m. 4 Nov 1681
m. 22 Aug 1705
Facts and Events
Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach (Wilhelmina Charlotte Caroline; 1 March 1683 – 20 November 1737), commonly referred to as Caroline of Ansbach, was the queen consort of King George II of Great Britain.
Her father, John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, was the ruler of a small German state, the Principality of Ansbach, and she belonged to a branch of the House of Hohenzollern. Caroline was orphaned at a young age and moved to the enlightened court of her guardian, Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, consort of Frederick I of Prussia. At the Prussian court, her previously limited education was widened, and she adopted the liberal outlook possessed by her guardian. They became good friends, and Sophia Charlotte's views influenced Caroline all her life.
As a young woman, Caroline was much sought-after as a bride. After rejecting the suit of the nominal King of Spain, Archduke Charles of Austria, she married George Augustus, the third-in-line to the British throne and heir apparent to the Electorate of Hanover. They had eight children, seven of whom grew to adulthood. Caroline moved permanently to Britain in 1714 when her husband became Prince of Wales. As Princess of Wales, she joined her husband in rallying political opposition to his father King George I. In 1717, her husband was expelled from court after a family row. Caroline came to be associated with Robert Walpole, an opposition politician who was a former government minister. Walpole rejoined the government in 1720, and Caroline's husband and King George I reconciled publicly, on Walpole's advice. Over the next few years, Walpole rose to become the leading minister.
Caroline succeeded as queen and electress consort in 1727, when her husband became King George II. Her eldest son, Frederick, became Prince of Wales. He was a focus for the opposition, like his father before him, and Caroline's relationship with him was strained. As princess and as queen, Caroline was known for her political influence, which she exercised through and for Walpole. Her tenure included four regencies during her husband's stays in Hanover, and she is credited with strengthening the Hanoverian dynasty's place in Britain during a period of political instability. Caroline was widely mourned following her death in 1737, not only by the public but also by the King, who refused to remarry.