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Queen Adelaide (Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen)

4 of 33 portraits of Queen Adelaide (Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen)

Queen Adelaide (Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen), by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey, circa 1832 - NPG 316a(189) - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Queen Adelaide (Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen)

by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
pencil, circa 1832
18 1/8 in. x 12 1/8 in. (461 mm x 308 mm)
Given by Mrs George Jones, 1871
Primary Collection
NPG 316a(189)

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Adelaide was the German-born daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Meinengen. She married the Duke of Clarence, later William IV, after a succession crisis created an urgent need for the brothers of George IV to produce legitimate heirs (the duke already had ten illegitimate children by his mistress, the actress Dorothy Jordan). This drawing is likely to have been made for Chantrey's coinage designs following William IV's coronation. The royal couple remained childless, but Adelaide was close to the heir presumptive, her niece, the future Queen Victoria.

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Current affairs

William IV agrees to the creation of new peers in order to obtain the passage of the Reform Act, although this proved unnecessary when the Tories withdrew opposition. Male franchise is extended by fifty percent; fifty-six 'rotten boroughs' lose representation and forty-one new constituencies are created. Irish and Scottish Reform Acts are also passed.

Art and science

Mathematician Charles Babbage publishes his best selling Economy of Machinery and Manufactures. In response to recent outbreaks of machine-breaking and riots, he aimed to reveal the sources of Britain's industrial strength to the urban elite and promote institutional change.
Parliament votes funds for National Gallery buildings in Trafalgar Square.


Free land grants end for English settlers in Australia on recommendation of the leading colonisation theorist Edward Wakefield in his Letter from Sydney.
Greek independence recognised by the Treaty of London.

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