9. Music Room Gallery [+]


More in this room

Historical Image


The Music Room Gallery, like the Banqueting Room gallery, was a quieter, less exuberant room, used for conversation, small-scale music recitals or even dancing. For dancing, whether here or in the Music Room, the carpet would be taken up and dancing positions marked on the floor in chalk.

George loved parties and entertaining and above all, women. Throughout his life, he had many lovers and mistresses. His first great love was Maria Fitzherbert. She was a Roman Catholic, and twice widowed. George knew the King would never allow him to marry her so in 1785 they married in secret. The marriage was declared illegal by Parliament, so George had to find a Protestant wife in order to produce a legitimate heir.

Much against his will, in 1795 finally George agreed to marry as a condition for Parliament paying off more of his debts. He settled on Princess Caroline of Brunswick as his future bride. They had never met and she was to prove a very poor choice. Princess Caroline was lively, opinionated and not impressed with George himself, having seen only a miniature portrait before she agreed to marry him. Contemporary portraits show George as a healthy, young man, though in truth he was already very fat, a fact many of his contemporaries commented on in their private letters and diaries. For his part, George found Caroline irritating, ill-mannered and lacking in sophistication.

The relationship soon deteriorated to the point that George could not bear to be in the same room as his wife. As soon as their daughter Charlotte was born, nine months after the wedding, he did what he could to avoid her. He wouldn’t even allow his wife to bring up their daughter, and instead Princess Charlotte was brought up by her ladies in waiting and mentored by a string of elderly tutors. However, George’s father, George III, had a soft spot for Caroline, and while he did not welcome the prince’s company, often invited her to stay at Windsor Castle.