(K. Brent Tomer),
CAROLINE OF ANSBACH, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz—who? Charlotte (played by Helen Mirren) may ring a bell as the queen in Nicholas Hytner’s 1994 film, “The Madness of King George”. But the others?
These princesses were imported from Germany to provide heirs for the Hanoverian dynasty which succeeded to the British throne in 1714. Caroline was the wife of George II, Augusta of his son Frederick, and Charlotte (pictured) of the mad king, George III. Their chief selling point was their Protestantism and their fertility, both crucial to the nation’s harmony after the civil and religious conflicts and reproductive failures of the Stuarts before them.
“Enlightened Princesses”, a new exhibition at Kensington Palace in London, shows that their significance reached beyond Protestantism and progeny. Intellectually curious, they threw themselves into British life as collectors and patrons of…Continue reading