Portrait of the Coronation of Queen Charlotte, circa 1832
“Queen by conquest, m’am. Not by the will of the people.”
“We must change that, then, you and I.”
-Excerpt from famous conversation between Charlotte and Patrick Lalor
Everyone is still a little exhausted from the rebellions of the last year, so the year of 1831 begins quietly enough. Well, except for Poland - that rebellion is still going strong after Chlopicki’s ambassador returns with no concessions from the Russians (in truth, most people see it as a win that the guy was allowed to return at all). More on that later, though. In Boston, Massachusetts, William Lloyd Garrison begins publishing The Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper. Charlotte and Leopold quietly take a subscription under the name Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. There are revolts in Modena, Parma, and Papal States - the states’ plan to come together as the United Italian Provinces is squashed by the Austrians, who work their way through Italy throughout February and March, crushing resistance and arresting radical leaders. The Austrians aren’t just crushing rebellions, however. They’re making questionable political choices too! On the last day of January, the Duke of Reichstadt is married in Vienna to Princess Theodolinde of Leuchtenberg . Normally, an Austrian royal marriage doesn’t attract too much international attention - there’s a lot of them, after all, and therefore there tends to be a lot of marriages (for example, the marriage in February of this year of the Emperor's eldest son Ferdinand to Princess Maria Anna of Savoy). However, this marriage is more of a “poking a hornets’ nest” situation, politically. The Duke of Reichstadt was born as Napoléon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte, The Prince Imperial of France and King of Rome, the only son of that terror of Europe, Napoleon I. After his father’s abdication, little Napoleon - who goes by Franz now, thanks - was raised in Austria with his mother’s family. His grandfather, Franz I of Austria, gave him the title Duke of Reichstadt. This intelligent, serious young man has given the rulers of Europe nervous moments before - he’s received a military education, and in 1822 an insurrection to place him back on the throne of France had to be put down.
Mostly, he’s been a bargaining piece for Austria to use against France since he was four years old.
Reichstadt is of the opinion that the Austrians are holding him back, and he’s not technically wrong. Everyone is so fearful of him holding political office that he’s not allowed to travel with the army - he’s been given command of a battalion that’s currently in Italy without it’s commander - or even privately outside of the Habsburg lands . In an attempt to give him something, his step-grandmother, Karoline Auguste, has arranged his marriage to her niece Princess Theodolinde de Beauharnais of Leuchtenberg . Theodolinde’s father is Eugene de Beauharnais, the stepson of Napoleon I from his first marriage - so while she and Reichstadt aren’t technically related, it’s a marriage that can be considered as being made up of a Bonaparte and a pro-Bonaparte party. There is the argument that no one else would marry a daughter of appropriate rank to the young man - not that anyone is particularly interested in said argument. Regardless of the international mutterings, the marriage goes through, and the young couple are allowed to honeymoon in Bohemia. Despite being an arranged match, they seem to get on very well.
In France, Reichstadt’s cousin, the new King  seems to take the marriage in stride, and even sends well wishes to the couple, along with a pair of Cheval Navarrin horses  from his own stables. The horses will later play their own part in history, but for now, they are a welcome gift to the Duke and Duchess, who name them “Caesar” and “Cleopatra”. This is the first step to an understanding between Reichstadt and the Bourbons. It’s a little one, but it’s better than nothing.
On February 2nd, Pope Gregory XVI succeeds Pope Pius VIII. Gregory will be known for his fervent traditionalism, lack of understanding in politics, and very short reign . Oddly enough, he and Charlotte will become allies of sorts over a certain political issue in the coming years. On the same day, the Church of England also receives a new leader - or rather, opens itself up for new leadership after William Howley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, dies of a suspected heart attack in the wee hours of February 2nd. Howley was the “highest of the low churchmen” , according to a contemporary, and had not endeared himself to Charlotte or most people with his vehement attacks on reform and Catholic Emancipation. By the end of the month, Howley is buried and replaced by John Bird Sumner, formerly the Bishop of Chester . Sumner is known for his energy and zeal towards reform, and even voted for Catholic Emancipation. This is an important victory for the Whigs. In the coming days, they’ll need all the high-placed friends they can get. This is also a victory for Charlotte’s cousin, Augustus Fitzclarence - he is raised from his vicarage in Oxfordshire to the newly empty post of Bishop of Chester . This actually isn’t quite nepotism - Augustus is quite liked amongst the clergy, and Sumner himself recommends him for the post. It’s really just considered a bonus amongst the clergy to have a beloved cousin of the Queen on their team, where he can serve as a go-between to make her see their side of things. The proper, English church side of things. (Augustus, knowing what side his bread is buttered on, will spend the rest of his career making the clergy understand Charlotte’s side of things. The Queen by the Grace of God side of things).
On February 23rd, Charlotte gives birth after a day and a half of labor to her fourth daughter at thirteen minutes past one in the afternoon . After careful consideration, the newest little princess is named Caroline Georgiana Octavia Anne: Caroline for her grandmother, Georgiana for her grandfather, Octavia for her great-uncle  and to signify her place as the eight child, and Anne for her godmother  and the last reigning Queen.
The name doesn’t go over so well. “Poor little girl - born with trouble, named for trouble. What else can she expect than trouble?” The Duchess of Cambridge, with her usual forthrightness, writes to her sister-in-law Adelheid, the Queen of Hanover. The letter remains private - neither would ever dream of hurting Charlotte with their comments- but the thought returns throughout the coming years.
Little Caroline, called Caro in the family, is baptized two weeks after her birth in the chapel of St. James’ Palace with all the pomp and circumstance of the first child born to a reigning queen in English history . Her godparents are her paternal aunt Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna of Russia (represented by Mrs. Marsali Fitzclarence); the Dowager Duchess of Berry, Madame la Mère du Roi (represented by the Duchess of Richmond); the Duchess of Montrose ; the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (represented by Baron Stockmar) ; the King of Hanover; and the Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (represented by Prince George of the United Kingdom) . The young princess is made the honorary patron of the Royal Astronomical Society, which received it’s royal charter a week before her christening - this will later lead to an almost encyclopedic knowledge of astronomy, as well as what will be considered by many to be an unhealthy interest in astrology.
She is not made the patron of the Tithe War, which begins in Ireland a few days after her birth, and really helps to add to the aura of trouble already surrounding her.
The Tithe War is technically less of a war, and more of a political middle finger. In short, the mostly Catholic population of Ireland has started to resent being forced to pay tithes to the Anglican Church of Ireland (basically the Church of England with shamrocks). Reasonable, yes? The very English - and Anglican - government begs to differ. The Tithe War begins with Patrick “Patt” Lalor, later the first Catholic representative for Queen’s County in over two centuries, speaking at a public meeting in February. Lalor famously states that “[he] would never again pay tithes; that [he] would violate no law; that the tithe men might take [his] property, and offer it for sale; but [his] countrymen, [he] was proud to say, respected [him], and [he] thought that none of [them] would buy or bid for it if exposed for sale” . Lalor remains true to his word and does not resist the removal of twenty of his sheep for a tithe payment, though he is able to ensure that no one shows up to the auction of the sheep. What the government assures Charlotte is just a foolish Irishman attempting to make an unnecessary point quickly shows itself to be more than that. The first clash of the Tithe War takes place on March 3rd, five days after the birth of the new Princess Caroline. In County Kilkenny, a force of 120 yeomanry attempted to seize cattle belonging to a Roman Catholic priest. The priest had organized people to resist tithe collection by placing their stock under his ownership prior to sale. Obviously, this goes over very well - the revolt soons spreads throughout Ireland as more ‘passive resistance’ occurs against the tithes. Charlotte has her own opinions on this issue but for right now, she’s recovering from childbirth and is forced to take a sideline. Charlotte sends Adolphus Fitzclarence to do some reconnaissance, however, just to be safe.
Prime Minister Grey, never one to miss an opportunity, decides to ride this wave of rebellion against an unfeeling government and has his man in Parliament, Lord John Russell, introduce the Reform Bill in the House of Commons in the second week of March . The Reform Bill is specifically designed to correct abuses within Parliament - it will reduce the number of rotten boroughs, create new seats where necessary, extend franchise rights, and introduce a voter registration system. Sounds great, right?
