Hello everybody – may I introduce an author whose work I admire, and who has proved a wonderfully supportive friend over recent years.
An expert on the Georgian era, Catherine Curzon writes with delicious authority and I am delighted to introduce her herewith”-
Whilst researching Life in the Georgian Court, I soon learned that the daughters of the house of Hanover were not, it must be said, the most robust young ladies ever to reside in the palaces of England. One of the most delicate of all the girls was undoubtedly Princess Elizabeth Caroline, a girl who is little remembered today. Her life was short and not particularly eventful, the inevitable outcome no less tragic for its predictability.
In 1741, Princess Elizabeth was born at Norfolk House, St James’s Square, to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. Her grandparents were George II and Caroline of Ansbach, and the newborn princess began life as it was means to go on, in splendour. She was christened by Thomas Secker, at that time Bishop of Oxford and later Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bright and cheery, the little girl was, nevertheless, physically painfully weak. A gentle child adored by her siblings, Princess Elizabeth enjoyed nothing better than indulging in theatrical entertainments at home, battling her own infirmity to do so. There was no question that one so frail would enter into the tumultuous royal marriage market and so she was kept safely at home, away from the hustle and bustle of society.
In fact, Elizabeth would not have lived long enough to make anyone a bride and at the age of eighteen, the princess fell ill with an inflammation of the bowels from which she would never recover.
It was the last and most serious blow in all her years of ill health and despite being born into what should have been the most powerful house in the land, nothing could be done to save the weakened young lady from her suffering.
Within days of falling ill, Princess Elizabeth passed away at Kew Palace. As her family mourned, the unfortunate girl was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey, her name fading into history.
About the Author
Catherine Curzon is a royal historian and blogs on all matters 18th century at A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life.
Her work has featured by publications including BBC History Extra, All About History, History of Royals, Explore History and Jane Austen’s Regency World. She has also provided additional material for the sell-out theatrical show, An Evening with Jane Austen, will she will introduce at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, in September (tickets are available here).
Catherine holds a Master’s degree in Film and when not dodging the furies of the guillotine, she lives in Yorkshire atop a ludicrously steep hill.
About Life in the Georgian Court
As the glittering Hanoverian court gives birth to the British Georgian era, a golden age of royalty dawns in Europe. Houses rise and fall, births, marriages and scandals change the course of history and in France, Revolution stalks the land.
Peep behind the shutters of the opulent court of the doomed Bourbons, the absolutist powerhouse of Romanov Russia and the epoch-defining family whose kings gave their name to the era, the House of Hanover.
Behind the pomp and ceremony were men and women born into worlds of immense privilege, yet beneath the powdered wigs and robes of state were real people living lives of romance, tragedy, intrigue and eccentricity. Take a journey into the private lives of very public figures and learn of arranged marriages that turned to love or hate and scandals that rocked polite society.
Here the former wife of a king spends three decades in lonely captivity, Prinny makes scandalous eyes at the toast of the London stage and Marie Antoinette begins her last, terrible journey through Paris as her son sits alone in a forgotten prison cell.
Life in the Georgian Court is a privileged peek into the glamorous, tragic and iconic courts of the Georgian world, where even a king could take nothing for granted.
Edwards, Averyl. Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, 1701-1751.London: Staples Press, 1947.
Hadlow, Janice. The Strangest Family: The Private Lives of George III, Queen Charlotte and the Hanoverians. London: William Collins, 2014.
Hatton, Ragnhild. George I. London: Thames and Hudson. 1978.
Shawe-Taylor, Desmond and Burchard, Wolf. The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760. London: Royal Collection Trust, 2014.
Tillyard, Stella. A Royal Affair: George III and his Troublesome Siblings. London: Vintage, 2007.
Worsley, Lucy. Courtiers: The Secret History of the Georgian Court. London: Faber and Faber, 2011.