Queen Caroline

On this date in 1683, Caroline of Ansbach, daughter of the Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, who later became Queen of England, was born. An arranged marriage with the Austrian Archduke was cancelled when she refused to convert to Catholicism. Marrying the Prince of Hanover in 1705, she became Princess of Wales in 1714. Freethought historian Joseph McCabe reported that correspondence with Leibnitz caused her to reject Christianity, and that her Richmond house "was more or less a Deistic center." Caroline ascended the British throne in 1727. When officiating as Regent several times in the King's absence, Acts of Parliament excused her from taking the oath. Horace Walpole, in his Reminiscences, recorded that Caroline was "at least not orthodox." Chesterfield, in Characters, reported that Caroline was "a Deist, believing in a future state." Queen Caroline is the acknowledged patron of English landscape gardening, developing the Richmond and early Kew Gardens. Her gardening philosophy was "helping Nature, not losing it in art." D. 1737.

-- Source on Caroline's religious beliefs: Joseph McCabe's A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists (1920)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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