History

George II and Caroline

11 October 1727

George II was the son of George I and Sophia and was born at Herrenhausen in Hanover, Germany, in 1683. In 1705 he was naturalized an English subject and married Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach. They were crowned in the Abbey on 11 October 1727. George gained the distinction of being the last English king to lead his troops in a battle, against the French at Dettingen in Bavaria. His reign is remembered for victories in Canada, the Jacobite rebellion and the establishment of British interests in India. Caroline was born on 11 March 1683 and they had four sons and five daughters. She played a large role in affairs of State and died in 1737. The king was distraught and had a new vault constructed beneath the central aisle of the Lady Chapel where she was buried on 17 December. Their children George William (1717-18), Caroline Elizabeth (1713-57), William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721-65) and Amelia (1711-86) also lie in the vault.

Their eldest son Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, was born in January 1707. He was a great patron of the arts but was despised by his family. By his wife Augusta he was father of George III. He died suddenly in March 1751 and was buried with his mother in the Hanoverian vault. His wife died aged 53 in 1772 and was buried with him, as were their children Elizabeth Caroline (1740-59), Frederick William (1750-65), Edward Augustus (1739-67), Louisa Anne (1749-68) and Henry Frederick (1745-90).

George II died at Kensington Palace on 25 October 1760 and was buried in the vault on 11 November in a large marble sarcophagus with his coffin next to Caroline. By his wish the sides of the coffins were removed so their dust could mingle after death. No monument was erected and only small stones on the floor above the vault mark their graves and those of the family. He was the last monarch to be buried in the Abbey as succeeding sovereigns were buried at Windsor.

Further Reading:

"King George II and Queen Caroline" by John van der Kiste, 1997 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography