‘Happy Birthday’ George IV – born 12th August 1762

NPG D33075; Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; King George IV when Prince of Wales by Richard Houston, published by Robert Sayer, after Robert Pyle
Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; King George IV when Prince of Wales

Today’s blog is a little different to our usual but we could not allow the birth of  George IV to pass without a little acknowledgement, especially as he was one of Grace Dalrymple Elliott’s lovers and  allegedly father of  her daughter, Georgiana Augusta Frederica Seymour, although Georgiana’s birth was not heralded in quite the same way as her alleged father’s entrance into the world. We thought we would celebrate his birth in the shape of portraits of him over the years, the majority being courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, as tempting as it would be simply to use the vast quantity of caricatures of him we’ve managed to resist temptation … well almost!

George’s birth was proclaimed in the London Evening Post  (August 10, 1762 – August 12, 1762) :

At seven this morning her Majesty was safely delivered of a Prince at the palace of St James, to the great joy of his Majesty and of all his loyal subjects, who consider the birth of this heir to the crown as a pledge of the future felicity of their posterity under the happy auspice of his royal family.

About half an hour after nine this inestimable blessing was made known to the nation by the discharge of the tower guns and at noon there was a great court at St James’s, when the foreign ministers, the great officers of state and all the nobility and other persons of distinction were admitted to pay their compliments to the King upon this mark of the divine favour to his Majesty and to his people.

Her Majesty and the new-born Prince of Wales are in perfect health and nothing can surpass the testimonies of joy and affection expressed by all ranks and degrees of his Majesty’s subjects for this great and desirable event.

It is worth of observation that her Majesty is brought to bed of an heir to the crown on the same day that our most gracious Sovereign’s great grand-father, King George the first, succeeded to the crown of these Kingdoms, by virtue of several acts of parliament for securing the Protestant succession in the illustrious house of Hanover.

The first portrait we offer is that of George was a young child with his younger brother Frederick.

NPG D33327; King George IV; Frederick, Duke of York and Albany by James Watson, after Katharine Read
by James Watson, after Katharine Read mezzotint, circa 1765-1770 NPG D33327

The next shows George in his teenage years whilst he was busy having fun with the ladies of the ton such as Grace Dalrymple Elliott, amongst others!! Grace looks more than 8 years older than him, doesn’t she?

George IV when Prince of Wales by Richard Cosway, watercolour on ivory, circa 1780-1782
by Richard Cosway, watercolour on ivory, circa 1780-1782; National Portrait Gallery
Grace Dalrymple Elliott by Thomas Gainsborough. Courtesy of the Frick, New York.
Grace Dalrymple Elliott by Thomas Gainsborough.
Courtesy of the Frick, New York.
NPG D19038; King George IV by Louis or Lewis Saillar (Sailliar), after Richard Cosway
Richard Cosway stipple engraving, published 24 August 1787. Aged 25

NPG 5389; King George IV by Richard Cosway

Another Cosway portrait in 1792, aged 30

On the 8th April 1795 the Prince married Princess Caroline of Brunswick and somehow, despite unwillingness on his part, the couple managed to conceive a daughter who was born virtually nine months to the day after the couple were married – Princess Charlotte.

NPG D20038; King George IV; Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick by Michael Sloane, published by Luigi Schiavonetti, after Richard Cosway

NPG D15606; Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales by Francesco Bartolozzi, published by Gaetano Stefano Bartolozzi, after Richard Cosway
Princess Charlotte Augusta born 7th January 1796 Francesco Bartolozzi
NPG D8048; King George IV when Prince Regent by William Say, after John Hoppner
by William Say, after  John Hoppner, mezzotint, published 1812 Aged 40
NPG D33353; King George IV after Unknown artist
after Unknown artist stipple engraving, published January 1827 16 3/8 in. x 11 3/8 in. (416 mm x 290 mm) plate size; 19 1/8 in. x 14 1/4 in. (487 mm x 362 mm) paper size Aged  65 years

Well, we said we couldn’t resist a caricature image and this is our favourite, 1795 reflecting upon all his mistresses … is Grace amongst them? You decide!

Lovers George IV
Courtesy of Lewis Walpole Collection Thoughts on matrimony (1795)

Mary Robinson aka Perdita

Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey

Anna Maria Crouch

Maria Fitzherbert

Pretty Milliner

Lady and Child – Grace Dalrymple Elliott, perhaps?

Advertisements

One thought on “‘Happy Birthday’ George IV – born 12th August 1762

  1. Pingback: History A'la Carte 10-2-14 - Random Bits of Fascination

Comments are closed.