British History 2:
From the French Revolution to World War II
Topic: "Majesties and Royal Highnesses"

by Laura Cenicola & Mareike Aumann

Glossary: George IV

Political Career:

George IV had his first political appearance when his father George III was declared insane in 1811. He officially became king in 1820, however he was not really interested in government and so his relationship to the ministers could have been better. Though he was interested in Whig politicians when he was younger, it had mainly been to annoy his father. When George was king he became increasingly pro-Troy. From 1820 - 1827 he tried to drive the Prime Minister, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, out of office to offer the position to George Canning, who became Prime Minister in 1827. George was forced by his ministers to agree to Catholic Emancipation. This was a consequence following reduction of religious discrimination which allowed the monarchy to take a more national role. Towards the end of his life George IV grew less involved with government. Instead he spent most of his time at Windsor Castle.

Personal Life:

George IV was born on August 17th in 1762, as the son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. George led a rather extravagant lifestyle that his father did not approve of. Secretly and illegally, George married Maria Fitzherbert, a Roman Catholic. However in 1785 he officially married Princess Caroline of Brunswick so her parliament would pay off his debts. The marriage did not turn out well and George tried to get divorced after he took the throne. They had a daughter together, Princess Charlotte who died during child labor.
George was very interested in arts and became an important artistic patron as well as an extravagant collector, building up an impressive collection of art, supporting architects and designers, mostly at Brighton. He also developed the Royal Pavilion there, which was an exotic combination of Chinese and Indian, in 1815. He died on June 26th 1830.
George IV never gained much popularity.

 


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