Monday, May 3, 2010

By George, We Hate that Kid!

Frederick's little sisters, 5 yo Anne, 3 yo Amelia, & 2 yo Caroline, had accompanied their parents to Great Britain upon the accession of their grandfather to the throne.  A brother, Augustus, was stillborn the previous yr, & shortly after arrival in London the new Princess of Wales had given birth to another son, George, who demised aged 3 mos.  There was a brief hiatus in royal childbearing & then when Frederick was 14 his brother William, Duke of Cumberland, was born, folowed by 2 more princesses, Mary & Louise.

Frederick, Prince of Wales, & his 3 oldest sisters,
Anne, Amelia, & Caroline

William was the apple of his parents' eye & could do no wrong.  In fact, at one pt when George & Caroline were really disgusted w/ Freddy, they inquired if they could not just cut him out of the succession entirely & replace him w/ his baby bro!  Freddy hadn't seen his parental units since the age of 7, tho he did hang out lots w/ Grandpa when the old man popped over on his frequent visits to Hanover.  George I influenced the kid's political views & so when he was finally belatedly summoned to England to be invested as POW at age 21, twas like the fights of George & George Augustus all over again.  Freddy's official residence was even Leicester House, where he emulated Dad & set up meetings of the opposition party HA HA.  Deja vu for George & Caro, or what?

The king & queen failed to see the irony.  They openly referred to their elder son as a "foundling" & criticized his party hearty lifestyle.  Cricket had just begun to come into vogue & young Freddy was a passionate devotee of this new British sport, both attending matches & playing himself.  One of his BFFs, who was also into cricket, was Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond, a grandson of Charles II thru his liaison w/ Louise de Kerouaille.  However, Richmond had the money to toss away on this hobby, whereas Freddy was kept on a miserly allowance by his parents, on purpose, natch.  They didn't approve of this newfangled sport thing one bit.

His parents were also not amused w/ Freddy setting himself up as a patron of the arts.  One of the 1st things he did was erect a rival to the King's Theatre in Drury Lane, run by Handel.  Frederick's theatre was called the Opera of the Nobility & was built in Lincoln's Inn's Fields.  You have Frederick to thank every time you hear Rule Britannia, as twas composed by Scots poet & playwright James Thomson as part of a masque presented to the POWs court (but not the king's).  It was called Alfred & was a fun piece about Alfred the Great kicking out those Vikings.  The song shot up the Top 40 charts way faster than anything Handel ever composed, irking the king & queen.  As you can see by the pic of Freddy & his sibs, he also played the cello, which ain't an EZ instrument to master.

Frederick, Prince of Wales

Freddy's interests extended beyond cricket & music to art & architecture as well.  The king & queen rolled their eyes when they found out their errant offspring was encouraging the growth of the Rococo movement in buildings (alas, a fine house he had built at Kew for his wife has been demolished) & was tossing coin at foreign artists.  Pffft, they snorted, we don't need no steenking Frenchie painters here!  They cut off Freddy's allowance entirely & no amt of pouting, sulking, yelling, & screaming could move them.

So Freddy was forced to bring the issue to Parliament.  After all, a POW couldn't be kept penniless & borrowing from his mates all the time w/ no hope of reimbursing em until his old man cocked up his toes, now, could he?  Parliament agreed & voted Freddy a nice allowance.  The king & queen were furious at this public humiliation & hated Freddy even more.

Caro & George put their heads together & hmmm'd & decided what Freddy needed to settle down & cease being such a PITA was a nice wife to distract him & breed up heirs, since alas, he couldn't be set aside in favor of darling Billy.  They'd already managed a nice match btwn Anne & William IV of Orange. 

Anne, Princess of Orange

Surely there had to be some Protestant chick in some small backwater continental principality who hadn't heard what an arse their elder son had grown up to be?  Caro worked her connections & triumphantly came up w/ 16 yo Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.

Augusta of Saxe-Gotha

Augusta was young, nubile, presumably malleable, & spoke no English.  The engagement was presented to Freddy as a fait accompli.  29 yo Freddy was furious but not mad enough that he didn't see this as an opportunity to get a sizeable increase in his allowance.  His parents glared at him & pried open the privy purse, not wanting him to cause a spectacle by dunning Parliament for groats again.  They did not, however, extend any generosity to a huge public wedding.  Augusta was whisked off the boat into the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace & quietly married to Freddy at once.

Tudor-era main entrance to St James's Palace

Even tho marriage had the desired effect of settling Freddy down some, it wasn't as if Augusta's lack of English was a hindrance when he'd spent the 1st 21 yrs of his life in Hanover.  B4 Caro & George could go WTF?, Augusta had become Freddy's firm ally against them LOL  She was the queen of the Leicester House set & encouraged Freddy in his incessant arrested adolescent rebellion against his parental units.  By this pt, Freddy just irked em b/c he could.  If Mom & Dad said the sky was blue, Freddy would vehemently disagree & insist twas green.  Dad's policies, governing, ideas, & all his peeps sucked on general principles.  Billy just got the stink eye from Leicester House b/c he was the fav kidlet.  And on & on it went.  There wasn't a peep in all of Great Britain who didn't know the king & his heir cordially loathed each other.

By their 1st anniversary, Augusta was breeding up the heir to the throne.  C & G were at least delighted about this, as Anne's 1st pregnancy had sadly ended w/ a stillborn daughter & somebody had to start popping out grandchildren to secure the succession.  Amelia & Caroline never married, dunno if it twas b/c they didn't want to or what, & the other 3 kidlets were still too young for such things.  At least Freddy was good for SOMETHING.  So they pasted on smiles & invited the expectant parents to come stay at Hampton Court for a nice celebration.

