George IV (b. 1762 r. 1820-1830)
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George IV (b. 1762 r. 1820-1830)

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George IV reigned as Prince Regent for 9 years during his father's illness, until ascending the throne in 1820. He is noted for his interest in architecture, and the 'Regency' style is named after his patronage of the arts during this period. He died in 1830.

This portrait shows the king in Garter robes , and is one of several identical paintings from the studio of Sir Thomas Lawrence (four copies exist in the Royal Collection). The Duke of Devonshire wrote in 1845:

I accompanied William IV one day to Kensington Palace, and found a room full of them.
-
Devonshire.

This is probably a copy of the Lawrence portrait which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1818, when George was still Prince of Wales, acting as Regent for his father George III.

As a son, as a husband, as a father, and especially as an adviser of young men, I deem it my duty to say that, on a review of his whole life, I can find no one good thing to speak of, in either the character or the conduct of this king.
-
William Cobbett in The Political Register, 3 July 1830

(2) George IV (b. 1762 r. 1820-1830)


Additional Information on
George IV (b. 1762 r. 1820-1830)

George had been the Prince Regent for nine years before his ascension to the English throne - because his father had been too ill to rule. As the Prince of Wales George was a handsome and popular man who had extravagant tastes in food, drink, women and the arts. Unfortunately, he had a history of wild and reckless behaviour which in turn brought disgrace to the monarchy. Whatever respect George III had gained for the British monarchy was soon eroded by his eldest son. The country was also poor after the expense of much warfare during George III's reign and unemployment was high.

George soon became resented for his lavish life, ridiculous spending and for treating his wife badly. George had been forced into marrying Caroline of Brunswick in 1715 in order to get Parliament to pay off his debts. Within months the couple had parted and from then on George tried to deprive her of all her rights as queen. Against her wishes she was excluded from his Coronation in 1821 and died a few weeks afterwards. Throughout his life George enjoyed a succession of mistresses including Mary Robinson, the Countess of Jersey, Lady Melbourne, the Marchioness of Hertford, the Marchioness of Conyngham and Mrs Fitzherbert.

George's stubbornness and pigheadedness led to his unpopularity with Parliament - so much so that the Whigs agreed that if they were elected they would remove all remaining royal power.

George considered himself a man of style and elegance, and his one good point was that he encouraged the arts and architecture. He employed architects, interior decorators and tailors on a stupendous scale - or at least the debts were! The beautiful 'Regency' style of architecture was named after him because it emerged during the time when George was Prince Regent (1811-1820) with his encouragement. George's favourite architect was John Nash who designed the Royal Pavilion at Brighton for him.


QUOTATIONS

A more contemptible, cowardly, selfish, unfeeling dog does not exist than this king, with vices and weaknesses of the lowest and most contemptible order.
- Charles Greville, Diaries.

He was a bad son, a bad husband, a bad father, a bad subject, a bad monarch and a bad friend.
- Spencer Walpole.

George the First was always reckoned
Vile, but viler George the Second;
And what mortal ever heard
Any good of George the Third?
When from earth the Fourth descended,
God be praised, the Georges ended.
- Walter Savage Landor, 1775-1864.

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