The striking parallels between Charlotte of Wales and Princess Diana's tragic lives

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Forgotten life of the original people’s princess: Historian reveals striking parallels between Charlotte of Wales and Princess Diana – from eclipsing her husband’s popularity to a shock death at 21 that led to intense public grief

 

She was the wildly popular princess who eclipsed other members of the royal family, died tragically young and came from a broken home – but despite the similarities, we’re not talking about Princess Diana. British historian Tracy Borman has detailed the forgotten life of the nation's original 'people's princess', Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only daughter of King George IV.
Born in 1796, Charlotte grew up largely without her parents' care but eventually found the love she desired by marrying Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, before sadly dying at just 21-years-old after giving birth to a stillborn son. Her passing sent the nation into an intense national mourning – so severe companies worried they'd go out of business because of how long they were required to close their stores. And the loss felt by Britain isn't the only similarity between that Princess of Wales and Princess Diana, noted Borman, who is the joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, and has recently released a new book Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II (pictured). Suggesting history really does have a way of repeating itself, Tracy Borman has detailed the various aspects in which Charlotte and Diana lived similar lives. She described to History Extra how they both had mothers who left them at a young age, were more popular than their husbands and other royals, and died tragically young, sending the nation into mourning. Here, FEMAIL explores the ways in which the tragic story of the original people’s princess mirrored that of Princess Diana's...
As she grew up Charlotte tried to maintain contact with her mother, but under Prinny’s instructions, was prevented from any meaningful relationship. Courtiers despised Princess Caroline, who would often pick a gentleman from the company after dinner and take him into another room with a locked door. One courtier said: ‘She has a coarse mind without any degree of moral taste,’ according to The Daily Mail. On one occasion when the 16-year-old Princess met her mother, Caroline invited her daughter to enjoy herself with a Hussars officer and shut them in her bedroom. Charlotte, who at 17 finally demanded her own household, was appalled and quickly left. The relations between Charlotte's parents eventually turned so bad that when George was crowned King in 1821, Caroline was locked out of Westminster Abbey. Then eventually her mother moved abroad after being barred from seeing her daughter by the Prince of Wales in retaliation for Charlotte dismissing his preferred suitor.

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