The City of Adelaide was named after Adelaide, Queen Consort of King William IV of the United Kingdom. She married William in July 1818 when she was 25 and he was 52 – part of a strategy to secure the British succession. William had lived with a well-known actress for many years and had fathered ten illegitimate children, but under British law they were barred from the accession. Adelaide subsequently gave birth to four children, none of whom survived infancy. William acceded to the throne on the death of his elder brother George IV in 1830, and Adelaide took the title of Queen Consort, but it was a short reign. He died in 1837 leaving the throne to his niece Princess Victoria of Kent.  Accounts of Queen Adelaide’s life are sparse, but she is remembered for her piety, charity, and perhaps political conservatism. 

By Margaret Anderson, History Trust of South Australia

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City of Adelaide

Image: black and white photograph of city street, with tram, horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians

Queen Adelaide Collection

Image: brown jug with images of flowers and a woman
Image: silver cup with image of a woman on side
Image: Hellenic vase shaped bronze urn on square base

Queen Adelaide Portraits

Image: portrait of woman
Image: portrait of woman wearing crown
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