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Charlotte, The Forgotten Princess

Start Date 12 March 2012
End Date 10 March 2013
Venue The Royal Pavilion
Location Brighton, UK

An exhibition devoted to the short life and tragic death of Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales.

From Tuesday 11 September the two dresses currently on display will be replaced by Princess Charlotte’s wedding dress. The dress is made from silk and silver thread and is also decorated with lace, a fabric which, weight for weight, was more expensive than gold in the Georgian period.

The dress has been lent by HM The Queen for the exhibition. The loan is part of  the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, managed by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces. Last year the dress was displayed for a media photocall of royal wedding dresses prior to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, but the gown has not been on general public display since 1997. You can learn more about the dress on our blog.

The only daughter of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV) and Princess Caroline of Brunswick, Charlotte was a feisty and headstrong child, who became very popular with the public, in stark contrast to her father.

Charlotte married in 1816, but then tragically died the following year shortly after giving birth, aged only 21. Her sudden death sent shockwaves across the country and the public outpouring of grief was exceeded in English history only by that following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Referred to by contemporaries as the ‘Daughter of England’, Charlotte would have become queen had she outlived her father and grandfather – and Queen Victoria would probably not have succeeded to the throne.

For the first time in a generation, the Royal Pavilion & Museums’ collection of paintings, ceramics and drawings relating to the princess is on display, alongside dresses belonging to Charlotte and loans from museums and private collections.