Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Now, I wish I could tell you a happy family tale. But the subsequent four generations of Georgian rule is instead a twisted story of mutual hatred between Hanoverian kings and their heirs. This extreme dislike between fathers and sons ripped families apart, created enemies, and caused political divides. George I’s relationship with his son, the future George II, completely broke down in 1717 following the christening of his second grandson, also named George. George I was adamant that the Duke of Newcastle should be named his grandson’s godfather. But his son was equally determined this wouldn’t be the case. In a fit of rage, George II yelled, find him! But due to his strong German accent, it sounded more like fight him.
Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds And the King dismissed the prince from court for challenging the duke to a duel, a highly illegal act. Prince George and his wife, Caroline of Ansbach, were banished from court, and worst of all, separated from their young children, who remained with their grandfather at Hampton Court Palace. George II succeeded the throne when his father died in 1727. For the first 10 years of his reign, Kensington Palace was a glittering centre of court life, where courtiers and politicians vied for favour. We know it’s not very healthy for parents to favour one child. That didn’t stop George II and Queen Caroline showering love and affection on William Augustus, and openly loathing Frederick.
Skip to 1 minute and 39 seconds Queen Caroline was reported to have remarked on her eldest son, look, there he goes, that wretch, that villain. I wish the ground would open up this moment and sink the monster to the lowest hole in hell. Frederick’s brother, William, was spoilt rotten. He was presented with the most lavish children’s rooms in England, while Frederick had to make do with Henry VIII privy chamber. Frederick suspected, probably correctly, that his parents wanted William to succeed. However, both he and William died early. And Frederick’s son, George, was next in line for the throne. And so this is where we’ll pick up our story once again, when George III was crowned King of Great Britain.
Skip to 2 minutes and 20 seconds I’d like to say that George learned some lessons from his father, and his father’s father, and his father’s father’s father. But unfortunately, George III’s rule and the rigid control of his eldest son had disastrous consequences. It’s no secret that George III suffered from the recurrent bouts of mental illness. But what was his relationship with food, both before and after these attacks? Find out more in week four.
George I died in 1727. What happened next?
Join Kate in this animated, whistle-stop tour through history, illustrating the events that led to the succession of George III in 1760.
We hope you enjoyed Week 3 and look forward to meeting you again in Week 4 when we pick up our story again at Kew Palace, at the moment ‘Mad King’ George is allowed to eat with a knife and fork for the first time, after a long bout of illness
This animation was created by Louise Jin Yin Lee, Ross Warrington and Benedict Cross, students from the University of Reading’s Typography and Graphic Communication department.
For those of you keen to read further about Georgian food and the history of chocolate, we’ve compiled a list of suggested further reading material, provided by previous Learners in a PDF at the bottom of this Step.
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