Queen Adelaide

1792-1849

Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was the queen consort of King William IV (reigned 1830-37). Her marriage to William and subsequent rise to the throne was, in a way, a result of William's gambling. It came about this way; when the Prince Regent's only daughter, Charlotte, died in childbirth in 1817, there was no obvious line of succession to the throne. Parliament was desparate to secure the succession should anything happen to 'Prinny'. They told William they would guarantee his gambling debts should he marry and prodiuce an heir. He agreed, and cast about for a suitable match.

The result was a marriage between William and the German princess Adelaide, daughter of George, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and Louisa Eleanora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, on 3th July, 1818. Adelaide took the title Duchess of Clarence. The mariage went well enough, but the tale of the couple's attempts to produce an heir to the throne was a tragic story. Adelaide miscarried twice, another child died after a day, and a fourth died age only 3 months.

Adelaide became queen consort when William became king in 1830. They never did produced the hoped-for heir, and when William died in 1837 the throne went to his niece, Victoria. Adelaide survived her husband by a dozen years, and died at Bentley Priory, Middlesex, on 2 December, 1849.

Time period(s): Victorian Georgian

Tags: William IV   Queen Victoria  

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