Oh, there’s some politicking behind the scenes, as there always is. Leopold has privately spoken to Grey and expressed concern that the Tories will refuse to pass the bill. With Grey’s blessing, Leopold privately speaks to family friend Wellington, the leader of the Tories, during one of his visits to St. James’. (He’s bringing a new book of violin music by Vasily Pashkevich to Prince William, whom he is tutoring in both the instrument and general badass-ness). Wellington blusters and preaches about how this would be “an end to all just and proper means of decision” by reducing the number of nomination boroughs held by Lords, and that the commons would overrun the aristocracy in the government, an unthinkable idea indeed . Then, as he winds down, he tells Leopold that he could, maybe, possibly see his way to considering thinking about perhaps not standing nor leading his party to stand against the bill, were certain concessions to be made. Maybe. It’s good enough for Leopold to begin serving as the mediator between the two statesmen, earning him one of his many epithets: “The Conciliator”. The three men often meet in the coming days, as terms are made, refused, made again, and further compromised upon.
The Tithe War isn’t quite the issue that it’s cousin, the November-now-into-March Uprising, is still going on in Poland. At the end of February, the Poles achieved a marginal victory at the Battle of Olszynka Grochowska, successfully keeping the Russians from taking Warsaw - emphasis on marginal. Both sides suffered heavy losses, and the Russians were forced to retreat. Still, the Poles are feeling pretty good at this moment in time, and decide to follow up this particular victory with what they believe will be a diplomatic victory. They send a letter to the newly married Duke of Reichstadt, inviting him to come take up his father’s legacy and sit on the throne of Poland . Reichstadt is, surprisingly, not stupid and actually picked up a thing or two from his sire’s experiences about going against Russia. He’s not saying no, mind you. He’s not saying anything, to the Poles, at least. He’s got an awful lot to say to certain other big gun European powers, like his grandfather, however. And a certain Queen .
After playing cat and mouse for several weeks in Brazil with the liberals, matters come to a head for Emperor Pedro at the end of March. He's been throwing around threats to abdicate for several years now, and decides to throw out one more following the noite das garrafadas
(night of the broken bottles) riots, started by the radical faction of the liberal party. His wife, Amélie, manages to talk Pedro down from both his abdication and from firing the liberal government over their failure to take charge of the riots. The liberals have only had a government for two weeks, after all. She plays on his love for Brazil, his need to provide a firm strong hand against “all who would molest and ruin [Brazil]” , and she plays a trump card: their future children and them having a safe, stable Brazil to live in and love as their papa does. (In what will end up being the luckiest she will ever be, Amélie is revealed to be pregnant a few months after playing this particular card) . Pedro bows to his wife and agrees to learn to play nice with the liberals; the liberals, perhaps realizing what a storm they’ve managed to avoid, are willing to play a little nicer. All of Europe, having been watching Brazil with a side eye during this little scene, breathes a sigh of relief - nobody really loves Pedro, mind you, but nobody is really dying to see what would become of Brazil if he abdicated and left his six year old son as Emperor. King Miguel of Portugal is, in particular, thankful for his brother to remain in Brazil: a Pedro without a throne is a Pedro who could take it upon himself to come make trouble in Portugal.
Now, you might wonder where little Alexandrina Victoria of Kent has been all this time. She was in Coburg for a summer visit when her aunt took the throne, and unfortunately for her, she got a bit lost in the shuffle thereafter. Not that her mother’s been complaining, mind you. Victoire has taken this as an opportunity for some fun mother-daughter bonding, heavy on psychological warfare and heart to heart chats about the villainy of Auntie Charlotte, who was so cruel and callous to Victoire, even going so far as having her arrested. (Remember when Victoire got arrested? Charlotte remembers. It’s a fond memory). Yes, Drina is definitely going to remember this prolonged visit for the rest of her life. There are some good memories being made, however. Her uncle Ernst adds to her doll collection regularly, which is kind of him - at almost twelve, she’s getting a bit old for dolls now, but still . She does well in her lessons, and enjoys playing piano duets with her cousin Albrecht. She enjoys riding with her cousin, Ernst, who often helps her escape the more tedious of her mother’s lectures - and usually comes bearing sweets and pastries when he does so. Her half-brother and half-sister come to visit, bringing their own little children. Coburg may be dull compared to London, but at least in Coburg, people remember she’s there.
For what it’s worth, Charlotte and Leopold have been sending letters and gifts to Drina, some of which may or may not have been... mislaid.
In the midst of all of this, Charlotte is approached by her uncle, Augustus, the Duke of Sussex. She’s happy about the visit - he’s one of her favorite uncles, after all, and she hasn’t had much of a chance to see him lately. She is less thrilled about the reason behind his visit: Augustus wants to get married. It’s not the desire to marry that’s troubling, it’s who he wants to marry - the widowed Lady Cecilia Buggin, who is definitely not royalty. And definitely his mistress. Sussex has been ‘married’ before - he married Lady Augusta Murray in 1793, but as he did so without the King’s permission, the marriage was declared invalid under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. The Royal Marriages Act says that no descendant of George II could marry without the consent of the monarch, "signified under the great seal and declared in council". The consent had to be entered into the marriage license, the register of the marriage, and the books of the Privy Council. Any marriage made without the consent of the monarch was to be null and void. Sussex had not sought the King’s permission when he married Lady Augusta Murray, and their marriage was thus considered void and their children (The Lord Romney and The Hon. Mrs. Henry Fox) were removed from the line of succession. Sussex has learned his lesson this time around - he went back and actually read the fine print of the act, and has finally figured out that he needs the consent of the monarch to marry. Hence, his visit to Charlotte .
Now, this is a bit of a pickle. Technically, Sussex is playing by the rules - he is asking the monarch to give their consent to the marriage and thus make it valid. However, a marriage to a non-royal has not been approved since James II married Anne Hyde in 1660 - and even then, under different circumstances . However, Charlotte must admit that this is an issue that she can expect to come up again in her reign - she currently has four sons of her own, in addition to the Cumberland and Cambridge cousins, all of whom might expect to marry but not all of whom could reasonably expect to marry a Princess. George of Cambridge, for example, is currently seventeenth in line to the throne and can only expect to go down from there. There is also the issue of Augustus’ children by Lady Augusta Murray, who cannot expect the marriage to be retroactively approved, as Sussex never sought a monarch’s consent for the match, but who Charlotte does not want to feel snubbed. (The d’Este children are quick to soothe Charlotte’s nerves on this matter, as is Sussex, who promises to leave the majority of his estate to his children - Cecilia also vows to leave whatever she inherits to the d’Este children , a shrewd move on her part in regards to Charlotte, who loves her cousins well).
After careful consideration and legal advice from Stockmar and Lord Denham, the Lord Chief Justice, Charlotte returns to her uncle and gives her consent to the marriage. On May 2, 1831, Prince Augustus Frederick, The Duke of Sussex, marries Lady Cecilia Letitia Buggin, nee Gore, in the Dutch House drawing room, with the Queen, her family, and his children and grandchildren in attendance. It’s a major step for the British royal family.
It’s not wedding season just in Britain. After careful consideration, Maria Carolina, the regent of France, has decided that it's a good time to start cashing in on her promises to the Duc d’Orleans regarding the future of his children. His eldest son and heir is already betrothed to her daughter Louise - a tentative wedding date is set for sometime after her sixteen birthday. Maria Carolina makes the Duc’s younger sons, Francois and Henri, companions to her son the King - there will develop a particular closeness between the two Henris that will be noted throughout their lives. At the beginning of spring, Maria Carolina arranges the marriage between the Princess Louise of Orleans and her half-brother, Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies . The two are married on May 19th at the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta in Naples, attended by royalty and nobility from all over the world - Maria Carolina attends to represent her son, the King; The Emperor of Austria sends his brother, the Duke of Teschen; and Charlotte sends the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with their children - Prince George of Cambridge will later confess to a childhood infatuation with Louise that extends into deep admiration for the rest of his life, and despite a ten-year age gap, Princess Augusta of Cambridge and Louise, now the Queen of the Two Sicilies, will form a lifelong friendship.
