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at Windsor, a letter from the Princess of Wales to the Prince Regent appeared, touching the prohibition of her visits to her daughter, which set the advocates of both parties immediately in commotion. It is one of the most important documents which ever appeared in the history of our royal family, and cannot fail to be perused with peculiar interest by those who wish to become acquainted with the leading features of the life of the illustrious Princess Charlotte of Wales. It is dated Montague-House, January 14, 1813.
Letter of the Princess of Wales to the Prince Regent.
“ It is with great reluctance that I presume to obtrude myself upon your Royal Highness, and to solicit your attention to matters which may, at first, appear rather of a personal than a public nature. If I could think them so-if they related merely to myself, I should abstain from a proceeding which might give uneasiness, or interrupt the more weighty occupations of your Royal Highness's time ; I should continue, in silence and retirement, to lead the life which has been prescribed to me, and console myself for the loss of that society, and those domestic comforts, to which I have so long been a stranger, by the reflection that it has been deemed proper I should be afflicted without any fault of my ownand that your Royal Highness knows it.
“ But, Sir, there are considerations of a higher nature than any regard to my own happiness, which render this address a duty both to myself and my daughter. May I venture to say-a duty also to my husband, and the people committed to his care? There is a point beyond which guiltless woman cannot with safety carry her forbearance. If her honour is invaded, the defence of her reputation is no longer a matter of choice; and it signifies not whether the attack be made openly, manfully, and directly-or
by secret insinuation, and by holding such conduct towards her as countenances all the suspicions that malice can suggest. If these ought to be the feelings of every woman in England, who is conscious that she deserves no reproach, your Royal Highness has too sound a judgment, and too nice a sense of honour, not to perceive, how much more justly they belong to the mother of your daughter-the mother of her who is destined, I trust, at a very distant period, to reign over the British empire.
“ It may be known to your Royal Highness, that, during the continuance of the restrictions upon your royal authority, I purposely refrained from making any representations which might then augment the painful difficulties of your exalted station. At the expiration of the restrictions I still was inclined to delay taking this step; in the hope that I might owe the redress I sought to your gracious and unsolicited condescension. I have waited, in the fond indulgence of this expectation, until, to my inexpressible mortification, I find that my unwillingness to complain has only produced fresh grounds of complaint; and I am at length compelled, either to abandon all regard for the two dearest objects which I possess on earth,mine own honour and my beloved child,—or to throw myself at the feet of your Royal Highness, the natural protector of both.
“ I presume, Sir, to represent to your Royal Highness, that the separation, which every succeeding month is making wider, of the mother and the daughter, is equally injurious to my character and to her education ; I say nothing of the deep wounds which so cruel an arrangement inflicts upon my feelings, although I would fain hope that few persons will be found of a disposition to think lightly of these. To see myself cut off from one of the very few domestic enjoyments left me, certainly the only one upon which I sct any value,-the society of my child, -involves me in such misery, as I well know your Royal Highness could never inflict upon me, if you were aware of its bitterness. Our intercourse has been gradually diminished. A single interview weekly seemed sufficiently hard allowance for a mother's affection ; that, however, was reduced to our mecting once a fortnight; and I now learn that even this most rigorous interdiction is to be still more rigidly enforced.
« But while I do not venture to intrude my feelings as a mother upon your Royal Highness's notice, I must be allowed to say, that in the eyes of an observing and jealous world, this separation of a daughter from her mother will only admit of one constructiona construction fatal to the mother's reputation. Your Royal Highness will also pardon me for adding, that there is no less inconsistency than injustice in this treatment. He who dares advise your Royal Highness to overlook the evidence of my innocence, and disregard the sentence of complete acquittal which it produced-or is wicked and false enough still to whisper suspicions in your ear, betrays his duty to you, Sir, to your daughter, and to your people, if he counsels you to permit a day to pass without a farther investigation of my conduct, I know that no such calumniator will venture to recommend a measure which must speedily end in his utterconfusion. Then let me implore you to reflect on the situation in which I am placed ; without the shadow of a charge against me—without even an accuser-after an inquiry that led to my ample vindication-yet treated as if I were still more culpable than the perjuries of my suborned traducers represented me, and held up to the world as a mother who may not enjoy the society of her only child.
