Lord Thomas of Gresford

My Dear Hamy

Lord Thomas of Gresford

Martin Thomas

Insights and intrigues at the Court of Caroline, Princess of Wales

The Regency period captures the imagination. Britain was leading the world in the inventiveness and energy of the Industrial Revolution. The Romantic Movement in art, literature and poetry was in full swing. The Scottish Enlightenment was pouring out new ideas in political economy, philosophy, science and engineering.  The long tenure of William Pitt as Prime Minister provided stability at home and firm resistance to the powerful political influences from abroad.  

While France was stunned by revolution and the execution of her King and Queen on the guillotine, Britain’s Royal Family continued to enjoy the confidence of the people. But what were the tensions in the family of George III? What were the imperfections of his son and heir, the Prince of Wales and of his wife, Caroline of Brunswick? How did their daughter Princess Charlotte of Wales thrive with such warring parents? This book provides an intimate account of their troubles and a perspective on the calmer world outside.

Never has anyone such captivating manners. I could have sat down and cried that he was not all that he ought to be – certainly it is impossible to think his heart not naturally good. Last night for instance he was to have seen his sister [the Princess Royal] before she went [to Wurtemberg]. He sat till twelve o’clock, meaning every instant to go. But the idea of taking leave was so painful, that he’d defer’d it till this morning – got up at five to go, but his heart fail’d him and he could only write her his farewell. This I dare say is characteristic – it shows great feeling and a great want of fortitude.

– Anne Hayman on meeting with the Prince of Wales, 1797