Caroline’s story is but short and sweet. She was born on 10th June 1713 at her family’s home in Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, She was the fourth child, third daughter of her parents, George of Hanover and Caroline of Ansbach. Caroline’s birth was followed by a further five children, one of whom was stillborn, one who died aged three months. A tenth pregnancy ended in miscarriage.
When Caroline was around a year old, her grandfather, George I succeeded the throne of England, following the deaths in rapid succession of his mother and his cousin Queen Anne Stuart. Her father accordingly became Prince of Wales. By Act of Settlement 1701, Princess Caroline became seventh in line to the British Throne.
Upon her Grandfather’s accession to the Throne, Caroline moved with her family to England and took up residence in St James Palace. Her older brother, Frederick aged eight, remained in Hanover in the care of his Great Uncle Ernest Augustus, to fulfil his duties as heir presumptive. His subsequent fourteen year estrangement from his family would damage their relationship, particularly that of Frederick and his father, irreparably. Caroline was known as an honest child, her nickname being “Caroline the truth-loving” and in this capacity was often called upon to settle family disputes. She was also kind, accomplished and fair. But she would come to be known for her profound unhappiness.
In her youth, Caroline was introduced to one of the courtiers, by the name of Lord Hervey. She fell desperately in love with him. Hervey, however was already married, and rumoured to be bisexual. It has been suggested he was involved with Caroline’s brother Frederick, and that they also shared a mistress, Anne Vane, with whom one or the other of them, quite possibly neither, had an illegitimate child.
Hervey died in 1743, throwing Caroline into a deep depression. She vowed never to be happy again. She retreated to St James Palace for the rest of her days, refusing to see anybody but her family and closest friends, and although continuing to devote her life to charitable work, remained unmarried and childless. Her sudden death on 28th December 1757, at the age of 44 according to her doctor was unexpected by everybody, including Caroline, but what she most wished for. She was buried in Westminster Abbey.