The Last Hanover: The Life and Reign of Queen Charlotte

Seven Sevenths
In honor of the birthday of our lovely Queen, I am releasing seven 'January sevenths', or seven excerpts from the future of Queen Charlotte's timeline. Enjoy!

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January 7, 1836:
Scene from the 2016 film Lotte & Leo starring Jessica Chastain (Charlotte, The Duchess of Kendal) and Colin Farrell (Leopold, The Duke of Kendal), among others, depicting Charlotte’s fortieth birthday.

[Interior shot: Charlotte and Leopold's bedroom, early morning. She is sitting up in bed, reading papers and occasionally making a mark on a paper beside her on the bed. There are several dogs in the room.]

[The door creaks open, and Leopold peeks in the room, grinning.]


Leopold: Permission to enter, Your Majesty?

[Charlotte looks up, beaming, as she sets down her paper and quill].

Charlotte: [dramatically] Of course, good sir.

[Leopold laughs and opens the door, revealing a rush of royal children, who stream through the opening and directly ro their laughing mother. They end up scattered on the bed with her, all chattering and giggling, with her eldest two sons standing next to the bed].

Charlotte: [laughing] My goodness! I've been invaded!

Augusta: [coughs loudly and frowns solemnly at her siblings from her position next to Charlotte] We must give Mama her birthday present now!

[Leopold and Charlotte exchange a smiling look over their daughter's head as she bosses her siblings into her idea of order: it's still chaos, but the ranks have closed in a bit more].

Augusta: [very seriously] Un, deux, trois - !

[The children began singing "For She's A Jolly Good Fellow". It's not on key and nobody is in time - the dogs start howling halfway through, and Leopold is barely holding in his laughter. By the end of it, Charlotte's eyes have teared up and she is covering her mouth with her hands].

Mary: Was that alright, Mama?

Augusta: George was horribly out of tune, and Frederick wasn't even singing! And Alex forgot the words! [She's very clearly upset at her siblings' failures].

Charlotte: [laughing and kissing Augusta's furrowed brow] Oh, we can forgive them for that, my love. [To Mary] It was perfect, darling. Exactly what I wanted for my birthday.

Leopold: All right, you lot. I heard a rumor that there's a lovely breakfast being set up in the drawing room for Mama - go to it and we'll meet you there!

[The children shuffle out of the room, followed by the dogs, leaving Leopold and Charlotte alone. He comes to sit next to her on the side of the bed and places a black velvet jewelry box in her hands].

Leopold: My gift, ma chérie.

[Charlotte opens the box to reveal a pearl choker with exactly forty pearls on it, separated by small round garnets. She gasps and traces one of the pearls with her finger before looking at her husband, eyes wide].

Leopold: Garnets, for January. And pearls for you - the pearl of my world. Do you like it?

Charlotte: It's the second best fortieth birthday present ever.

[He looks startled at that, then looks at the door where their children have just exited, and laughs as he leans forward to kiss her. Scene ends.]

*The necklace currently exists in the possession of Her Majesty, The Queen of Hanover.


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January 7, 1844:

“The wedding of Lady Emma d’Este and Lord Burghersh was celebrated today in the Chapel Royal of St. James’ Palace. It was attended by Her Majesty, The Queen; The Prince Consort; The Prince and Princess of Wales; and other members of the royal family. The bride was given away by her godfather, The Prince Consort, at her personal request.

The wedding was followed by a birthday luncheon for Her Majesty The Queen, followed by a wedding supper and ball for the young couple.”

-Court Circular regarding January 7th, 1844.

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January 7, 1845:

"Happy birthday to my dear Marie-Charlotte from your godmama! I am so sad to not spend our birthday together, but I hope you shall find this gift to your liking, and I shall greet you upon your return home.

All my love,
Charlotte, the Queen"

-Birthday card from Her Majesty the Queen to her goddaughter, Marie-Charlotte Stockmar, on January 7, 1845.

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January 7, 1876:

"I am writing to thank you, my dear Louisette, for your kind wishes to your old marraine [godmother] on her eightieth birthday. Eighty! I am quite ancient at this point, ma petite and thus shall take the liberty to wax on - who knows how many more birthdays I may be permitted to describe? It was a lovely, lovely day - all the children were here, and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren too! I felt quite a venerable mater familias. It is so funny, I find, and surely you must too, to see the traits of the ones we love resurface long after their original owners are gone in their descendants. I see my own Papa, his joie de vivre and charm, in my grandson Arthur. One of my Lotte's little granddaughters, Marianne, has the exact smile as my own grandmother - and her formidable will. I see my lion [Leopold] in so many of them... I must admit to a particular failing of a grandmama and confess to having a favorite: my little Leopold, dear Dina's [Augusta's] grandson. He is his namesake reborn and I confess, I find myself weeping to think of the similarities. Oh, how proud he would have been today, to see such a continuation of Coburgs!

However, you did not write to hear an old woman's ramblings and I did not reply to send them to you. I must thank you for your darling gift - I very much admire your skill at embroidery, and received many compliments on my lovely shawl. It was so dear of you to use daffodils, my particular favorites, in the design."

