Heritage > Rulers

George IV, 1820-1830

George IV was born in 1762, and married Caroline Amelia Elizabeth, daughter of the Duke of Brunswick in 1785.

They had one child, Charlotte. Prior to this marriage in 1785, he secretly married 28 year-old widow Maria FitzHerbert when, as a virtuous Catholic, she refused to be his mistress. Her religion prevented an open marriage as the 1701 Act of Settlement prohibited the succession of a Catholic to the throne.

George acceded to the throne in 1820, having spent the previous nine years as Prince Regent for his blind and deranged father, George III. Although his reign was notable for the granting of political rights to Catholics, George IV is best remembered for his years as Prince of Wales.

During that time he was a great patron of arts, but led an immoral life. His marriage to Caroline of Brunswick proved troubled, and the couple parted amid accusations of infidelity. When George refused to allow Caroline to attend his coronation, he lost much of his popularity.

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