King George III, born in 1738, was a member of the Hanover Dynasty, which ruled England for almost two centuries. He became King of Great Britain in 1760, during some of the most turbulent and trying times, including the American Revolutionary War.
In 1788, an illness brought upon him many mental struggles and uncertainties, with Parliament eventually deeming him unfit to rule, and making his son Prince Regent. He lived with this ‘unknown’ disease for several years before his death in 1820.
We’re taking a look back through the reign of George III, and seven facts that you may not know about him and his life as King.
Heir to the throne. George III became heir to the throne following the death of his father in 1751, ultimately succeeding his grandfather, George II in 1760. He was the first of the Hanoverian monarchs to be born in England and have English as his mother tongue.
Scientific interests. George III was the first king to study science as part of his formal education. Many of his drawings and instruments are now showcased in Science Museums around the country.
George III was a devoted husband. He had 15 children – nine sons and six daughters – with his wife Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, with 13 of those children reaching adulthood.
Farmer George. During his reign, he gained the nickname ‘Farmer George’, due to his agricultural interests and book collection. The nickname also came from the fact that the name George derived from the Greek word geōrgos, meaning ‘farmer or earth worker’.
Golden Horse and Carriage. In 1760, King George III commissioned the Gold State Coach, an enclosed eight horse-drawn carriage, still used by the British Royal Family today. It was built in the London workshops of Samuel Butler and cost £7,562.
The Queen’s House. George III bought Buckingham House, now known as Buckingham Palace, for his wife. Queen Charlotte used the house as their main family home, due to its proximity to St James’ Palace, where many royal functions were held. Buckingham House later became known as the ‘Queen’s House’.
Almost a Diamond Jubilee Monarch. To date, only Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II have celebrated Diamond Jubilees (60th anniversary of reign). However, King George III came very close, at least reaching his Diamond Jubilee year – 1820 – however, he died on 29th January, a little over nine months short of the actual date of the Jubilee, 25th October. Despite this he is, however, our longest reigning king.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the death of King George III, Britain’s longest reigning king. Although the 2020 King George III 200th Anniversary Heritage Gold Quarter Sovereign is now sold out, you can still purchase the Full Gold Sovereign HERE for £799; the world’s first sovereign produced from a mixture of antique, and new, 22 carat gold.
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