-Letter from Her Majesty The Queen to HRH Louise, Dowager Duchess of Orléans on January 7, 1876.

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January 7, 1965:

“I remember my great-grandmother quite well, actually. Well, quite well, you know, for a child. I wasn’t ten when she died, but I remember... it was like God had died. The whole center of the world seemed to fall out. It was particularly stressful on my father, I remember. He adored her, absolutely adored her. She had this wonderful trick of making all of us - the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren - believe we alone were her favorite. We’d argue about it for hours.

She had a marvel of a memory. Never forgot a word, a meeting, a moment. She could tell you the lineage of every courtier in the court, even when she was dying. She arranged most of their marriages, but still. She had a great sense of humor, too. I remember coming to see her before... well, before she was gone, and she was reading a book and laughing at some silly bit of nonsense in it. Not those delicate polite laughs either - real, proper laughing. She didn’t mince things, Grandmama Lotte... used to tell me “It’ll be what it’ll be, darling. No use fretting about it. You simply cannot let them see you fret.”

We’re all still particular about her birthday, you know. Those of us left who knew her. She always made a big fuss on her birthday, insisted on everyone join in and come to Claremont. God knows how many times she had to expand the house to fit everyone. So we all try to meet together on that day. Actually, the family reunion has been on January 7th for as long as I can remember. I think she’d like it, especially since we’re here at Claremont. This is where she was happiest. Quite handy that you came during the reunion, Miss Brandon. You can jolly well knock out quite a few of your interviews, I imagine - and we’ll see to it that you get a tour of her things still here at the house.

I’ll send in one of the other cousins - Auguste can give you much more information that I can, she’s the oldest one still around. Watch out for her cane, though - she’s got good aim with it if you’re not listening. She inherited that from Grandmama too.”

-Excerpts from an interview by Anna Brandon with His Majesty The King regarding her biographical novel of his great-grandmother. Taken January 7th, 1965 at Claremont.
[The author was in fact poked with the aforementioned cane in the following interview].


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January 7, 1996:
"Students, alumnae, faculty, friends. We are here today to honor the two hundredth birthday of our great patroness, Queen Charlotte. In 1849, our founder, Elizabeth Jesser Reid, wrote to Her Majesty the Queen, asking for her aid in establishing a college for women. Her Majesty not only provided aid, she provided funding and served on the committee for the school until the end of her life, calling it "one the most fulfilling, lasting acts of her reign". Three of the Queen's granddaughters would later attend this college, as well as numerous of her descendants, including two of her great-great-great-granddaughters at this time.

The Queen donated a portion of her private library to the college in the year of its founding, "to help it on its way", thus founding the Bedford College library. It is in memory of this first donation that we present the new Bedford College Queen Charlotte library."

-Speech unveiling the new library at Bedford College by Dame Eleanor Mary Alden, alumna of Bedford College, novelist and biographer, on January 7th, 1996.

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January 7, 2021:
Long live the future Queen! It's a girl for the Duke and Duchess of York! Thanks to the Law of Succession of 1995, this little lass shall one day take the top spot in the monarchy, regardless of any brothers who may follow. She is the first child of the Duke and Duchess, who married in 2018.

Update: Her names were revealed at 4:48 by Buckingham Palace to be Charlotte Alexandra Sophia. It seems the princess' name was chosen for her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother -say that five times fast - the famous Queen Charlotte, who shares her birthday with the little Princess. Her second name could be for her mother, the former Alexandra MacDonnell, and / or her paternal great-grandmother. Another namesake could be her father's distant cousin and close friend, the Tsarevich of Russia. Sophia is for her paternal aunt, who we expect to see as a godmother, as well as being her maternal grandmother's middle name. According to the little one's great-grandfather, the current King, she shall be titled as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of York.

-Post from Royal Musings blog, January 7th, 2021.
 
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Okay, now you have me curious with all these snapshots. The Brandons still around in some capacity? A Princess of York to be Queen rather than a Princess from the line of Wales? I'm intrigued - and very much enjoyed these glimpses of the future!
 
Wow! A lot of interesting excerpts! :) It seems Queen Charlotte’s legacy will be as famous as OTL Queen Victoria’s. Also, I too am very interested by the last excerpt of the Duke of York’s line succeeding to the throne...
 
Okay, now you have me curious with all these snapshots. The Brandons still around in some capacity? A Princess of York to be Queen rather than a Princess from the line of Wales? I'm intrigued - and very much enjoyed these glimpses of the future!
Well, Charles Brandon did have an illegitimate son, Sir Charles Brandon, who did get married so she could be a descendant ;)

Loved it, agree with Falcon about the York bit that has me very curious

Wow! A lot of interesting excerpts! :) It seems Queen Charlotte’s legacy will be as famous as OTL Queen Victoria’s. Also, I too am very interested by the last excerpt of the Duke of York’s line succeeding to the throne...

