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George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was
King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A political union is a type of state which is composed of or created out of smaller states. The process of creating such a state out of small ...
and
King of Hanover The King of Hanover (German language, German: ''König von Hannover'') was the official title of the head of state and Hereditary monarchy, hereditary ruler of the Kingdom of Hanover, beginning with the proclamation of the List of British monarch ...
from the death of his father, King
George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on th ...

George III
, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later. He had already been serving as Prince Regent since 5 February 1811, during his father's final mental illness. George IV was the eldest child of King George III and
Queen Charlotte Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Sophia Charlotte; 19 May 1744 – 17 November 1818) was Queen of Great Britain Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch, equivalent in ...

Queen Charlotte
. He led an extravagant lifestyle that contributed to the fashions of the
Regency era The Regency era in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state that existed between 1801 and 1922. It was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the Ki ...
. He was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste. He commissioned
John NashJohn Nash may refer to: Arts and entertainment *John Nash (architect) (1752–1835), Anglo-Welsh architect *John Nash Round, English architect active in the mid-19th-century Kent *"Jolly" John Nash (1828–1901), English music hall entertainer *Joh ...
to build the
Royal Pavilion The Royal Pavilion, also known as the Brighton Pavilion, is a Grade I listed former royal residence located in Brighton Brighton () is a constituent part of the city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin D ...

Royal Pavilion
in
Brighton Brighton () is a constituent part of the city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ...

Brighton
and remodel
Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace () is the London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The , its ancient core and financial ce ...

Buckingham Palace
, and commissioned
Jeffry Wyatville Sir Jeffry Wyatville (3 August 1766 – 18 February 1840) was an English architect and garden designerA garden designer is someone who designs the plan and features of gardens, either as an amateur or professional. The compositional elements ...
to rebuild
Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is a at in the English county of . It is strongly associated with the and succeeding , and embodies almost a millennium of . The original castle was built in the 11th century after the by . Since the time of (who re ...

Windsor Castle
. George's charm and culture earned him the title "the first gentleman of England", but his dissolute way of life and poor relationships with his parents and his wife,
Caroline of Brunswick Caroline of Brunswick (Caroline Amelia Elizabeth; ; 17 May 1768 – 7 August 1821) was Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy ...

Caroline of Brunswick
, earned him the contempt of the people and dimmed the prestige of the monarchy. He excluded Caroline from
his coronation
his coronation
and asked the government to introduce the unpopular
Pains and Penalties Bill The Pains and Penalties Bill 1820 was a bill introduced to the British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Cro ...
in an unsuccessful attempt to divorce her. Despite presiding over the British Empire's emergence as a global hegemon, his rule was tarnished by scandal and financial extravagance. His ministers found his behaviour selfish, unreliable and irresponsible, and he was strongly influenced by favourites. Taxpayers were angry at his wasteful spending during the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
. During most of George's regency and reign,
Lord Liverpool Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, (7 June 1770 – 4 December 1828) was a British Tory The Tories were a political faction Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in gro ...

Lord Liverpool
controlled the government as
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a ...
. Liverpool's government presided over Britain's ultimate victory over Napoleon and negotiated a peace settlement with the French. After Liverpool's retirement, George IV was forced to accept
Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the Brit ...
despite opposing it. His only legitimate child,
Princess Charlotte
Princess Charlotte
, predeceased him in 1817, so he was succeeded by his younger brother,
King William IV William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of Englan ...

King William IV
.


Early life

George was born at
St James's Palace St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom. It gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Although no longer the principal resi ...
, London, on 12 August 1762, the first child of the British king
George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on th ...

George III
and
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Sophia Charlotte; 19 May 1744 – 17 November 1818) was List of British royal consorts, Queen of Great Britain and List of Irish royal consorts, Ireland as the wife of King George III from their marriage on 8 ...

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
. As the eldest son of a British sovereign, he automatically became
Duke of Cornwall Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union 1707, Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Peerage of ...
and
Duke of Rothesay Duke of Rothesay (; gd, Diùc Baile Bhòid, sco, Duik o Rothesay) is a Substantive title, dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the current Duchess ...
at birth; he was created
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line o ...

Prince of Wales
and
Earl of Chester The Earldom of Chester (Welsh: ''Iarllaeth Caer'') was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England, extending principally over the counties of Cheshire and Flintshire. Since 1301 the title has generally been granted to heirs apparent to ...
a few days later. On 18 September of the same year, he was baptised by
Thomas Secker Thomas Secker (21 September 16933 August 1768) was the Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the ...
,
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
. His godparents were his uncle
Adolphus Frederick IV, Duke of Mecklenburg-StrelitzImage:HerzogAdolfFriedrichIV.jpg, Adolf Friedrich IV, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in the robes of the Order of the Seraphim with its collar around his shoulders. Adolphus Frederick IV (5 May 1738 – 2 June 1794) was a Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. ...
(for whom the
Lord Chamberlain The Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Household is the most senior officer of the Royal Households of the United Kingdom, Royal Household of the United Kingdom, supervising the departments which support and provide advice to the Monarc ...
,
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire William is a popular given name of an old Germanic languages, Germanic origin.Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges, ''Oxford Dictionary of First Names'', Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, , p. 276. It became very popular in the English language after ...
, stood proxy); his paternal great-uncle
Prince William, Duke of Cumberland Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, (15 April 1721 Old_Style_and_New_Style_dates">N.S..html" ;"title="Old_Style_and_New_Style_dates.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Old Style and New Style dates">N.S.">Old_Style_and_New_Style_dates.html" ;"title= ...
; and his grandmother, the Dowager Princess of Wales. George was a talented student, and quickly learned to speak French, German and Italian, in addition to his native English. At the age of 18 the Prince of Wales was given a separate establishment, and in dramatic contrast to his prosaic, scandal-free father, threw himself with zest into a life of dissipation and wild extravagance involving heavy drinking and numerous mistresses and escapades. He was a witty conversationalist, drunk or sober, and showed good, but grossly expensive, taste in decorating his palace. The Prince of Wales turned 21 in 1783, and obtained a grant of £60,000 (equivalent to £ today) from Parliament and an annual income of £50,000 (equivalent to £ today) from his father. It was far too little for his wants – his stables alone cost £31,000 a year. He then established his residence in
Carlton House Carlton House was a mansion in London, best known as the town residence of the George I of the United Kingdom, King. It faced the south side of Pall Mall, London, Pall Mall, and its gardens abutted St. James's Park in the St James's district of ...

