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Bribing Caroline

Bribing Caroline


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Bribing Caroline

Queen Caroline is offered an annuity of fifty thousand pounds to stay out of England and leave her husband (George IV) free to marry again. Date: 1820

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Media ID 7228351

© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10191967

1820 Caroline Fifty Free Husband Leave Marry Offered Pounds Stay Thousand Annuity Bribing


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EDITORS COMMENTS
Bribing Caroline: The Scandalous Offer of Fifty Thousand Pounds This evocative image captures the dramatic moment in British history when Queen Caroline II (1768-1821) was offered an annuity of fifty thousand pounds to leave England and abandon her troubled marriage to King George IV (1762-1830). The event took place in 1820, during a time of great political and personal turmoil for the monarch. George IV, who had a well-documented reputation for womanizing and extravagance, had long sought to divorce Caroline and marry his mistress, Mrs. FitzClarence. However, the divorce proceedings were complicated by the fact that Caroline had been crowned joint monarch with George upon their marriage in 1795. The situation reached a boiling point in 1820 when George, desperate to marry FitzClarence, attempted to bribe Caroline with a substantial sum of money to leave the country and relinquish her claim to the throne. In this print, we see George IV, dressed in the robes of state, extending an offer of fifty thousand pounds to Caroline, who is depicted as a resolute and determined figure, refusing the bribe with a stern expression. The scene is set against the backdrop of the opulent Palace of Westminster, symbolizing the grandeur and wealth of the British monarchy. The eventual outcome of the situation was a constitutional crisis, with many in the public and in Parliament rallying to Caroline's cause. The crisis was eventually resolved through a compromise, known as the "Compact of 1820," which allowed Caroline to retain her title and annuity while George was free to marry FitzClarence. This print serves as a poignant reminder of the complex political and personal dynamics that shaped the British monarchy during this period, and the enduring power of public opinion in shaping the course of history.

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