The King's Staircase at Hampton Court;
remodeled by William III

Soon it became obvs that C & G fully expected F & A were going to stay put until Augusta spawned the heir & that they were going to manage the whole thing & stand there & watch as well.  Royalty ain't got no privacy for such things, yknow.  Margaret Beaufort made the roolz on it & for yonks peeps just followed em unquestioningly.  That scary old broad haunted em from beyond the grave LOL 

When Augusta whispered to Freddy on a hot summer night that she thunk she was in labor, Freddy said SHHHH!  Augusta said um OW!  Freddy shushed her again & hmmm'd a tad & then grabbed her by the hand & dragged her out of her lying-in chambers.  OW OW OW protested Augusta WTF?  GOTT IN HIMMEL, snarled Freddy, STFU ALREADY & COME ALONG!

He dragged her right out of Hampton Court & over to the next closest palace, St James's, whilst she clutched her belly & OWd some more.  My, weren't the servants there surprised when Freddy hastened in w/ poor Augusta about ready to drop the heir on its head!  Peeps scrambled to get the princess in bed & delivered safely of the royal brat, a daughter who was called Augusta after her mother.  Yup, Freddy dragged his laboring wife to a whole new palace just to piss his parents off & make them miss the birth LOL  That's just HOW MUCH these peeps despised each other. C & G were furious.

By next summer Freddy had gotten a little smarter & the male heir, inexplicably named George (tho I reckon it could've been for Freddy's grandpa), was born in London at Norfolk House w/ no interference.  Little Augusta & George were barely 9 mos apart, her BD being Aug 31st & his June 4th.  Um OW.  Twas said George was a preemie & not expected to live, so mayhap that's why Freddy had him christened George.  Reckon that backfired, huh, b/c the infant Hanover thrived.

Of course, at that time the smart one of the C & G pair had demised.  Barely 3 mos after Freddy pulled that stunt at Hampton Court, Queen Caroline suffered what was noted as "a rupture of the womb". 

Caroline of Ansbach

I cannot even begin to speculate on WTF that might be!  She was 54 & hadn't bred in 13 yrs.  Uteri just don't run amuck exploding like that!  All I can think of is mayhap she had one of those gruesome things occur whereby after having 11dy6 kidlets one's uterus decides it's had enough & starts falling out.  Nowadays that won't kill ya b/c they can either remove it if you're done using it or push it back in & sew it up if you're not, but perhaps back in the 1700s they just let it hang there in a repulsive fashion & permitted it to get infected....ick ugh GROSS!  At any rate, sumfin in the poor woman's girly bits kilt her real good.  O the irony considering how much she despised Freddy, huh?

Rumor has it she told George to go ahead & get married again & he said meh I'll just have mistresses LOL  George already had 2.  One was a Hanoverian chick named Amalie von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth, by whom he had a bastard son, Johann, & the other was one of Caro's bedchamber ladies, Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk.

Amalie von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth

Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk

At least spiting Dad kept Freddy a devoted DH to Augusta, as he was never known to have any GFs after marrying her.  Despite his GFs, George was supposedly devastated at Caroline's demise as he knew she was the smart one & relied upon her for political advice & even made her Regent when he was out of the kingdom (another bone of contention for Freddy to gnaw upon).  George had Handel create new music for the splendid funeral he threw the queen at Westminster Abbey & do you know George also demanded she get a puzzle coffin?

Pray, Scarlet, enlighten us on what such a faskinating device might entail, I betcher sayin'.  Well, George decided that one side of Caroline's coffin would have the ability to pop off & then be attached to his own coffin, which would have the same ability on its opposite side.  This way, they could lollygag together for all eternity AWWWW.  Me, I'm thinkin' of the poor peeps who had to pop off Caroline's side 11dy6 yrs later & hook her up to George's fresh corpse.

Freddy no doubt groaned & said WRONG PARENT when he got word of Mum's demise, as he & his father continued their acrimony.  Augusta was kept quite busy breeding, as little Augusta & George were quickly followed by Edward, Elizabeth, William, Henry, Louisa, & Frederick Jr.  Augusta had not one sad pregnancy so she was a splendid breeder & did her job well, esp w/ 5 male heirs to her credit.  Looked as if the Hanoverians were here to stay.

Augusta was 4 mos pregnant w/ her 9th child, Caroline Matilda (who was always called by both her names due to her unmarried Auntie Caroline still lollygagging round court) when 44 yo Freddy went out to indulge in the 1st cricket match of the spring.  This is why middle-aged males should just give it up already when it comes to competitive sports & go pick up a golf club or something.  Freddy took a cricket ball slammed hard into the chest wall & immediately had the swoons followed by a fast case of the demises.  The post-mortem indicated he had an abcess in his lung that burst.  So doubly stupid to go out & play b/c he must've been having the sicks b/c abcess=infection & they ain't fun in teeth so who knows how horrendous they gotta be in one's lung.  Ya'd think he'd have been having some sort of symptoms.  The whack from the ball must've loosened it up & released 11dy6 pints of pus into his lung & drownded him, I reckon.  Disclaimer: Scarlet ain't no practitioner of medicine so tis all sheer speculation LOL

The king capered w/ glee & immediately invested 12 yo George as Duke of Edinburgh & Prince of Wales.  Augusta, after yonks of listening to Freddy's rants, didn't trust her FIL as far as she could spit, & as the prospective Queen Mum she was able to gather even more peeps to the Leicester House set & there was a movement to make her Regent should George II, who was now 67, demise b4 the new POW was deemed old enough to govern.....



  2. Boring, badly written, off-putting