Carlton House
, where he lived a profligate life. Animosity developed between the prince and his father, who desired more frugal behaviour on the part of the
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
. The King, a political conservative, was also alienated by the prince's adherence to
Charles James Fox Charles James Fox (24 January 1749 – 13 September 1806), styled ''The Honourable'' from 1762, was a prominent British British Whig Party, Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned 38 years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. H ...
and other radically inclined politicians. Soon after he reached the age of 21, the prince became infatuated with
Maria Fitzherbert Maria Anne Fitzherbert (''née'' Smythe, previously Weld; 26 July 1756 – 27 March 1837) was a longtime companion of George IV of the United Kingdom George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was King of the U ...
. She was a commoner (though granddaughter of a baronet), six years his elder, twice widowed, and a Roman Catholic. Nevertheless, the prince was determined to marry her. This was in spite of the
Act of Settlement 1701 The Act of Settlement is an Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the order of succession, succession to the List of English monarchs, English and List of Irish monarchs, Irish crowns on Protestants only. This had ...
, which barred the spouse of a Catholic from succeeding to the throne, and the
Royal Marriages Act 1772 The Royal Marriages Act 1772 was an act of the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Law ...
, which prohibited his marriage without the King's consent. Nevertheless, the couple went through a marriage ceremony on 15 December 1785 at her house in Park Street,
Mayfair Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park, London, Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Park Lane. It is one of the most expensive distric ...

Mayfair
. Legally the union was void, as the King's consent was not granted (and never even requested). However, Fitzherbert believed that she was the prince's
canonical Canonical may refer to: Science and technology * Canonical form In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geo ...
and true wife, holding the law of the Church to be superior to the law of the State. For political reasons, the union remained secret and Fitzherbert promised not to reveal it. The prince was plunged into debt by his exorbitant lifestyle. His father refused to assist him, forcing him to quit Carlton House and live at Fitzherbert's residence. In 1787, the prince's political allies proposed to relieve his debts with a parliamentary grant. The prince's relationship with Fitzherbert was suspected, and revelation of the
illegal marriage Illegal, or unlawful, typically describes something that is explicitly prohibited by law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. ...
would have scandalised the nation and doomed any parliamentary proposal to aid him. Acting on the prince's authority, the
Whig Whig or Whigs may refer to: Parties and factions In the British Isles * A pejorative nickname for the Kirk Party The Kirk Party were a radical Presbyterian faction of the Scotland, Scottish Covenanters during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. ...
leader Charles James Fox declared that the story was a calumny. Fitzherbert was not pleased with the public denial of the marriage in such vehement terms and contemplated severing her ties to the prince. He appeased her by asking another Whig,
Richard Brinsley Sheridan Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan (30 October 17517 July 1816) was an Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** No ...

Richard Brinsley Sheridan
, to restate Fox's forceful declaration in more careful words. Parliament, meanwhile, granted the prince £161,000 (equivalent to £ today) to pay his debts and £60,000 (equivalent to £ today) for improvements to Carlton House.


Regency crisis of 1788

In the summer of 1788 the King's mental health deteriorated, possibly as the result of the hereditary disease
porphyria Porphyria is a group of liver disorders in which substances called porphyrins build up in the body, negatively affecting the skin or nervous system. The types that affect the nervous system are also known as Porphyria#Acute porphyrias, acute po ...

porphyria
. He was nonetheless able to discharge some of his duties and to declare Parliament prorogued from 25 September to 20 November. During the prorogation he became deranged, posing a threat to his own life, and when Parliament reconvened in November, the King could not deliver the customary
speech from the throne Speech is human vocal communication using language. Each language uses Phonetics, phonetic combinations of vowel and consonant sounds that form the sound of its words (that is, all English words sound different from all French words, even if the ...
during the
State Opening of Parliament#REDIRECT State Opening of Parliament The State Opening of Parliament is an event which formally marks the beginning of a session of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty ...
. Parliament found itself in an untenable position: according to long-established law it could not proceed to any business until the delivery of the King's Speech at a State Opening.David, pp. 92–119. Although arguably barred from doing so, Parliament began debating a regency. In the House of Commons, Charles James Fox declared his opinion that the Prince of Wales was automatically entitled to exercise sovereignty during the King's incapacity. A contrasting opinion was held by the prime minister,
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the st ...

