George IV, King of Great Britain

   Prince Regent, and later King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. He served in the capacity of regent from 1811 when the madness of his father, George III, rendered him unfit to continue as sovereign. Politically, George was a close ally of the Whigs, particularly Charles James Fox - his father’s political nemesis - and this association, together with his inveterate gambling, strained relations with his father. He consistently ran up enormous debts, much to the embarrassment of the royal family, which regularly appealed to Parliament for relief. Despite his Whig loyalties, George worked with the Tory government under Lord Liverpool from 1812, supporting the nation’s war against Napoleon Bonaparte, which ended three years later. George’s divorce from Queen Caroline led to a scandalous public trial, and his later years as regent and king were characterized by domestic unrest and a gradual weakening of royal power.
   See also <>.
    David, Saul. The Prince of Pleasure: the Prince of Wales and the Making of the Regency. London: Little, Brown, 1998;
    Parissien, Steven. George IV: The Grand Entertainment. London: John Murray, 2001;
    Smith, E. A., George IV. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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