“ The feelings, Sir, which are natural to my unexampled situation, might justify me in the gracious judgment of your Royal Highness, had I no other motives for addressing you but such as relate to myself. But I will not disguise from your Royal Highness what I cannot for a moment conceal from myself, that the serious, and it soon may be, the irreparable injury which my daughter sustains from the plan at present pursued, has done more in overcoming my reluctance to intrude upon your Royal Highness than any sufferings of my own could accomplish; and if, for her sake, I presume to call away your Royal Highness's attention from the other cares of your exalted station, I feel confident I am not claiming it for a matter of inferior importance either to yourself or your people.
« The powers with which the constitution of these realms vests your Royal Highness, in the regulation of the royal family, I know, because I am so advised, are ample and unquestionable. My
appeal, Sir, is made to your excellent sense and liberality of mind in the exercise of those powers; and I willingly hope that your own paternal feelings will lead you to excuse the anxiety of mine, . for impelling me to represent the unhappy conscquences which the present system must entail upon our beloved child.
“ Is it possible, Sir, that any one can have attempted to persuade your Royal Highness, that her character will not be injured by the perpetual violence offered to her strongest atlections—the studied care taken to estrange her from my society, and even to interrupt all communication between us ? That her love for me, with whom, by his Majesty's wise and gracious arrangements, she passed the years of her childhood, never can be extinguished, I well know; and the knowledge of it forms the greatest blessing of my existence. But let me implore your Royal Highness to reflect how inevitably all attempts to abate this attachment, by forcibly separating us, if they succeed, must injure my child's principles—if they fail, must destroy her happiness.
“ The plan of excluding my daughter from all intercourse with the world, appears to my humble judgment peculiarly unfortunate. She, who is destined to be the sovereign of this great country, enjoys none of those advantages of society which are deemed necessary for imparting a knowledge of mankind to persons who have infinitely less occasion to learn that important lesson; and it may so happen, by a chance, which I trust, is very remote, that she should be called upon to exercise the powers of the crown, with an experience of the world more confined than that of the most private individual. To the extraordinary talents with which she is blessed, and which accompany a disposition as singularly amiable, frank, and decided, I willingly trust much; but beyond a certain point the greatest natural endowments cannot struggle against the disadvantages of circumstances and situation. It is my earnest prayer, for her own sake as well as her country's, that your Royal Highness may be induced to pause before this point be reached.
Those who have advised you, Sir, to delay so long the period of my daughter's commencing her intercourse with the world, and for that purpose to make Windsor her residence, appear not to have regarded the interruptions to her education which this arrangement
occasions; both by the impossibility of obtaining the attendance of proper teachers, and the time unavoidably consumed in the frequent journeys to town, which she must make, unless she is to be secluded from all intercourse, even with your Royal Highness and the rest of the royal family. To the same mfortunate counsels I ascribe a circumstance, in every way so distressing both to my parental and religious feelings, that my daughter has never yet enjoyed the benefit of confirmation, although above a year older than the age at which all the other branches of the royal family have partaken of that solemnity. May I earnestly conjure you, Sir, to hear my entreaties upon this serious matter, even if you should listen to other advisers on things of less near concernment to the welfare of our child ?
“ The pain with which I have at length formed the resolution of addressing myself to your Royal Highness is such as I should in vain attempt to express. If I could adequately describe it, you might be enabled, Sir, to estimate the strength of the motives which have made me to submit to it. They are the most powerful feelings of affection, and the deepest impressions of duty towards your Royal Highness, my beloved child, and the country, which I devoutly hope she may be preserved to govern, and to shew by a new example the liberal affection of a free and generous people to a virtuous and constitutional monarch.
“ I am, Sir, with profound respect, and an attachment which nothing can alter,
“ Your Royal Highness's
4 Consort, cousin, and subject,
(Signed) 66 CAROLINE LOUISA." . “ Montague-House, 14th Jan. 1813."
A copy of the Report of the honourable the Privy Council, having been laid before the Prince Regent, was transmitted to her Royal Highness by Viscount Sidmouth, on the evening of the day on which the above letter was sent, and Lord