Princess Charlotte at Claremont Landscape Garden

The Apotheosis of Princess Charlotte Augusta, Princess of Wales by Henry Howard, 1818
The death of Princess Charlotte caused a national outpouring of grief National Trust Images / John Hammond

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

A tragic death

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.

Building a tribute

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.

A lasting memorial

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.