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Amalie Von Wallmoden: George 2nd's Principal Mistress for 25 Years

Writing about fascinating figures from history never loses its charm.

George II's long term mistress Amalie von Wallmoden circa 1745.

George II's long term mistress Amalie von Wallmoden circa 1745.

Amalie, Future Royal Mistress

Between 1735 and 1760 Hanoverian Amalie von Wallmoden was the chief mistress of King George II, the second British monarch from the House of Hanover.

Amalie holds the distinction of being the last royal mistress to receive a title in the peerage. She became a naturalised British citizen in 1740 and the king bestowed the titles of the Countess of Yarmouth and Baroness of Yarmouth in Norfolk upon her that same year.

Unlike many royal mistresses before and since Amalie was remarkable for her discretion and she influenced the cantankerous king into cooperating with his long suffering ministers.

Amalie von Wallmoden's great aunt Clara Elisabeth von Platen-Hallermund was the mistress of George II's grandfather Duke Ernst of Hanover.

Amalie von Wallmoden's great aunt Clara Elisabeth von Platen-Hallermund was the mistress of George II's grandfather Duke Ernst of Hanover.

The von Wendt and von Meysenbug Royal Connections

Amalie Sophie Marianne von Wendt was born in Hanover on 1st April 1704. She was the daughter of General Johann and Frederike von Wendt. She would be remembered for her role as a Georgian royal mistress as Amalie von Wallmoden. Her grandmother Catherina von Meysenbug was the first mistress of the future King George I of Britain.

Her great aunt Clara Elisabeth von Platen-Hallermund (nee von Meysenbug) was the long term mistress of George's father Duke Ernst August, Elector of Hanover between 1692 and 1698. Clara and Ernst's daughter Sophia von Kielmannsegg, Countess of Darlington was George I's half sister and Amalie's aunt. Most British people thought that Sophia was George's mistress.

In 1727, the year that George I (1660-1727) died and George II (1683-1760) succeeded him in Britain and Ireland, Amalie was married to the Oberhauptmann (Commander) of Calenberg Adam Gottlieb, Graf (Count) von Wallmoden. (1704-1752). This marriage produced two children Franz Ernst and Frederike born in 1727 and 1728 respectively.

1735: King George II Meets Amalie von Wallmoden

Although George II visited Hanover in 1729 and 1732 it was not until his 1735 summer holiday that George and Amalie were introduced. "Blonde, sprightly, amiable...Frau von Wallmoden attracted in 1735 the attention of George II during his summer sojourn in the electorate. She received from him without hauteur gallantries which he frankly communicated to the queen, by whom they were as frankly encouraged. and they hastily embarked on an affair." James McMullan-Rigg (1855-1926), Dictionary of National Biography.

Yes, you read that correctly. George told his wife Caroline all about Amalie and yes, she encouraged him to have an affair.

Count von Wallmoden was paid 1000 ducats to turn the proverbial blind eye to his wife’s affair and when she bore George a son on 22nd April 1736 named Johann Ludwig he was registered as the son of the count and not the king. George never officially acknowledged Johann as his issue.

The Wallmoden family coat of arms.

The Wallmoden family coat of arms.

Queen Caroline Stands In For the Absent King George

George returned to Hanover in 1736 so that he could spend time with Amalie. Queen Caroline obligingly took up the reins of power and worked with Prime Minister Robert Walpole as George and Amalie enjoyed themselves.

Rumours persisted that it was Walpole and Caroline who truly ran the country even when George was in England and that they were perhaps lovers. (Historians have only proved that they were close friends).
The public was disgruntled that George was so often away in his beloved Hanover. Samuel Johnson composed an epic poem “London” that contained references to George and his approach to life.

Walpole suggested to Caroline that it would be best for all concerned if Amalie relocated to London to ensure that the king was ever present in the capital. Caroline did promote the idea it but George preferred to commute between London and Hanover.

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George II's wife Caroline of Ansbach died in 1737.

George II's wife Caroline of Ansbach died in 1737.

Amalie von Wallmoden Becomes British

It was only in 1737 after Caroline died that George was persuaded to bring Amalie and his infant son to London. Amalie and Johann were given rooms at St. James’s Palace, George's main residence, and at Kensington Palace.

In 1738 Count von Wallmoden and Amalie were quietly and conveniently divorced. George awarded him a pension of a reputed £4000 per annum for the rest of his life. He died in 1752.

In 1740 Amalie was given the titles of Countess of Yarmouth and Baroness Yarmouth of Norfolk after she legally became a naturalised British citizen. No royal mistress since Amalie has been awarded a title of any rank in the peerage. Wallis Simpson and Camilla, now the Queen Consort married into the royal family and then received their duchess titles.

25th October 1760: King George II Dies

Amalie’s allure did not diminish, she remained George’s primary mistress until his death in 1760. Her discretion and diplomacy were assets to British stability and the king's mood. Amalie was criticised for securing titles from George for her friends but this seems to have been her only misstep.

George did not marry Amalie. He had promised Caroline on her deathbed that he would never remarry and instead he would have mistresses.

King George II died on the morning of October 25th 1760: "He had risen at the usual hour, drank his chocolate and inquired about the wind, as anxious for the arrival of the foreign mails...while he remained alone in his chamber, he fell down upon the floor; the noise of his fall brought his attendants into the room, who lifted him on the bed, where he desired, in a faint voice, that the princess Amelia might be called; but before she could reach the apartments he had expired." Tobias Smollett (1721-1771), The History of England: Volume II.

He was succeeded by his grandson George III. Amalie was treated well by the new king. He allowed her to retain her rooms at St. James's Palace. George II's will bestowed a pension of £10000 per annum on her for the rest of her life.

Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden was thought to be the son of the Graf von Wallmoden. He was George II's son.

Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden was thought to be the son of the Graf von Wallmoden. He was George II's son.

Johann Ludwig, Reichsgraf von Wallmoden-Gimborn

Without George in her life Amalie wished to return to Hanover where she remained until her death. She fell prey to breast cancer on 19th October 1765. She was sixty one years old.

Her titles went into abeyance. Johann, Amalie’s son with George II was regarded as a von Wallmoden and the late king did not recognise him in life or in his will so Johann was ineligible to inherit the Yarmouth titles.

He forged a career in the military and in 1783 he was made the Imperial Count of Wallmoden-Gimborn by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, Marie Antoinette of France’s brother. Johann married Charlotte von Wangenheim in 1766, she passed away in 1783 and five years later he married Baroness Luise von Lichtenstein. Charlotte bore him five children and Luise had three more.

The Yarmouth title now belongs to the Marquess of Hertford's son and heir William Francis Seymour.

Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Joanne Hayle

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