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
View of King William Street, 1903

History SA, South Australian Government Photographic Collection, GN03180

Queen Adelaide Collection

Image: brown jug with images of flowers and a woman
Coronation jug, History SA collection
Courtesy of/Photographer:Rachel Harris

Migration Museum Collection, HT86.890. Photograph by Rachel Harris

Image: silver cup with image of a woman on side
Coronation cup, History SA collection
Courtesy of/Photographer:Rachel Harris

History SA collection, HT 86.889. Photograph by Rachel Harris

Image: Hellenic vase shaped bronze urn on square base
Funeral urn, History SA collection
Courtesy of/Photographer:Mark Eckermann

History SA collection, HT 2013.111. Photograph by Mark Eckermann

Queen Adelaide Portraits

Image: portrait of woman
Photo of Queen Adelaide, 1830

Image Courtesy of City of AdelaideArchives, HP0838, Adelaide Picture Collection

Image: portrait of woman wearing crown
Picture of Queen Adelaide crowned

Courtesy of the City of AdelaideArchives HP1046, Adelaide Picture Collection

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