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King Georges

12 Apr 2023

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This April 23rd, we celebrate St. George’s Day. In past years we’ve looked at the Saint himself, but this year we’re doing something a little bit different! was the coronation of King Charles the third on the 6th of May, we thought we take a look at some past kings named George. To date, there have been no fewer than six King Georges!

King George I
1714 - 1727
Ridiculed by his British subjects; he was thought unintelligent due to being wooden in public. He was unpopular in Great Britain due to his supposed inability to speak English, though such an inability may not have existed later in his reign as documents show that he understood, spoke and wrote English. His treatment of his wife, Sophia Dorothea, became something of a scandal.

King George II
1727 - 1760
This George donated the royal library to the British Museum in 1757, as he had no interest in reading, or in the arts and sciences, and preferred to spend his leisure hours stag-hunting on horseback or playing cards.

King George III
1760 - 1820
George III lived for 81 years and 239 days and reigned for 59 years and 96 days: both his life and his reign were longer than those of any of his predecessors and subsequent kings; only queens Victoria and Elizabeth II lived and reigned longer. George III was dubbed "Farmer George" by satirists, at first to mock his interest in mundane matters rather than politics, but later to portray him as a man of the people, contrasting his homely thrift with his son's grandiosity.

King George IV
1820 - 1830
George was described as the "First Gentleman of England" on account of his style and manners. He was bright, clever, and knowledgeable, but his laziness and gluttony led him to squander much of his talent. The Times wrote that he would always prefer "a girl and a bottle to politics and a sermon".

King George V
1910 - 1936
He appeared hard-working and became widely admired by the people of Britain and the Empire, as well as "the Establishment". In the words of historian David Cannadine, King George V and Queen Mary were an "inseparably devoted couple" who upheld "character" and "family values".

King George VI
1936 - 1952
He became king at a point when public faith in the monarchy was at a low ebb. During his reign, his people endured the hardships of war, and imperial power was eroded. However, as a dutiful family man and by showing personal courage, he succeeded in restoring the popularity of the monarchy.

King George VII?
With King Charles III’s grandson named George in good time we expect there will be a King George VII! That’s if he chooses to use his baptismal name.

Though most monarchs of the United Kingdom have used their first baptismal name as their regnal name, on three occasions monarchs have chosen a different name, so we guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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