As a follow-up to yesterday's post on the romance of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, here is an article on Claremont Park, their home in Surrey. After Charlotte's death, Leopold continued to live at Claremont until he became Belgium's first king. He retained control of the estate, however, for the rest of his life. After the 1848 Revolution in France, Leopold placed Claremont at the disposition of his exiled parents-in-law, the former King and Queen of the French, Louis-Philippe and Marie-Amélie.
In his Vie de Louise d'Orléans, Reine des Belges (1851), Paul Roger tells a touching anecdote of the filial piety and selflessness of Leopold's second wife, Louise-Marie, the daughter of Louis-Philippe and Marie-Amélie. A mysterious malady was ravaging the Orléans colony at Claremont, already an ill-omened place, due to Princess Charlotte's tragic death in childbed at this once happy scene of conjugal bliss. Louise-Marie, herself in delicate health, insisted on visiting and taking care of her ailing relatives, refusing to leave their bedside, despite the dangers of exhaustion and infection. A friend tried to persuade the Belgian queen to be more careful to avoid over-exerting herself, but she answered bravely: "We live in hard times...we must be able to suffer and think only of those dear to us!"