the former tenants, some of them even coming to live and work on the Claremont estate, and Charlotte herself vows to fund another hospital. The Queen of Portugal even pledges to send money for the hospital, once she recovers her treasury. (Nothing is spoken of the other Queen of Portugal, the former Ludovika of Bavaria, who has been making a name for herself as a particularly grand Queen and definitely does not offer to send money to people who do not support her husband).

On November 16, Great Britain, France, and Russia form the London Protocol, an agreement that creates an autonomous Greek state, encompassing the Morea and the Cyclades, under Ottoman suzerainty. This protocol leaves out central Greece, Crete, and other islands involved in the uprising or under Greek control, so it’s no surprise when Kapodistrias, the governor of the Hellenic State, isn’t terribly ecstatic about the whole thing. (The Protocol ends up being amended in six months when everyone realizes what a bad idea it was, and then it will be amended again a year later. And then one last time because turns out third time is not the charm in international country wrangling [30]). The rest of the month manages to pass fairly quietly for the Kendals. On December 4th, the country plunges into mourning following the death of the Earl of Liverpool, Robert Jenkinson, former Prime Minister and dear friend to Charlotte, putting a depressing end to the year for the Kendals. Liverpool leaves his entire library to Charlotte, who will ensure that it never leaves the royal family by ‘bequeathing’ it to the royal trust she will create later in her reign. The library remains at Claremont to this day, bearing a plaque in memory of it’s original owner, located in the sunny room where he so often came and counseled his beloved Princess.



HMFM Ludovika, The Queen of Portugal and the Algarves, circa 1829

As 1829 dawns, Charlotte receives a new title on the occasion of her thirty-third birthday: she is made Princess Royal, a title previously held by her aunt and namesake. It’s not Princess of Wales, but it is a ‘unique’ title, given only to the eldest daughter of the monarch to hold for her entire lifetime. Perhaps, one politician allows himself to propose, in lieu of being made a suo jure Princess of Wales, female heirs apparent can be made Princess Royal. (He offers up no solution for what to do when the heiress has a living aunt who already holds the title). It’s a fair idea, but not one that will be adopted, in case anyone is wondering. The title comes at an important moment - Caroline, Charlotte’s wild child mother and George IV’s erstwhile wife, has become ill, truly ill this time, and the prognosis isn’t looking very good [31]. Many see Charlotte’s title as George’s unofficial way of announcing that he has finally accepted Charlotte as his heir and, even if Caroline dies, has given up on his various remarriage schemes. George himself is starting to feel worn down, in truth, and frankly the idea of a wife after so many years of mistresses feels a little ridiculous. (Lady Conyngham herself will remark she’s more of a nurse than a mistress or a wife at this point, but nowhere that George can hear her).

Lady Conyngham and Charlotte have managed to find an accord in the last few years that makes them mostly able to tolerate each other - Lady Conyngham is quite good at counting, after all, and Charlotte does appreciate the care and comfort that Lady Conyngham gives her father. They have even united over a shared project in the last few months: the courtship of Euphemia MacDonnell, Charlotte’s lady in waiting, by Lady Conyngham’s youngest son Albert. The heir to his wealthy maternal uncle, Albert [32] is quite the catch - and has been quite caught by the lovely Euphemia, whom a later friend will describe as “pretty enough to make one only want to marry a Scottish lass, should she be a true representative of them!”. The young couple are married at the end of February in St Anne's Church, the parish church attended by the Kendals when they are in residence at Kew Palace. Euphemia and Albert will become the parents of thirteen children who will all feature in the coming Carolean Era of history as interesting, wealthy, and sometimes scandalous (okay, a lot of times scandalous - there’s at least one more royal mistress in this family tree, another marquess, and quite a few politicians).

In March, the second London protocol is signed - now Greece is to be an independent nation, under the rule of Christian Prince chosen by the powers, but will still recognize the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire and pay an annual tribute of 1.5 million Turkish piastres. The Ottoman Empire is forced to recognize the Protocol in the Treaty of Adrianople, but their recognition isn’t worth much - the Great Powers are already moving towards more independence for Greece, and are already scouting about for a Christian Prince. Leopold, of course, has a Christian Prince quite in mind - his one year old son, Alexander, conveniently sharing a name with one of the greatest Greeks in history. (He’d also be on board with William or even Frederick getting the throne, but he’s rather latched onto the Alexander idea at the moment [33]). However, selling a one year old as a monarch is a bit of a job, even for Leopold, so at the moment he’s willing to admit that Greece is a bit of a pipe dream. He does insist on adding Greek to the studies of his remarkably polyglot children, even the girls - just to enhance their understanding of the Classics, mind you. Ironically, Alexander will be considered the worst of the children at Greek - the best will be his elder sister and Leopold’s favorite, Augusta. For those of you wondering, the most impressive polyglot of the Kendal offspring will be George (speaking eight languages fluently in adulthood and four conversationally), followed by Augusta (six languages fluently and four conversationally).

Also in March, the Duke of Wellington continues to prove that he’s still a badass by engaging in a duel with George Finch-Hatton, the Earl of Winchilsea, over Catholic Emancipation and Wellington’s foundation of the secular King’s College. Supposedly, Wellington misses his opponent on purpose, who -not being enough of a fool to kill the greatest war hero of the time- returns the favor by deliberately shooting upwards [34]. Honor is satisfied on both sides, and the event becomes a fun little footnote in history - it even gives rise to a popular saying, “Wells and Finches”, coming to describe a fight for no good purpose [35]. Charlotte, however, is fairly irritated at the whole situation. She finds it foolish and a grand waste of time - she also has a deep dislike for Finch-Hatton, who she will refer to as “that very loud bird” in private, in reference to his habit for loudly and vehemently arguing in Parliament [36]. Charlotte’s irritation at the man seems to have been passed on - years later, her son George will dryly remark, when Finch-Hatton attempts to correct him on a matter of diplomacy, “I, sir, aim before I shoot, and thus find that I hit my target”.