William Pitt the Younger
, who argued that, in the absence of a statute to the contrary, the right to choose a regent belonged to Parliament alone. He even stated that, without parliamentary authority "the Prince of Wales had no more right ... to assume the government, than any other individual subject of the country." Though disagreeing on the principle underlying a regency, Pitt agreed with Fox that the Prince of Wales would be the most convenient choice for a regent. The Prince of Wales—though offended by Pitt's boldness—did not lend his full support to Fox's approach. The Prince of Wales's brother,
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (Frederick Augustus; 16 August 1763 – 5 January 1827) was the second son of George III, King of the United Kingdom and King of Hanover, Hanover, and his consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. A so ...

Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
, declared that George would not attempt to exercise any power without previously obtaining the consent of Parliament. Following the passage of preliminary resolutions Pitt outlined a formal plan for the regency, suggesting that the powers of the Prince of Wales be greatly limited. Among other things, the Prince of Wales would not be able either to sell the King's property or to grant a
peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societi ...
to anyone other than a child of the King. The Prince of Wales denounced Pitt's scheme, declaring it a "project for producing weakness, disorder, and insecurity in every branch of the administration of affairs." In the interests of the nation, both factions agreed to compromise. A significant technical impediment to any Regency Bill involved the lack of a speech from the throne, which was necessary before Parliament could proceed to any debates or votes. The speech was normally delivered by the King, but could also be delivered by royal representatives known as
Lords Commissioners The Lords Commissioners are Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Privy Counsellors appointed by the Monarch of the United Kingdom to exercise, on his or her behalf, certain functions relating to Parliament of the United Kingdom, Parliament whic ...
; but no document could empower the Lords Commissioners to act unless the
Great Seal of the Realm The Great Seal of the Realm or Great Seal of the United Kingdom (known prior to the Treaty of Union of 1707 as the Great Seal of England; and from then until the Union of 1801 as the Great Seal of Great Britain) is a seal Seal may refer to ...
was affixed to it. The seal could not be legally affixed without the prior authorisation of the sovereign. Pitt and his fellow ministers ignored the last requirement and instructed the
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inheri ...
to affix the Great Seal without the King's consent, as the act of affixing the Great Seal in itself gave legal force to the bill. This
legal fiction A legal fiction is a fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth i ...
was denounced by
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Anglo-Irish_Politician.html" "title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title ...
as "forgery, fraud", a "glaring falsehood", and as a "palpable absurdity". The Duke of York and Albany described the plan as "unconstitutional and illegal." Nevertheless, others in Parliament felt that such a scheme was necessary to preserve an effective government. Consequently, on 3 February 1789, more than two months after it had convened, Parliament was formally opened by an "illegal" group of Lords Commissioners. The Regency Bill was introduced, but before it could be passed the King recovered. The King declared retroactively that the instrument authorising the Lords Commissioners to act was valid.


Marriage and mistresses

The Prince of Wales's debts continued to climb, and his father refused to aid him unless he married his cousin Princess
Caroline of Brunswick Caroline of Brunswick (Caroline Amelia Elizabeth; ; 17 May 1768 – 7 August 1821) was Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy ...

Caroline of Brunswick
. In 1795, the prince acquiesced; and they were married on 8 April 1795 at the
Chapel Royal The Chapel Royal is an establishment in the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of the sovereign of the British royal family The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or f ...
,
St James's Palace St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom. It gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Although no longer the principal resi ...
. The marriage, however, was disastrous; each party was unsuited to the other. The two were formally separated after the birth of their only child, , in 1796, and remained separated thereafter. The Prince remained attached to Maria Fitzherbert for the rest of his life, despite several periods of estrangement.David, pp. 150–205. George's mistresses included
Mary Robinson Mary Therese Winifred Robinson ( ga, Máire Mhic Róibín; ; born 21 May 1944) is an Irish independent politician An independent or non-partisan politician is a politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons ...
, an actress whom he paid to leave the stage; , the divorced wife of a physician; and
Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey Frances is a French and English given name of Latin origin. In Latin the meaning of the name Frances is: From France or 'free one.' The male version of the name in English is Francis (given name), Francis. People * Frances (musician) (born 1993 ...
, who dominated his life for some years. In later life, George's mistresses were the Marchioness of Hertford and the Marchioness Conyngham. George was rumoured to have fathered several illegitimate children. James Ord (born 1786)—who moved to the United States and became a Jesuit priest—was reportedly his son by Fitzherbert. Late in life, George told a friend that he had a son who was a naval officer in the West Indies, whose identity has been tentatively established as Captain Henry A. F. Hervey (1786–1824), reportedly George's child by the songwriter Lady Anne Lindsay (later Barnard), a daughter of
James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres (14 November 1691 – 20 February 1768) was a Scottish peer, the son of Colin Lindsay, 3rd Earl of Balcarres and Lady Margaret Campbell, daughter of the Earl of Loudoun. He became the 5th Earl of Balcarres on 2 ...
. Other reported children include Major George Seymour Crole, the son of theatre manager's daughter Eliza Crole; William Hampshire, the son of
publican In antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, ...
's daughter Sarah Brown; and Charles "Beau" Candy, the son of a Frenchwoman with that surname. Anthony Camp, Director of Research at the
Society of Genealogists The Society of Genealogists (SoG) is a UK-based educational charity, founded in 1911Fowler, S School of Advanced Study, University of London. Date unknown. Retrieved 2011-10-30. to "promote, encourage and foster the study, science and knowledge ...

