​King George IV (Prinny) – The Incorrigible Romantic

King George IV was born as George Augustus Frederick at St. James Palace on January 12th, 1762. He ascended the throne in 1821 after serving for nearly 10 years as a Prince under his father, George III, who had gone permanently insane.

​King George IV

When he was 57 years old, he has crowned the king of the United Kingdom, Hanover, and Ireland after his father’s death. He was unlike his father in every possible way. He had a bad reputation both at home and in public.

Interests

He had a remarkable passion for two things; women and wine. He was a heavy spender. He lived his life quite extravagantly. And being the brit-royal that he was, he ordered John Nash to renovate the Buckingham Palace and Sir Jeffry Wyattville to rebuild the Windsor Castle.

​King George IV

Besides wine, he was particularly fond of food, lots of food, because of which he grew obese. He was mocked at each of his public appearances for this.

Political Career

He paid one visit to Ireland and became the second King after Charles II to visit Scotland. Initially refused to pass, the Catholic Relief Act was passed by him eventually after the Duke of Wellington persuaded him to do so.

​King George IV
by Michael Sloane, published by Luigi Schiavonetti, after Richard Cosway, stipple engraving, published 12 April 1797

On Sir Walter Scott’s suggestion, he donned a Highland regalia, thus, reviving the Scottish plaid dress, which had been forbidden after the Jacobite Rebellions.

Caroline of Brunswick

Although he was legally married to Caroline of Brunswick, he had multiple mistresses, which explains why he had no less than two illegitimate children besides one legitimate daughter, Princess Charlotte.

​King George IV
Caroline of Brunswick

In fact, in 1785, he secretly married a widow named Maria Fitzherbert but was compelled to falsify the entire marital union to marry his cousin, Caroline for paying off his debt.

Personal Life of  King George

He had irreparable relations with both his father and Caroline. This was also the reason why he never invited Caroline to his coronation ceremony.

He never considered her his Queen and she died the same year as King George’s coronation. While on the deathbed, she claimed to have been poisoned.

Final Days

King George IV lived for quite a few years after Caroline’s death. But during his final years, he grew lonelier. He had already lost his daughter, Princess Charlotte during a childbirth in the year 1817.

Princess Charlotte of Wales

He had become widely unpopular amongst his subjects and had become merely a laughing material for them. He was ridiculed with satirical rhymes like, “Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry. When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away.”

King George IV Successor

He suffered from gout, a common disease of the Victorian period, and like his father became unstable in his mind. He lost his next eldest brother, Frederick, in 1827. Three years after his death, in 1830, King George IV died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 67.

King George IV

His younger brother William IV became his successor. Eventually, neither his nonchalant, self-centered, luxurious lifestyle nor his several love interests could save him from the trauma of dying alone.

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