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Queen Caroline, music and Handel revisited
Early Music  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-07-13, DOI: 10.1093/em/caab028
Gardner M.

Queen Caroline (1683–1737) was a long-term supporter of Handel and his music. Her connection to the composer began in 1710 when he was appointed Kapellmeister to the Hanoverian court. In London from 1714 Caroline continued to show interest in music and Handel in particular, helping him to further develop his career. She regularly attended the opera, organized private performances at court, and ensured that her children received a good musical education—with Handel employed as a music master to her daughters. Although some royal support of music did continue after Caroline’s death, it is evident from a general decline in these years that she had been the driving force behind royal patronage, rather than her husband George II. Handel’s anthem for the funeral of Queen Caroline, The ways of Zion do mourn (1737), and individual aspects of her support of music and Handel, as well as her general interest in the arts, have received some scholarly attention. Her broader support of music in connection with Handel’s London career has, however, not been addressed in one place. This article therefore revisits Queen Caroline’s interests in music, providing new context surrounding her role in the Hanoverians’ patronage of Handel.