1817 Princess Charlotte Original Antique Brass Mourning Death Token
#AD141 Queen Charlotte Medal:
This is a small 1" brass period mourning coin, token, medallion or medal to commemorate the untimely death of Princes Charlotte of England in 1817. Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, heir apparent to the crown, was born in 1796 at Carlton House in London, and died in childbirth at aged 21 on 6 November 1817 at Hersham, Elmbridge Borough, Surrey, England at Claremont House. She is buried at St. George's Chapel Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead Royal Borough, Berkshire, England with her stillborn baby son.
Charlotte had been married only a year before, in 1816, to Prince Leopold I of Belgium 1790-1865, a German prince and uncle of Queen Victoria. Huge crowds in London came to the streets for their wedding, and she was much loved by the public. After her death, her husband Leopold I became the first King of the Belgians in 1831 to 1865, a reign of 34 years. His life is most known as political adviser of his niece, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. He remarried Louise Marie d'Orleans, daughter of Louis Philippe I in 1832, she becoming the first Queen of independent Belgium. They had 4 children. She died in 1850 and Leopold I died in 1865.
Charlotte, born 1796, was the only daughter of the pre arranged and doomed marriage of George, Prince of Wales and Caroline of Brunswick in 1795. The story of these 3 in the midst of turmoil in post Napoleonic Europe is one of great tragedy and duress. Her defiant mother Caroline moved to Blackheath when the short marriage ended and led a scandalous life for the times. Their child, Princess Charlotte was George III's only legitimate grandchild and became the pivotal center and focus of very public estrangement with young Charlotte used as a weapon between the two. The public sided with her mother Caroline, to who she was separated for much of her life, to the George's great dismay.
Text on this British medal reads:
H.R.H. THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE (Her royal highness)
BRITANNIA MOURNS HER PRINCESS DEAD
DIED NOV. 6. 1817
This Georgian era mourning token was made in memoriam to show the country's dismay at Charlotte's early death. Deep mourning encompassed the kingdom with the wearing of black by all the classes, and the shutting down of total business. Her young husband was inconsolable, as well as her country. Her death left no apparent heir to the crown, which Queen Victoria would eventually fill. This sad and interesting story is well told in a 2008 book "Charlotte and Leopold: The True Story of the Original People's Princess" by James Chambers.
Click images to see condition of the medal in close up views, and click again to open full images on screen for scrolling to right. It measures 1 inch in diameter, the size of an English 2 pence or penny, and was found in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. The reverse features Georgian and pre Victorian iconic symbols of a willow tree over an urn at her gravesite. A beautiful British mourning piece.
Size: 1 inch diameter
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