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The Georgian Kings

Anonymous 18th century portrait King George I   King George II by Charles Jervas   King George III by Sir William Beechey   King George IV 1809   King William IV

Since Queen Anne had no children, following her death in 1714, the heir to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland was to fall to Sophia of the Palatine, a granddaughter of the earlier King James I.

Unfortunately she died before 1714 and therefore her eldest son, George I, became King.

At the time he was also the Duke of the House of Hanover (controlling the former Kingdom of Hanover in north Germany) and so he began an era of reign called the Hanoverian era.

The Georgian period includes the reigns of five Hanoverian Kings:
  • King George I (1714-1727) who spent about a fifth of his reign living in Germany and never learned the English language.
  • King George II (1727-1760) who had confidence to be the last British monarch to lead an army into battle yet relied heavily on his ministers to run the country.
  • King George III (1760-1820) who sadly spent the last part of his life suffering with a mental illness from which he finally died.
  • King George IV (1820-1830) who led an extravagant lifestyle - his charm and high-class style of living earned him the title "the first gentleman of England" by many people.
  • King William IV (1830-1837) who has been nicknamed the "Sailor King" by some people because he served in the Royal Navy during his reign.