In April, the Catholic Emancipation Act is passed, despite the misgivings of Wellington and his top man, Robert Peel. Even Leopold is vaguely worried about this, as he feels a lot of emphasis has been placed on the divine right of the Anglican kings of England [37]. Those prophesying doom and the death of the monarchy, however, are doomed to disappointment. Those prophesying the fact that the act will lead to massive political reforms and have long reaching effects into the twentieth century and beyond... well, modern historians give them brownie points. Most contemporaries lump them in with the death and doom weirdos, though. Around this time, German composer Felix Mendelssohn arrives in London, where he will remain until September. In June, the Kendals will attend his overture A Midsummer’s Night Dream which Auntie Fred will pronounce ‘rather German for an English play’ (she’s technically lived in England longer than she lived in Germany, so she feels she gets to make commentary like this [38]).

Everyone is feeling particularly patriotic this June - at the beginning of the month, HMS Pickle captured the armed slave ship Voladora off the coast of Cuba. It was a daring sea battle, full of British pluck and bravery, as the HMS’s crew of thirty triumphed over the Voladora’s crew of sixty, only losing four men in the process. The Voladora is taken to Havana and delivered to the Spanish governor there, and the enslaved Africans are set free [39]. What is not made public is the fact that the HMS Pickle had a bit of competition trying to take the Voladora - the ship was also being followed by “a fearsome thing, with black sails and a Jolly Roger with a maid on either side” - the infamous Lady May, captained by the even more infamous Sir John Conroy. Conroy’s been spending the last few years cruising the Carribean, having been run out of Ottoman waters - according to legend, he was paid to lead a siege on the Greeks, sold out naval plans to the aforementioned Greeks, and absconded with a favored concubine of a high ranking government official. He still carries that locket, though, and plays up the lost Lady May angle whenever he can. (A new tidbit has recently been added to the rumor: separated from his Lady May, he was unable to save his son from a murderous aunt, jealous at her lack of such a son. Twenty pounds to whoever can guess the originator of that particular tale). HMS Pickle could not capture both the Lady May and Voladora, and thus made do with the latter - the rest of the royal navy is put on high alert to “sink the damn thing on sight”. Yes, that is the official order. Sir George Cockburn also deeply hates Conroy, as he hates all pirates and any who shames his beloved navy [40]. (Charlotte breathing down the man's neck about catching Conroy has absolutely nothing to do with it, just so you know). Also at the beginning of June, the Swan River Colony is founded in Western Australia, neatly securing the western third of the landmass. The Swan River Colony will later be better known as the cities of Perth and Kendal [41]. Finally, to round out the patriotic feelings of June, Robert Peel - sometime political ally of the Duke of Wellington, and privately referred to by Charlotte as “Lord Eel” for his political slipperiness - establishes the Metropolitan Police Service in London, whose members will later be affectionately known as Bobbies.

This becomes the first summer where Drina of Kent is allowed to go to Coburg and spend the summer with her mother. Charlotte is vehemently against this - time has hardened, rather than softened, her and Victoire’s stances, and Charlotte is convinced that once Victoire has Drina, she will not let her go. Leopold privately agrees with Charlotte, though he makes a public show of personally esorting Drina to Coburg. Where he has a private conversation with his brother, regarding some debts related to some... female companions. Leopold makes it clear that if Ernest does not see Drina returned by the first week of September, Leopold will not only return to get her, he will see to it that any payment to those female companions is cancelled, and then, God only knows what they might say. Ernst, not as dumb as he looks, gets the message. As for Drina, the summer will drag on - she finds her mother’s attention smothering and there is ‘a lack of life’ in Coburg, compared to her life in London - no concerts, no ballets, no heated political debates in the library (despite best efforts of Charlotte and Leopold, all the children who grow up in the Kendal household will fondly remember falling asleep to Charlotte and Leopold debating, sometimes with each other, sometimes with others). In later years, Drina will come to appreciate Coburg more - but that will be under a vastly different scene ruled by a different Duke. For now, she makes the best of it, playing with her dolls [42] and riding out with Ernst and Albrecht, and doing her best to make sure her mother doesn’t see her pouting when the letters from London come in - this last thing backfires on Drina tremendously, as it convinces Victoire that Drina much prefers Coburg to London and is infinitely happier there, a ‘fact’ she gleefully shares in a letter to Leopold. Drina’s little calendar in her diary making off the days until September is obviously her way of marking how many days she has left to enjoy Coburg.

The fragile peace existing in French politics gets more fragile in August - Charles X appoints Jules de Polignac, Prince de Polignac, as the new minister of foreign affairs. In three months, he will become the minister of the cabinet. Jule de Polignac is the ultra of the ultra-royalists - his mother, Gabrielle, served as the Governess of the Children of France to Marie Antoinette’s children and was one of her closest friends. He has served as the French ambassador to England for the last six years, and is even married to an Englishwoman, the Hon. Charlotte Parkyns [43] - his family has known the British royal family socially for years now [44]. Rumor has it that part of Polignac’s devotion to the ultraroyalist cause is because he believes the Virgin Mary is sending inspiration to him [45]. Removing the middle-ground Martignac for the obviously ultra monarchist Polignac makes it pretty clear where Charles X stands politically, and nobody is exactly loving it. Except, obviously, Charles X and Polignac. As for the rest of the world, who seem to be remembering the Revolution a bit better than the Bourbons, they watch anxiously. In London, Charlotte orders the refurbishment of Kew House, the abode attached to Kew Palace - she confesses to Mary Gillray Stockmar that she is getting it ready for “Dear Lina and her children, should they need it” [46]. She’s not alone in this worry - in Naples, Spain and Austria, preparations begin to quietly be made should the Bourbons escape to any of their countries as well, and George IV’s government sends a strongly worded letter to France begging the king to not do anything hasty. To which Charles responds by continuing blindly on his course. Because he’s a Most Christian King of France, damn it, and he answers to God, who clearly is on board with this plan. To show how determined he is in this plan, Charles X publicly announces the support of France for the Portuguese monarchy under Miguel I [47]. (Which goes over about as well as can be expected in France’s more liberal circles).

Around this time, another fun little diplomatic snag occurs in Portugal. While Miguel is the king according to the official party line, Maria remains an heir of sorts (depending on your views of the legal ramifications of the creation of Brazil [48]) - in fact a great many of her faction are hoping that Miguel will be, ahem, removed from the scene either by divine or human intervention, and Maria will simply sweep back onto the throne free of challengers. That’s about to be nipped in the bud, however - Ludovika is announced to be three months pregnant.

