CollectionCorrespondence of Foreign Royal Families
Record TypeCorrespondence
ReferenceGEO/MAIN/50171-50200
Former ReferenceVIC/MAIN/Z/487
TitleExtracts from letters of Charlotte Augusta, Princess Royal, Duchess, Electress and later Queen of Württemberg, to Lady Elgin about Princess Charlotte.
Date23 December 1797-17 June 1804
WriterWürttemberg, Charlotte, Princess Royal, Duchess and Electress of (1766-1828)
AddresseeElgin, Martha, Countess of (1740-1810)
DescriptionLady Elgin was put in charge of the care and education of Princess Charlotte (1796-1817), the daughter of George, Prince of Wales (1762-1830), and his wife Princess Caroline of Brunswick. The Duchess of Württemberg, eldest sister of the Prince of Wales, took a close interest in her niece and corresponded with Lady Elgin about her. She sends advice on the upbringing of the child, hopes that Charlotte will be a bridge between her estranged parents, and thanks for news about her. She blames the Princess of Wales's behaviour on her harsh upbringing and recommends gentle persuasion and religious teaching to control Charlotte's passionate temper and tendency to tell stories (50176, 50184). She stresses the importance of teaching the child French and German from an early age (50177, 50179, 50186-7), and of guarding against the danger of her being spoilt by the Royal Family (50175). She recommends Mme de Genlis's "Nouvelle méthode d'enseigner aux enfants" and other books (50186-7), and wishes she could educate the child herself in Germany (50187). She refers to Charlotte's stammering (50188, 50192, 50199), to her teacher Miss Hunt (50189, 50199 & passim) and to her French maid Mlle Victoire (50200). She orders a silver doll's tea set for Charlotte and sends her dolls (50188-9). She criticises the Princess of Wales's tendency to treat the child as a plaything to show off, which encourages Charlotte's vanity (50190-1). In December 1801 she refers to the introduction of male teachers for the child and to her father's insistence on her speaking French (50192). She praises Lady Elgin for deciding to stay on with Charlotte but disagrees with her plan to take on another governess, stressing that she herself and her sisters were educated almost single-handed by Lady Charlotte Finch. She recommends recourse to the rod for the worst behaviour (50195-6). There are occasional references to Charlotte's musical talent (50189, 50196), many to her cleverness (e.g. 50198), which the Duchess fears may lead her astray, and also to the disadvantages of her solitary upbringing, seeing very little of her parents (e.g. 50199-200).
Place of WritingLudwigsburg
Stuttgart
Erlangen
Document Image

GEO_MAIN_50171-50200.pdf

LanguageEnglish
ExtentExtracts from 31 letters
Physical DescriptionManuscript papers bound in a volume, leather and marbled paper binding
LevelFile
ArrangementCatalogued 2019
RepositoryRoyal Archives
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