Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history, followed by Queen Victoria. The third longest reign was that of King George III, who reigned from sixty years, from 1760-1820, through the Seven Years War against France, the American War of Independence, the Napoleonic Wars against France, and through poor health and mental illness.
|King George III, 1765, by Allan Ramsay. Public Domain|
By the end of the year, King George was considered insane. He could not comprehend political events or the death of his wife in 1818. In early January of 1820, he could no longer walk and died at Windsor Castle on the 29th, six days after the death of his son, the Duke of Kent (father of the future Queen Victoria).
|Engraving of King George III by Henry Meyer, 1816. Public Domain|
The nation plunged into mourning, wearing black as a sign of respect while plans were made.
The King's Lying in State took place on February 15 at the Royal apartments at Windsor Castle, and the funeral followed the next evening at St. George's Chapel. Mourners accompanied the casket to the chapel for the service, walking in line according to precedence. (The Prince Regent did not attend, as he was gravely ill.) The casket was covered by a pall of purple velvet, carried under a purple velvet canopy by ten Yeomen of the Guard. Grenadiers of the Foot Guards walked alongside, and every fourth man held a torch.
|Funeral Procession of George III, 1820|
After the service, pallbearers lowered the casket into the Royal Vault under the chapel, where King George III lies today.
The Regent became King George IV, but when he died in 1830 without any surviving children, his brother William IV ruled. He, too, lacked surviving legitimate children, and the throne passed to the only legitimate child of their late brother, the Duke of Kent, a daughter named Alexandrina Victoria...known today as Queen Victoria.
The death of King George III is one of the historical events mentioned in my new Regency, A Mother for His Family (Love Inspired Historical). I'm giving away a copy to one person who leaves a comment (and a way to contact you!) to this post by 11:59 pm January 6, 2018, EST.
Paperback available to US only, please.