William Kingdom

King of Hanover and the United Kingdom William Kingdom

William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death. William, the third son of George III and younger brother and successor to George IV, was the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover. He served in the Royal Navy in his youth and was, both during his reign and afterwards, nicknamed the "Sailor King".
William IV of the United Kingdom's personal information overview.
20 June 1837

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  • 1837
    Age 72
    Queen Adelaide attended the dying William devotedly, not going to bed herself for more than ten days. William IV died in the early hours of the morning of 20 June 1837 at Windsor Castle, where he was buried.
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    A watercolour sketch made by her during her pregnancy in early 1837 shows how frail he had become.
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  • 1836
    Age 71
    The King, angered at what he took to be disrespect from the Duchess to his wife, took the opportunity at what proved to be his final birthday banquet in August 1836 to settle the score.
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  • 1834
    Age 69
    In 1834, the ministry was facing increasing unpopularity and Lord Grey retired; the Home Secretary, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, replaced him.
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    For the remainder of his reign, William interfered actively in politics only once, in 1834, when he became the last British sovereign to choose a prime minister contrary to the will of Parliament.
  • 1833
    Age 68
    In 1833, William signed a new constitution for Hanover, which empowered the middle class, gave limited power to the lower classes, and expanded the role of the parliament of Hanover.
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  • 1832
    Age 67
    His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all the British Empire, and the British electoral system refashioned by the Reform Act 1832.
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  • 1831
    Age 66
    The crisis saw a brief interlude for the celebration of the King's Coronation on 8 September 1831.
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    When the House of Commons defeated the First Reform Bill in 1831, Grey's ministry urged William to dissolve Parliament, which would lead to a new general election.
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  • 1830
    Age 65
    When King George IV died on 26 June 1830 without surviving legitimate issue, William succeeded him as King William IV.
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    George IV's health was increasingly bad; it was obvious by early 1830 that he was near death.
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  • 1828
    Age 63
    Things finally came to a head in 1828 when, as Lord High Admiral, he put to sea with a squadron of ships, leaving no word of where they were going, and remaining away for ten days.
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  • 1827
    Age 62
    When the Duke of York died in 1827, William, then more than 60 years old, became heir presumptive.
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  • 1818
    Age 53
    At Kew on 11 July 1818, William married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.
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  • 1817
    Age 52
    Following the death of William's niece Princess Charlotte of Wales, then second-in-line to the British throne, in 1817, the king was left with twelve children, but no legitimate grandchildren.
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  • 1813
    Age 48
    In 1813, he came nearest to any actual fighting, when he visited the British troops fighting in the Low Countries.
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  • 1811
    Age 46
    The couple had ten illegitimate children—five sons and five daughters—nine of whom were named after William's siblings; each was given the surname "FitzClarence". Their affair lasted for twenty years before ending in 1811.
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    In 1811, he was appointed to the honorary position of Admiral of the Fleet.
  • 1798
    Age 33
    In 1798 he was made an admiral, but the rank was purely nominal.
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  • 1797
    Age 32
    George III was accepting of his son's relationship with the actress (though recommending that he halve her allowance); in 1797, he created William Ranger of Bushy Park, which included a large residence, Bushy House, for William's growing family.
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  • 1793
    Age 28