The Lost Queen: The Life and Tragedy of the Prince Regent’s Daughter
By Anne Stott
Published by Pen and Sword History January 2020
What it’s about?
Desperate to get out of debt and provide a legitimate heir for the throne, George, Prince of Wales marries his cousin, Caroline of Brunswick. The marriage is an absolute disaster and the ill-suited couple despise each other. Despite their mutual hatred, they have a daughter, Princess Charlotte.
As George II descends into madness, Prince George is named Regent and Princess Charlotte is now the heiress presumptive and the most important child in the country.
Her education, reputation and marriage plans are matters of state. As Charlotte grows up in the Regency Court, she becomes a pawn in her parents marriage and is determined to find happiness on her own terms as far as possible.
What I think:
This was a brilliant read and a fascinating biography.
Extensive research and use of contemporary sources – the Georgians were enormous letter writers – allows the writer to bring the characters and Regency period to life.
Charlotte is manipulated and neglected by her parents and the dysfunctional relationships between members of the Royal Family are fascinating and shocking to modern readers. The Regent alternately spoils or ignores his daughter and uses control of her household and friendships to keep her away from his estranged wife and the reader is definitely on Charlotte’s side as she is moved from home to home and isolated from friends.
Despite this, Charlotte is determined to find her own path, and while sometimes misguided she does so. Charlottle has secret romantic love affairs, passionate friendships and a broken engagement that becomes a political crisis.
Her marriage to Leopold of Saxe-Coburg in 1816 promises stability and happiness. The young couple are beautiful, popular and very much in love. When Charlotte becomes pregnant the country rejoices at the thought of a golden future.
Even though you know that Charlotte’s life ends tragically, you find yourself really hoping for a happier ending. The horror of Charlotte’s labour and subsequent death are quite shocking.
This book brings Charlotte alive. She is a vibrant, feisty, petulant, affectionate woman rather than an historical footnote between the Regency and Victorian era.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would read it again. Definitely recommend if you have an interest in the Georgians or love historical biographies as this one of the best I have read.
Thank you Netgalley and Pen and Sword Books for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.
Preorder your own copy of The Lost Queen from:
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[…] Fascinating biography of Princess Charlotte. Lots of fascinating details about the Regency era. Review is here. […]