I’m returning to my 5 Minute History series today and picking up where I left off before I disappeared. I apologise for that. It wasn’t my intention but Christmas and New Year caught up with me and then I gave birth to my daughter, so I’m only just getting back into the swing of things now.
Caroline of Ansbach had 10 pregnancies, but only eight of them went on to be successful live births. There was a stillborn son in 1716 and then a miscarriage two years later. Of all the live births, one child died during infancy. Here are the details of the living children of George II of Great Britain and his wife Caroline of Ansbach.
Prince of Wales and Princess Royal: Frederick and Anne
Really, these two should have posts all to themselves, but I’m streamlining the process at the moment. I want to offer you the snippets, so you can decide whether you want to do further research into George and Caroline’s children or not.
Prince Frederick Louis was the only son of the couple to be born in Hanover, George’s country of birth. He was born on February 1, 1707 and remained in Germany when his parents moved to England. It was only in 1728 that Frederick came to Britain, and by then he had younger sisters and a brother he had never met. The relationship between parents and son was damaged beyond repair; to the point that Frederick had banned his parents from witnessing the birth of his son, who would become George III of Great Britain.
He was, however, created the Prince of Wales once he arrived in Britain; it just took until January 8, 1729. Yet, due to his dislike of his parents he supported those who opposed his father in Court. Frederick went on to marry Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha and had nine children with her; two named after his parents.
Frederick never became King of Great Britain. He died in 1751 when an abscess on his lung burst.
The second child and first daughter of George II and Caroline of Ansbach was only the second British sovereign’s daughter to hold the title the Princess Royal, the first being Charles I’s daughter Mary, Princess of Orange.
Born on November 2, 1709, Anne was five years old when her grandfather became George I of Great Britain and her parents moved. Unlike her brother, she moved to England with her family, but soon found herself unable to see her parents for a short period when George I fell out with his son and daughter-in-law.
In 1720, Anne contracted smallpox and was severely disfigured due to it. Her mother Caroline helped to pioneer the first vaccine for the disease, using prisoners as people to trial it on. After it was viewed as a success, Caroline inoculated Anne’s younger sisters Amelia and Caroline.
Anne went on to become the Princess of Orange through her marriage to William VI of Orange. While a spinal deformity affected his appearance, Anne showed no signs of disinterest; in fact, she showed the opposite by saying she would marry him even if he was a baboon. While William was on a campaign, Anne returned home to England after her marriage because she became homesick. Her father and husband commanded her return to Holland, and the couple had two children together, a son and daughter. Their son would become Prince of Orange at the age of three, and Anne acted as regent until her own death in 1759.
Two Daughters Born in Germany: Amelia and Caroline
On May 30, 1711, George and Caroline had another daughter born in Hanover. She was given the name Amelia, but was often called Emily by her family. Like her sister, she moved to Britain when her grandfather became king and lived at St. James’ Palace.
Despite being a sickly child, Amelia grew up to be a healthy adult. It may have helped that she was vaccinated against smallpox in 1722 after her elder sister caught it and her mother helped develop the vaccine.
Amelia did have one scandal around her. She had an affair with Thomas Arnold, a commoner. It is possible that the two had a son called Samuel Arnold, who would go on to be a composer. She later became the ranger for Richmond Park, closing it to the public so only friends and those with special permits were allowed entrance. She was later forced to lift the restrictions when local brewer John Lewis took the gatekeeper to court for disallowing him access. The court ruled that Charles I had allowed public right of way even when he enclosed the park.
She never married and died at the age of 75 on October 31, 1786.
The last of the children of George II and Caroline of Ansbach to be born in Germany was Caroline, born on June 10, 1713. She wasn’t even a year when she moved to Britain with her parents and sisters.
Like Amelia, she received the smallpox vaccine in 1722 and she had a reputation for telling the truth. Whenever there were fights or arguments, her parents would send for her because she would tell them the truth. At the same time, she was fair and accomplished, but Dr. John Doran also wrote that she was unhappy.
It is possible that her unhappiness was due to loving a man she could never have. She had fallen for the bisexual Lord Hervey, who was linked to a number of Court ladies and Caroline’s elder brother Frederick. Only her family and closest friends saw her after Hervey’s death in 1743 until her own death on December 28, 1757.
The Next Two Sons: George and William
George and Caroline had four more live births after moving to England. The first was Prince George William on November 13, 1717. He was just over three months old when he died on February 17 the next year. Despite being baptized with this name, his parents had wanted to name him Louis. It was George I who made it clear that he would be called George William.
The relationship between George’s parents and grandfather was so bad that his parents had been sent away from St. James’ Palace. George was left in the care of his grandfather, and his parents blamed George I for the death.
William followed, born April 26, 1721. He was the first to be born at Leicester House, where his parents lived after being removed from St. James’ Palace, and was the first to be fully cared for by his parents. His mother chose Edmond Halley as his tutor, along with Andrew Fountaine. There was the discussion of splitting the dominions by Frederick, where he would get Britain and William would get Hanover but nothing came about from this.
He quickly became the favorite for his parents, especially due to his physical abilities. This also helped his military career, and he would have a part in bringing an end to the Jacobite rising of 1745.
Living until 1765, William lived to see three British monarchs on the throne—the first three Georges of Great Britain. He died five years into George III’s reign on October 31, 1765, suffering a stroke.
The Last Two Children of George II and Caroline of Ansbach: Mary and Louise
Mary was the seventh living child of George and Caroline, born March 5, 1723 at Leicester House. Unlike her sisters Amelia and Caroline, she did go on to marry Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. They first married by proxy on May 8, 1740 and the Mary travelled to Kassel to marry in person on June 28. However, the marriage was not a happy one.
Mary had to escape Frederick’s brutal treatment of her in 1746 and they separated eight years later when Frederick converted to Catholicism. That didn’t stop her from having four sons with him, one of them dying in childhood. Two years after the separation from her husband, Mary moved to Denmark and helped raise the children of her younger sister, who had died five years earlier. Despite being estranged, she and her husband never married and Mary technically became Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel in 1760. She never took on this title officially.
Mary died in Hanau in January 1772. The exact date is debated as either the 14th or 16th.
Louise was born on December 18, 1724 and was the last of all the children of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach. Despite being known as Louise, she was baptised as Louisa.
At the age of 19, Louise married Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway and went on to become the princess and then queen of the two countries. It was a successful and happy marriage, despite being arranged, despite Frederick having various affairs; Louise pretended not to notice. He never loved his wife, but he treated her fairly and that may have been partly the reason Mary felt comfortable moving to Denmark after her disastrous marriage. On top of all that, Louise was loved by the people of Denmark, and socialised well thanks to her willingness to learn the language of her people.
Louise had five children with Frederick, but only four survived infancy. Her first child, a son named Christian, died when he was two days old. He was followed by three girls and another boy. Her sixth pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, which had its own complications. She died from these complications on December 19, 1751 and was buried in Denmark.
The lives of the children of George II and Caroline of Ansbach show that just because someone is born into royalty doesn’t mean that they have a long and happy life. It is a shame to learn how some of the children lived and died, some of them never getting to see their nephew become the third Georgian king.
I'm Alexandria Ingham, and am a work at home mommy and full-time freelance writer. Writing has always been a passion from a young age, but it was only in 2009 that I decided to use it to make money online. Since then, I've managed to make a career out of it and don't regret it. While history and weight loss are two of my favorite topics, I love writing about absolutely anything and even have fictional pieces in the works.