Mobile menu
News

Letters of George IV published online for the first time

Release date: Thursday, 24 October 2019

A portrait of George IV by Sir Thomas Lawrence

Sir Thomas Lawrence, George IV, 1821 ©

More than 1,600 records and documents relating to George IV (1762–1830) from the Royal Archives have been digitised and published online for the first time as part of the Georgian Papers Programme.  Including both private and official papers, the newly released material sheds fresh light on the monarch’s life, relationships and interests. It covers a wide range of topics: from the political, such as the Regency crisis of 1788-9 and George, Prince of Wales’s desire for military promotion, to the personal, such as correspondence relating to the Prince’s relationship with Mary Hamilton and his unsuccessful marriage to Princess Caroline of Brunswick. These letters reveal much about the social and emotional world of the young Prince.

The documents also include inventories listing thousands of items of furniture, art, decorative arts and other material formerly in Carlton House, the Prince’s private residence, providing evidence of how the rooms were decorated, furnished and used. George IV’s passion for collecting will be explored in the forthcoming exhibition George IV: Art & Spectacle at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace (15 November 2019 – 3 May 2020).

The Georgian Papers Programme is a partnership between Royal Collection Trust, lead academic partner King's College London and international participants, including primary US partners the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture and William & Mary, as well as other key US institutions, such as the Library of Congress, Mount Vernon and the Sons of the American Revolution.  The Programme is transforming access to and interpretation of more than 425,000 pages of historic documents in the Royal Archives and Royal Library relating to the Georgian period.  To date, more than 125,000 pages have been published and made freely available online.