Society of Genealogists
, has dismissed the claims that George IV was the father of Ord, Hervey, Hampshire and Candy, as fictitious. The problem of the Prince of Wales's debts, which amounted to the extraordinary sum of £630,000 in 1795 (equivalent to £ today), was solved (at least temporarily) by Parliament. Being unwilling to make an outright grant to relieve these debts, it provided him an additional sum of £65,000 (equivalent to £ today) per annum. In 1803, a further £60,000 (equivalent to £ today) was added, and George's debts as at 1795 were finally cleared in 1806, although the debts he had incurred since 1795 remained. In 1804, a dispute arose over the custody of Princess Charlotte, which led to her being placed in the care of the King. It also led to a Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry into Princess Caroline's conduct after the Prince of Wales accused her of having an illegitimate son. The investigation cleared Caroline of the charge but still revealed her behaviour to have been extraordinarily indiscreet.


Regency

In late 1810, the King's mental health once again broke down, following the death of his youngest daughter, . Parliament agreed to follow the precedent of 1788; without the King's consent, the Lord Chancellor affixed the Great Seal of the Realm to
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) ( always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act acco ...
naming Lords Commissioners. The letters patent lacked the
Royal Sign Manual Royal may refer to: People * Royal (name)Royal can be a surname or a given name. Bearers include: Surname * Billy Joe Royal (1942–2015), American country music and pop singer * Calvin Royal III, American ballet dancer * Darrell Royal (1924 ...
, but were sealed by request of resolutions passed by both Houses of Parliament. The Lords Commissioners appointed by the letters patent, in the name of the King, then signified the granting of Royal Assent to a bill that became the Regency Act 1811. Parliament restricted some of the powers of the Prince Regent (as the Prince of Wales became known). The constraints expired one year after the passage of the Act. The Prince of Wales became Prince Regent on 5 February 1811. The Regent let his ministers take full charge of government affairs, playing a far smaller role than his father. The principle that the prime minister was the person supported by a majority in the House of Commons, whether the king personally favoured him or not, became established. His governments, with little help from the Regent, presided over British policy. One of the most important political conflicts facing the country concerned
Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the Brit ...
, the movement to relieve Roman Catholics of various political disabilities. The Tories, led by Prime Minister
Spencer Perceval Spencer Perceval (1 November 1762 – 11 May 1812) was a British statesman and barrister. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1809 until Assassination of Spencer Perceval, his assassination in May 1812. Perceval is the onl ...

Spencer Perceval
, were opposed to Catholic emancipation, while the Whigs supported it. At the beginning of the Regency, the Prince of Wales was expected to support the Whig leader,
Lord Grenville William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, (25 October 175912 January 1834), styled as Lord Grenville from 1790, was a British Pittite Tory politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the Uni ...
. He did not, however, immediately put Grenville and the Whigs into office. Influenced by his mother, he claimed that a sudden dismissal of the Tory government would exact too great a toll on the health of the King (a steadfast supporter of the Tories), thereby eliminating any chance of a recovery. In 1812, when it appeared highly unlikely that the King would recover, the Prince of Wales again failed to appoint a new Whig administration. Instead, he asked the Whigs to join the existing ministry under Perceval. The Whigs, however, refused to co-operate because of disagreements over Catholic emancipation. Grudgingly, the Prince of Wales allowed Perceval to continue as Prime Minister. On 11 May 1812, by
John Bellingham John Bellingham (176918 May 1812) was an English merchant and the assassin of British prime minister Spencer Perceval. Early life Bellingham's early life is largely unknown, and most post-assassination biographies included speculation as fact. ...
. The Prince Regent was prepared to reappoint all the members of the Perceval ministry under a new leader. The House of Commons formally declared its desire for a "strong and efficient administration", so the Prince Regent then offered leadership of the government to
Lord Wellesley Richard Colley Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley of Norragh, (20 June 1760 – 26 September 1842) was an Anglo-Irish politician and colonial administrator Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other peo ...
and afterwards to
Lord Moira Francis Edward Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings, Order of the Garter, KG, Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, PC (9 December 175428 November 1826), styled The Honourable Francis Rawdon from birth until 1762, Lord Rawdon between 1 ...

Lord Moira
. He doomed the attempts of both to failure, however, by forcing each to construct an all-party ministry at a time when neither party wished to share power with the other. Possibly using the failure of the two peers as a pretext, the Prince Regent immediately reappointed the Perceval administration, with
Lord Liverpool Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, (7 June 1770 – 4 December 1828) was a British Tory The Tories were a political faction Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in gro ...

Lord Liverpool
as Prime Minister. The Tories, unlike Whigs such as
Earl Grey Earl Grey is a title in the peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1806 for General Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey, Charles Grey, 1st Baron Grey. In 1801, he was given the title Baron Grey of Howick in the County of Northumberland, and in ...
, sought to continue the vigorous prosecution of the war in Continental Europe against the powerful and aggressive Emperor of the French,
Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led Napoleon Bonaparte's battle record, several successful campaigns during the French Rev ...

Napoleon I
. An anti-French alliance, which included Russia,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
, Austria, Britain and several smaller countries, defeated Napoleon in 1814. In the subsequent
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was an international diplomatic conference to reconstitute the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) w ...

