King so terrible,
Nation looked to teenage girls
To overcome shame.
In compliance with my current need to swear and rant at great length, I hereby declare this Punchable Faces Week. First on the list is George IV, who was just an awful prick and a walking argument against the Divine Right of Kings.
George IV, born in 1762, was a man whose only major accomplishment was to be birthed by a queen before a bunch of other awful princes. Oh sure, he was a great patron of the arts, but that doesn’t mean squat when you patronize them with money you don’t fucking have. He was always begging Parliament for cash and throwing temper tantrums when they very sensibly refused.
What else did he waste the public’s money on? Interior and exterior decorating, clothes he looked awful in, the mistress du jour, parties, and a whole bunch of other bullshit. By the time of his marriage to Caroline of Brunswick, he was in debt to the equivalent of sixty million goddamned pounds in today’s money. In fact, the only reason he got married was because Parliament would help him pay some of that off if he did.
Did I mention his shit show of a coronation, which cost £20,000,000 in today’s money? The one where his estranged wife, Caroline of Brunswick, kept banging on the doors of Westminster Abbey, demanding to be let in? I don’t believe I did.
Did I mention that George let mistress Lady Jersey pick out Caroline for his bride? And that he made Lady Jersey Caroline’s Lady of the Bedchamber? And that regarding her, he said, “it required no small [effort] to conquer my aversion and overcome the disgust of her person,” when, fuck, have you looked at his pictures? He had no grounds to be critiquing anyone’s appearance.
Did I mention how, after secretly illegally marrying the catholic Maria Fitzherbert, he consistently fought against relieving restrictions on catholics? All the while declaring her to be his one true love? (While also ditching her whenever it was convenient?)
Did I mention how he used his poor daughter, the ill-fated Charlotte, in his pissing match against Caroline? While barely ever bothering to see her himself and isolating her from the world to the point where she ran away? While giving this then-probably future Queen of England a crappy excuse for an education? While being a petulant shit because she was more popular than him and trying his level best to arrange a marriage for her that would keep her permanently out of the country?
No fucking wonder Britain pinned their hopes on Charlotte and then Victoria to maybe restore some of their national dignity someday. A pair of teenagers. I’ve met many likeable and intelligent teenagers over the years, but few I would confidently appoint as head of state.
Okay, so Vicky wasn’t actually a teenager yet when George had the good grace to croak, but the point still stands. And that point is that I hate George IV.