26.8.14

Clairemont Gardens "my Charolotte is gone"


Not far from where I live is an almost magical place, Clairemont Gardens, a place where I have been many times, walked around and never wondered about the history, just enjoyed the beauty.


Dreaming about living in tall towers (The Belvedere Tower)


With beautiful views

Then one day I saw some thing that made me think "well whats that all about?" and so I did what all people of this day and age do and I googled it, which lead to a whole days reading and a new found appreciation for the history of our Royal family.



Once apon a time (1796) there was a Princess called Charolotte (Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales) the only child of George, prince of Wales, later to become King George IV.  She was destined to become Queen of the United Kingdom and was much loved and seen as a sign of hope for the Britsh people.




Charlotte was presured by her father to marry William, Hereditary Prince of Orange, but although she  initially accepted the engament Charlotte soon broke off the match, and after followed a battle of wills between Charlotte and her father as to whom she would marry. 
Charlotte won and got to marry her prince charming, a Lieutenant-General in the Russian cavalry, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saaifeld (later King of the Belgians) or "the Leo" as she termed him.

She wrote:

"I find him charming, and go to bed happier than I have ever done yet in my life ... I am certainly a very fortunate creature, & have to bless God. A Princess never, I believe, set out in life (or married) with such prospects of happiness, real domestic ones like other people."

I just love this little insight! 



On 2 May 1816 Charolotte and Leopold were married in the Crison Drawing Room at Carlton House, Claremont House was brought by Parliment for the couple to live in. (The building was later brought and turned into Clairmont Fan Court School), On 24th August 1816, they took up residence at Claremont, Clairmont gardens were the grounds to Clairmont House and is infact the actual Garden of a Princess! 

(Charlotte's favorite view)

Very sadly in 1817 after only a year and a half of happy marrage Charlotte died after giving birth to a stillborn son, which is why at Charlotte's favorite viewing point at Clairmont, where she once had a little tearoom built to enjoy the beautiful view, and then later a building in herthere now lay long forgoten foundations and a marble stone simply with the words "My Charlotte is gone."



But as with all good storys, it dose not end there. 
Charlotte was King George III's only legitimate grandchild and with her death there was a great amount of presure put on the King's unmarried sons to marry and produce an heir. 
The King's forth son Edward, Duke of Kent married Prince Leopold's sister Victoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen and thier daughter Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent (Later known as Queen Victoria) played in the gardens, so truely it was a playground for princesses!
Now the gardens are owned by the National Trust and is such a wonderful place to visit, here are a few pic's of our latest trip....


First ever pony ride!


Enjoying a picnic


Heads and shoulders above the rest


Enjoying the view



Playing in a hollowed out old tree


Taking time to smell the flowers



Taking it all in our stride!


Have a great day wonderful people! x


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