Congress of Vienna
, it was decided that the
Electorate of Hanover The Electorate of Hanover (german: Kurfürstentum Hannover or simply ''Kurhannover'') was an Prince-elector, Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, located in northwestern Germany and taking its name from the capital city of Hanover. It was fo ...
, a state that had shared a monarch with Britain since 1714, would be raised to the
Kingdom of Hanover The Kingdom of Hanover (german: Königreich Hannover) was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Han ...
. Napoleon returned from exile in 1815, but was defeated at the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo Waterloo most commonly refers to: * Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat :* Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium fr ...

Battle of Waterloo
by the
Duke of Wellington Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish people, Anglo-Irish soldier and Tories (British political party), Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political fi ...

Duke of Wellington
, brother of Lord Wellesley. During this period George took an active interest in matters of style and taste, and his associates such as the dandy
Beau Brummell George Bryan "Beau" Brummell (7 June 1778 – 30 March 1840) was an important figure in Regency England and for many years the arbiter of men's fashion. At one time he was a close friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV Geo ...

Beau Brummell
and the architect
John NashJohn Nash may refer to: Arts and entertainment *John Nash (architect) (1752–1835), Anglo-Welsh architect *John Nash Round, English architect active in the mid-19th-century Kent *"Jolly" John Nash (1828–1901), English music hall entertainer *Joh ...
created the
Regency style, London, John Nash File:All Souls Church.jpg">John Nash's All Souls Church, Langham Place, London Regency architecture encompasses classical buildings built in the United Kingdom during the George IV George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 1 ...
. In London Nash designed the Regency terraces of
Regent's Park Regent's Park (officially The Regent's Park) is one of the Royal Parks of London. It occupies high ground in north-west Inner London, administratively split between the City of Westminster and the London Borough of Camden, Borough of Camden (and ...

Regent's Park
and
Regent Street Regent Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London. It is named after George IV of the United Kingdom, George, the Prince Regent (later George IV) and was laid out under the direction of the architect John Nash (architect), Jo ...

Regent Street
. George took up the new idea of the seaside spa and had the
Brighton Pavilion The Royal Pavilion, also known as the Brighton Pavilion, is a Grade I listed former royal residence located in Brighton Brighton () is a constituent part of the city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin D ...

Brighton Pavilion
developed as a fantastical seaside palace, adapted by Nash in the "Indian Gothic" style inspired loosely by the
Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal (; , ), is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the right bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal Empire, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan () to house the tomb of his favourite wi ...

Taj Mahal
, with extravagant "Indian" and "Chinese" interiors.


Reign

When George III died in 1820, the Prince Regent, then aged 57, ascended the throne as George IV, with no real change in his powers. By the time of his accession, he was obese and possibly addicted to
laudanum Laudanum is a tincture of opium containing approximately 10% powdered opium w/v, by weight (the equivalent of 1% morphine). Reddish-brown and extremely bitter, laudanum contains almost all of the opium Opioid#Opium alkaloids, alkaloids, includin ...
. George IV's relationship with his wife Caroline had deteriorated by the time of his accession. They had lived separately since 1796, and both were having affairs. In 1814, Caroline left the United Kingdom for continental Europe, but she chose to return for her husband's
coronation A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown '' File:서봉총 금관 금제드리개.jpg, The Seobongchong Golden Crown of Ancient Silla, which is 339th National Treasure of South Korea. It is basically following the stand ...
, and to publicly assert her rights as
queen consort A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *I ...
. However, he refused to recognise Caroline as Queen, and commanded British ambassadors to ensure that monarchs in foreign courts did the same. By royal command, Caroline's name was omitted from the
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
, the
liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance ...
of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
. The King sought a divorce, but his advisors suggested that any divorce proceedings might involve the publication of details relating to the King's own adulterous relationships. Therefore, he requested and ensured the introduction of the
Pains and Penalties Bill The Pains and Penalties Bill 1820 was a bill introduced to the British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Cro ...
, under which Parliament could have imposed legal penalties without a trial in a court of law. The bill would have annulled the marriage and stripped Caroline of the title of Queen. The bill proved extremely unpopular with the public, and was withdrawn from Parliament. George decided, nonetheless, to exclude his wife from his coronation at
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes ...

Westminster Abbey
, on 19 July 1821. Caroline fell ill that day and died on 7 August; during her final illness she often stated that she thought she had been poisoned. was a magnificent and expensive affair, costing about £243,000 (approximately £ in ; for comparison, his father's coronation had only cost about £10,000). Despite the enormous cost, it was a popular event. In 1821 the King became the first monarch to pay a state visit to Ireland since
Richard II of England Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was List of deposed politicians, deposed in 1399. Richard's father, Edward the Black Prince, Edward, Prince of ...

Richard II of England
. The following year he visited
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
for "one and twenty daft days". His visit to Scotland, organised by
Sir Walter Scott Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832), was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature Scottish literature is literatu ...

Sir Walter Scott
, was the first by a reigning monarch since the mid-17th century. George spent most of his later reign in seclusion at
Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is a at in the English county of . It is strongly associated with the and succeeding , and embodies almost a millennium of . The original castle was built in the 11th century after the by . Since the time of (who re ...

Windsor Castle
, but he continued to intervene in politics. At first it was believed that he would support
Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the Brit ...
, as he had proposed a Catholic Emancipation Bill for Ireland in 1797, but his anti-Catholic views became clear in 1813 when he privately canvassed against the ultimately defeated Catholic Relief Bill of 1813. By 1824 he was denouncing Catholic emancipation in public. Having taken the coronation oath on his accession, George now argued that he had sworn to uphold the Protestant faith, and could not support any pro-Catholic measures. The influence of the Crown was so great, and the will of the Tories under Prime Minister Liverpool so strong, that Catholic emancipation seemed hopeless. In 1827, however, Liverpool retired, to be replaced by the pro-emancipation Tory
George Canning George Canning (11 April 17708 August 1827) was a British Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of gener ...

