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This is an article about the daughter of Charles I of England. For other people called Princess Elizabeth, see Princess Elizabeth (disambiguation)
Elizabeth of England
Princess Elizabeth, with her brother Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, painted shortly after Henry's birth in 1640.
House House of Stuart
Father Charles I of England
Mother Henrietta Maria of France
Born 28 December 1635
St. James's Palace, London
Died 8 September 1650 (aged 14)
Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
Burial 24 September 1650
St. Thomas's Church, Newport, Isle of Wight

Elizabeth of England and Scotland (1635–1650) was the second daughter of King Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France. Elizabeth was born on 28 December 1635 at St. James's Palace, and was baptized there on 2 January the next year by William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Failed betrothal

In 1636, Maria de' Medici, Elizabeth's maternal grandmother, attempted to have the infant princess betrothed to the son of the Prince of Orange, the future William II of Orange. Despite the fact that Charles I thought the marriage of a Princess of England to a Prince of Orange beneath her rank, the king's financial and political troubles forced him to send Elizabeth's sister, Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, to marry him instead.

Civil war

On the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, Princess Elizabeth, along with her brother the Duke of Gloucester, were placed under the care of Parliament. Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, acted as their guardian. When Parliament removed Elizabeth's household, she wrote a letter of appeal against the decision; The Lords were sympathetic and condemned the Commons for presuming to intervene with the Royal Household, and the decision was overturned. However, the Commons demanded that the royal children be brought up strict Protestants; they were also forbidden to join the Court at Oxford, and were held virtual prisoners at St. James's Palace. The young Duke of Gloucester was even, at one point, considered as a possible replacement king, who would have been groomed as a strictly constitutional monarch.

In 1643, Elizabeth broke her leg, and soon moved to Chelsea with her brother, the Duke of Gloucester. She was tutored by the great female scholar Bathsua Makin until 1644, by which time she could read and write in Hebrew, Greek, Italian, Latin and French. Other prominent scholars dedicated works to her, and were amazed by her flair for religious reading.

After guardianship of the king's younger children was given to the Earl of Northumberland in 1642, their brother, Prince James, Duke of York, the future James II, came to visit, but was supposedly advised to escape by Elizabeth, who was concerned about him being around the king's enemies for any length of time. Finally, in 1647, Elizabeth, the Duke of York and the Duke of Gloucester were permitted to travel to Maidenhead to meet the King, and spent two days with him. A relationship was established, and after the King was forcibly moved to Hampton Court Palace, he visited his children under the care of the Northumberlands at Syon House. This quickly came to an end when the king fled to Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight; Elizabeth supposedly helped the Duke of York escape once again, dressed as a woman.

Scottish and English Royalty
House of Stuart
England Arms 1603.svg
Charles I
   Charles II
   James II & VII
   Henry, Duke of Gloucester
   Mary, Princess Royal
   Henriette Anne, Duchess of Orléans

When the king was captured for the final time and sentenced to death by Oliver Cromwell and the other judges in 1649, Elizabeth wrote a long letter to parliament requesting permission to join her sister Princess Mary in Holland. However, this request was refused until after the execution had taken place. On the night before the execution, a highly emotional final meeting occurred between Elizabeth, the Duke of Gloucester and her father. After the execution, however, the royal children became unwanted charges. Joceline, Lord Lisle, the Earl of Northumberland's son, put a case to parliament for the removal of Elizabeth and her brother from the Northumberland's care. Parliament, however, refused to allow them to go to Holland, and instead placed them in the care of Sir Edward Harrington; however, Harrington's son successfully pleaded that they be looked after elsewhere.


The next residence for Elizabeth and her brother was Penshurst Place, under the care of Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester and his wife Dorothy. Parliamentary instruction was that the children should not be indulged; however, the Countess of Leicester treated Elizabeth with great kindness, and was the recipient of a jewel from the Princess's own collection. The valuable jewel was later the centre of conflict between the Countess and Parliamentary commissioners appointed to oversee the late king's personal estate.

In 1650, Elizabeth's brother, the now de facto Charles II journeyed to Scotland to be crowned king of that country. Elizabeth was moved to the Isle of Wight as a hostage, and placed in the care of Anthony Mildmay with a pension of £3000 a year. This move from Penshurst was probably the cause of her death. The Princess complained that her health was not equal to moving, but it went ahead anyway; she caught a cold, which quickly developed into pneumonia, and died on 8 September 1650. She was buried at St. Thomas's Church, Newport, on the Isle of Wight.

Following her death, her grave was largely unmarked until the 19th century, with the exception of her carved initials: E[lizabeth] S[tuart]. Queen Victoria, who made her favourite home at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, commanded that a suitable monument be erected to her memory.


Princess Elizabeth Stuart's ancestors in three generations
Princess Elizabeth Stuart of England Father:
Charles I of England
Paternal Grandfather:
James I of England
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Mary I of Scotland
Paternal Grandmother:
Anne of Denmark
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Frederick II of Denmark
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Sofie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Henrietta Maria of France
Maternal Grandfather:
Henry IV of France
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Jeanne III of Navarre
Maternal Grandmother:
Marie de' Medici
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Francesco I de' Medici
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Johanna of Austria



Simple English

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