Friday, November 9, 2012

A very naughty fellow indeed

As promised, The Prince Regent...
learn more about The Prince Regent courtesy of Wikepdia

George IV, The Prince of Whales. He was born in 1762 and by the age of twenty-six he was well-known for his wild behavior, and extravagance. He also had impeccable manners, possessed a keen wit, charm, and  'an elegance of address.'

At that time he lived at Carleton House, a mansion off Pall Mall, London. Among his 'set' were Charles J. Fox; Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; Beau Brummel (King of the dandies); and Col. George Hanger who married a gypsy. Rebels all.

Not surprising, he had a number of lovers and mistresses, among them Mary Robinson, an actress; Grace Elliott, the divorced wife of a physician; Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey; Isabella Seymore-Conway, and - his favorite by all accounts - Maria Fitzherbert, a widowed commoner who was not only six years older but Roman Catholic to boot. Completely unsuitable by any standard of the day AND forbidden by the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. Nevertheless, The Prince entered into a secret marriage with Mrs. Fitzherbert in 1785 and when not at Carelton House he was likely to be found at her residence on Park Street in Mayfair.

Unfortunately - being the spendthrift that he was - he ran up such a debt that he was forced to marry Caroline of Brunswick - legally - in 1795 in exchange for his father's aid. One child resulted from the union (Charlotte, b. 1796), after which he and Caroline lived apart.

By this time his father had already succumbed once to a strange malady, which prompted Parliament to pass the Regency Bill. In 1810 the King fell ill once more - possibly to a hereditary disease known as porphyria - and George IV was made Prince Regent the following year. 

Sadly, he was not terribly well thought of by the time of his death in 1830. The Times had this to say, "There never was an individual less regretted by his fellow-creatures than this deceased king. What eye has wept for him? What heart has heaved one throb of unmercenary sorrow? ... If he ever had a friend – a devoted friend in any rank of life – we protest that the name of him or her never reached us."


9 comments:

  1. Sad. And how on earth did he manage all those women? It's all I can do to handle one.

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  2. Well, that's a terrible way to go out, with not one person regretting it. Wow. Sounds like Scrooge died.

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  3. What a sad obituary comment! At least perhaps Maria Fitzherbert liked him?!

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  4. Whoa. How sad. Sounds like he was the type to burnout, rather than fade away.

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  5. Sad obituary commentary. Hopefully a few of his friends and Maria missed him.

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  6. It is sometimes said that a testimony to your living is evidenced by the responses of others when life has departed.

    To have no one regret your leaving this world is a rather depressing testimony.

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  7. In my early teens, I read tons of Barbara Cartland romances just because I loved the depiction of the Regency time period so much. I loved all your details. Great post! :-)

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  8. Ouch -- guess that's one way to be remembered.

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