George Canning
. When Canning entered office, the King, hitherto content with privately instructing his ministers on the Catholic Question, thought it fit to make a public declaration to the effect that his sentiments on the question were those of his revered father, George III. Canning's views on the Catholic Question were not well received by the most conservative Tories, including the Duke of Wellington. As a result, the ministry was forced to include Whigs. Canning died later in that year, leaving Lord Goderich to lead the tenuous Tory–Whig coalition. Goderich left office in 1828, to be succeeded by Wellington, who had by that time accepted that the denial of some measure of relief to Roman Catholics was politically untenable. George was never as friendly with Wellington as he had been with Canning and chose to annoy the Duke by pretending to have fought at Waterloo disguised as a German general. With great difficulty Wellington obtained the King's consent to the introduction of a Catholic Relief Bill on 29 January 1829. Under pressure from his fanatically anti-Catholic brother, the
Duke of Cumberland Duke of Cumberland is a British peerage, peerage title that was conferred upon junior members of the British Royal Family, named after the Historic counties of England, historic county of Cumberland. History The Earl of Cumberland, Earldom of Cumbe ...
, the King withdrew his approval and in protest the Cabinet resigned ''en masse'' on 4 March. The next day the King, now under intense political pressure, reluctantly agreed to the Bill and the ministry remained in power. Royal Assent was finally granted to the Catholic Relief Act on 13 April.


Declining health and death

George's heavy drinking and indulgent lifestyle had taken their toll on his health by the late 1820s. While still Prince of Wales, he had become obese through his huge banquets and copious consumption of alcohol, making him the target of ridicule on the rare occasions that he appeared in public; by 1797 his weight had reached . By 1824, his corset was made for a waist of . He suffered from
gout Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritisInflammatory arthritis is a group of diseases which includes: rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints. It typically results i ...

gout
,
arteriosclerosis Arteriosclerosis is the thickening, hardening, and loss of elasticity of the walls of arteries. This process gradually restricts the blood flow to one's organs and tissues and can lead to severe health risks brought on by atherosclerosis Athero ...
,
peripheral edema Peripheral edema is edema (accumulation of fluid causing swelling) in tissues perfused by the peripheral vascular system, usually in the lower Limb (anatomy), limbs. In the most dependent parts of the body (those hanging distally), it may be called ...

peripheral edema
("dropsy"), and possibly
porphyria Porphyria is a group of liver disorders in which substances called porphyrins build up in the body, negatively affecting the skin or nervous system. The types that affect the nervous system are also known as Porphyria#Acute porphyrias, acute po ...

porphyria
. In his last years, he spent whole days in bed and suffered spasms of breathlessness that would leave him half-asphyxiated. George's last years were marked by increasing physical and mental decay and withdrawal from public affairs. Privately, a senior aide to the King confided to his diary: "A more contemptible, cowardly, selfish, unfeeling dog does not exist ... There have been good and wise kings but not many of them ... and this I believe to be one of the worst." By December 1828, like his father, George was almost completely blind from
cataracts A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens A lens is a transmissive optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'natur ...

cataracts
, and was suffering from such severe gout in his right hand and arm that he could no longer sign documents. In mid-1829, Sir David Wilkie reported the King "was wasting away frightfully day after day", and had become so obese that he looked "like a great sausage stuffed into the covering". The King took laudanum to counteract severe bladder pains, which left him in a drugged and mentally handicapped state for days on end. He underwent surgery to remove a cataract in September 1829, by which time he was regularly taking over 100 drops of laudanum before state occasions. By the spring of 1830, George's imminent end was apparent. Now largely confined to his bedchambers, having completely lost sight in one eye and describing himself "as blind as a beetle", he was forced to approve legislation with a stamp of his signature in the presence of witnesses. His weight was recorded to be . Attacks of breathlessness due to dropsy forced him to sleep upright in a chair, and doctors frequently tapped his abdomen in order to drain excess fluid. Despite his obvious decline, George was admired for clinging doggedly to life. His will to live and still-prodigious appetite astonished observers; in April 1830, the Duke of Wellington wrote that the King had consumed for breakfast "a Pidgeon and Beef Steak Pye ... Three parts of a bottle of Mozelle, a Glass of Dry Champagne, two Glasses of Port a Glass of Brandy", followed by a large dose of laudanum. Writing to Maria Fitzherbert in June, the King's doctor, Sir Henry Halford, noted "His Majesty's constitution is a gigantic one, and his elasticity under the most severe pressure exceeds what I have ever witnessed in thirty-eight years' experience." Though George had been under Halford's care since the time of the Regency, the doctor's social ambitions and perceived lack of competence were strongly criticised, with ''
The Lancet ''The Lancet'' is a weekly peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a prof ...
'' labelling Halford's bulletins on the King's health as "utterly and entirely destitute of information", subsequently characterising Halford's treatment of George, which involved administering both opium and laudanum as sedatives, as appearing to lack sense or direction. George dictated his will in May and became very devout in his final months, confessing to an archdeacon that he repented of his dissolute life, but hoped mercy would be shown to him as he had always tried to do the best for his subjects. By June, he was unable to lie down, and received the
Sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
on 14 June in the presence of Lady Conyngham, Halford, and a clergyman. While Halford only informed the Cabinet on 24 June that "the King's cough continues with considerable expectoration", he privately told his wife that "things are coming to a conclusion ... I shall be released about Monday." At about three in the morning of 26 June 1830 at Windsor Castle, George awoke and passed a bowel movement – "a large evacuation mix'd with blood". He then sent for Halford, allegedly calling to his servants "Sir Henry! Sir Henry! Fetch him; this is death!" Accounts of George's final moments and
last words Last words are the final utterances of a person before death. The meaning is sometimes expanded to include non-ultimate utterances in the final days or hours before death. Last words of famous or infamous people are sometimes recorded (although no ...