(For those of you wondering, Miguel does not extend his previous offer to Charlotte and Leopold to stand as godparents. He’s a little miffed that they aren’t supporting him in his ‘take what I want and make it mine’ plan. And that they did not make him a godfather to Alexander. And that whole Maria living in London thing).

The Maria living in London thing has thankfully sorted itself out, however - in what can be one of the weirdest twists possible. Her father has recently remarried to Princess Amélie of Leuchtenberg, a granddaughter of the former Empress Josephine from her first marriage and the niece of the new Queen of Portugal, which is ironic given the Bourbon support of said Queen. Pedro decided to marry Amélie after hearing about her goodness and virtue - and the fact that she was, quite literally, the only princess in Europe willing to marry him after the stories of his treatment of his first wife got out [49]. Pedro decides to suck it up about ‘the stain of Amélie’s ancestry’ [50] and bites the marital bullet. The two were married on June 30th by proxy and Amélie left for Ostend shortly thereafter. It is here that she meets her stepdaughter - seven years her junior - and the two sail for Brazil. Luckily for Amélie, she and Pedro like each other, and her marriage promises to be happier than his previous one. Unluckily for Maria, her father can offer words of support but little else at this moment regarding the return of her throne. The rumor is that he is waiting to see the gender of his brother Miguel’s child: if it is a girl, Pedro will fight for Maria’s claim. If it is a boy, he will see about betrothing her to him - it’s only an eleven year age difference, after all [51]. In his defense, Pedro’s hands are fairly tied at the moment, politically. He would hope to count on Austria to come to Maria’s aide as she is the Emperor’s granddaughter [52], but the Empress is sister to Queen Ludovika of Portugal [53], so Franz is staying out of the matter - and frankly, slightly enjoying watching Pedro squirm [54]. He can’t count on his new wife’s family because the Leuchtenbergs barely have a pot to piss in and her maternal Wittselbach relatives are, once again, related to Queen Ludovika [55]. France has come out in support of Miguel, Spain is staying out of all of this (but if the chips are down, most likely will support Miguel [56]), Russia is laughing at these strange southern antics, and England is concerned but not willing to go to war. It’s not looking so good for Maria at the moment.

Turning from European politics, at the end of September, African-American abolitionist David Walker publishes his Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World from Boston, Massachusetts. William Wilberforce, a leader in the British abolitionist movement who knows Leopold through their mutual work in the RSPCA [57], takes the liberty of sending a copy to the Kendals. The Duke and Duchess take turns reading it out loud to each other during their private tea time, and quickly pronounce themselves horrified. Not at the text, mind, but at the situation that created the text. Charlotte’s never really given much thought to slavery - the trading of slaves has been abolished since 1807 in the Empire, though slavery itself is not outlawed. She was, of course, thrilled when HMS Pickle released the slaves from the Voladora but never gave much thought to what would happen if they had not been saved. She writes back to Mr. Wilberforce, thanking him for ‘educational book’ and privately vows to Leopold that she will do ‘whatever she can, when the means are at her disposal’.

It’s looking like that day is coming a whole lot sooner rather than later.

Just because George IV is sinking doesn’t mean he’s repented his ways and learned to practice Christian charity and forgiveness. When he hears that his wife Caroline has reached out to the Dean of Windsor to discuss her eventual burial there, he quickly gets in touch with the Dean and puts a kibosh on the whole plan. If he has his way, ‘that woman’ won’t be buried in England - he’s forbidden her to set foot in the country and he doesn’t see how her not living changes that. Charlotte, of course, as the future Queen, takes issue with her mother not being allowed to be buried in the chapel of her choosing, but she’s willing not to press the issue. (As she sees it, she can have her mother reinterred in her own reign if she has to). When she broaches the subject of going to visit her mother in Italy, it becomes a whole other issue. George IV puts his foot down: no way, on God’s green earth, is his heir going out of the country while his health is the way it is. It’s actually a fairly good point and one that Charlotte could probably be brought around to see, if George had refrained from some of his more... intemperate language regarding her mother. And Charlotte. And women in general. And Italy. And - well, you get the idea. Either way, father and daughter part in the state of frustrated agitation to which they are so accustomed in their dealings with each other.

To top off a year that began and is ending in strife, Lord William Bentinck, the Governor-General of India, issues Regulation XVII, declaring Sati to be illegal and punishable in criminal courts in Calcutta [58]. Sati -also called suttee- is the practice of a widow throwing herself onto her husband’s burning funeral pyre, commonly practiced amongst the Hindus of this time. Within three months, he will see this regulation extended to Madras and Bombay. Betnick also outlaws female infanticide, human sacrifices, and flogging as a punishment in the Indian Army. Betnick will not be remembered fondly by military men - who resent his cost cutting initiatives, as they cut right through military wages - but Charlotte will hold a special fondness for the man for the rest of his political career and even ask him to come and speak to her son and heir George of Kendal regarding India, it’s people, and the culture there, remarking to Betnick that “[George] must learn of all of his peoples - whom better than the one who has saved so many to educate him?”.


Portrait of Charlotte, 1830

The year manages to start off quietly internationally, something Leopold and Charlotte appreciate, as their private life is getting a bit busy. George is excelling in his language lessons and is something of a geography prodigy, but he is determined - or so Leopold swears - to never learn mathematics past simple addition and subtraction, and is given to daydreaming in ‘boring’ lessons, requiring some parental step in. Young William vacillates between playing his adored violin or riding his beloved horses. He’s already something of a horse trainer, and Charlotte has put him in charge of ‘bringing up’ his younger siblings when it comes to riding. Lessons inspire less passion, however, and William subscribes to the belief that if you don’t love it, you shouldn’t do it. (Leopold insists this tendency comes from the Hanover side - Charlotte, well exposed to Coburg stubbornness by now, disagrees). Lolly has developed an alarming tendency to cry when told ‘no’ or really anything negative, and Missy has developed an entirely Hanover tendency to shouting and digging in her heels when not getting her way - even hitting her cousin Elizabeth of Clarence over Christmas. Frederick remains... well, rather cold and aloof, Augusta resents any intrusion on her father’s attention, and Alexander has developed an ear infection that makes him scream ‘like a banshee’ as his merciless older brother reports. Drina, returned from Coburg, remains the easiest charge, even with temper tantrums that are growing in frequency - a ‘fun’ little trick she learned in Coburg. Credit where it’s due, Charlotte and Leopold take their parenting woes in stride, however. Nursery staff and tutors are expressly forbidden from even threatening to cane the children, a common ‘remedy’ for poor behavior. “Bad behavior must be explained to the darlings,” Charlotte is said to have informed a new staff member “in a way they can understand. They must understand how it displeases, both Mama and Papa, and God, and the nation. They shall receive a punishment devised by myself or the Duke, in proportion to the crime.” George IV will scoff at the ‘softness’ shown in bringing up a future monarch, and even Auntie Fred will protest ‘too gentle an approach to strong willed children’, but Charlotte and Leopold remain firm, and in the end, their method is successful.