Maybe I'll make a present family tree for my next little future excerpt to show just how the Yorks are going to get the throne - these were so much fun to do!
 
*The necklace currently exists in the possession of Her Majesty, The Queen of Hanover.
So the Crown of Hanover still exists. As ruler of a separate state, as a member of a federal German Empire, or as a title divorced from any particular territorial jurisdiction? Given the need for general realignment of boundaries across Germany, and Hanover's particularly convoluted territory, the last seems most likely. It would follow the similar separation of titles from territories in the late Middle Ages.
All my love,
Charlotte, the Queen"
"Charlotte R", I'd think.
-Letter from Her Majesty The Queen to HRH Louise, Dowager Duchess of Orléans on January 7, 1876.
So the Bourbons (or Bourbon-Orleans) continues in France, for at least one additional generation.
January 7, 2021:
Long live the future Queen! It's a girl for the Duke and Duchess of York! Thanks to the Law of Succession of 1995, this little lass shall one day take the top spot in the monarchy, regardless of any brothers who may follow. She is the first child of the Duke and Duchess, who married in 2018.
The York line? The DoY is usually the Sovereign's second son. How is he certain to succeed?
her father's distant cousin and close friend, the Tsarevich of Russia.
So the Russian Empire continues.
According to the little one's great-grandfather, the current King...
It turns out that the Dukedom of York is heritable - it's just that the last seven holders of it have either died without male heirs or become King. If the King's second son (the most recent creation) has passed on, the title would pass to his son, grandson of the King and Charlotte's father,
Then if the Duke's uncle, the Prince of Wales, has passed on with no heir, the Duke is the heir apparent, and baby Charlotte is his heir apparent.
 
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It turns out that the Dukedom of York is heritable - it's just that the last seven holders of it have either died without male heirs or become King. If the King's second son (the most recent creation) has passed on, the title would pass to his son, grandson of the King and Charlotte's father,
Then if the Duke's uncle, the Prince of Wales, has passed on with no heir, the Duke is the heir apparent, and Charlotte is his heir apparent.

But then the Duke of York would have become the Prince of Wales, and the child would be Charlotte of Wales rather than Charlotte of York.

So we have to assume the Prince of Wales still lives at this point. My guess is that the Prince of Wales is LGBT+ and has no legitimate children (adopted or surrogacy would not be deemed legitimate), the Prince would then have the Duke of York as his legitimate heir and Charlotte being the heir apparent of the heir presumptive.
 
But then the Duke of York would have become the Prince of Wales...
Not necessarily. The male heir apparent has to be created PoW - the title is not automatic. Prince Charles was not created PoW until six years after his mother's accession. Of course he was a child - but Edward VII was created PoW a month after his birth. George V, not a child, was created PoW ten months after his father's accession.

Going back earlier: Henry Stuart was created PoW seven years after the accession of James I, and Charles I four years after Henry's death.

So there could be an "interprinceum" in effect at this time. Maybe the DoY has only recently succeeded to the position of heir apparent, or has health issues which make it impractical for him to be PoW.
 
I absolutely adored the exerpts, they were just wonderful.

As for the Duke of York Conundrum, couldn't this just be a scenario where the King has 1 son (or doesn't use York for his second son due to unavailability or some other reason) and makes his grandson Duke of York? It would be similar to what happened during Victoria's reign where she didn't make Affie Duke of York (because she was loathe to use the Dukedoms associated with her uncles for her sons) and then bestowed it to to the future George V who, while being Edward VII's second son, only got the title after his older brother Eddy's death.
 
IIRC George V was Duke of York between his marriage and Queen Victoria’s death...not impossible that it simply became the title given to the heir apparent of the heir apparent, which would make sense with the newborn being the great-grandchild of the current sovereign.
 
Thank you all for the wonderful feedback! I'm so glad this went over well - it was so much fun to do! I have a few more ideas for modern excerpts up my sleeve, so I'll start sprinkling them in more often.
 
IIRC George V was Duke of York between his marriage and Queen Victoria’s death...not impossible that it simply became the title given to the heir apparent of the heir apparent, which would make sense with the newborn being the great-grandchild of the current sovereign.
George was created DoY in May 1892, four months after Albert Victor died; he proposed to Mary in January 1893, and they were married in July 1893. But AFAIK, he was the last heir or heir of the heir to be made DoY. The next DoY was his younger son, George VI, and then Andrew.

That's OTL, it could be very different ITTL - though the precedent of making the younger brother DoY was set before the PoD; with Charlotte's uncle Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, also the younger brothers of George III and George I, James II, and Charles I (created DoY while his older brother Henry lived).
 
What I'm interested in is that apparently the Tsars are still on the Russian throne.
Prolonged intimate exposure to several constitutional monarchies, an Empress with a penchant for welfare work and an adoring husband, and multiple come to Jesus meetings involving the royal family, politicians, men with rocks, former serfs, Albert of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha, Queen Charlotte, and a one point an old woman with a pet wolf tend tend to change one's mind regarding complete autocracy.
 
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