(1738-1820) was the first of the Hanoverian kings to be born in Britain and speak English as a first language. His 60-year reign saw great military successes against France in the Seven Years War and then the Napoleonic Wars, but also the loss of the American colonies in the Revolutionary War. He suffered recurring mental illness, most likely caused by porphyria – a blood disease which turns the urine blue – with the consequence that a regency, with his eldest son as de facto ruler, was established for the last ten years of his life.
He was dubbed “Farmer George” for his great interest in agriculture; his love of science saw him collect mathematical and scientific instruments, as well as fund the largest telescope yet built – used in 1781 to discover Uranus.
He is the subject of the film, The Madness of King George. A comic portrayal by Hugh Laurie of House-fame can be found in the Blackadder III series.