Back with the second installment of sub par historical revellings. This is the second phase of my brief foray into the Kings and Queens of Britain, written in a vague attempt to gain some knowledge about my country’s history. Remember, these articles are made of a simple dusting of minor facts about each monarch…. if you write in telling me I have missed things out I will say “no shit, these people lived for ages and loads of stuff happened. I’ve only written a paragraph on each. What did you expect you moron?”
William was the youngest of three, he only came to the throne aged 64, after his brothers had both died. During his reign, child labour laws were brought in and slavery abolished. He created no legitimate heirs but did produce ten illegitimate kids through the actress Dorothea Jordan who he lived with for 20 years. His naval career started at the pre pubes age of 13 and during his stint he once was arrested and detained for a drunken brawl on Gibraltar, unsurprisingly he was quickly released when it became clear who he was. He eventually split with his actress friend on the search for a rich heiress to help pay off his massive debts, good plan. He managed to find a young princess half his age who was willing to look after his mob of kids so he kept her for a further 20 years until he died of a heart attack.
As I live in Brighton, I get to see this royal’s handiwork most days – the Royal Pavilion, for those who haven’t seen it, it’s like an English Taj Mahal with a decadant Chinese interior. It’s proper over the top and that seems to be a pretty good representation of this randy bugger’s life. In a nutshell: George liked booze, art and ladies. He was unpopular with his parents (George III and Caroline of Brunswick) and he was unpopular with the people because they were poor and dying of hunger and cold and he was getting smashed with his buddies and building ridiculous buildings and running huge debts up despite getting more money than a small country would need to run on adequately. His annual income from Pops was the modern equivalent of more than £4 million a year but yet he still ran up lists of debts. George III suffered from boughts of madness and after his second lapse, George IV was named Prince Regent, so he was kind of in charge but not King. Rather than chilling out and acting a bit more Kingly, he kept on shagging and partying and left parliament to deal with the boring stuff. He eventually hit the throne when his father died, by now he was 57, fat and addicted to laudanum (an opium based drug du jour). By 1824 he had a 50 inch waiste, gout and was often bed ridden and breathless. He died a massive blob, but it sounds like he had a blast.
☛ Read Next: Chinese Opium Dens – Unsurprisingly Bleak