44 Facts about Carolina of Orange-Nassau

(public domain)

In February my first book – Carolina of Orange-Nassau, Ancestress of the Royal Houses of Europe – was released. Today is the 232nd anniversary of Carolina’s death at the early age of 44. Here are 44 facts about her life – one for each year of her life.

  1. She was her parents’ first child to survive childbirth.
  2. She was named for her grandmother Caroline of Ansbach upon the request of her grandfather, King George II of Great Britain.
  3. Her sister named Anna Maria would live for just one month.
  4. Carolina received two “African moors” as a present when she was a child.
  5. She lost both her parents before she was an adult.
  6. Carolina stayed by her mother’s bed when she lay dying.
  7. Her marriage to Charles Christian, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg was feared to leave her “in mediocrity.”
  8. She married Charles Christian, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg on 5 March 1760.
  9. Her first child was born on 18 December 1760 but he would die young.
  10. Her cousin King George III of Great Britain was the godfather of her first son.
  11. The newlyweds lived at Huis Honselaarsdijk, which unfortunately no longer exists.
  12. Her departure to Weilburg shortly after her wedding was the first time she was separated for any length of time from her younger brother William and she missed him terribly.
  13. All of her letters to her brother start with “My (very) dear brother”
  14. Carolina’s letters are mostly in French but she often joked in Dutch like “weeds do not perish” when referring to herself.
  15. She suffered at least one miscarriage.
  16. Carolina acted as regent for the last few months of her brother’s minority after the death of their grandmother Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel.
  17. During her regency, she was several months pregnant.
  18. She and Charles Christian began the building of their own palace in The Hague but it was never finished. It is now a theatre.
  19. Her favourite palace was The Loo Palace in Apeldoorn where she knew all the best places to play music.
  20. She once received her first cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany and she found him very VRIENDELIJK (kind).
  21. After a visit to houses belonging to regular people, she described them as “dollhouses.”
  22. Her many pregnancies affected her body and she found herself “ugly” and her growing belly interfered with her singing, much to her annoyance.
  23. She once compared The Hague to the Sinai Peninsula because her brother was not there.
  24. She became acquainted with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when he was 9 years old.
  25. Mozart’s father found he could not refuse her invitation because “one does not refuse a pregnant woman.”
  26. She saved the lives of both Mozart and his sister by sending her personal physician when they were ill with typhoid fever.
  27. Mozart wrote several sonnets for her.
  28. At her court in Kirchheimbolanden, she set up her own orchestra.
  29. She wrote several pieces of music herself, including a march for her brother.
  30. She was an accomplished pianist.
  31. She did not like sad music.
  32. Mozart estimated she had around 300 musicians at her court in 1778.
  33. The death of her eight-year-old son William Louis hit her hard and she went to recuperate with her aunt Mary of Great Britain, Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel.
  34. She was godmother to her niece Louise, her brother’s eldest surviving child.
  35. She was also named godmother to her nephew, who would become the first King of the Netherlands long after Carolina had died.
  36. In 1778, she had a painting made of her and the children as a surprise for her husband.
  37. Her eldest children were getting married while Carolina herself was still falling pregnant.
  38. In total, she had given birth to 15 children of which 7 would survive to adulthood.
  39. Her eldest grandchild was stillborn.
  40. Carolina died suddenly after an illness of just two days.
  41. She was buried in the reformed Peterskirche in Kirchheimbolanden.
  42. Her husband was buried close by in the Lutheran Paulskirche.
  43. Their palace in Kirchheimbolanden has mostly disappeared and is now in use as a senior residence.
  44. Carolina and Charles Christian’s descendants sit on the thrones of Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Spain.

Carolina of Orange-Nassau, Ancestress of the Royal Houses of Europe is available now in both the UK and the US.

About Moniek Bloks 2428 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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