41 Facts About George IV


George IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 29 January 1820 until his death in 1830.


At the time of his accession to the throne, he was acting as prince regent for his father King George III, having done so since 5 February 1811 during his father's final mental illness.


George IV led an extravagant lifestyle that contributed to the fashions of the Regency era.


George IV was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste.


George IV commissioned John Nash to build the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and remodel Buckingham Palace, and commissioned Jeffry Wyatville to rebuild Windsor Castle.


George IV excluded Caroline from his coronation and asked the government to introduce the unpopular Pains and Penalties Bill in an unsuccessful attempt to divorce her.


George IV's ministers found his behaviour selfish, unreliable and irresponsible and he was strongly influenced by favourites.


George IV was a talented student, and quickly learned to speak French, German and Italian, in addition to his native English.


At the age of 18, Prince George IV 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.


George IV was a witty conversationalist, drunk or sober, and showed good, but grossly expensive, taste in decorating his palace.


George IV then established his residence in Carlton House, where he lived a profligate life.


George IV was a commoner, six years his elder, twice widowed, and a Roman Catholic.


Prince George IV was plunged into debt by his exorbitant lifestyle.


George IV's father refused to assist him, forcing him to quit Carlton House and live at Fitzherbert's residence.


George IV appeased her by asking another Whig, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, to restate Fox's forceful declaration in more careful words.


Prince George IV's debts continued to climb, and his father refused to aid him unless he married his cousin Princess Caroline of Brunswick.


George IV remained attached to Maria Fitzherbert for the rest of his life, despite several periods of estrangement.


George IV's mistresses included Mary Robinson, an actress whom he paid to leave the stage; Grace Elliott, the divorced wife of a physician; and Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey, who dominated his life for some years.


Anthony Camp, Director of Research at the Society of Genealogists, has dismissed the claims that George IV was the father of Ord, Hervey, Hampshire and Candy as fictitious.


At the beginning of the Regency, Prince George IV was expected to support the Whig leader, Lord Grenville.


George IV did not immediately put Grenville and the Whigs into office.


Grudgingly, Prince George IV allowed Perceval to continue as Prime Minister.


The House of Commons formally declared its desire for a "strong and efficient administration", so George IV then offered leadership of the government to Lord Wellesley and afterwards to Lord Moira.


Possibly using the failure of the two peers as a pretext, George IV immediately reappointed the Perceval administration, with Lord Liverpool as Prime Minister.


George IV decided, nonetheless, to exclude his wife from his coronation at Westminster Abbey, on 19 July 1821.


In 1821, George IV became the first monarch to pay a state visit to Ireland since Richard II of England.


George IV's visit to Scotland, organised by Sir Walter Scott, was the first by a reigning monarch since the mid-17th century.


George IV spent most of his later reign in seclusion at Windsor Castle, but he continued to intervene in politics.


George IV 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.


George IV's heavy drinking and indulgent lifestyle had taken their toll on his health by the late 1820s.


George IV had gout, arteriosclerosis, peripheral edema, and possibly porphyria.


George IV took laudanum to counteract severe bladder pains, which left him in a drugged and mentally impaired state for days on end.


George IV underwent surgery to remove a cataract in September 1829, by which time he was regularly taking over 100 drops of laudanum before state occasions.


George IV's only legitimate child, Charlotte, had died from post-partum complications in 1817, after delivering a stillborn son.


George IV was described as the "First Gentleman of England" on account of his style and manners.


George IV was bright, clever, and knowledgeable, but his laziness and gluttony led him to squander much of his talent.


George IV 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.


George IV's visit to Scotland in 1822 led to the revival, if not the creation, of Scottish tartan dress as it is known today.


In Edinburgh, "George IV Bridge" is a main street linking the Old Town High Street to the north over the ravine of the Cowgate, designed by the architect Thomas Hamilton in 1829 and completed in 1835.


At birth, George IV was entitled to the dignities Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, Electoral Prince of Brunswick-Luneburg and Duke of Rothesay.


George IV's arms followed the change in the royal arms in 1801, when the Hanoverian quarter became an inescutcheon and the French quarter was dropped altogether.