George IV

Henry Pierce Bone, George IV, 1840

Born: 1762
Died: 1830
Prince Regent: 1811–20
Reigned: 1820–30

  • Eldest son of George III and Queen Charlotte
  • In 1795 married his cousin, Princess Caroline of Brunswick (daughter of George III’s sister, Augusta); their only child, Charlotte (born 1796), died in childbirth in 1817
  • Became Prince Regent in 1811 when George III’s illness was judged permanent
  • Visited Ireland and Hanover in 1821
  • The first Hanoverian monarch to visit Scotland, doing so in 1822
  • In contrast to his father, was passionately fond of lavish decoration and display
  • While Prince of Wales, refurbished Carlton House and built Brighton Pavilion.
  • Enlarged both during the Regency, and developed Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
  • During his reign ordered the transformations of Buckingham House into Buckingham Palace by John Nash, and of Windsor Castle by Jeffry Wyatville
  • Furnished palaces lavishly with French furniture, clocks, porcelain and sculpture
  • Avid collector of Dutch and Flemish paintings, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Dou and Teniers
  • Formed a vast collection of contemporary prints, and records of militaria
  • After the French Revolution, he amassed one of the greatest collections of Sèvres in the world, including the Sèvres dinner service made for King Louis XVI
  • Patronised contemporary artists, including Stubbs, Gainsborough and the miniaturist Cosway as well as the sculptors Canova, Chantrey and Nollekens
  • Commissioned from Lawrence the portraits of allied leaders now in the Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle
  • Collected an unprecedented amount of silver, both contemporary and historic, from the royal goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell and formed the so-called ‘Grand Service’

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