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Historian explains parallels between Princess Diana and Charlotte of Wales, the original people’s princess


“People’s Princess” has been a nickname for the late Princess Diana for as long as people can remember. However, a historian pointed out that there was another British royal, Princess Charlotte of Wales, who was honoured with the name before her. British historian Tracy Borman has detailed striking parallels between the lives of the two princesses, both of whom died tragically at a young age.

The last Queen who ruled on the British throne as a monarch prior to the current ruler Queen Elizabeth II was Queen Victoria. However, circumstances would have been very different if Princess Charlotte had lived. The royal, born on January 7, 1796, was the only child of George, Prince of Wales, and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick.

If she had outlived both her grandfather King George III and her father, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom; but she died at the mere age of 21 during childbirth, predeceasing them both. After her death, the monarch’s unmarried sons started looking for wives, and ultimately her uncle Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, fathered the eventual queen, Victoria.

Charlotte, who had married Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, future King of the Belgians just a year and a half before her death, set off tremendous mourning among the public in her homeland. The public had seen her as a sign of hope and contrast both to her unpopular father and to her grandfather, whom they deemed mad, and wanted her to succeed as the Queen.

Like Diana, Charlotte had also left the courtiers baffled with her fashion sense, as they deemed her behaviour undignified for allowing her ankle-length underdrawers to show. Lady Charlotte Bury, a lady-in-waiting and a diarist whose writings have survived, described the Princess as a “fine piece of flesh and blood” who had a candid manner and rarely chose to “put on dignity.”

In her new book “Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II,” Borman says that both Diana and Charlotte had mothers who left them at a young age, were more popular than their husbands and other royals, and died tragically young, sending the nation into mourning, reports Mail Online.

Princess Diana
1 February 1983: A portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales at her home in Kensington Palace, London
Tim Graham/Getty Images



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