George IV of the United Kingdom Biography

King George IV, born in the mid-eighteenth century, was the eldest son of King George III and went on to become the king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Despite being raised under strict discipline, he constantly rebelled against his father and indulged in an extravagant lifestyle. He transformed Carlton House into a glittering court, incurring a massive debt. Eventually, he became the Prince Regent and later the King of the United Kingdom. However, he interfered very little with governance, instead focusing on art and architecture. His extravagant lifestyle made him unpopular with the masses, and he died at the age of sixty-seven.

Quick Facts

  • British Celebrities Born In August Also Known As: George IV, George Augustus Frederick
  • Died At Age: 67
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Caroline of Brunswick (m. 1795–1796), Maria Fitzherbert (m. 1785–1830)
    • Siblings: Charlotte, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, Duke of Sussex, Duke of York and Albany, Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, Prince Adolphus, Prince Alfred of Great Britain, Prince Augustus Frederick, Prince Edward, Prince Frederick, Prince Octavius of Great Britain, Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom, Princess Augusta Sophia of the United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, Princess Mary, Princess Royal, Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom, William IV of the United Kingdom
  • Born Country: England
  • Emperors & Kings
  • British Men
  • Died on: June 26, 1830
  • Place of death: Windsor, England
  • City: London, England
  • Cause of Death: Ruptured Blood Vessel

Childhood & Early Life

King George IV was born on 12 August 1762 at St James’s Palace, London, and was christened George Augustus Frederick. His father, King George III, was the King of Great Britain and Ireland, and his mother, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, belonged to the House of Mecklenburg. George was the eldest of his parents’ thirteen surviving children, with six brothers and six sisters. He had a strained relationship with his father but was close to his mother. At birth, he automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, and five days later, he was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

Education and Early Years

George IV began his education at Kew Palace in 1771 under the guardianship of Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness. He studied with William Markham, Bishop of Chester, from 1771 to 1776. Holderness was not suitable for the job, and the princes were required to spend eight hours a day studying with their tutor. In 1776, William Markham was replaced by Richard Hurd, the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. George was a handsome and intelligent young boy, mastering several languages and showing an interest in literature and music.

Becoming Independent

In 1783, when George IV turned twenty-one, he obtained a grant of £60,000 from Parliament and an annual income of £50,000 from his father. He set up his own establishment at Carlton House and lived an extravagant lifestyle. He rebuilt Carlton House and turned it into a glittering court. His relationship with his father became hostile, and he was criticized for his extravagant behavior and political associations. In 1786, he began an affair with Maria Fitzherbert, and in 1795, he married his cousin, Princess Caroline of Brunswick, to clear his debts.

Prince Regent

In 1811, King George III became mentally unfit to rule, and George IV was appointed as the Prince Regent. He allowed the Prime Minister to take charge of the government and interfered very little in political affairs. He supported the Catholic Emancipation Bill and established the principle that the prime minister should be allowed to work freely. He took an active interest in art and architecture and commissioned several notable projects, including the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

King George IV

In 1820, George IV ascended the throne as the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. He was obese and addicted to laudanum. His reign saw the revival of the Highland dress in Scotland and the restoration of Windsor Castle. He lived in seclusion and continued to exercise his prerogatives but had little personal influence. He died in 1830 and was succeeded by his brother, William IV.


King George IV is credited with the renovation of Buckingham Palace, turning it into one of the most magnificent palaces in the world. He also left a legacy of several magnificent buildings, including the Royal Pavilion and Windsor Castle. Despite his controversial personal life and extravagant lifestyle, his contributions to art and architecture are still admired today.

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