Caroline Matilda was the youngest child of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. Her father died suddenly about three months before her birth. She was born at Leicester House in London, England, and was given the title Princess Caroline Matilda of Wales as daughter of the Prince of Wales -- though, by the time of her birth, the title of Prince of Wales had passed to her brother.
At the age of fifteen, Caroline Matilda was married to her cousin, King Christian VII of Denmark and Norway, and left her family behind in Britain to travel to Denmark. Her brother was anxious about her marriage, even though he was unaware of the full facts about the bridegroom, who was mentally ill. In 1768, she became mother of the Crown Prince, later to become King Frederick VI of Denmark and Norway. Another child, Princess Louise Augusta, was born in 1771.
Due mainly to King Christian's illness, Caroline Matilda was neglected in her marriage, which caused her to enter in a love affair with the royal physician and minister Johann Friedrich Struensee; he was almost certainly the father of Princess Louise Augusta. When Struensee's attempts to undermine the king failed and he was executed in 1772, Caroline Matilda was divorced and deported to neighbouring Celle in Germany. She did not give up hope of returning to Denmark and seeing her ex-husband deposed, but her indiscreet behaviour dismayed her brother, and he was reluctant to have her back in England, even if she had been willing to return. She died suddenly from throat cancer, at Celle, in 1775.