Glorious Georges: 300 years since reign of George I

Kew Palace/Historic Royal Palaces
Kew Palace/Historic Royal Palaces

This year marks 300 years since the first of the Hanoverian Kings, King George I, ascended to the throne and to celebrate Historic Royal Palaces will be hosting exhibitions at Kew, Hampton Court and Kensington.

Kew Palace/Historic Royal Palaces
Kew Palace/Historic Royal Palaces

This summer the reign of the three kings of the Hanoverian dynasty will be celebrated across the palaces of Hampton Court, Kensington and Kew, with each focusing on the reign of a different king.

King George I
Hampton Court Palace will explore the tensions between King George I and his son and discover what life was like in the court of the King who had arrived in England with very little knowledge of the language, 18 cooks, and reputedly two mistresses in tow – one very fat and the other tall and thin, which led to them being nicknamed ‘Elephant and Castle’ after a London suburb. Among the many events being held at Hampton Court Palace as part of the Glorious Georges season is a reenactment of the King’s arrival at the palace for the first time in 1714, complete with his red-coat soldiers, the white horses of his native Hanover, and military displays. A separate event will also offer a rare opportunity to sleep over in the palace.

King George II
Visit the glittering court of George II and Queen Caroline in the sumptuously restored King’s State Apartments at Kensington Palace. Here you can gamble like a courtier, enjoy Georgian music and join Queen Caroline while her ladies dress her in her finery in an era when music, fashion and the arts flourished. The King’s Consort was indeed a remarkable lady who wielded considerable political and social influence. Events at Kensington include a talk by Lucy Worsley on ‘The Hanoverians: The First Georgians’ including how they secured the throne, how they maintained power and what influences they had on our great palaces.

King George III/Historic Royal Palaces
King George III/Historic Royal Palaces

King George III
Discover the early years of the young Prince George and the elaborate education he received at the little known palace of Kew. Following the death of his father, Frederick, Prince of Wales, and later King George II, George III ascended to the throne and Kew remained a favoured country retreat for the King and his wife Charlotte. Indeed it was here that he retreated when he suffered the first bout of illness that led him to be labelled ‘Mad King George.’

For more go to Historic Royal Palaces.

To read our exclusive feature from behind-the-scenes at Kew Palace see Volume 82, Issue 3 of BRITAIN magazine, on sale in the UK on 4 April and on the US newsstands on 9 May.

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