last words
vary. According to Halford, following his arrival and that of Sir , the King's "lips grew livid, and he dropped his head on the page's shoulder ... I was up the stairs in five minutes, and he died but eight minutes afterwards."Other accounts state the King placed his hands on his stomach and said "Surely, this must be death", or that he called out "Good God, what is this?", clasped his page's hand, and said "my boy, this is death". George died at 3:15 a.m. An autopsy conducted by his physicians revealed George had died from
upper gastrointestinal bleeding Upper gastrointestinal bleeding is gastrointestinal bleeding Gastrointestinal bleeding (GI bleed), also called gastrointestinal hemorrhage (GIB), is all forms of bleeding in the Human gastrointestinal tract, gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth ...
resulting from the rupture of a blood vessel in his stomach. A large
tumour A neoplasm () is a type of abnormal and excessive growth of . The process that occurs to form or produce a neoplasm is called neoplasia. The growth of a neoplasm is uncoordinated with that of the normal surrounding tissue, and persists in grow ...
"the size of an orange" was found attached to his bladder; his heart was enlarged, had heavily calcified valves and was surrounded by a large fat deposit. The King was buried in
St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England is a chapel built in the late-medieval Perpendicular Gothic style. It is both a Royal Peculiar (a church under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch) and the Chapel of the Order of the Garter. It i ...
, on 15 July.


Legacy

George's only legitimate child, Charlotte, had died from post-partum complications in 1817, after delivering a stillborn son. George III's second son, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, had died childless in 1827, so the throne passed to the third son of George III, Prince William, Duke of Clarence, who reigned as William IV. George was described as the "First Gentleman of England" on account of his style and manners. He was bright, clever, and knowledgeable, but his laziness and gluttony led him to squander much of his talent. ''The Times'' wrote that he would always prefer "a girl and a bottle to politics and a sermon". The Regency period saw a shift in fashion that was largely determined by George. After political opponents put a tax on wig powder, he abandoned wearing a powdered wig in favour of natural hair. He wore darker colours than had been previously fashionable as they helped to disguise his size, favoured pantaloons and trousers over knee breeches because they were looser, and popularised a high collar with neck cloth because it hid his double chin. His visit to Scotland in 1822 led to the revival, if not the creation, of Scottish
tartan Tartan ( gd, breacan ) is a patterned cloth consisting of criss-crossed, horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated wi ...

tartan
dress as it is known today. During the political crisis caused by Catholic emancipation, the Duke of Wellington said that George was "the worst man he ever fell in with his whole life, the most selfish, the most false, the most ill-natured, the most entirely without one redeeming quality". However, his eulogy delivered in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
called George "the most accomplished man of his age" and praised his knowledge and talent. Wellington's true feelings were probably somewhere between these two extremes; as he said later, George was "a magnificent patron of the arts ... the most extraordinary compound of talent, wit, buffoonery, obstinacy, and good feeling—in short a medley of the most opposite qualities, with a great preponderance of good—that I ever saw in any character in my life." Upon George's death, ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
'' captured elite opinion succinctly: "There never was an individual less regretted by his fellow-creatures than this deceased king. What eye has wept for him? What heart has heaved one throb of unmercenary sorrow? ... If he ever had a friend – a devoted friend in any rank of life – we protest that the name of him or her never reached us". There are many statues of George IV, a large number of which were erected during his reign. In the United Kingdom, they include a
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
statue of him on horseback by Sir Francis Chantrey in
Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square ( ) is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, established in the early 19th century around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. The Square's name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, the Royal Navy, ...

Trafalgar Square
. In
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
, "
George IV Bridge George IV Bridge is an elevated street in Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlo ...

George IV Bridge
" is a main street linking the Old Town
High Street #REDIRECT High Street High Street is a common street name for the primary business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and services) ...

High Street
to the north over the ravine of the
Cowgate The Cowgate (Scots language, Scots: The Cougait) is a street in Edinburgh, Scotland, located about southeast of Edinburgh Castle, within the city's World Heritage Site. The street is part of the lower level of Edinburgh's Old Town, Edinburgh, Ol ...
, designed by the architect Thomas Hamilton in 1829 and completed in 1835. King's Cross, now a major transport hub sitting on the border of
Camden Camden may refer to: People * Camden (surname), a surname of English origin * Camden Joy (born 1964), American writer * Camden Toy (born 1957), American actor Places Australia * Camden, New South Wales * Camden, Rosehill, a heritage-listed ...
and
Islington Islington () is a district in Greater London, England, and part of the London Borough of Islington. It is a mainly residential district of Inner London, extending from Islington's Islington#Islington High Street, High Street to Highbury Fields, ...
in north London, takes its name from a short-lived monument erected to George IV in the early 1830s. A
square In Euclidean geometry Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to Alexandrian Greek mathematics , Greek mathematician Euclid, which he described in his textbook on geometry: the ''Euclid's Elements, Elements''. Euclid's method ...
and a neighbouring King Square Gardens, park in St Luke's, Islington, are also named after George IV.