The Sussex marriage starts to feel like a very tiny issue back in Britain as a workers rebellion in Merthyr Tydfil rises. This rebellion strikes a particular nerve for Charlotte, who has long considered herself the Princess of Wales and beloved by the Welsh people. For what it’s worth, the rebellion is more over policies enacted under her father than Charlotte herself, but she has been on the throne almost a year, so a decent chunk of the blame is coming at her too. The rebellion began with coal miners taking to the streets of Merthyr Tydfil, calling for reform and protesting against the lowering of their wages and general unemployment. The rebellion eventually spreads to cover the entire region - this is the first time that the red flag is flown as a symbol of a worker’s revolution. The people’s cries for “Caws a bara“ [cheese and bread] wound Charlotte’s heart, but the cries of “Lawr gyda'r Frenhines” [Down with the Queen] strike at her pride. Two rebellions before she’s even crowned is an ugly start to her reign, to say the least. The uprising is finally forced down at the end of June, with 24 protestors killed, and 26 people placed on trial for their involvement in the revolt . Of the 26 on trial, only two are sentenced to death - Lewis Lewis for robbery and Richard Lewis for stabbing a soldier - and of the two, only Richard Lewis is put to death. The rest, including Lewis Lewis, are all sent to Australia to the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement to serve their terms. They are followed by a large number of family and sympathizers to Australia, and within a generation, there will be a new settlement in Australia called Merthyr, where Welsh remains an unofficial second language well into the twenty-first century .
Charlotte is not happy about any of this, and makes it quite clear to Lord Grey and his cabinet, famously remarking “Good Lord, gentlemen - am I doomed to suffer both rebels and fools?” in response to a member of the council trying to assure her that the Welsh problem was taken care of, “The fire has been put out, but the fuel remains, and I for one shall not wait for another Welsh spark to burn down my home!”. She brings William Crawshay, the owner of the coal mines in Merthyr Tydfil, before the council to discuss the situation from his point of view (Charlotte is less than impressed). She privately speaks to Lewis Lewis before his departure for Australia, and has him come before the council as well. He is not pardoned, but anyone with a particular view for details will note that the penal sentence of the Methyr rebels lasted about as long as it took the boat to get to Australia. Charlotte is determined to investigate the conditions of workers, in Wales and beyond, and places Leopold in charge of a special committee convened for just that reason. Aiding him are Christian Stockmar, Llewelyn Lewellin (who is obviously taking a personal interest in the Welsh issue), the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince George. To be fair, George mostly listens, but what he listens to sinks in and will later add to his reputation as a Prince for the People.
The Welsh worker’s issue handled, or at least on the way to being handled, Charlotte turns to the Irish. She has spent many hours in private conversation with the former Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington, a known friend to the Irish Catholics, for his take on the situation. Her cousin Augustus Fitzclarence has returned from his reconnaissance mission in Ireland, and brings with him Patrick Lalor and Daniel O'Connell, an Irish Catholic member of Parliament who has become something of a leader in the Tithe War .
*******************************************************************************************************************[Excerpt from ‘Regina’, award winning Netflix show chronicling the life and reigns of female English and British monarchs. Starring Lena Headey as Charlotte, The Queen; Stuart Townsend as Patrick Lalor; Cillian Murphy as Daniel O’Connell; and Luke Thompson as Augustus Fitzclarence].
[The scene opens in a sitting room in St. James’ Palace - the room is small and feminine, without being overly fussy. A tea set is waiting on the table, painted with roses, shamrocks, leeks, and thistles. Patrick Lalor, Daniel O’Connell, and Adolphus Fitzclarence stand in the room, obviously waiting - Lalor and O’Connell are visibly uncomfortable. Finally, a door opens and Charlotte enters, in a simple gown of dark green and a single necklace of pearls. The effect is understated, simple, and regal.]
Charlotte: [extending her hands]
Adolphus Fitzclarence: [bowing, kissing Charlotte’s hands and then her cheek, grinning wickedly]
Bonnie Queen. [Charlotte laughs and waves her hand at him to wave him away. He retreats to sit on a chair in the corner, obviously excited to watch the proceedings]
[Charlotte turns her gaze to Lalor and O’Connell. After a moment, they awkwardly bow to Charlotte, who arches a brow and smiles at the bow]
Lalor & O’Connell: Your Majesty.
Charlotte: Ah, so you do recognize me as your Queen. I had begun to wonder, given certain behaviors.
Queen by conquest, m’am. Not by the will of the people.
We must change that, then, you and I. [She waves the men to sit down at the table, and they all take their seats]
O’Connell: What does Your Majesty have in mind?
Lalor: [obviously frustrated]
We will not continue to pay tithes to that church - which we were promised freedom from during the Emancipation, after suffering for years under the yoke of bloody English overlordship -
Charlotte: [holding up a hand, stopping Lalor]
I sympathize, Mr. Lalor. I myself would not take kindly to being forced to pay tithes to your faith, nor to any other than mine own. But I cannot allow the Crown to be seen as giving in to petty rebellions and tantrums. By giving into one, I am breeding a whole host of others.
Lalor: [visibly furious, standing up from the table]
Petty rebellions and tantrums?!
O’Connell: [placing a hand on Lalor’s arm and wrenching him back into his chair]
Forgive him, madam. His passion overwhelms him, as it does any loyal subject.
Charlotte: [arching a brow]
O’Connell: [watching Lalor warily from the corner of his eye]
Well, madam, if we are not to receive liberty from the tithes, what may we hope for?
Charlotte: The collections shall stop. In truth, Mr. Lalor, you have forced us to do that. It costs me a shilling to collect tuppence. Even a Queen can count. There shall be no more confrontations. I trust you can respect that, at least, gentlemen.
O’Connell: But the tithes shall still be forced to be paid?
Charlotte: I cannot exempt Ireland from tithes that Scotland and Wales pay. You wish Ireland to be equal, Mr. O’Connell. Show me how you would use that equality.
What if we paid, but not to the church? To the government directly, perhaps, to use as they will?
Lalor: [enraged, starting to stand again]
We will still be paying!
Mr. Lalor, you will either act as a gentleman in my parlor or a child in the hallway. [Lalor sits down, red-faced, as Charlotte turns to O’Connell]
Your idea has merit. Think on it more, and then write to me and the Prime Minister. I shall also devote time to thinking of a solution. [turning back to Lalor]
Whether you care for it or not, Mr. Lalor, the fact remains that Ireland belongs to the United Kingdom, and I am Queen. I promise you, I am determined to be a good Queen to all of my peoples. I ask you, as an Irishman, what could I do to endear myself to my people in Ireland?
Lalor: [grudgingly, after a moment]
No English monarch has deigned to travel to our shores in quite some time. Could make a difference, I suppose.
Charlotte : [beaming]
Most excellent. You will see to the arrangements, of course, Mr. Lalor. Adolphus? [Fitzclarence stands and bows to the Queen]
You shall help Mr. Lalor with his task. As well as the other task I have assigned you. And Mr. O’Connell, I have a special commission for you. I would be honored if you would join the Privy Council, at my personal invitation, as a special member to speak for Irish interests.
Between O’Connell, Prime Minister Grey, and Charlotte (with some advice from Wellington), a solution of sorts is found. The tithe amount is halved and the remainder added to the tenants’ rents. The tithe amount will then be paid by the landlords to the Irish Church . It’s not a great solution, but it stops the issues for now, and allows the government to appear graceful and still in control. It’s good enough, because the British government has other things to focus on at this moment: the coronation. There has been some pushing for Charlotte to create her eldest son as the Prince of Wales at this time, which she has been ignoring, because frankly, she doesn’t feel like doing it right now. The title is still heavily associated with her father, and she’d like to give it a few more years for the association to lessen before she saddles her own George with the title .
