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Lucy Worsley's Royal Myths and Secrets: King George III & IV and the Napoleonic War

Premieres Friday, September 24 at 9:00 p.m.

Lucy Worsley's Royal Myths & Secrets

Ep 5 Preview | Kings George III & IV and the Napoleonic War

Lucy Worsley reveals how King George III was forced to relinquish power to his son.

The Regency Era, thought of as genteel and well-ordered, full of beautiful buildings and Jane Austen romance, was actually an age of revolution. Lucy examines the so-called “madness” of King George III and how it threatened the British throne. Contrary to popular myth, the King’s illness generated sympathy among the British public, but it forced him to hand over power to his extravagant and unpopular son, who would eventually be crowned George IV. 

Lucy investigates the new King’s secret marriage to his Catholic mistress, his debauched lifestyle and enormous debts, revealing that many subjects thought him entirely unsuitable to reign. Despite the threat of revolt, George IV restored splendor to the monarchy through art and architecture, creating a myth that he personally had vanquished the revolutionary French at the Battle of Waterloo. Ultimately, Lucy discovers that while George IV remained a subject of scathing satire, revolution in Britain was quelled during his reign and the monarchy was saved.