The Children of King George III and Queen Charlotte

King George III married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz on 8 September 1761 at the Chapel Royal, St James’ Palace.

The marriage of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg -Strelitz

Charlotte gave birth to fifteen children, with thirteen surviving to adulthood. George and Charlotte’s remarkable fecundity was assisted by Charlotte’s youthful age on marriage (17), which extended her married fertile years, increasing the likelihood of pregnancy. She also did not gain from the contraceptive benefits of sole breastfeeding, which could have contributed to a reduction in the number of pregnancies, as she always handed her babies to wet nurses negating that outcome. And of course the couple was devoted to each other and the marriage was largely a happy one. 

King George III and Queen Charlotte with their six eldest children
  • George, Prince of Wales born 12 August 1762 –  died 26 June 1830. 
    • George, the heir to his father’s throne, married his paternal first cousin, Princess Caroline of Brunswick. 
      • He spent his official wedding night asleep in the hearth after getting drunk. Their only child, his heir Princess Charlotte, died in childbirth. He barred his estranged wife from his coronation.
        • George, later King George IV, is remembered as a dissolute, profligate glutton who secretly and illegally married Roman Catholic Maria Fitzherbert prior to marrying his cousin in order for his debts to be paid.
  • Prince Frederick, Duke of York born 16 August 1763 –  died 5 January 1827. 
    • He married his cousin Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia and had no children.
  • Prince William, Duke of Clarence born 21 August 1765- died 20 June 837 – married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meinengen in 1818 in a double wedding with his brother the Duke of Kent. The couple had no surviving children. 
    • William is remembered as the sailor king. He had an early naval career and later set up home with actress Dorothy Jordan. Together they had ten illegitimate children. They lived at Bushy House, situated in the beautiful Bushy Park where William accepted the post of Ranger.
      • His elder brother Frederick predeceased him and so he was crowned King William IV on his brother George’s death in 1830. His niece Victoria was his heir as his children with Dorothy Jordan were illegitimate who were given the surname of FitzClarence.
  • Princess Charlotte, Princess Royal born 29 September 1766 –  5 October 1828. 
    • ‘Royal’, as her family nicknamed her, married Prince Frederick of Württemberg in 1797, (later king), and had one stillborn daughter in 1798. 
George III daughters
Three eldest daughters of George III and Queen Charlotte
  • Prince Edward, Duke of Kent born 2 November 1767 – 23 January 1820. 
    • He married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in 1818 after leaving his long-term mistress, Julie St. Laurent, after the death of Princess Charlotte resulted in a rush of brothers who suddenly had sight of their father’s throne.
      • They had one daughter, Princess Alexandrina Victoria, who later reigned as Queen Victoria.
  • Princess Augusta Sophia born 8 November 1768 – died 22 September 1840. 
  • Princess Elizabeth born 22 May 1770 –  died 10 January 1840.
    • She married Prince Frederick of Hesse-Homburg in April 1818 and had no children.

      Princess Elizabeth
      Princess Elizabeth
  • Prince Ernest, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale born 5 June 1771 – died 18 November 1851.
    • He married Duchess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz on 29 May 1815. They had two children but only their son survived to adulthood. 
      • When King William IV died, his niece could not ascend the throne of Hanover due to the Salic law prohibiting female rule, therefore Ernest, heir to William’s seat in Hanover, became King of Hanover on the death of his brother. 
  • Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex born 27 January 1773 – died 21 April 1843.
    • Augustus married twice. Both marriages contravened the Royal Marriages Act 1772.
      • He had two children resulting from his first annulled marriage.
  • Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge born 24 February 1774 – died 8 July 1850.
    • Adolphus married his second cousin Augusta, the daughter of Prince Frederick of Hesse in June 1818 and had three children. 
  • Princess Mary born 25 April 1776 – died 30 April 1857. 
    • Mary married her cousin Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh in 1816 and had no children.
  • Princess Sophia born 3 November 1777 – died 27 May 1848. 
    • Princess Sophia nicknamed the home that she shared with her sisters ‘The Nunnery’ alluding to their unmarried state. 
      • She is also known for the rumours surrounding her having an illegitimate son, the father reputed to be her father’s equerry.
Princess Sophia
Princess Sophia
  • Prince Octavius born 23 February 1779 – died 3 May1783.
      • Octavius died after being inoculated against the smallpox virus.
Prince Octavius
Prince Octavius
  • Prince Alfred born 22 September 1780 – died 20 August 1782.
    • Little Alfred appears to have died after complications set in after being inoculated against smallpox. 
  • Princess Amelia born 7 August 1783 – died 2 November 1810.
    • Amelia fell in love with one of King George III’s equerries, General Charles Fitzroy, there was no question of this relationship being approved by her parents. She never married and had no children.
      • Amelia, who was widely considered one of George III’s favourite children, died of tuberculosis in 1810, her loss precipitating her father’s final decline.


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4 thoughts on “The Children of King George III and Queen Charlotte

    1. Yes. A while back, though. I most recently read The Strangest Family (for the second time) by Janice Hadlow. I also really enjoyed The Unruly Queen by Flora Fraser.


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