The date picked for her coronation, August 1st, is fraught with meaning: it is the anniversary of the death of Anne, the last Queen regnant of the United Kingdom. There’s been some pushing with the Coronation, too. Charlotte, while wanting to honor the history and tradition of the coronation ceremony, is also not interested in trying to beat out her father for the most expensive coronation in English history - her coronation will cost £90,000, in comparison to the £240,000 spent by her father . Part of this goes towards creating a new crown for Charlotte. The crown, made by Rundell & Bridge, has a crimson velvet cap with an ermine border and weighs a little over two and a half pounds. It is set with 2,783 diamonds, 277 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 4 rubies. The crowning glory, pun intended, is the Black Prince’s Ruby: a large, red 170 carat spinel set in the cross pattée of the crown and one of the oldest crown jewels in the United Kingdom . There was talk of her using the Crown of Mary of Modena, used by Mary II and Anne I, but it is deemed both too theatrical and in too poor state of repair to be used. (Despite promises to see it repaired, Charlotte never does so as she rather dislikes the crown) .
A key part of Charlotte’s plan regarding the coronation is making it more open and accessible to the public. She has long courted the affection of the public and she is convinced that this affection is vital for any modern monarch to survive. Leopold agrees fully with his wife, and - as head of the Coronation planning committee - eagerly takes up the challenge. The traditional coronation program - beginning in Westminster Hall and then crossing the street to the Abbey with the nobility is officially scrapped. A new, longer route for the coronation procession is planned: Charlotte will begin in the Gold State Coach at The Tower, then head onto Charing Cross, down St. James’ Street and Pall Mall, go to Hyde Park Corner, go past the in-progress Buckingham Palace, to Whitehall and then finally, to Westminster Abbey . In a return to the past, Charlotte insists on staying at the Tower of London the night before her coronation. The last monarch to do so was Elizabeth I - and the connection is not lost on anyone. Entertainments are set up along the procession for the general public, who are already heaping praise on their “Bonnie Queen Charlotte”. To soothe the hurt feelings of the nobility over the ‘snub’, he and Charlotte will be hosting a banquet and ball (paid for out of their own pockets) for all of the nobility and Parliament the day after the coronation . There will also be an exclusive, private supper after the coronation, open to the royal family, their attendants, and the members of Cabinet and their wives. (Though he is neither a member of Cabinet nor a royal attendant, the Duke of Wellington will also be attending the supper at Charlotte’s personal request). Leopold is not taking any chances with the ceremony, either. He encourages (harrasses) historians and clerks to study previous coronations and put together a structured ceremony that could - and is - rehearsed until the participants can perform in their sleep .
Royalty from all over the world attend the coronation. Prussia is represented by both the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and by Prince and Princess Wilhelm, who - at Charlotte’s request - bring their young daughter Luise with them to meet her godmother. Charlotte’s dear friend Maria Carolina comes over from France to represent her son, along with her daughter, Louise, and the Duke and Duchess of Orleans. Austria is represented by the Archduke Franz Karl and his wife, Sophie, making for a nice family reunion with the Prussians; Hanover is represented by the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland and Teviotdale ; and Spain by the possible heir (depends on your views on the legality of the Pragmatic Sanction of 1789) Infante Carlos and his wife. Feodore and Maximilian Karl come from Regensburg, Bernhard and Marie from Meiningen, and Karl and Auguste from Leiningen. Leopold’s sister Sophie and her family come as well, along with Leopold’s renegade sister Anna Feodorovna . Emperor Nicholas of Russia decides to play on the family connection and sends his and Leopold’s mutual relative, Duke Alexander of Wurttemberg , alongside his brother Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich of Russia, who ends up becoming good friends with Charlotte’s young son William despite a twenty year age gap.
Ernst, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha, finds himself unable to attend however, as does Victoire. (Turns out Ernst’s loyalty is more location based than logical, and he’s decided to support Victoire against Charlotte, whom he considers “unnatural” in not letting Leopold run her country. And not giving him money whenever he asks for it. And asking questions about why he needs the money. Victoire, Ernst reasons, raises his sons, is loyal to him, and performs the duties of a Landsmutter admirably, making his life infinitely easier). Instead, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha is represented by his brother Ferdinand, who brings himself, his family, his nephews Ernst and Albrecht, and his niece Drina of Kent to the coronation. For what it’s worth, Charlotte much prefers this to the alternative of Ernst and Victoire in London again.
From Hawaii, King Kamehameha III and Queen Nāhiʻenaʻena  send Mataio Kekūanaōʻa, a high ranking noble and their brother-in-law, to represent them. Kekūanaōʻa has previously met Charlotte and Leopold in 1824, when he traveled to England with King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamāmalu. Kekūanaōʻa has kept up a friendship with Charlotte and Leopold via letters, and even named his eldest daughter for Charlotte . Kekūanaōʻa will later be regarded as the father of the British-Hawaiian alliance that continues into modern day . Charlotte’s distant cousin, the new Duke of Brunswick, attends and finds himself just as popular in London as at home (his brother, the former Duke, remains grumbling in Geneva). Even Portugal sends a representative, to the shock of the rest of the world. After much grumbling, Miguel has been persuaded by his wife to allow his young nephew, the Infante Sebastian, to attend and represent Portugal. It’s a very, very small step towards some kind of accord between the two nations - and about as good as it is going to get for quite some time.
There’s a little bit of marital scheming going on amongst all of the coronation planning, because how could anyone really expect Charlotte not to? She’s done her research and selected her best candidate for her cousin Wilhelm, the Duke of Brunswick, to marry - none other than Princess Auguste of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Charlotte has taken an interest in Auguste since she did technically help derail the girl’s engagement to Wilhelm of Prussia, and she believes in paying her debts. She’s already spoken to the Grand Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, luckily attending the coronation with their daughter, who find themselves agreeing with the Queen: Wilhelm is only five years older than Auguste, popular, and well-connected. His good reputation precedes him and his excellent manners in London only add to his appeal. Also, he’s not in love with some Polish noblewoman nor does he appear to have any troublesome mistresses about . The general consensus (since everyone attending the coronation eventually gets involved in the scheme) is that Auguste could do infinitely worse but would be hard pressed to do better.
Wilhelm helps the whole scheme along by immediately becoming enchanted with Auguste - he finds her to have an “excellent personality” and to be “thoroughly intelligent, charming, educated, modern, and dear”. Indeed, it is noted that Wilhelm seems to miss many of the pre-coronation celebrations because he is busy courting. Auguste, possibly still smarting from the Prussian debacle, finds herself charmed by the easygoing, simple man - he reads her poetry, takes her on long (chaperoned) walks, and above all, asks her opinions. And actually listens to them. Plus, he’s more or less the Duke of Brunswick, which isn’t exactly anything to sneeze at - Auguste will be a good Duchess, and she knows it. And Wilhelm is willing to give her the opportunity to be a good Duchess.
Before he can propose, however, there’s just the small matter of the coronation to get through.
The morning of August 1st dawns clear and cold. Charlotte, emerging from the refurbished rooms of the Tower, where she has spent the night alone per her request, crosses the courtyard to the Church of St Peter ad Vincula. She listens quietly to the chaplain’s sermon on the thirty-first proverb , and then prays for a quarter of an hour. Upon emerging, she is greeted by her husband, who escorts her back to her rooms. She is dressed in a gown of white satin overlaid embroidered in gold thread with symbols of her four kingdoms (roses, shamrocks, thistles, and leeks); her gown is overlaid with her crimson velvet and ermine lined robes of state. Per her command, she wears no jewels save for her wedding ring, which she never removes. Her four eldest children - George, William, Charlotte, and Mary - are brought to her rooms to see her and receive her blessing. William himself will later be recorded saying thus: “I am an old man, and I have seen many things. Being who I am, I have seen many coronations - and participated in more than my fair of the bloody things. All grand, all glittering, all rather impressive. But I swear to you, I have never seen such a thing of splendor as my mother on her coronation day.” The children depart with Lady Stockmar to go to their seats in the Abbey - their younger siblings being deemed too young to attend - and Leopold goes to mount his charger to lead the coronation procession. By nine in the morning, Charlotte is seated in the Gold State Coach, and the procession begins. To say that the procession is popular is an insulting understatement. The people of the United Kingdom have thronged to London to see their Queen, and they are utterly enchanted. The procession, which was planned to take an hour and a half, takes nearly four. “What a victory,” the Earl Grey will later exclaim “What a marvelous victory for our lady.” When Charlotte arrives at the Abbey, the shouts from the crowd quite drown out the ringing of the bells.
