A predilection for older women led The Prince of Wales, the future George IV to a relationship with the widow Fitzherbert. She was well-educated, a serious botanist and part of the London elite. They were secretly wed and she became his companion for much of his adult life. The two shared many projects, including the development of Brighton Pavilion. However their marriage was invalid under the Royal Marriages Act and she would never be queen. After many years, Fitzherbert broke off the relationship permanently when George IV took a new mistress.