Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Elector of Hanover, King George I of Great Britain, King George II of Great Britain, Lord H, Lord Hervey, Princess Caroline of Great Britain and Hanover
Princess Caroline Elizabeth of Great Britain (June 10, 1713 – December 28, 1757) was the fourth child and third daughter of King George II of Great Britain and his wife Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach.
Princess Caroline was born at Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Germany, on June 10, 1713. Her father was George Augustus, Hereditary Prince of Hanover, the eldest son of George Louis, Elector of Hanover. Her mother was Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, daughter of Johann Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach.
As a granddaughter of the Elector of Hanover, she was styled Princess Caroline of Hanover at birth. Under the Act of Settlement 1701, she was seventh in the line of succession to the British throne. She was baptised the day after her birth at Herrenhausen Palace.
In 1714, Queen Anne died, and Caroline’s grandfather became George I of Great Britain and Ireland and her father Prince of Wales. At the age of one year, Caroline accompanied her mother and elder sisters, the Princesses Anne and Amelia, to Great Britain, and the family resided at St James’s Palace, London.
She was then styled as a Princess of Great Britain. A newly attributed list from January–February 1728 documents her personal expenses, including charitable contributions to several Protestant groups in London.
In 1722, at the direction of her mother, she was inoculated against smallpox by variolation, an early type of immunisation popularised by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Charles Maitland.
Princess Caroline was her mother’s favourite, and became known as “the truth-telling Caroline Elizabeth” (or “the truth-loving”). When any disagreement took place among the royal children, her parents would say, “Send for Caroline, and then we shall know the truth!”
According to Dr. John Doran, “The truth-loving Caroline Elizabeth was unreservedly beloved by her parents, was worthy of the affection, and repaid it by an ardent attachment. She was fair, good, accomplished, and unhappy.”
According to popular belief, Caroline’s unhappiness was due to her love for the married courtier Lord Hervey. Hervey, who was bisexual, may have had an affair with Caroline’s elder brother, Prince Frederick Louis, Duke of Edinburgh and later Prince of Wales and was romantically linked with several ladies of the court as well.
When Hervey died in 1743, Caroline retired to St. James’s Palace for many years prior to her own death, accessible to only her family and closest friends. She gave generously to charity.
Princess Caroline died, unmarried and childless, on December 28, 1757, aged 44, at St James’s Palace. She was buried at Westminster Abbey.
Horace Walpole, of the death of Princess Caroline, wrote: “Though her state of health had been so dangerous for years, and her absolute confinement for many of them, her disorder was, in a manner, new and sudden, and her death unexpected by herself, though earnestly her wish. Her goodness was constant and uniform, her generosity immense, her charities most extensive; in short, I, no royalist, could be lavish in her praise.”