There is a flurry of activity to get Charlotte and her attendants ready once they are inside. Following tradition, Charlotte is attended by six train bearers, the unmarried daughters of earls, marquesses, and dukes: Lady Mary Talbot , Lady Elizabeth Howard , Lady Cecilia Paulet , Lady Louisa Petty-Fitzmaurice , Lady Charlotte Seymour  and Lady Sophia Lennox .
Almost as though it has been arranged, the Abbey suddenly falls silent. Charlotte begins her slow procession down the aisle, her train bearers keeping perfect time, until she reaches the end and seats herself on her Chair of Estate. The Archbishop of Canterbury, along with the Garter Principal King of Arms, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord High Constable and the Earl Marshal, goes to face the four sides of the coronation theatre, and at each side, calls out: “Sirs, I here present unto you Charlotte, your undoubted Queen. Wherefore all you who are come this day to do your homage and service, are you willing to do the same?”
And at each side, the people resoundingly shout back “AYE! AYE! AYE!”.
Charlotte swears her oath, her voice clear and strong as she makes her vow.
The Holy Communion is celebrated, with the Epistle from First Peter and the Gospel from the Book of Matthew.
The prayer for the anointing is said, and Charlotte removes her crimson robes and takes herself to the Coronation chair, where the four chosen Knights of the Garter raise the golden canopy over her head. “What a figure, small and gowned in white and covered by cloth of gold, her head bowed, so alone in that grand abbey,” Lady Stockmar will later record in her memoirs, “One wept to be British at such a sight”. The sacred oil for the anointing is poured by the Dean of Westminster into the filigreed coronation spoon, and passed to the Archbishop. He anoints Charlotte with a cross of oil on her forehead, hands, and over her heart. Only those standing closest to her will see the tears that fall during her anointing. Afterwards, Charlotte kneels on the footstool placed in front of the Coronation Chair, and prays with the congregation as the Archbishop leads them in the traditional prayer.
Charlotte returns to her chair as the Knights bear away the canopy and the investiture begins. The Lord Chamberlain, the Duke of Devonshire, kneels and presents the spurs of chivalry to her. The Archbishop presents her with the Sword of State, which Charlotte lays on the altar before being dressed by the clergy in the robe royal and the stole royal. Settled back in the chair, Charlotte then receives her coronation ring, worn on the third finger of her right hand, and the Orb and Sceptre.
The Archbishop lifts the Crown of St. Edward, after praying over it and having it passed amongst the clergy present, and places it on Charlotte’s head. The moment it touches her, the guests present cry out in unison three times: “God save the Queen!”. Leopold’s shout, it is agreed by all, is by far the loudest, drowning out even the trumpets and the church bells and the cannonfire. And though she is supposed to be looking ahead, regal and majestic and untouchable, everyone knows who Charlotte’s eyes are on as the Archbishop prays over her: “God crown you with a crown of glory and righteousness, that having a right faith and manifold fruit of good works, you may obtain the crown of an everlasting kingdom by the gift of him whose kingdom endureth for ever”.
Now that she is crowned, Charlotte transfers from the Coronation chair to a proper throne, from which she will receive the homage of the clergy, followed by the royal family and the peers. Once the clergy are finished, Leopold, as the highest ranking royal male, kneels before his wife, his voice clear and strong as he swears: “I, Leopold, Duke of Kendal, do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth will I bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God”. If he lingers over her hand when he kisses her ring, and if she smiles at him in their moment of triumph, no one is complaining. Indeed, this moment will be an important one in every love story written about the couple in the coming centuries. But the moment that etches itself into memory is the homage of her eldest son, George. The sight of the young man, kneeling at the feet of his mother, vowing to be her liege man, is a heart-rendering one. A painting of the moment currently exists in the private collection of the current King: per Charlotte’s last will and testament, it is never to be sold outside of the family, nor to be shown publicly, and remains in the private quarters of Claremont to this day.
And then, it is over. Charlotte is the Queen, crowned and anointed. She proceeds to Saint Edward’s Chapel, where she returns the crown and her regalia to the altar before being clothed in her Imperial robe of purple velvet and crowned with the new crown created for her, known hereafter as the Imperial Crown. With the Sceptre and Orb in her hands, Charlotte then leaves the abbey to the sounds of the national anthem being sung - for the first time in one hundred and seventeen years, “God Save the Queen”. Charlotte returns to the Gold State Coach and begins the ride to St. James’ Palace, where the supper for her family and friends and Cabinet will be held. The ride, which has been estimated to take twenty minutes, takes an hour - the crowds are so thick of wellwishers that they clog the roads. Not that Charlotte minds. She will record today in her diary as “my greatest victory, my triumph, my glory: I am well loved by those I would love well, and this makes all the difference on this day”.
She arrives at St. James’ Palace in a ‘blaze of glory’ and makes a slow, stately procession into the Palace. Once inside, having handed off the Sceptre and Orb to the waiting Archbishop, she is greeted by her deeply bowing guests: the members of Cabinet and their wives, her uncles and aunts, her four eldest children, her ladies-in-waiting and their husbands, the members of her household, the Clergy from the ceremony and their spouses, the train bearers from the ceremony. It is easily over a hundred people - perfect for a ‘small, intimate’ supper. Before they can go into dinner, however, Charlotte has one more appearance to make. With Leopold and George on either side, she steps out onto the Proclamation Gallery overlooking the Friary Court to wave to the cheering crowds once more . After a few moments, she returns inside, though she will periodically return to the gallery throughout the night, and be greeted with cheers each time.
The morning of August 2nd dawns rainy and cold, but nothing can dampen the joy of the population. Charlotte, attired in a red satin gown, begins her day by creating some new peerages, and raising others. Christian Stockmar, her beloved friend and advisor, is finally created Baron Stockmar in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Daniel O’Connell is raised to the Baron O’Connell of Derrynane (the man, for all his speeches on equality, is quite puffed up about his ennoblement) . George Robert Dawson, a prominent Tory politician and brother-in-law to Charlotte’s sometime ally Robert Peel, becomes the Viscount Castledawson . Aeneas MacDonnell, son of her old friend the Lord of Glengarry, is raised to the Earl Macdonell . Out of kindness to her uncle William, she raises his eldest bastard son, George Fitzclarence to the Earl of Avondale (George is, at best, a problem child in a family of problem children) . George Granville Venables-Vernon-Harcourt, son of the Archbishop of York and cousin to the last earl, is given the recreation of the Earldom of Harcourt and all it’s other titles (his father having refused the recreation, wishing to keep his votes untangled) . Robert Grosvenor, the Earl Grosvenor and father of Charlotte’s dear friend Richard, is raised to the Marquess of Westminster. The Earl of Cassilis and the Earl of Breadalbane and Holland are raised to the Marquess of Ailsa and the Marquess of Breadalbane, respectively. The Marquess of Stafford is raised to the Duke of Sutherland . Finally, William Vane, the Marquess of Cleveland, is raised to the Duke of Cleveland, which had previously belonged to his great-grandfather, a bastard son of Charles II. There’s feelings about Vane’s elevation - rumor has it that the cost of his vote for the Reform Bill (and all the other votes that he can persuade) is the Dukedom .
Wilhelm, the Duke of Brunswick, brightens up everyone’s luncheon by announcing his engagement to the beaming Princess Auguste of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Wilhelm and Elisa are among the first to congratulate the happy couple.
After the luncheon, it’s a quick rest before getting ready for the banquet and ball for the nobility and Parliament to celebrate the coronation. Charlotte dresses in a ball gown of deep purple velvet with gold embroidery, the George IV State Diadem, a diamond choker inherited from her grandmother Queen Charlotte, and a pair of pearl necklaces from Queen Anne and Queen Caroline respectively. She wears the blue sash of the Order of Garter pinned with the star of the order, as well as the Garter itself around her upper left arm. Leopold, in formal evening dress, with his own Order of the Garter sash and star, remarks that they make quite a pair, which causes Charlotte to laugh and point out that they are most likely the only pair of Garters to exist in quite some time . The banquet and ball are held in Westminster Hall, another sop to the nobles. Charlotte has done away with the tradition of the Queen’s Champion, but nobody really seems to mind (Sir Henry Dymoke, the traditional champion, is made a baronet in recompense) . Indeed, the banquet and ball are praised as the social highlights of the year, of the decade, even of the century - though Charlotte and Leopold take this with a grain of salt, they do decide that it was a good gamble and one that paid off handsomely in goodwill from very important and influential people.
