Philobiblon: A "pumpkin head" - gossip about Queen Caroline

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A "pumpkin head" - gossip about Queen Caroline

My 19th-century blogger, Miss Frances Williams Wynn, is today indulging in what can only be described as pure gossip - albeit it delicious gossip, about Queen Caroline of Brunswick, who was, you might say, a character. A sample:

When the Princess was at Baden and the Grand Duke made a partie de chasse for her, she appeared on horseback with a half-pumpkin on her head. Upon the Grand Duke's expressing astonishment, and recommending a coiffure rather less extraordinary, she only replied that the weather was hot, and nothing kept the head so cool and comfortable as a pumpkin.


Anonymous 17th century said...

I hate to think what that did to her hair.

2/17/2006 03:04:00 am  
Anonymous klipspringer said...

I am not so sure that her actions should be "attributed to insanity" as Ms. Wynn seems to suggest. Her behavior when she was not allowed to go to the ball was not much worse than that of contemporary teenagers (and rather more funny at that). And how do we know that wearing half a pumpkin on the head is not a great way of keeping cool? We should try it. "Bawdy behavior" - well ladies how would you behave if you were married to the Prince of Wales?

I love Caroline!

2/17/2006 09:04:00 am  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

As I was posting this I was in two minds. You can look at the behaviour recounted here as spritied rebellion - and good on her, but there is a bit of "spoilt princess incapable of dealing with not always getting her own way". From what I've read she was a bit of both.

As for the hair - maybe it would be good for it - lots of vitamins maybe?

2/17/2006 09:14:00 am  
Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

Wasn't there a rhyme

"Queen, Queen Caroline
Washed her hair in turpentine"?

2/17/2006 08:56:00 pm  

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