Reluctant ruler - careful not to put a foot in wrong.
George Ludwig, Elector of Hanover was crowned King of Great Britain and King of Ireland in 1714, succeeding Queen Anne. The first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland, he spoke no English; instead, he spoke his native German or French. His mistress, the Duchess of Kendal often translated for him. Scandal rocked his marriage, when he imprisoned for life his wife Sophia of Celle for a believed indiscretion.
During his reign, the powers of the monarchy were diminished, as the modern Cabinet system of government developed. During the later years of his reign, actual power was held by a Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.
Portrait by artist-historian George Stuart.
Courtesy Museum of Ventura County.
Images © copyright by Peter d'Aprix