George IV became King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover following the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820. George IV’s coronation occurred about a year and half later on 19 July 1821. It was a grand costly affair, estimated to have been about £243,000 (approximately £19,970,000 in 2017). One great expense was the innovative gold and silver frame crown that had been specifically created for the King by Philip Liebart of Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell. It was a tall crown with a dark blue cap and encrusted with 12,314 diamonds that were said to make the King appear to be a “gorgeous bird of the east.” Yet, the crown was not the only costly thing George IV wore: Continue reading
When King George III succeeded to the throne he decided it to take a wife. The wife he chose was 17-year-old Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. That was because he, his mother, and his advisors liked her because she had no experience with politics or party intrigues. In fact, when Princess Charlotte arrived in England, George III instructed her to avoid meddling in such things. Although Princess Charlotte spoke little English, she was happy to comply.
Charlotte arrived on 8 September 1761 and within six hours of her arrival, she and the King were married. Everyone was curious about the new Queen, and the famous art historian, man of letters, antiquarian, and Whig politician, Horace Walpole, wrote a letter to General Thomas Conway to satisfy his curiosity. At the time, Conway was visiting in Ireland and wanted to know everything about her. In the letter to Conway, Walpole provided some interesting tidbits. Here is his letter almost verbatim: Continue reading
Queen Anne ruled until 1714. After her death the Georgian Era began and was named as such because of the rule of four kings — George I, George II, George III, and George IV. The Georgian Era ran from 1714 to 1830, although many people also include the short period that William IV reigned, which ended in 1837. This rule by the four George’s started off rocky. First, protests against a German Hanover king broke out on the day of George I’s coronation, and, secondly, there were numerous Catholic relatives with stronger claims to the throne, although the Act of Settlement of 1701 guaranteed a Protestant succession. This resulted in a Jacobite uprising and a failed attempt to overthrow George I. With George I maintaining the throne, it paved the way for the succession of three other George’s assuming the throne.
Here are twenty interesting tidbits about these four English kings named George: Continue reading
Princess Caroline Elizabeth was the fourth child and third daughter of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach. She was born on 10 June 1713 at Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Germany. She quickly became her parents favorite and in return was ardently attached to them. She was said to possess such veracity, that when a fight broke out among the children, the King and Queen would say, “Send for Caroline, and then we shall know the truth.”
The Princess Caroline Elizabeth was also said to be the most charming of women. People noted that she was amiable and also described as witty, modesty, and talented. But most of all people remarked about her goodness. In fact, it was her goodness that distinguished her from all other women. Dr. John Doran, an English writer who wrote Lives of the Queens of England of the House of Hanover, described her this way: “She was fair, good, accomplished, and unhappy.” Continue reading
Anne, Princess of Orange, was also the eldest daughter of King George II. She was born on 22 October 1709, and practically from the moment she was born displayed an “imperious temper.” As a child she was also forthright and remarkably proud of her position as royalty. In fact, one day she expressed her wish to not have brothers because she wanted to become Queen one day. Her mother taken aback, reproved her, but it didn’t dissuade her from her feelings on the matter and she exclaimed, “I would die to-morrow, to be queen to-day!”
When Princess Anne was still a girl, her grandfather, George I, and her father, King George II, had a disagreement. This caused George I to seize George II’s daughters — the Princesses Anne, Caroline, and Amelia Sophia — and he detained them as national property, which George II inherited when his father died. Under George I the girls were educated in the way he thought fit. Of the three girls, George I liked Anne best, and, supposedly, this relationship caused Princess Anne to behave even more haughtily and imperiously than she had before, and it also created strife between her and her father. Continue reading
Princess Amelia Sophia Eleanor of Hanover and Great Britain was the second daughter of George II and Caroline of Ansbach. She was born in Schloss Herenhausen, Hanover, at the Herrenhausen Palace, on 10 June 1711. She acquired the nickname Emily by her family. As a child she was sickly, but her health improved with age. While still a toddler, she and her family moved to the St James’s Palace in London after Queen Anne’s death in 1714. In 1722, at the age of 11, her mother, who held progressive ideas about health, had her inoculated against smallpox, an idea that many eighteenth century people still opposed. Continue reading