36 free quilt blocks, one a week with a guide to Jane Austen's England and posts about the people in her life.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Block 34: Queen Charlotte’s Crown for the Princess of Wales

Block 34: Queen Charlotte’s Crown by Georgann Eglinski for the Princess of Wales

Charlotte Augusta, Princess of Wales (1796 –1817)

Charlotte Augusta was born nine months after the ill-fated honeymoon of her parents Prince George (see block 27) and Princess Caroline (block 30).

Princess Charlotte in 1806

In Jane Austen’s England the Princess of Wales was second in line to the throne after her father who became King George IV. The predominant emotional climate in  Charlotte's childhood was her self-absorbed parents’ mutual contempt, so she led a lonely life.

Illustration for Northanger Abbey by Charles E. Brock

When the Princess was about 16 her Uncle, the Duke of York, recommended she read Sense & Sensibility. Charlotte wrote a friend she had heard much about the novel and after she read it identified with Marianne’s sensibility and ‘imprudence.”

‘Sence and Sencibility’ I have just finished reading; it certainly is interesting, & you feel quite one of the company. I think Maryanne & me are very like in disposition, that certainly I am not so good, the same imprudence, &c, however remain very like. I must say it interested me much.’ Letter from Princess Charlotte January, 1812.

 Queen Charlotte’s Crown by Becky Brown

As heir to the British throne the Princess found an acceptable mate in German royalty.

She married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in May, 1816, an event celebrated with a "furniture panel" below, perhaps meant for a chair, a pillow or a quilt.

The brown frame reads:"Princess Charlotte of Wales Married to Leopold Prince of Saxe-Cobourg May 2, 1816"

Patchwork sold at Christies framing the Princess Charlotte panel

Another English frame quilt with the royal wedding panel.
Collection of the New England Quilt Museum
See the quilt here:

During the last year of Jane Austen’s life, England looked forward to the birth of a royal baby, expected in the fall of 1817. Jane Austen did not survive to hear the November news that Charlotte delivered a large boy, sadly stillborn.

Worse news: the Princess began to hemorrhage and died overnight. England was again without a reliable line of succession to the rather shaky throne. Mourning for the 21-year-old princess included the above hexagon coverlet in the collection of the New England Quilt Museum with fabric printed,
“This piece of Patchwork was finished two days previous to the Death of H.R.H. the Princess Charlotte…”
Had Charlotte survived her father she'd have become Queen Charlotte when he died in 1830.

 Queen Charlotte’s Crown by Becky Brown

The quilt pattern Queen Charlotte's Crown was given the name by Ruth Finley in her 1929 book. The block, which shows a crown and one reflected below it, can symbolize the "might-have-been" Charlottian Era we'd look back upon, rather than the Victorian Era led by Charlotte's cousin Alexandrina Victoria, who was born about 18 months after Charlotte’s death.

BlockBase  #4134

Cutting a 12" Finished Block
A - Cut 2 squares 2-7/8".

B - Cut 1 square 6". Cut into 4 triangles with 2 cuts.

You need 4 triangles.

C - Cut 3 squares 5-5/8".

Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 6 triangles.

D - Cut 4 squares 3-1/4”.

Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 8 of the smallest triangles.

E – Cut 2 rectangles 8” x 2-1/4”. You can trim the ends at 45-degree angles now or wait to trim them until you have stitched them to piece C.


 Queen Charlotte’s Crown by Bettina Havig

Soon after the Princess’s death her letters were published in 1822. You can read Royal correspondence or, Letters between her late Royal Highness…and her Royal Mother at Google Books:

A more comprehensive edition edited by Arthur Aspinall was published in 1949, Letters of the Princess Charlotte, 1811-1817

Mourning jewelry for the Princess featuring an eye portrait
 (quite the rage at the time) and some of her hair.

See more Princess Charlotte mourning jewelry at the royal blog:

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