By the next week, all the guests have packed up and gone home, the decorations have been taken down, and the regalia has been packed away. And Queen Charlotte is ready to get to work. First up, Ireland. The Tithe war has started to wind down, but the general feeling in Ireland remains “screw the English, the horses they rode in on, and the little dogs that followed”. Patrick Lalor, true to his word, has turned his passion for his country into planning a remarkable tour for the Queen, to show her the beauty of Ireland as well as “the abuses heaped upon it’s good people”. (It’s Lalor. He’s not going to let an opportunity like that slip by, guys). Charlotte’s cousin, Adolphus Fitzclarence, has gone along with Lalor to help set up the tour - and reign in some of Lalor’s more politically fraught choices - and see that Dublin Castle is ready to receive it’s Queen. Rumor has it, he’s also shopping around for a new private residence for Charlotte in Ireland. The tour is planned for the month of March, which will allow Charlotte to spend Saint Patrick’s day in Dublin. It will be the first visit of a reigning monarch since her father’s visit in 1821, and Charlotte plans to do a lot more than sample whiskey. She has already called upon several Irish peers to host her on her tour, and plans to see as much of the country - and the people - as she can. (She’s also planning on making a tour to Ireland an annual event at best, biannually at worst).
At the end of September, the Reform Bill comes to a vote in the Commons: it passes with a margin of more than a hundred votes and goes onto the House of the Lords .
The victory is short lived, however. Cholera strikes in Sunderland in October, and travels quickly through the country. There is no town, no hamlet, no parish unaffected. Charlotte and Leopold pour out their personal funds to help the stricken and pay for burials - in Esher, the town near their beloved Claremont, Charlotte and Leopold personally pay for the burials of one hundred victims. The government, spurned on by their Queen (and partially embarrassed at her easy generosity), devotes thousands of pounds to relief and treatment. Christian Stockmar creates a committee designed to seeing that every town has a physician, preferably two, and setting up hospitals for treatment of the ill. Charlotte and Leopold work furiously with the government to create and grant powers to local Boards of Health to attempt to contain the pandemic (it’s far too late for that, but they are trying their best).
The royal family is not spared in this time of sorrow. Mary d’Este, the Lady Romney, falls ill and nearly dies - it is months before she is recovered, and she will be plagued with kidney problems for the rest of her life. Marsali MacDonnell Fitzclarence, wife of Charlotte’s cousin Adolphus, falls ill as well, and miscarries from the physical strain. Richard Fox, the young son of Charlotte’s cousin Augusta d’Este and Henry Fox, dies at the end of November. And on the last day of November, Charlotte’s son Alexander falls ill. It’s not cholera, which is a small blessing, but not a terribly comforting one as the royal physician breaks the news: the young prince has meningitis. His life is feared as his fever climbs higher and higher, and Charlotte refuses to leave her son’s side as the hours go on. Leopold, frantic, attempts to continue on the rule of the realm, but is eventually found by Stockmar with ‘his head low in his hands, whispering to God to save his boy’. The other children are sent away to Claremont with Lady Stockmar for their safety.
When the Earl Grey and the Duke of Wellington come to St. James’ to call on her, she bursts into tears at the sight of them, demanding “Gentleman, surely, what else can I do? Can Queens not be mothers? I will not leave him, not even for England. Do not ask it of me, I beg you”.
At her tears, the Duke of Wellington, Alexander’s godfather, comes forward and kneels before her chair, kindly taking her hands in his and stating: “We come, Madame, to sit with you. Not to keep you from him. I’d very much like to sit with the little man, if it pleases you”. At Charlotte’s nod, Wellington pulls up another chair and begins to quietly speak to Alexander, telling him about his early campaigns, all wildly embellished, exactly the sort that Alexander always loves to hear. The Earl Grey backs out of the room, leaving mother and godfather to their charge. A father himself, he writes to his daughter Louisa, Charlotte’s lady of the bedchamber: “Can Queens not be mothers? God, that such a woman should be forced to ask such a thing. To tell you truthfully, I had questions, tasks, duties - I had many things to ask of her. Yet her question rendered me dumb. Can Queens not be mothers? Can I be the man to take a mother from a dying son? God forgive me, I cannot, not even for England”.
After a horrific week, Alexander’s fever breaks. In the joy over his survival, it’s days before anyone notices that the young prince no longer responds to his name being called down the halls, and he does not answer questions with his usual precociousness - when he does answer, the words are wrong. Alexander is almost entirely deaf on his right side, and slightly deaf on his left, a legacy from his meningitis . Later in life, he will describe it as thus: “If I focus terribly hard on it, I can hear some sounds, some voices, some tones - my godfather’s voice, for example, particularly when he began to lose his own hearing!”. After another week of recovery, he is sent to Oatlands to recover fully under Auntie Fred’s devoted care. During this time, Auntie Fred will insist upon ‘everyone speaking plainly to the young prince as they would to any other child’, convinced that there is no alternative other than for Alexander to learn to read lips when he cannot hear. He learns very quickly, in fact, and can lip read in several languages. Alexander’s considered something of a menace amongst the family for this talent, actually - everyone quickly learns to cover their mouths with their hands when imparting secrets when Alexander is in the room. Robert Peel later remarks that were the young man not determined upon his own way, he would’ve made a most wonderful diplomatic tool (translation: spy) .
The rest of the world has been going to pieces as well in this dark autumn In Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, the architect of Greek independence, is assassinated on October 9th by Konstantis and Georgios Mavromichalis over the arrest and imprisonment of their kinsman . Officially, he is succeeded in his office as Governor of Greece by his younger brother, Augustinos - unofficially, geologists shouldn’t hold government leadership of unstable countries, and Greece quickly descends into anarchy.
Poland’s little uprising is turning into a big one. Austria and Prussia have decided on benevolent neutrality towards the whole situation - they’re not helping the Poles, but they’re not helping Russia either. France and Great Britain are very firmly in neutral neutrality, thank you very much, but it’s fairly well known that if the Poles win, they won’t be unfriendly to the situation. They certainly won’t be helping Russia, in any case. Poland has managed to rouse Lithuania to their cause, but overall a feeling of despair is hanging over the uprising - the Poles are losing both men and ground quickly, they have settled into a musical chairs version of selecting generals, and the expected foreign help is not coming. Even the death of the hated Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich in June hasn’t been enough to rally the cause. Chlopicki, having been wounded in battle and retired to Kraków, had been replaced by Skrzynecki, who died in battle in May , and then by Dembiński , the current commander-in-chief. You could almost pray for God to help Dembiński - nobody else certainly is. The President of the Ruling Council, Jan Krukowiecki, has literally taken the job on the belief that when the war ends, he can at least negotiate for Poland to the best advantage .
God is apparently Polish, or at least a fan of Krukowiecki. In September, General Józef Sowiński’s desperate defense strategy pays off: the Russians are unable to take Warsaw, though they surround it. It’s clear that the war is at a stalemate . The Russians have been beaten - or, if we’re being charitable, forced into a standstill - by rag-tag rebels, and it’s not a great look in the eyes of the world. Also, their reasons are starting to look... well, reasonable - they just wanted their constitution, which Russia had sworn to follow - in front of a lot of important witnesses - when the personal union between the countries was formed, to be followed. Russians would never allow someone to ride roughshod like that over them - therefore, the Poles are just becoming Russianized. Or, at least, that’s the whisper campaign Krukowiecki is currently working on. The pressure to get the whole thing over with moves Nicholas to something he swore he would never do: compromise. Oh, it’s more a seventy-thirty compromise than a fifty-fifty, but it’s still a compromise. The Russian Tsar remains King of Poland. The constitution of Poland will be followed by the Tsar, with some riders - namely, that he can name a viceroy of his choice to rule Poland in his stead. This viceroy will rule alongside the Sejm with a decent amount of autonomy between the two; any issues unable to be resolved between the viceroy and the Sejm will be sent to the Tsar for his personal consideration. Poland will retain it’s independent courts, army and treasury. Poles - and only Poles - will hold positions in administrative positions, and the social and patriotic organizations disbanded by Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich will be allowed to return.