The Kendal nursery has nothing on what’s going on in Portugal, however. On February 5th, the future of the country is changed forever. After twelve hours of labor, Queen Ludovika delivers her first child, a daughter. Eighteen minutes later, she delivers her second child, The Prince Royal of Portugal, Duke of Braganza, and the child who definitely kills most of Maria of Brazil’s dreams of the throne [59]. Miguel is, of course, ecstatic. He was with his wife throughout the entire delivery, despite efforts of the midwives to remove him, and was the first person to hold both of his children. Two weeks after their birth, the twins are baptised in a glorious ceremony at the Church of Santo António de Lisboa - they are named Afonso, for Afonso the Great, the first King of Portugal, and Luisa, after her mother, at Miguel’s insistence. Luisa’s godparents are her maternal grandmother, the Dauphine of France, and her paternal uncle, Infante Carlos of Spain, the Count of Molina; Afonso’s godparents are Charles X of France, Ferdinand VII of Spain, and his paternal grandmother. And yes, the fact that Charles X of France and his daughter-in-law stood as godparents to the children of the newest absolutist monarch in Europe is causing the liberals - and most sane people with a long memory - a bit of fright. In Brazil, Pedro tries to make the best of a bad situation, and writes to his brother: he’s fine to let Miguel continue to ‘serve’ as the monarch, and even recognizes his children’s rights to that throne (an easy concession, as Pedro is in Brazil with nothing and Miguel is in Portugal, actively serving as the King), on one condition. Pedro proposes that his brother betroth his son Afonso to Maria, and thus tie their claims together - they will marry when Afonso is sixteen. Pedro is even willing to send Maria to Portugal to be raised - or finish being raised - alongside her fiance, under the supervision of Miguel’s wife. It’s an easy fix to a thorny problem and, even with the eleven year age gap, most of the world expects Miguel to jump at the chance [60].

Not only does Miguel not jump, he waltzes Pedro’s offer away and over a cliff to die a cold, lonely death. The Prince Royal of Portugal, Duke of Braganza, and heir to his father -the only legitimate monarch of Portugal - will not marry his decade older cousin, thank you. He does not need to strengthen his claim to the throne that he is the acknowledged, legitimate, legal heir to. But Miguel acknowledges that Maria is a problem, and her claim needs to be dealt with. The solution is traditionally ascribed as having come from Miguel’s wife, Ludovika. (Her adored sister Sophie is currently pregnant with her first child, and Ludovika is pretty damned and determined to see one of her children marry a child of her sister’s [61]). Having come from a large family, she learned at a young age how to come up with... inspired solutions to issues. According to the official party line of the Miguelist court, the current succession goes as thus: Afonso, the Prince Royal; Infanta Luisa, his sister; Infanta Maria Teresa, Miguel’s oldest sister; and then the Infante Sebastián of Portugal and Spain, Maria Teresa’s son. Sebastián is the only son of Maria Teresa and her husband, the now deceased Infante Pedro Carlos of Portugal and Spain. Pedro Carlos was the eldest son of the Infante Gabriel of Spain and the Infanta Maria Ana of Portugal, making him a grandchild of Carlos III of Spain and Maria I of Portugal (and a first cousin to Miguel I). Pedro Carlos was raised in Portugal at his grandmother’s request after his parents’ deaths, and was made an Infante of Portugal by her. Therefore, his son, Infante Sebastián, holds the titles of Infante of Portugal and Spain, like his father (having been granted the title Infante of Spain by his great-uncle, Fernando VIII). Maria Teresa is a close ally to her brother, Miguel, and has become a fixture at his court; likewise, her son fully supports his uncle’s claim to the throne. Sebastián is currently nineteen, described as a handsome boy and a good personality, and in line to the thrones of both Portugal and Spain. Even Pedro in Brazil acknowledges Sebastián’s rights to the throne (significantly lower down in the line than Miguel’s version, but still there). So, Ludovika reasons, why not betroth Sebastián to Maria? It’ll give her rights acknowledged by the current regime, marry her to a suitable prince, and hey, should political situations change, make sure she’s married to a young man with claims to the throne. It’s not a win, but it’s not a total loss, and let’s face it, Pedro can’t really afford to do much more for his daughter at this point.

The rest of the world, still shocked at Miguel’s refusal, is forced to consider the alternate proposal as... reasonable. Even the Maria diehards (led by Charlotte, Duchess of Kendal) think that the marriage between Sebastián and Maria is a good idea - he has a claim to the throne, he’s of the same dynasty, closer in age than the young Afonso. Obviously he’d make an ideal... consort. Maria’s grandfather, the Emperor of Austria, finds himself between a rock and a hard place: on one hand, love for family is the Habsburg bread and butter. It’s literally bred into them at this point (pun intended) [62]. On the other hand, the man who managed to survive Napoleon’s reign with his empire mostly intact isn’t known for a lack of practicality, even ruthless practicality at that. While he would prefer his granddaughter on the throne of Portugal, married to his nephew and her cousin to neatly tie things in a bow, Franz realizes that his preferences aren’t going to dictate the policy of Portugal - particularly as he tends to agree that Pedro did violate the Fundamental Laws and thus give up his claim, and Franz just isn’t very inclined to go to war to see Maria sit on the throne. The best he can do for his granddaughter is ensure that she makes a good marriage and ends up relatively happy. Franz gives his consent to the match with Sebastián - and starts scouting around the Habsburgs for a backup. Just as a precaution, of course. And he has some other Brazilian grandchildren who will eventually need to marry - and better than a Bonaparte. (For those of you wondering, Maria herself prefers Sebastián to an eleven years younger baby).

