proud as a peacock: roly-poly dandy

The Prince Regent’s first visit to Brighton, a short one, took place in 1783 at the invitation of his uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, whom the Prine’s father, George III, regarded with such horror that he had forbidden his son to visit him. As soon as the Prince was twenty-one, with his own establishment, and free to please himself, he had accepted Cumberland’s invitation with alacrity. The visit proved hugely successful….

---John Russell,Portrait of George IV, when Prince of Wales Date 1791 Medium oil on canvas source: wiki

Life at Brighton. Prince George Regent at Brighton.A handsome, if florid face, a respectable, though slightly plump figure, and apparently first-class legs, of which he was inordinately proud.  Martha Gunn, the “queen of dippers” helped their favorite girls into the sea; after all the girls were there for adventure as well. The men:  They gambled endlessly, dances, drank furiously, ate gigantically, and wenched interminably, raced their horses and drove their phaetons in mad competition  across the wide lawns that bordered the sea.  And they dressed.

George Stubbs. ---Prince of Wales. Phaeton. 1793.---King George IV (or "Prinny," as his subjects affectionately nicknamed him), was born in 1762, the eldest son of one of Britain's longest-reigning monarchs, George III. Owing to his father's bouts of insanity, George, Prince of Wales, became Prince Regent in 1811, ushering in a period of exuberance in fashion and literature called "The Regency." After a strict childhood dominated by "Farmer George," at age 18 Prinny had broken out — first with an intrigue with an actress (Mrs. Robinson), and then with a married woman, Mrs. Fitzherbert, a Roman Catholic whom he clandestinely married when he was just 23 — at 25, she was already twice a widow! Prince George had been 21 when, in 1783, he had made his first visit to Brighton, which, although still a village ("Brighthelmstone"), had delighted him with assemblies, balls, gambling, and promenading by the sands of the English Channel.---Read More:

Prince George was even prouder of his taste in clothes, formed and guided by his friend Beau Brummell, who had revolutionized the Englishman’s dress by insisting on subdued colors, perfect cut, and exquisite linen as the marks of elegance. Only in the evening, on full-dress occasions, were princes and nobles permitted to dress like peacocks. But clothes and the wearing of them was a matter for daily concern and long discussion.

---"Who is your fat friend?" -Beau Brummel George Prince of Wales was not a prince to be taken very seriously and then he became king, he wasn't much of a king to be taken seriously either. Perhaps the saddest part of this recollection was that he was regent for a mad king, making a hedonistic and incompetent young man the backup for ruling an Empire. Ah, monarchy! Surprisingly enough the Prince's hedonism led to some of the famous fashion trends of the time period that was named after him, the Regency era. ---Read More:


( see link at end) …King George IV of Great Britain, whose reign began … in 1820 upon the death of his father, King George III (America’s last king), was not your usual monarch. Oh, sure, like many of them, as a young man he was a glutton, an alcoholic, a drug addict, a womanizer and a profligate who ran up so much debt that he had to agree to marry to get Parliament to pay off the 650,000 pounds he owed creditors. But unlike most other English kings, George IV remained a glutton, drunk, addict, gambler and wastrel, dying in 1830 from a combination of those diseases.

George IV was different in other ways, too. For example, most English kings fancied themselves great warriors and usually squandered the national treasury on prolonged wars. King George IV fancied himself a great special events planner and squandered the national treasury on parties and ceremonies.

Take his Coronation, which occurred in July of 1821, and which he planned himself down to the last detail. Sparing no expense, George spent 24,000 pounds on his Coronation robe, which was crimson velvet with gold stars and ermine trim, and included a train that stretched 27 feet. During the official Coronation Procession to Westminster Hall the 27-foot train was held by pages, who were ordered by George to spread it wide so that his subjects could admire the intricate embroidery. Also during that procession, attendants strewed herbs and flowers along the path he traveled, and following the king were the officers of state, holding the crown, the orb, the scepter and the sword of state…Read More:

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