Nicholas elects to name his brother, Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich, as the new viceroy, beginning in March of the next year . This is an interesting choice, to say the least. On one hand, Michael very recently led troops against the Poles. As in, weeks before being named viceroy recently. On the other hand, he is the only living brother of the Tsar and the only other adult Romanov male, which could be considered something of a compliment to the Poles. The Poles wisely choose to take it as a compliment. The new viceroy is an interesting young man of contradictions: modest and pious, he’s known to be deeply compassionate, interested in public works, and determined. He’s somewhat shy as well, which can explain his explosive temper (for what it’s worth, he is usually apologetic and ashamed after an outburst). His true love is the military - Michael Pavlovich will tirelessly work to reform and rebuild the Polish military, and turn it into a fighting force that few choose to reckon with. (Nobody points out the irony of this to him). The day to day ruling of Poland he tends to leave to the Poles, which suits everyone just fine. His wife, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia (born Princess Charlotte of Württemberg), is the real gift to Poland. Considered the most impressive woman in the Russian Imperial family since Catherine the Great , Elena is intelligent, poised, and regal. She’s also quick to pick up the slack that her husband, the viceroy, leaves while off in his military pursuits - it’s well known within a few years that a wise man speaks to ‘Queen Helena’ when he wants something accomplished. (Her brother-in-law, who admires her greatly, doesn’t care who is running Poland as long as it’s being run well and doesn’t rise up in rebellion again). Elena shines in her new role, and does much for the improvement of her new country in the way of schools and charitable foundations. The marriage of the Grand Duke and Duchess, long on the rocks, is said to be notably improved by their move to Poland as they find common ground in public works.
There’s a bright spot in Brazil - Pedro, having reconciled himself to his government, has managed to push through the first step in his gradual process towards the abolition of slavery within the Empire: slave trading is now officially prohibited in the Empire of Brazil. This bright spot gets brighter when his wife delivers their first child on the first day of December, a daughter named Amélia for her mother  - she will be called ‘Aimée’ in the family. One of her godmothers is her aunt Theodolinde, the Duchess of Reichstadt - she's returning the favor to Amélie, who has agreed to stand as godmother to Theodolinde's son, Prince Franz of Reichstadt, born only 4 days before his cousin.
(How Europe feels about there being a grandson of Napoleon in the world is lost in the shuffle of all the things going to pieces in the world at this moment in time. All things considered, the newly named Franz Karl Napoléon Eugen Wenzeslaus Bonaparte  has picked an excellent time to be born. He'll be known as an adult for retaining the skill of picking excellent moments to act).
Charlotte’s year ends with more trouble. On Christmas Day (which she and Leopold had been spending very quietly at Oatlands with the children), a slave uprising begins in Jamaica under the leadership of Baptist deacon, Samuel Sharpe. Many people in Jamaica had been expecting papers of emancipation with the return of Thomas Burchell, a missionary who had traveled to England earlier in the year. Others were expecting that if the papers didn’t come, at least the Queen’s men could help keep down any insurrections. This did not occur. Under Sharpe’s leadership, what began as a small uprising became the largest slave uprising in the West Indies, involving 60,000 of Jamaica’s 300,000 slaves. The rebels begin setting fires to various estates, particularly those of Colonel William Gringon, with whom there was particular issue due to several incidents that had occurred on his properties. After a week, the rebellion is shut down when the colonists institute martial law under Sir Willoughby Cotton. Property damage caused by the rebellion is estimated at £1,154,589 . The plantocracy is furious and panting for revenge; the rebellion has been contained but everyone knows that contained and extinguished are very different things. Half of the government preaches swift retribution, the other half mercy. In the middle is Charlotte. She is upset by all sides in this issue - despite being an abolitionist in her personal beliefs, she is furious that the slaves took matters into their own hands before she could address the issue in her own time, believing as she did that certain other situations had to be handled before this one could. She’s also furious with the planters, who are taking matters into their own hands: tarring and feathering the missionaries whom they blame for the rebellion, and executing slaves on the thinest of judicial excuses. The year closes out on this ugly issue, dimming the victories of the first full year of Charlotte’s reign considerably.
 OTL Napoleon II died unmarried and without issue in 1832.
 All OTL - poor Napoleon II was a bargaining piece from day one.
 The daughter of Karoline Auguste’s sister, Auguste, from her marriage to Eugene de Beauharnais, the stepson of Napoleon.
 Aren’t royal family connections fun? They’re second cousins in descent from Leopold II of the Holy Roman Empire via their mothers.
 A breed of light saddle-horse from southwestern France; known for being lively and intelligent, it had a high reputation as a cavalry and dressage horse.
 Gregory XVI actually reigned for 15 years OTL.
 ‘Low church’ is a term used to describe an Anglican with a strong Protestant emphasis in their practice of faith, as opposed to ‘high church’ who place a strong emphasis on ritual and are closer to Catholics in their practices. This quote is my own invention.
 OTL Sumner did succeed Howley but 17 years later than ITTL, in 1848.
 OTL he was succeeded by John Graham, and Augustus Fitzclarence never held a bishopric. Fitzclarence did hold Sumner’s former vicarage of Mapledurham in Oxfordshire OTL.
 If you know military time, you know I’m a bad person with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
 Prince Octavius, the thirteenth child and eighth son (hence his name) of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whom little Caroline shares her birthday with.
 Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna of Russia, born Princess Julianne of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
 Before the MQOS fans come for me - I said English history, not British history.
 Charlotte’s previous Mistress of the Robes, whom she is very fond of.
 Friedrich Franz, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He’s Leopold’s first cousin once removed in descent from Franz Josias, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
 Charlotte and Leopold are throwing him a bone here. If you believe in bad juju and such, it’s a bad bone to throw, but hey, Charlotte and Leopold are nice people.
 Actual speech from Patrick Lalor during the Tithe War; you have to give credit where it’s due, it’s a hell of a political strategy.
 My own interpretation of Grey’s motives for his OTL action.
 Actual beliefs held by the Tories at this time regarding the reform Bill.
 Napoleon created the Duchy of Warsaw as part of the Treaty of Tilsit with Prussia. The Polish belief was that Napoleon, after defeating France, would combine the Duchy of Warsaw with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Napoleon made no definitive statement of these plans).
 For those of you wondering, Reichstadt wrote a long letter to Charlotte asking her opinion on the whole situation and what he should do and if she would support him. Charlotte’s reply was two lines: “Wellington is alive and Elba is vacant. Don’t be a fool.”
 OTL she never had this conversation or a similar one with Pedro that I am aware of. Before her marriage, her mother Auguste gave her advice for the success of the relationship, and emphasized being faithful to the interests of the people of Brazil; here, Amelie is acting upon that advice.
 Her OTL pregnancy with Princess Maria Amélia of Brazil.
 Like her OTL counterpart, Victoria of Kent has an extensive doll collection.
 While Sussex married Cecilia OTL, he never sought an audience with the sovereign regarding the marriage and it was considered void under the Royal Marriages Act. Queen Victoria created Cecilia the Duchess of Inverness in her own right to compensate for the fact that she was not recognized as a full member of the royal family. Cecilia later stood as the godmother to Princess Maud of Wales, later the Queen of Norway, and lived in Kensington Palace until her death.
 Many people were against this match, including Anne’s own father, who apparently asked Charles II to execute her. Surprisingly, Charles supported the match and thought Anne’s strong personality would be good for his weak-willed brother. Anne and James married in September 1660, due to her pregnancy with their first child, who would be born in October.
 OTL Cecilia outlived both of her stepchildren, neither of whom had children.
 Maria Carolina was born from their father’s first marriage to Archduchess Maria Klementina of Austria; Ferdinand was born from their father’s second marriage to Infanta Maria Isabel of Spain. OTL Ferdinand married Maria Cristina of Savoy in 1832 and Maria Theresa of Austria in 1837. Louise, as you may or may not know, became the second wife of Leopold and the first Queen consort of Belgium in 1832.