Pedro finally concedes to the betrothal, but for now, Maria will be remaining in Brazil. Because he can.

The chatter over the Portuguese engagements covers the chatter over the newest London Protocol, this one establishing full Greek independence and sovereignty away from the Ottoman Empire and setting the boundary lines at the Aspropotamos–Spercheios line. Some foolish soul floats the idea of offering the Greek throne to Leopold, which is immediately shot down by the British government [63] - and by the Greeks, who did not just escape one empire to join another. Less foolish souls throw out the Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, or the Duke of Cambridge. The French and Russians have their own candidates, and the throne of Greece has quickly become the most wanted and the least wanted throne in the world. For now, Ioannis Kapodistrias continues on as the head of the Greek government while the search for a Christian Prince is on.

It does not entirely cover the chatter regarding the newest news about the King’s health. George IV and his erstwhile wife have entered into a depressing race to see which one will depart their mortal coil first. Charlotte is still banned from going to see her mother in Italy, a fact which deeply hurts her. She does the best she can to make up for the fact, and sends the Stockmars to care for her mother. Auntie Fred does one better and travels to Italy privately and quietly - strictly, she will insist to her dying day, to give Charlotte some comfort. Indeed, Auntie Fred and Caroline spend her entire -short- visit bickering incessantly - they’ve known each other a long time, after all, and they haven’t had a face-to-face bicker in years [64]. Auntie Fred infamously takes Caroline to task for everything from dressing immodestly to living openly with Bartolomeo Pergami and shaming her daughter every day. At the end of this tirade, Auntie Fred finishes with “But married to George, I would have done the same thing, I’m sure”. It is, Baron Stockmar records, the only time he sees Caroline laugh the entire visit. She has been diagnosed with intestinal cancer and spends most of her time doped with laudanum to control the pain. When the laudanum doesn’t do the trick, Mary Gillray Stockmar will later tell Charlotte, the only thing that brought Caroline peace was hearing about Charlotte [65].

The chatter definitely does not cover one of the biggest pieces of news in Protestant Europe in generations: on the last day of May, after seven barren years of marriage, the Crown Princess of Prussia is announced to be pregnant with her first child [66].

Back in England, the Kendals have been forbidden from traveling to Claremont for the summer and are being kept in London. Charlotte, frustrated and furious at her father, her mother, and the situation they placed her in, throws herself into finishing her language lessons in both Scots and Irish Gaelic. The first thing she becomes fluent in are swear words. It is Leopold, who helps her best at this time - he takes her riding for hours, brings her new books and discusses philosophy with her, and simply holds her hand when she dissolves into tears at her situation. This period will reinforce the tenderness and affection that will last throughout their entire marriage. “Were I a man going to war - or a woman becoming a Queen, which is quite the same thing in truth,” Charlotte would later solemnly tell her wide-eyed grandchildren years later “There is but one man I would accept at my side, and that is your grandpapa”. It is also Leopold - with the help of the returned Stockmars, Auntie Fred, and the Marchioness Conyngham - who helps plaster over the rift between Charlotte and her father. Leopold starts by taking the whole Kendal family to Windsor Castle every few days to visit the failing king - Charlotte and George IV do not agree on much, but they can find common ground in love for her children. Then, Leopold begins only taking the older children with them on the visits as the King grows worse and cannot tolerate the noise and bustle of Frederick, Augusta, and Alexander. Well, Augusta and Alexander. Frederick isn’t really that interested in going, in all honesty, so it’s easiest to leave him at home as well. Then Leopold only takes himself, Charlotte, and young George for a few visits. George of Kendal will years later have a deep aversion to deathbeds and the dying that he attributes to these visits - there will only be three people in the world, it will turn out, who are able to get George of Kendal to stand by their deathbeds [67].

Finally, Leopold convinces Charlotte to begin seeing her father by herself in the last few weeks of June. There are no records of what passes during these visits - even the doctors remove themselves from the rooms, at the King’s express order, and Charlotte never records or discusses what occurred between her and her father. The King’s private doctor will inform the Kendals and the Cabinet on June 24th that "the King's cough continues with considerable expectoration", he privately tells his wife that "things are coming to a conclusion ... I shall be released about Monday” [68]. Charlotte and Leopold remain at Windsor after this conversation, even as the king slides further into sedation and delirium from his ‘treatments’ [69]. At about three in the morning, the King passes a large evacuation of feces mixed with blood, and calls for help. Halford, servants, and the King’s daughter arrive “within five minutes of the call, according to the King’s private secretary. George IV Augustus Frederick, The King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, The King of Hanover, Defender of the Faith, dies at 3:15 in the morning of June 26, 1830, holding the hand of his daughter. According to some sources - though disputed by others - his last words are “my girl, this is death". At 3:25 in the morning, Her Majesty, Charlotte Augusta, the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, exits her father’s bedroom and is greeted by a room of kneeling government officials. “Gentlemen,” she states, her voice tremulous with exhaustion but strong and loud, “I come before you with grief and sorrow. The Nation has lost it’s King, and I have lost my father. I know that I can never hope to compare to the King my father. I ask for your guidance, gentlemen, in the coming times. And I swear this now, before you all: I will devote all the days of my life to my people and my country. I will never flinch from my duties, and I will never falter in my love of my people. So help me God.”

It is Leopold who rises first, and who leads the first cheer.

“The King is dead, long live the Queen. God save the Queen!”.

[1] Not an OTL quote but seems to have been the prevailing OTL view

[2] These are all her titles, and I am guilty of using them interchangeably.

[3] Maria Carolina’s grandmother and namesake was the older sister of Marie Antoinette, making Maria Carolina and Marie Therese first cousins once removed.

[4] Dieudonné means ‘god-given’ and was the last of Henri’s four names. Here, his mother and godmother use it as a pet name for the little miracle prince.

