Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was born in Germany. At the age of twenty-five she was married to the fifty-two year old William, Duke of Clarence. The duke was the third son of King George III and next in line to the British throne after his brother, George IV, who had no heir. The duke had fathered ten illegitimate children by an Irish actress, and his marriage to Princess Adelaide was intended to produce legitimate offspring. Though their marriage was happy, the couple’s two daughters died in infancy. After her husband’s accession to the throne as King William IV in 1830, Queen Adelaide’s supposed interference in politics made her unpopular with the British public. However, after her husband’s death, Adelaide’s reputation was restored by her generous donations to charity.