Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom

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Princess Elizabeth
Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg
Princess elizabeth of the united kingdom.jpg
Princess Elizabeth, portrait by Sir Thomas Gainsborough.
Spouse Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
House House of Hesse-Homburg (by marriage)
House of Hanover (by birth)
Father George III
Mother Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Born 22 May 1770
Buckingham House, London, England
Died 10 January 1840(1840-01-10) (aged 69)
Frankfurt, Germany
Burial Mausoleum of the Landgraves, Homburg

Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom (22 May 1770 – 10 January 1840) was the seventh child and third daughter of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.[1] After marrying the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, Frederick VI, she took permanent residence in Germany as landgravine.

Early life[edit]

The Princess Elizabeth was born at Buckingham House, London on 22 May 1770.[2] Her father was the reigning British monarch, George III, the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. Her mother was Queen Charlotte (née Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz). She was christened in the Great Council Chamber at St. James's Palace, on 17 June 1770 by Frederick Cornwallis, the Archbishop of Canterbury.[3] Her godparents were The Hereditary Prince of Hesse-Cassel (her paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain, stood proxy), The Princess of Nassau-Weilburg (her paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Dowager Countess of Effingham, former Lady of the Bedchamber to The Queen, stood proxy) and The Crown Princess of Sweden (another paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Countess of Holderness, Lady of the Bedchamber to The Queen, stood proxy).[4]

Princess Elizabeth, portrait by Sir William Beechey (1797)

The Princess' upbringing was very sheltered and she spent most of her time with her parents and sisters. King George and Queen Charlotte were keen to shelter their children, particularly the girls. However, in 1812, Princess Elizabeth purchased The Priory at Old Windsor in Berkshire as her private residence.

Elizabeth was her mother's favorite daughter. She was described as clever and rather demanding. Her sisters called her Fatima because of her weight problems.

Clandestine marriage?[edit]

It is alleged that Princess Elizabeth went through a form of marriage with George Ramus (1747-1808) and bore him a daughter, Eliza, in 1788. George Ramus was the son of Nicholas Ramus, who had been Page to Elizabeth's father King George. Any such marriage would have been null and void under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, but several of Elizabeth's brothers contracted similar alliances with commoners before marrying German princesses later in life. Eliza Ramus (1788-1869) was allegedly adopted and brought up by her uncle, Henry Ramus (1755-1822) of the East India Company. She married James Money (1770-1833), also of the East India Company, and her daughter Marian Martha (1806–69) married George Wynyard Battye (1805–88), a Bengal Judge. In widowhood, Eliza Ramus lived at 28 Chester Square in London, where she educated her Battye grandsons, all ten of whom became army officers, and nursed them when they were on sick or convalescent leave from India.[5]

Marriage[edit]

In 1808 Elizabeth was reluctantly obliged to decline a proposal from the exiled Duke of Orléans (later King of the French as Louis Philippe I) due to his Catholicism and her mother's opposition.[6]

During a ball in the British royal court in 1814 Elizabeth got to know the German Prince Frederick of Hesse-Homburg. When Elizabeth saw the Austrian officer in his elegant Hussar's uniform, she is supposed to have said: "If he is single, I will marry him!". Against all resistance the wedding took place on 7 April 1818 in the private chapel in Buckingham Palace in Westminster.

It was not a real "love match", in spite of the mutual understanding and respect; in fact it was an agreement with which both were satisfied. Elizabeth was able to escape the constrictive environment of her home by moving to Germany with her husband, and Frederick gained many advantages by becoming allied with the British royal family.

Later life[edit]

On 20 January 1820, Frederick succeeded his father as the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg. Thanks to Elizabeth's dowry and annual allowance, he was able to remodel the palace in Homburg. For her part, Landgravine Elizabeth could bid farewell to the rigid court etiquette she had disliked in England and as one would say today, "find herself", as she could do much as she liked in her new environs.

She died on 10 January 1840 at age 69 in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany. She was buried in the Mausoleum of the Landgraves, Homburg, Germany.

Exposition[edit]

  • 2010: Das graphische Werk der Landgäfin Elizabeth 1770–1840 (The Graphic Works of Elizabeth), Museum im Gotischen Haus, Bad Homburg, Germany

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 22 May 1770 – 7 April 1818: Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth
  • 7 April 1818 – 20 January 1820: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Homburg[7]
  • 20 January 1820 – 10 January 1840: Her Royal Highness The Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg

Arms[edit]

As of 1789, as a daughter of the sovereign, Elizabeth had use of the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points, the centre point bearing a cross gules, the outer points each bearing a rose gules.[8]

Ancestors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hall, Mrs. Matthew (1858). The Royal Princesses of England from the Reign of George I. London: Routledge. p. 333. Retrieved 2010-11-08. The Princess Elizabeth, destined in after years to become Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg, was the third daughter of George III and Queen Charlotte... born on the 22nd of May, 1770, between eight and nine o'clock A.M. 
  2. ^ Beatty, Michael A. (2003). The English Royal Family of America, from Jamestown to the American Revolution. USA: McFarland & Co. p. 203. ISBN 0-7864-1558-4. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  3. ^ Hall (1858). See p.336: "On the 17th of June, the young Princess was christened in the great council-chamber by the Archbishop of Canterbury, when she was named Elizabeth."
  4. ^ Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings
  5. ^ Battye, Evelyn Desirée (1984), "The Fighting Ten", London: British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia, ISBN 0-907799-09-4.
  6. ^ A. W. Purdue, daughters of George III (1766–1857) in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004).
  7. ^ The London Gazette: 25 April; 19 May 1818[dead link]
  8. ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
  • Michael A. Beatty (2003), The English Royal Family of America, from Jamestown to the American Revolution, p. 207
Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 22 May 1770 Died: 10 January 1840
German royalty
Preceded by
Caroline of Hesse-Darmstadt
Landgravine consort of Hesse-Homburg
20 January 1820 – 2 April 1829
Succeeded by
Augusta Amalia of Nassau-Usingen