Caroline of Ansbach

Caroline of Ansbach

Caroline of Ansbach, the daughter of the John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, was born on 1st March, 1683. When her father died in 1686 she moved to the court of her guardian, Sophia Charlotte of Hanover.

After rejecting Archduke Charles of Austria, she married George Augustus in 1705, the third-in-line to the British throne and heir apparent to the Electorate of Hanover. They had eight children, seven of whom grew to adulthood: Frederick Lewis, William Augustus (1721-1765), Anne, Amelia, Caroline, Mary and Louisa. Caroline moved to Britain in 1714 when her husband became Prince of Wales.

Caroline became a strong supporter of Robert Walpole, an opposition politician who was a former government minister. Walpole rejoined the government in 1720, and helped heal the split that had taken place between her husband and King George I.

George II became king when his father died. She was crowned alongside her husband at Westminster Abbey on 11th October 1727. Caroline advised her husband to retain Walpole as the leading minister. Walpole commanded a substantial majority in Parliament and George II had little choice but to accept him or risk political problems. In return Walpole secured a civil list payment of £100,000 a year for Caroline, and she was given both Somerset House and Richmond Lodge.

Caroline held liberal opinions and supported clemency for the Jacobites, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech in Parliament. She gained a reputation for surrounding herself with artists, writers and intellectuals.

Caroline of Ansbach died on 20th November 1737.

© , September 1997 - April 2014