‘Princesses are born to be exiled. What is the alternative? Spinsterhood? Think of your aunts.’ Such cold comfort was all the Dowager Princess of Wales could offer to her fifteen-year-old daughter, the vivacious and loving Caroline Matilda, about to leave for Denmark to marry its king.
No one knew then that Christian VII was mentally unstable and, when he disliked his young bride on sight, Caroline’s life became an heroic struggle to adapt both to a man and a court which disapproved of her unaffected ways and refused to be pleased.
But when Johan Struensee was summoned to court to treat Christian’s increasing instability, Caroline Matilda found an unexpected ally; a man who understood her, appreciated her and taught her that love was possible even in exile.
In an historically accurate story of high romance and tragedy, Norah Lofts vividly illuminates the stark contrasts of 18th century Denmark; the cruelty, poverty and oppression of existence under an absolute monarch sinking into madness; the royal court with its pomp and pageantry and the hatreds and intrigues that swirled around the young, lovely figure who was, briefly, its Queen.