C18 makeups: Queen Charlotte

Queen Charlotte

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818) was a princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and queen of the United Kingdom as the consort of king George III. She was also the duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg and electress of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until the promotion of her husband to king of Hanover in 1814, which made her queen consort of Hanover. She was a patron of the arts, known to both Johann Christian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. She was also an amateur botanist and helped expand Kew Gardens.

George III and queen Charlotte had fifteen children, thirteen of whom survived to adulthood. But her married life was scarcely an easy one. As a young queen her mother-in-law controlled all her actions, even banning the card-playing which she loved, was presently interdicted. George was briefly ill in the 1760s and although he recovered it deteriorated in the 1780s with further relapses in 1800 and 1804. By 1810, already virtually blind with cataracts and in pain from rheumatism, George became dangerously ill. The Regency Act was passed in 1811 and the prince of Wales acted as Regent for the remainder of George III’s life. By the end of 1811, George III had become permanently insane and lived in seclusion at Windsor Castle until his death. Besides her personal difficulties she was shocked by the execution of Marie Antoinette with whom she had regularly corresponded. There was also the small matter of the loss of the American colonies.

The movies

Longitude (2000): featuring Heike Makatsch. Coming soon …

The Madness of King George (1994): Helen Mirren played was the long-suffering wife of king George III in this wonderful movie. Lisa Westcott was the makeup designer.