[5] OTL they seem to have been unofficially betrothed until Louis Philippe took the throne, causing Louise’s family to marry her off elsewhere in retaliation. The logic for the marriage would have been the same as stated here.

[6] Charles X tried to re-unite the lines of Bourbon and Orleans throughout his reign, awarding the Orleans family the style of ‘Royal Highness’ which they had been deprived of by Louis XVIII.

[7] OTL he showed up closer to the end of December but there’s a lot going on already, so his ship went off course and bought us a little more time.

[8] Also OTL - Pedro was on board with the constitutional monarchy plan, and helped create the Portuguese Constitution under his father. Miguel was... well, not so on board with the constitutional portion of the constitutional monarchy. As obviously explained by his expulsion to Austria.

[9] “Metternich would later seek to distance himself from the marriage by claiming it was Napoleon's own idea, but this is improbable; in any case, he was happy to claim responsibility at the time” (Alan Palmer, 2014).

[10] Obviously this is all my own creation as OTL Charlotte wasn’t around to be receiving presents - the Saxe-Coburg und Gotha-Koharys did primarily reside in Vienna, however, so it’s not improbable that they would have met Miguel.

[11] He never, that I could find, gave the British any indication that he would or would not accept a constitutional framework.

[12] The traditional titles granted to the heir of Great Britain are The Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

[13] The official residence of the British monarch in Scotland to this day.

[14] This happened OTL as well.

[15] During his swearing in as regent, Miguel was presented with a written oath to defend the Constitutional Charter caused him "...confusion and [he] seemed unable or unwilling to read it.”. No one actually knew if he swore the oath, since there was no distinct enunciation of the words and no one actually saw him kiss the missal (the Duke of Cadaval conveniently obscuring the view of Miguel during this portion of the ceremony). Lord Carnarvon wrote of the conclusion of the scene: "During the whole proceeding...his countenance was overcast, and he had the constrained manner of a most unwilling actor in an embarrassing part. I read the approaching fate of the Constitution in his sullen expression, in the imperfect manner in which the oath was administered, and in the strange and general appearance of hurry and concealment."(Marcus Checke, 1969).

[16] The fifth child and third son of James VI & I and Anne of Denmark; died at fourth months old. Fun fact: his full name was Robert Bruce Stuart.

[17] James and Charles being the regnal names of the Stuarts, the dynasty on the British throne before the Hanovers came in. Charles I was beheaded, James II was kicked out, and James II’s descendants led several uprisings to try and reclaim the throne. George IV has a point here - the next time Charles will be used in the British royal family is for Charles Edward, the Duke of Albany, grandson of Queen Victoria, who got kicked out and stripped of his titles for being a Nazi.

[18] Best known for concluding the Treaty of Perth, by which Scotland acquired sovereignty over the Western Isles and the Isle of Man. Had his heiress, Margaret of Norway, survived to marriageable age, Great Britain might have come into existence 400 years earlier through her planned marriage to Edward II.

[19] OTL he stood as the godfather to Queen Victoria’s third son, named Arthur, with whom he shared a birthday. The ‘allergies’ are entirely my own intervention.

[20] Charlotte’s first cousin through her mother and his father, he’s currently famous as the least hated member of the Brunswick family simply for breathing and not being his brother, Karl.

[21] Yes, Charlotte’s returning the favor to Elisa and making her a godmother to Alexander.

[22] Pauline Therese of Wurttemberg, daughter of Duke Louis of Württemberg and Princess Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg and the third wife of her first cousin, Wilhelm I of Wurttemberg. Mother to three children at this time: Catherine, Karl, and Auguste.

[23] Anna was the given first name of Karl’s sister, Feodore. For those of you wondering, her full name is Anna Auguste Charlotte.

[24] All OTL, including the laws. In the strictest legal interpretation, Miguel is actually in the right according to the fundamental laws of Portugal at the time.

[25] Also all OTL - they had met during her sister Sophie’s wedding to Archduke Franz Karl of Austria in Vienna, became instantly smitten, and continued to see each other in Vienna after her father’s death until Ludovika returned to Bavaria.

[26] OTL Miguel’s letter did not arrive until a few days after Ludovika’s marriage to Maximilian Josef - here, he gets his priorities straight and sends the letter first thing. Call it a Hail Mary pass - I’m a sucker for love.

[27] OTL Maria da Assunção never married. She’s also getting a Hail Mary pass - just not a very good one.

[28] This is all OTL as well, except Charlotte wasn’t around to offer Maria shelter, obviously.

[29] Also all OTL - the St. Katharine docks were amalgamated with the London Docks in 1864 and were badly bombed during WWII. Ironically, the docks are now mainly dominated by private flats - similar to the ones destroyed for their original construction.

[30] The three London protocols of 1828, 1829, and 1830, followed by the London Conference of 1832, which set the final boundaries of Greece and elected the new monarch.

[31] As previously stated, OTL she was already several years dead at this time, having taken ill after the coronation of her husband. Here, she’s mostly survived off of spite and a desire to see her daughter take the throne.

[32] He later changed his surname to Dension per the terms of his uncle’s will. In 1850, he became the first Baron Londesborough. OTL he first married The Hon. Henrietta Weld-Forester, in 1833. His great-granddaughter, Irene Denison, married Queen Victoria’s grandson Prince Alexander of Battenberg, later the Marquess of Carisbrooke.

[33] OTL the throne of Greece would be offered to Queen Victoria’s second son, Prince Alfred - it was refused on the grounds that he was already heir to his paternal uncle’s duchy of Coburg. I’m fairly sure that Leopold slammed his head against a wall a few times when he was informed of this. The throne was also offered to Leopold himself in 1830, though he would refuse on the grounds of political instability.

[34] A la Hamilton and Burr, with a much better ending, this was also OTL. Men’s egos have been soothed with guns a long time in a lot of ways, guys. Sometimes you gotta just call a man out on sketchy political issues and then go shoot the sky to get over it.

[35] Obviously my own creation but you’ve got to admit, the phrase works.

[36] Apparently, “In his place in the House of Lords [Finch-Hatton] violently opposed almost every liberal measure which was brought forward”.