Titles, styles, honours, and arms


Titles and styles

* 12 August 1762 – 19 August 1762: ''His Royal Highness'' The Duke of Cornwall * 19 August 1762 – 5 February 1811: ''His Royal Highness'' The Prince of Wales * 5 February 1811 – 29 January 1820: ''His Royal Highness'' The Prince Regent * 29 January 1820 – 26 June 1830: ''His Majesty'' The King At birth, he was also entitled to the dignities Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, Electoral Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Duke of Rothesay. Under the Act of Parliament that instituted the regency, the prince's formal title as regent was "Regent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland".


Honours


National honours

* ''26 December 1765'': Order of the Garter, Royal Knight of the Garter * ''21 November 1783'': Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Privy Counsellor * ''26 January 1789'': Fellow of the Royal Society * ''2 May 1810'': Doctor of Civil Law, University of Oxford * ''28 April 1818'': Founder of the Order of St Michael and St George, Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George * : ''28 April 1815'': Founder of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order


Foreign honours

* : ** ''25 November 1813'': Order of St. Andrew, Knight of St. Andrew ** ''20 April 1814'': Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, Knight of St. Alexander Nevsky * Kingdom of Prussia: ''11 April 1814'': Order of the Black Eagle, Knight of the Black Eagle * Bourbon Restoration in France, Kingdom of France: ''20 April 1814'': Knight of the Holy Spirit * History of Spain (1810–73), Spain: ''5 July 1814'': Order of Charles III, Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III * United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, Kingdom of Portugal: ''7 April 1815'': Sash of the Three Orders, Grand Cross of the Sash of the Three Orders * : ** ''8 June 1815'': Knight of the Golden Fleece ** ''1819'': Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary, Grand Cross of St. Stephen * : ''4 July 1815'': Knight of the Elephant * : ** ''1816'': Order of Saint Januarius, Knight of St. Januarius ** ''1816'': Order of Saint Ferdinand and of Merit, Grand Cross of St. Ferdinand and Merit * : ''27 November 1818'': Military William Order, Grand Cross of the Military William Order * : ''1826'': Order of St. Hubert, Knight of St. Hubert


Military appointments

* ''1782'': Colonel, British Army * ''1796–1820'': Colonel of the 10th Royal Hussars, 10th Light Dragoons


Arms

George's Coat of arms of the Prince of Wales, coat of arms as the Prince of Wales was the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, royal arms (with an inescutcheon of Gules plain in the Hanoverian Quartering (heraldry), quarter), Cadency labels of the British royal family, differenced by a label of three points Argent. The arms included the royal Crest (heraldry), crest and supporters but with the single arched coronet of his rank, all charged on the shoulder with a similar Label (heraldry), label. His arms followed the change in the royal arms in 1801, when the Hanoverian quarter became an inescutcheon and the French quarter was dropped altogether. The 1816 alteration did not affect him as it only applied to the arms of the King. As king, his arms were those of his two kingdoms, the United Kingdom and Hanover, superimposed: Quarterly, I and IV Gules three lions Attitude (heraldry)#Passant, passant guardant in Pale (heraldry), pale Or (heraldry), Or (Royal Arms of England, for England); II Or a lion Attitude (heraldry)#Rampant, rampant within a Orle (heraldry)#Tressure, double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (Royal coat of arms of Scotland, for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (Coat of arms of Ireland, for Ireland); overall an escutcheon Division of the field, tierced in pall reversed (for Hanover), I Gules two lions passant guardant Or (for Brunswick), II Or a Variation of the field#Semé, semy of hearts Gules a lion rampant Azure (for Lüneburg), III Gules a horse Attitude (heraldry)#Courant, courant Argent (Coat of arms of Lower Saxony, for Westphalia), overall an inescutcheon Gules charged with the crown of Charlemagne Or, the whole escutcheon surmounted by a crown.


Ancestry


Notes and sources


References and further reading

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:George 04 Of The United Kingdom George IV of the United Kingdom, 1762 births 1830 deaths 18th-century British people 19th-century British monarchs 19th-century viceregal rulers Monarchs of the United Kingdom Kings of Hanover Princes of Wales Princes of Great Britain Princes of the United Kingdom Hanoverian princes Crown Princes of Hanover Dukes of Cornwall Dukes of Rothesay High Stewards of Scotland Monarchs of the Isle of Man Sons of British monarchs Regents Heirs to the British throne Regency London People associated with King's College London 10th Royal Hussars officers Grand Masters of the Premier Grand Lodge of England Freemasons of the Premier Grand Lodge of England Owners of Epsom Derby winners Burials at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle Blind royalty and nobility Deaths from gastrointestinal hemorrhage Members of the Privy Council of Great Britain Knights of the Garter Knights of the Golden Fleece of Austria Grand Crosses of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary Knights Grand Cross of the Military Order of William Grand Crosses of the Order of Christ (Portugal), 3 Grand Crosses of the Order of Aviz, 3 Grand Crosses of the Order of Saint James of the Sword, 3 Children of George III of the United Kingdom