The only legitimate child of George, Prince of Wales, and Queen Caroline, Charlotte grew to be 5’8” tall, with auburn hair piled high, generally thought beautiful and loved by the populace. She was good at languages and music. She had a love affair with Captain Charles Hesse of the 7th Hussars, and wrote indiscreet letters to him which he refused to return until her father found out and applied pressure. George wanted her to marry the short and unattractive Prince William of Orange; she however fell in love with and married, in 1816, the handsome but penniless Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg. In November 1817 she gave birth to a 9lb stillborn son; she died the next day and both are buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Charlotte and Leopold had travelled to visit Leopold’s parents, and she had wished the baby to be born there, where there were better medical facilities. The Regent and Parliament both insisted the child should be born in England. Their ship was caught in a storm and sheltered in the Tay estuary. The story has it that she was taken to a house in Broughty Ferry, where the baby was born and they both died, with the bodies being removed by coach to London prior to any official announcement.

In 1901 Mr Ogilvie, who owned Viewpark (later Burnbank) House, at the corner of Ferry Road and Victoria Road, demolished the 1881 cottage behind his house, found a headstone hidden in the cottage and built it into the boundary wall. An expert says the stone is shaped like a gravestone and is made of South Angus sandstone, probably from Carmyllie or Denfind quarries; he thinks it had stood in a cemetery at one time. It is well carved. Local expert Ken McConnell thinks the last word of the rhyming epitaph contains a clue. Possible confirmation for the story comes from the fact that a Montrose dominie at the time of Charlotte’s death gave his pupils a writing exercise mourning her.

The original stone is now behind the boundary wall. Interbild put up a replica in 1986 when new houses were built on the site.

‘Sacred to the memory of HRH Princess Charlotte Augusta, daughter of HRH the Prince Regent, consort of His Serene Highness Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg and heiress of the British crown, being just delivered of a still-born son. Died 6/11/1817 aged 22 years. Much lamented by all the Nation who hoped to have been blessed in her succession.’

The rhyme concludes:
‘So therefore now our grief must cease,
God will in time supply their place’. (i.e. Not ‘peace’)