The tragic death of a future queen

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Despite George III having 15 children, Princess Charlotte of Wales was his only legitimate grandchild and second in line to the British throne.

Tragically, it was not to be. Charlotte died after giving birth to a still-born son at Claremont on 6 November 1817, aged just 21. The national outpouring of grief was so extreme that linen-drapers across Britain ran out of black cloth. Her devastated husband, Prince Leopold, responded to this by opening Claremont to visitors for a short period.

At the time of Princess Charlotte’s death, a tea house was in the process of being built on the 'charming spot' at the top of the amphitheatre. As a tribute to his wife, Prince Leopold directed that it be remodelled as a mausoleum dedicated to her memory. Inside stood a bust of the Princess and it was surrounded by a small flower garden.

Leopold's memorial to his wife survived for over a century but, sadly, in 1922 it was demolished to make way for a proposed housing development. Thankfully, this scheme was later abandoned.