 Aside from the ‘Down with the Queen’ cry (as it was obviously King OTL), all of this is as the rebellion occurred OTL.
 My own creation, though Merthyr is a suburb of Brisbane OTL. They don’t speak Welsh there, as far as I am aware, though.
 Known as The Liberator, he was the political leader of Ireland's Roman Catholic majority and helped secure the Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and was the first Catholic to sit in Parliament since 1688.
 This is based on the 1838 solution, the Tithe Commutation Act for Ireland, in which the payment was lessened by a quarter and the remainder was payable in rent to landlords.
 Despite popular belief, Princes of Wales are not created Princes of Wales at birth or the accession of their parent to the throne. The title, like any other, is created for the heir apparent alongside the Earldom of Chester at the wish of the monarch.
 This is a little more than the cost of Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1838, which was considered a good middle ground between William IV’s coronation (which cost 30,000 pounds and was considered the “cut price” coronation) and George IV’s (the lavish 240,000 pounds coronation).
 ITTL’s version of the Imperial State Crown created in 1838.
 OTL it was considered in too poor of a condition to use for Adelheid of Saxe-Meiningen’s coronation alongside her husband William IV, and another crown was created for her.
 For anyone wondering, he did not have half the troubles taking this spot as Prince Philip did OTL.
 The locations are from stops along the route of Queen Victoria to her coronation, but I changed the order around.
 The same snub occurred in 1838, but no one thought to soothe the hurt feelings.
 Queen Victoria’s coronation was horribly under-rehearsed and was considered a “botched” coronation. Queen Victoria only attended one rehearsal, the night before the coronation, at the insistence of the Prime Minister.
 So there’s a belief that Kings and Queens of other countries cannot attend coronations. I looked through the guest lists of all the coronations from Victoria to Elizabeth II and what I found is that Dukes, Grand Dukes, and even Princes can attend themselves, but Kings and Queens send representatives. Hence, William and Adelheid send the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland - what’s so funny about the whole situation is that both couples are currently residing in England. William and Adelheid spend the day with Charlotte and Leopold’s younger children at St. James’ Palace.
 The aforementioned godmother of the new Princess Caroline.
 Alexander’s mother is Leopold’s sister Antoinette, while his father is Nicholas’ maternal uncle. Alexander was raised in Russia.
 Nāhiʻenaʻena was in love with her brother Kamehameha III and the chiefs strongly encouraged their marriage, as the marriage between siblings in the royal family was a way of keeping bloodlines pure in ancient Hawaii. The missionaries opposed the marriage, calling it incest. OTL the two did not marry due to the opposition of the missionaries and Nāhiʻenaʻena married the son of the Prime Minister of Hawaii before dying a year later in childbirth. Her brother named her child (who died a few hours after birth) his heir before the child’s death because he thought that the child was his. ITTL, the missionaries have less pull and the marriage between Nāhiʻenaʻena and Kamehameha goes through. While Charlotte is not a fan of incest or sibling marriages, she has her own feelings about the missionaries interfering, and has fond memories of the couple’s older brother King Kamehameha II, so she’s choosing to ignore the sibling portion of their relationship.
 OTL her name was Ruth, but Kekūanaōʻa did name a daughter after Queen Victoria, so I didn’t think it was too far-fetched.
 Yes, you read that correctly.
 OTL William died unmarried but with a number of illegitimate children; I couldn’t find any information on the illegitimate children, so we’re just going to assume he doesn’t have any right now.
 The first half of this chapter deals with how a just King should reign over his subjects; the second half explains the Woman of Valor, or the ideal Christian Woman. Both seemed appropriate for Charlotte to hear on her coronation day.
 Daughter of the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury, the premier Earl of the realm. This is a political choice and seen as a goodwill gesture as the Talbots are very Catholic. OTL Queen Victoria made the same gesture for her own coronation as Mary’s father was “the oldest earl in the kingdom and a Roman Catholic”. Mary later went on to marry Prince Filippo Andrea Doria in Rome in 1839.
 Daughter of the Earl of Carlisle; his wife, Georgiana (nee Cavendish) is one of Charlotte’s oldest friends and a lady of the bedchamber. OTL Elizabeth married the Rev. Francis Richard Grey, son of the Earl Grey.
 Daughter of the 13th Marquess of Winchester, the premier Marquess of the realm. Her father served as the Groom of the Stole for George III and George IV. OTL Cecilia married Sir Charles des Voeux, 2nd Baronet.
 Daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne, the Lord President of the Council and a leading Whig politician. OTL Louisa married The Hon. James Kenneth Howard.
 Daughter of the 11th Duke of Somerset - the premier Duke (Norfolk) having no daughters, Charlotte picked the daughter of the next Duke in the order of precedence. Her father is also the president of the Astronomical Society that Charlotte’s youngest daughter Caroline is patron of. OTL Charlotte Seymour married Mr. William Blount.
 Daughter of the 4th Duke of Richmond. Her sister-in-law, Caroline, is currently Charlotte’s Mistress of the Robes. OTL Sophia married Lord Thomas Cecil.
 Traditionally it’s the balcony on Buckingham Palace that is used for appearances OTL, but as Buckingham Palace is still being built ITTL, Charlotte’s using the Friary Court and (maybe) starting a new tradition.
 Never was ennobled OTL but also never agreed to personally work with the monarch either.
 Also never ennobled OTL. Charlotte figured it’s too obvious to give a title to Peel, so she’s showing favor to the Tories another way.
 Never ennobled OTL, though the MacDonnells were the Lords MacDonell in the Jacobite Peerage.
 George was ennobled OTL and at this time, though he was created the Earl of Munster, a subsidiary title of his father’s when he was the Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews. Here, that title has a holder and an heir, so George gets a different title. The problem child thing is all true, though - he was a very unhappy, troubled man.
 OTL the title was never recreated after the death of the 3rd Earl.
 All OTL elevations, though obviously performed by William IV.
 He became a duke in 1833, but the reasoning behind how he got his dukedom remains the same. Charles Greville wrote: “Howe told me yesterday morning in Westminster Abbey that Lord Cleveland is to be made a duke, though it is not yet acknowledged if it is to be so. There has been a battle about that; they say that he got his boroughs to be made a marquis and got rid of them to be made a duke”
 The last couple being Queen Anne and George, the Duke of Cumberland in 1702.
 This occurred in 1838 with Queen Victoria’s coronation, and I decided to stick with it for Charlotte.
 Same thing happened OTL.
 This is known as sensorineural deafness and is a permanent result of bacterial meningitis.
 For those of you who caught this reference to the amazing Princess Alice of Battenberg, ten shiny gold stars.
 Kapodistrias had ordered the imprisonment of Petrobey Mavromichalis after the two men had clashed regarding Kapodistrias’ insistence on implementing a new political system based on appointments and replacing the old one based on familial loyalties.
 OTL Skrzynecki survived until 1860.
 Henryk Dembiński, one of the few successful military leaders in the November Uprising. After the uprising was finished, OTL he emigrated to France and Hungary.
 This was his view OTL as well and I genuinely believe that made him one of the wisest men in Poland at the time.
 OTL the Russians broke through and eventually occupied the city, though this occupation did lead to the described stalemate. Here, the stalemate still occurs but Poland is in a slightly better position, having won the last tussle.
 Giving his wife time to recover from delivering their newest daughter, Aleksandra, in January 1832.
 Elena deserved a country. I will not apologize for giving her one.
 OTL she was born in Paris and named for her godmother, Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily, the Queen of France. Her full name ITTL, for anyone who is interested, is Amélia Maria Augusta Eugênia Josefina Luísa Teodolinda Elói Francisco Xavier de Paula Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga.
 Franz for his father and great-grandfather, the Emperor of Austria; Karl for his step-great-grandmother / great-aunt, Karoline; Napoléon for his paternal grandfather; Eugen for his maternal grandfather; and Wenzeslaus for the patron saint of Bohemia (where the Duchy of Reichstadt is located).
 All as it occurred OTL.