[37] This was actually a common belief around this time regarding Catholic emancipation - it wasn’t quite true, as there remained a large amount of continuity from the period before emancipation, but the Act did lead to a demand to reform Parliament by the Ultra-Tories, as mentioned in the next sentence. According to Eric J. Evans, “[An Ultra-Tory] in February 1830 introduced the first major reform bill, calling for the transfer of rotten borough seats to the counties and large towns, the disfranchisement of non-resident voters, the preventing of Crown office-holders from sitting in Parliament, the payment of a salary to MPs, and the general franchise for men who owned property. The ultras believed that a widely based electorate could be relied upon to rally around anti-Catholicism”.

[38] Auntie Fred was twenty-four when she left Prussia and married Frederick, the Duke of York and Albany. She is currently 62, meaning that she has lived in England for 38 years at this time.

[39] All OTL, including the release of the slaves.

[40] You might remember Cockburn as the man with the balls to force his future king - William IV - out of his role of Lord High Admiral after he acted without the authority of the board of the Admiralty in 1828. That happened in this timeline too, so the fact that Charlotte is making him sweat should give you some insight into our girl. OTL it didn’t seem to affect Cockburn’s career -naval or political- that badly, and he ended up as the Admiral of the Fleet in 1851. For those of you wondering, Charlotte actually doesn’t resent his role in her uncle’s removal - once she’s Queen, she will tell him that she quite admired the audacity of it, and his honesty in doing so - as long he does not try to remove her from her roles.

[41] OTL the cities of Perth and Fremantle. Australians, please don’t come for me! Captain Fremanle made the wise political decision ITTL to name the city for his future Queen and her husband.

[42] Like her OTL counterpart, this timeline’s Victoria also has an extensive doll collection. Unlike her OTL counterpart, she normally plays with them with her cousins, Lolly and Missy of Kendal.

[43] Charlotte was the widow of Comte Cesar de Choiseul, and the daughter of the 1st Baron Rancliffe. She and Jules have two young sons at this time, Alphone and Louis, both born in London. Charlotte is actually Jules’ second British wife - his first was a Miss Barbara Campbell, a Scotswoman.

[44] ITTL, Charlotte and Leopold of Kendal are acquaintances with the Prince and Princess de Polignac, though they run on different political wavelengths. OTL and ITTL, Jules has been the French ambassador to London since 1823, giving him ample opportunity to know the British royal family and most of the nobility, many of whom were also friendly with his mother.

[45] This rumor did exist OTL, but there is no proof that it was true and it is not mentioned in Polignac’s papers. I couldn’t leave out the possibility of the Virgin Mary interceding in French politics, though.

[46] Her grandmother and namesake, Queen Charlotte, had done something similar at the outbreak of the French Revolution for Marie Antoinette and her children
[47] OTL Charles X never publicly came out in support for Miguel - the July Revolution occurred before he could come out publicly, though it seems that he was intending to - and his successor, Louis Philippe d’Orleans, sided against Miguel. Here, Charles has got his dander up and he’s looking to prove a point.

[48] As previously stated, according to the Fundamental Laws of Portugal at the time, anyone who was sovereign of another nation or fought against Portugal in a war gave up their right to the Portuguese throne. When Pedro IV led Brazil in it’s war for independence, he checked off both of these boxes. Maria is considered guilty by association as far as Miguel is concerned, though a good lawyer with some common sense might be able to get her off those charges. If she could, you know, afford a good lawyer.

[49] Pedro didn’t exactly take the crown for Best Husband Ever during his marriage to Maria Leopoldina of Austria. While he had never been faithful, during the first few years of their marriage, Pedro attempted to be discreet. He became infatuated with his latest mistress, Domitila de Castro, and became “increasingly rude and mean toward Maria Leopoldina, left her short of funds, prohibited her from leaving the palace and forced her to endure Domitila's presence as her lady-in-waiting”. When Maria Leopoldina died of a miscarriage, a popular story was that she died after being physically assaulted by Pedro. While obviously not true - as he was in another part of the country at the time of her death -, it says a lot that most people were still willing to believe the story.

[50] Her Bonaparte descent was considered her sole “defect”, which Pedro was graciously willing to overlook. Real prince of a guy, that Pedro.

[51] For those of you saying ‘ew’, in Pedro’s defense, there is precedent. Jose, the Prince of Brazil and heir to Maria I of Portugal, was married to his mother’s sister, the fifteen years old Infanta Benedita of Portugal. Jose himself was the product of an uncle-niece marriage. By all accounts, the marriage was actually fairly happy. Jose and Benedita had no surviving children, though they had two miscarriages. After Jose died, his brother Joao eventually became king - we know him better as Joao IV, the father of Pedro and Miguel.

[52] Maria’s mother, Maria Leopoldina, was the fourth daughter of Franz I of Austria and his first wife, Maria Teresa of Naples and Sicily.

[53] Franz I’s fourth wife, Caroline Auguste of Bavaria, the older half-sister of Ludovika from their father’s first marriage.

[54] “The Austrian emperor, deeply offended by the conduct his daughter endured, withdrew his support for Brazilian concerns and frustrated Pedro I's Portuguese interests” (Roderick Barman, 1988). Say what you want about Franz, he was a devoted dad, and I for one appreciate his level of pettiness.

[55] Amélie is Ludovika’s niece: her mother, Auguste of Bavaria, is Ludovika’s older half sister from their father’s first marriage. Meaning Amélie is also a niece of her husband’s former father-in-law, the Emperor of Austria, by marriage. Yay for royal intermarriage!

[56] His mother, Carlota Joaqina, was born an Infanta of Spain, making Miguel a nephew of the current king of Spain. His sister, Maria Francisca, is currently married to the King’s younger brother and heir (and her uncle, because that’s how the Braganazas seemed to roll), Infante Carlos, Count of Molina.

[57] Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - ITTL Leopold serves as the head of the society and lends the ‘royal’ presence. His seat will eventually be taken over by his second son, William.

[58] All OTL as well.

[59] While Ludovika and Miguel did not have twins in their respective OTL marriages, four of Ludovika’s sisters were twins, giving her a genetic predisposition.

[60] As previously discussed, situations like this have occurred before in the Braganza family, whose motto seems to have been: “When it doubt, marry”.

