Caroline of Ansbach: Politician, schemer, patron, sex symbol

Caroline of Ansbach's formidable intellect, potent sexual charisma and limitless ambition helped make her one of the most powerful queen-consorts in British history. Matthew Dennison traces the rise of George II's brilliant wife

A portrait of Caroline of Ansbach

This article was first published in the December 2017 edition of BBC History Magazine

Caroline of Ansbach became queen of Great Britain by refusing to become Holy Roman Empress. In the autumn of 1703, the young aristocrat received a breathless letter from a Habsburg courtier outlining in the vaguest terms “extremely important matters concerning your Serene Highness’s greatest happiness”.

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