Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha )

Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha

Princess Augusta was born in Gotha to Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1676–1732) and Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst (1676–1740). Her paternal grandfather was Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, eldest surviving son of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.  At age sixteen and speaking virtually no English, Augusta arrived in Great Britain in order to marry 29-year old Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King George II and Queen Caroline. The wedding ceremony took place almost immediately, on 27 April 1736, at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, London.  The marriage seems to have been a happy one. Augusta and Frederick had nine children, the last born after Frederick’s death. The birth of their first daughter, Princess Augusta, on 31 July 1737, took place at St James’s after Princess Augusta was forced by Frederick to travel from Hampton Court Palace while in labour, simply to prevent his hated parents from being present at the birth.

Throughout their marriage, Augusta went along with her husband’s wishes in the feud with his parents. Following Frederick’s death, her role as mother of the heir-apparent to the throne became a more important one, and she was named prospective regent, which caused a political controversy. Shortly afterwards, she began to be influenced by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, her son’s tutor, and rumours spread that they were having an affair. This was due to her being adamant that Bute was visiting her, and not her son, during his back door visits to tutor the prince. Both were pilloried in the press. Even after George III’s accession, Augusta suffered widespread hostility from the public. After she died of cancer of the throat at age 52 at Carlton House, her funeral procession attracted troublemakers who followed the coffin to the grave shouting insults.  Princess Augusta enlarged and greatly extended Kew Gardens after her husband’s death. Sir William Chambers built several garden structures for her. One of these, the lofty Chinese pagoda built in 1761, still remains.

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  • November, 30, 1719
  • Gotha, Germany


  • February, 08, 1772
  • United Kingdom
  • Carlton House, London, England

Cause of Death

  • throat cancer


  • Westminster Abbey
  • West Minster, London, England
  • United Kingdom

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