[61] This desire was very real OTL as well, when it resulted in the flaming dumpster fire that was the marriage of Elisabeth of Bavaria and Franz Josef I of Austria. And eventually led to World War One.

[62] Credit where it’s due, by this point, the Habsburgs have gotten slightly better about spreading the love, but for a while there, the family tree was more a family circle.

[63] Obviously OTL there was not the whole Charlotte living and poised to become the next Queen issue when this was proposed, and Leopold actually considered taking the throne for a while before eventually refusing in May 1830.

[64] They were sisters-in-law for years, guys, and married to two of the weirdest members of that generation of the British Royal Family. They have stuff to talk about.

[65] Obviously my own creation, and it’s the hill I will die on.

[66] I could not find any reason behind why Friedrich Wilhelm and Elisabeth Ludovika were barren - I found a few sites mentioning a stillborn child early in their marriage, but they provided no dates or further sources. Therefore, I’m stepping in and releasing my butterflies.

[67] Obviously yes, one of the three people is a parent. But can you guess one of the other two in return for some more naming rights? Or matchmaking rights? Or event rights? Answer correctly and we’ll figure out a prize! *Please only send in answers by private message!*

[68] This was all said OTL but Halford obviously said the first part to only the Cabinet.

[69] Halford was judged very harshly at the time for his ‘treatment’ of the king, which was basically copious amounts of laudanum and opium.
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Another great chapter... poor Alexandrina, Maria of Portugal at least is a smart girl, Ludovika (or better Queen Luísa now) will be surely much happier than OTL and that was a big win for Miguel. Charlotte and Leopold continue to be great, but that was already a given and poor George...
A couple of notes: Amelie de Beauharnais has Bonaparte’s ties not blood (as her father was Napoleon’s stepsons Eugene she had no Bonaprte’s blood) so against her was mostly her father’s rank (who was practically a mediatized prince without any real power and quite landless) plus distaste for anything related to Bonaparte (like their Baden’s cousins).
Marie Therese Charlotte right now use only the title of her husband (who, after his father became King, is the Dauphin of France) and keep her rank of Fille de France (who now belong to her for both birth and marriage. Currently the title Madame Royale belong to her sister-in-law as Charles IX had given it to the widowed Duchess of Berry once he became King.
A brilliant t chapter, and whilst I’m happy absolutism does seem to be making a come back somewhere, I am sad for Maria,
Another great chapter... poor Alexandrina, Maria of Portugal at least is a smart girl, Ludovika (or better Queen Luísa now) will be surely much happier than OTL and that was a big win for Miguel. Charlotte and Leopold continue to be great, but that was already a given and poor George...
A couple of notes: Amelie de Beauharnais has Bonaparte’s ties not blood (as her father was Napoleon’s stepsons Eugene she had no Bonaprte’s blood) so against her was mostly her father’s rank (who was practically a mediatized prince without any real power and quite landless) plus distaste for anything related to Bonaparte (like their Baden’s cousins).
Marie Therese Charlotte right now use only the title of her husband (who, after his father became King, is the Dauphin of France) and keep her rank of Fille de France (who now belong to her for both birth and marriage. Currently the title Madame Royale belong to her sister-in-law as Charles IX had given it to the widowed Duchess of Berry once he became King.
Thank you! As for Amelie, I just went with the commentary I found from contemporary sources, but thank you for catching it! I should have explained better. As for Marie Therese, I never knew that Charles gave the Madame Royale title to Maria Carolina - I'll make sure to keep that in mind on the next post.

A brilliant t chapter, and whilst I’m happy absolutism does seem to be making a come back somewhere, I am sad for Maria,
Maria is getting an early lesson in keeping your head down and your cards close to your chest - credit where it's due, she's a lot smarter than her father.
Thank you! As for Amelie, I just went with the commentary I found from contemporary sources, but thank you for catching it! I should have explained better. As for Marie Therese, I never knew that Charles gave the Madame Royale title to Maria Carolina - I'll make sure to keep that in mind on the next post.

Maria is getting an early lesson in keeping your head down and your cards close to your chest - credit where it's due, she's a lot smarter than her father.
I read that years ago in a biography of the Duchess of Berry so, unless the author was mistaken, she received the title. This is a little strange as that was the title for the eldest daughter of the King, while Caroline was only his widowed daughter-in-law, but still not unlikely, specially if Charles wanted a general change of titles after his ascension
Great chapter as always, you do a great job covering the whole world situation (which Charlotte plays magnificently)

With Portugal going firmly absolutist (love how you get into that so deeply), I imagine the Carlist Wars that will be popping up soon (I noticed Miguel and Carlos seem to be forming baptismal ties) and causing an even greater issue. It'll be fun.

I'm also wondering who you've got in mind for the Greek kingship. I'm pretty sure it'll be an interesting choice, and not just some random German prince, considering the attention you've been paying to it...
Great chapter as always, you do a great job covering the whole world situation (which Charlotte plays magnificently)

With Portugal going firmly absolutist (love how you get into that so deeply), I imagine the Carlist Wars that will be popping up soon (I noticed Miguel and Carlos seem to be forming baptismal ties) and causing an even greater issue. It'll be fun.

I'm also wondering who you've got in mind for the Greek kingship. I'm pretty sure it'll be an interesting choice, and not just some random German prince, considering the attention you've been paying to it...

Thank you so much for the lovely comment!

Portugal is going firmly absolutist, it's true, and the Carlist issue will definitely be coming into play.

As for the Greeks, all I can say is that I don't think anyone will expect the eventual monarch, and he and his descendants are going to keep Europe very, very interesting.
I originally got into Leopold as a historical figure in the timeline "Pride Goes Before a Fall" where he does accept the Greek crown, so it's been very interesting to see more of him as a character and how this timeline will change due to his involvement with Charlotte's rise to the throne. I'll admit all the royals are a bit jumbled up in my head, but you've written them in such a way that I can still discern the broad strokes without needing to know every detail. Looking forward to seeing where this goes next!
Since it's our dear Queen Charlotte's birthday, I wanted to do something fun! (I would post but getting covid and getting trained in my new job have sucked up writing time lately).

Do you guys want an excerpt from the future, a poll to vote for something, a Q&A? Let me know!