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Queen Caroline

Origin and History

Queen Caroline is a mid-season cooking apple, raised and distributed by Mr T Brown, nurseryman of Ashby-de-la-Zouche, Leicestershire in about 1820. He had land in nearby Measham where he grew his stock. Brown named it after Caroline of Brunswick, wife of George IV At the National Apple Congress of 1883 Mr Pownall of Linton Hall Gardens, Nottinghamshire, said the variety was known in the Birmingham area as Brown's Queen Caroline because 'it came into bearing when Queen Caroline's cause was in the law courts.' The cause referred to was the rigged trial of the Queen for alleged adultery, during which she commanded huge support from the British public. 


Queen Caroline apple

Queen Caroline is medium to large in size. The skin is smooth and yellow with russet flecks and rays from the stalk end. The flesh is firm, tender, white in colour and slightly sharp to the taste. 

Caroline of Brunswick
Caroline of Brunswick by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1804, NPG

Picking, Storing and Using

The fruit is usually best picked in mid-September and can be stored through to December. It cooks to a creamy, well-flavoured purée. 

Growth, Flowering and


The tree is upright and spreading, of moderate vigour and with attractive pink blossom. It needs a pollinator such as Allington Pippin, Ellison's Orange or Gascoyne's Scarlet.

In November 1820 William Ashby, grandfather of Thomas Laxton's first wife, Annie Ashby, banded together fellow Stamfordian 'Friends of the Queen' and organised a petition in her Royal Highness's support. This gained 1,200 voters' signatures, a number allegedly 'six times greater' than had ever previously emerged from the borough. The following month Ashby was killed in a riding accident.

Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018 

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