Queen’s Ride, SW13

Place Name

Named after an original shortcut over Barnes Common that was ordered by Queen Caroline sometime around 1732 so that she could travel from London to Richmond Lodge (now part of Kew Gardens) which were her  “special domain” and “spiritual oasis”, by-passing Putney. Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach (March 1, 1683 – November 20, 1737) was the attractive and intelligent wife of King George II. After being orphaned, she was brought up in the Prussian court where she received a liberal education. It wasn’t only her education that set her aide. Her beauty ensured she had many suitors. Among them was George Augustus, the third-in-line to the British throne and heir apparent to the Electorate of Hanover. His father, George I, did not want his son to follow him into a loveless marriage, so arranged for the two to meet beforehand. It was a perfect match. Caroline’s intelligence made her an ideal candidate to rule the United Kingdom during her husband’s many absences – and indeed it is said that with the PM Sir Robert Walpole as a political ally, she strengthened and secured the Hanoverians grip on the throne. At Kew – as well as other grounds – she enjoyed the pleasures of gardening. When she died, she was widely mourned.

 

 

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