Augusta was the daughter of Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, and arrived in Britain, aged only seventeen and speaking virtually no English, for a wedding ceremony which took place almost immediately, on May 8, 1736, at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, London. Despite a twelve-year age difference, the marriage seems to have been a happy one. They had nine children, the last born after Frederick's death. The birth of their first daughter, Augusta, on August 31, 1737, took place at St James's after Augusta was forced by Frederick to travel from Hampton Court Palace while in labour, simply to prevent his hated mother, Caroline of Ansbach, and father, King George II, from being present at the birth.
Throughout their marriage, Augusta went along with her husband's wishes in the feud with his parents. Following his death, her role as mother of the heir to the throne became a more important one, and she was named prospective regent, which caused a political controversy. Shortly afterwards, she began to be influenced by John Stuart, Earl of Bute, her son's tutor, and rumours spread that they were having an affair. Both were pilloried in the press. Even after George III's accession, Augusta suffered widespread hostility from the public. When she died, of cancer, at the age of fifty-two, her funeral procession attracted troublemakers who followed the coffin to the grave shouting insults.
Her nine children were: