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King George IV

(1762-1830), Regent 1811-19; Reigned 1820-30

Sitter associated with 196 portraits
George, Prince of Wales was given no official duties by his father King George III. Jockeying for power, he sought to undermine the King by siding with the Whig opposition led by Charles James Fox. When the King went temporarily insane in 1788 William Pitt, the Tory Prime Minister, proposed a restricted Regency to protect the King's interests. The King's recovery three months later ended the 'Regency Crisis'. Pitt's Regency Bill was revived during the King's final illness. George was sworn Regent in 1811, crowned King in 1820 and ruled until 1830.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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'Monuments lately discovered on Salisbury Plain', by James Gillray, published by  Hannah Humphrey - NPG D12309

'Monuments lately discovered on Salisbury Plain'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 15 June 1782
NPG D12309

'The thunderer' (King George IV; Sir Banastre Tarleton, Bt), by James Gillray, published by  Elizabeth d'Achery - NPG D12981

'The thunderer' (King George IV; Sir Banastre Tarleton, Bt)

by James Gillray, published by Elizabeth d'Achery
hand-coloured etching, published 20 August 1782
NPG D12981

'Paridise regain'd' (King George IV; Charles James Fox; Mary Robinson (née Darby)), probably by James Gillray, published by  J. Langham - NPG D12329

'Paridise regain'd' (King George IV; Charles James Fox; Mary Robinson (née Darby))

probably by James Gillray, published by J. Langham
hand-coloured etching, published 20 February 1783
NPG D12329

'General Blackbeard wounded at the battle of Leadenhall', by John Boyne, published by  Edward Hedges - NPG D12344

'General Blackbeard wounded at the battle of Leadenhall'

by John Boyne, published by Edward Hedges
etching, published 5 January 1784
NPG D12344

'The Departure', by Thomas Rowlandson, published by  William Humphrey - NPG D14836

'The Departure'

by Thomas Rowlandson, published by William Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 29 April 1784
NPG D14836

King George IV, by Samuel William Reynolds, published by  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D19589

King George IV

by Samuel William Reynolds, published by Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, (1785)
NPG D19589

'A new way to pay the National-Debt', by James Gillray, published by  William Holland - NPG D13052

'A new way to pay the National-Debt'

by James Gillray, published by William Holland
hand-coloured etching and engraving, published 21 April 1786
NPG D13052

'Wife & no wife - or - a trip to the Continent', by James Gillray, published by  William Holland - NPG D13066

'Wife & no wife - or - a trip to the Continent'

by James Gillray, published by William Holland
hand-coloured etching, published 27 March 1786
NPG D13066

'The Prince at Grasse', by James Gillray, published by  Samuel William Fores - NPG D12362

'The Prince at Grasse'

by James Gillray, published by Samuel William Fores
hand-coloured etching, published 2 June 1787
NPG D12362

'The Prince in Clover', by James Gillray, published by  Samuel William Fores - NPG D12363

'The Prince in Clover'

by James Gillray, published by Samuel William Fores
hand-coloured etching, published 2 June 1787
NPG D12363

'The sick prince', by James Gillray, published by  Samuel William Fores - NPG D12365

'The sick prince'

by James Gillray, published by Samuel William Fores
hand-coloured etching, published 16 June 1787
NPG D12365

'Dido forsaken', by James Gillray, published by  Samuel William Fores - NPG D12994

'Dido forsaken'

by James Gillray, published by Samuel William Fores
hand-coloured etching, published 21 May 1787
NPG D12994

'Monstrous craws, at a new coalition feast' (Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; King George IV; King George III), by James Gillray, published by  Samuel William Fores - NPG D13061

'Monstrous craws, at a new coalition feast' (Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; King George IV; King George III)

by James Gillray, published by Samuel William Fores
etching and aquatint, published 29 May 1787
NPG D13061

'Monstrous craws, at a new coalition feast' (Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; King George IV; King George III), by James Gillray, published by  Samuel William Fores - NPG D13062

'Monstrous craws, at a new coalition feast' (Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; King George IV; King George III)

by James Gillray, published by Samuel William Fores
hand-coloured etching and aquatint, published 29 May 1787
NPG D13062

King George IV, by Louis or Lewis Saillar (Sailliar), after  Richard Cosway - NPG D19038

King George IV

by Louis or Lewis Saillar (Sailliar), after Richard Cosway
stipple engraving, published 24 August 1787
NPG D19038

King George IV, by Samuel William Reynolds, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D9208

King George IV

by Samuel William Reynolds, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, (1788-1789)
NPG D9208

King George IV, by James Sayers, published by  Thomas Cornell - NPG D9761

King George IV

by James Sayers, published by Thomas Cornell
etching and soft-ground etching, published 3 March 1788
NPG D9761

'Bubbles of opposition', by James Gillray - NPG D12385

'Bubbles of opposition'

by James Gillray
hand-coloured etching and aquatint, published 19 July 1788
NPG D12385

'The royal joke, - or - black jacks delight', by James Gillray, published by  Samuel William Fores - NPG D12996

'The royal joke, - or - black jacks delight'

by James Gillray, published by Samuel William Fores
hand-coloured etching, published 25 April 1788
NPG D12996

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