Art & Design
Posted by Brett Hamm
05. Mar, 2011
With the Brunswick Music Festival just round the corner, what better a time to examine the life of Caroline of Brunswick?
Caroline of Brunswick was born to Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, and Princess Augusta on 17 May 1768. To her dear old dad, her sole purpose for living was to keep his coffers full. Thus at the age of 26 she was engaged—without ever having met him—to her mother’s brother’s son (that’s her first cousin, for those keeping score): heir to the British throne, George IV.
This idea was pure genius. Who cares that Georgie Boy was already married to his mistress? The powers that be simply went with the tried and true “fuck it, we’re royalty” argument, and ploughed ahead with one of the most loveless marriages in history.
So, with royal ears firmly plugged and mouths spouting “la la la la I can’t hear you”, the wedding went ahead in a ceremony so perversely luxurious that Caz had difficulty walking under the weight of her clothes. Georgie Boy, for his part, showed his enthusiasm by getting so drunk that he needed to be held up by groomsmen and then took a bunch of his buddies and his mistress on the honeymoon. How romantic!
The inter-kingdom-business-transaction/marriage only really lasted the nine months it took for Caz to give Georgie Boy a kid (Princess Charlotte of Wales), after which he promptly kicked her out and went back to his mistress. However, even though Georgie Boy could pretty much do whatever he liked from then on, he was still a tad sore about the whole thing.
Like “I’m-going-to-ruin-your-life-you-evil-harlot” kind of sore.
After their separation, Georgie Boy set about slandering poor old Caz with the vigour of a spurned OC trophy wife. Spreading rumours of dalliances with other men and women, he even set up an official inquest into her behaviour and published tales of her supposed perversity in is buddies’ newspapers.
Given this ungodly shit-storm it’s not really surprising that Caz ultimately pissed off to Italy to do her own thing. But even that wasn’t enough for her über-arsehole husband. Instead of getting drunk and forgetting the whole thing, Georgie Boy set up the Milan Commission to generate proof of her alleged adultery in Italy.
However, in 1820, Georgie Boy officially became King, which meant that Caz had the right to return and claim her legal role as Queen.
Which she did, basically to piss him off.
And piss him off it did.
So much in fact, that he tried to cram a bill through parliament(!) removing Caz’s title once and for all. The bill’s much publicised reading basically amounted to a public trial of Caz’s character. His latest scheme to publicly smear his queen didn’t go over too well with the commoners. In fact, it went so badly that supporters of the radical movement then brewing in the UK made Caz a symbolic figurehead of their movement, resulting in parliament’s dismissal of the bill to avoid a public uprising.
Then Georgie Boy barred her from his coronation and she died three weeks later. No one lived happily ever after.