Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Regent of THE Regency (the silly video version of the life of George IV)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Susan reporting:

It's such a horribly hot weekend in most of America (ah, July) that it seems only fitting that we post another of our favorite Horrible Histories videos.

This one follows the career and reign of King George IV (1762-1830), a king who is more famous for being a regent than a ruler in his own right, serving as prince regent while his father George III suffered through bouts of madness. George IV was better known for his extravagant lifestyle, prodigious appetite, and many mistresses than for any genuine leadership, and even the beautiful palaces (like the Royal Pavilion at Brighton) that he commissioned were viewed at the time as only more examples of his spendthrift's excess.

Understandably George received little respect from his subjects. The Times famously noted at his death that "there never was an individual less regretted by his fellow-creatures than this deceased king. What eye has wept for him? What heart has heaved one throb of unmercenary sorrow?... If he ever had a friend, a devoted friend from any rank of life, we protest that the name of him or her never reached us."

In comparison to that, the Horrible Histories treatment of his life is downright respectful.


Right: George IV, King of Great Britain, by John Russell, 1790-92

10 comments:

Miss Kirsten said...

Oh, too funny! Thanks for sharing!

Finegan Antiques said...

What a refreshing way to spend part of a beastly hot Sunday. Great video!

Poor little George IV. Such a sad and pathetic figure.

Donna

Laurel Ann said...

Too funny. I am all amazement that people have the time and talent to put these amusements together so professionally. They did their research and added irony and humor. Well done silliness! Thanks for sharing. LA

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Poor Prinny. I've done some research on his marriage and it sure wasn't made in heaven. This video is fabulous!

Always Trista said...

What a hoot! I just love these videos. I really liked the old king hopping around in heaven, saying he was a kangaroo.

Conrad said...

Whenever I hear of old Prinny,my thoughts run to the current Prince-of-Wales-in-Waiting, languishing in the wings until Mum shuffles off. Let's hope when he finally gets his chance that he'll do a better job of it than his ancestor.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Glad you're enjoying the Horrible Histories - I keep discovering new ones on YouTube, so there will probably be more here in the future.

Yes, poor Prinny was sort of a sad figure, if not exactly a tragic one. Just because you're born to be king doesn't mean you possess the necessary qualities. And I certainly hope that the current Prince of Wales does make a better king!

Deb said...

Blackadder's third series was set in the regency era. Blackadder was the valet to the Prince. Lots of nonsense, but also some interesting little historical nuggests--and very, very funny.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

I love Blackadder, too, Deb - that last season with the Prince Regent was one of the best,playing fast and loose with history in best Blackadder-fashion. Though who's going to complain about Samuel Johnson popping up in the Regency when it's so funny to find him there with his dictionary under his arm?

And of course for Americans, it's doubly funny to see Hugh Laurie -- clever Dr. House! -- hamming it up as the dimwitted prince. *g*

Deb said...

I know--my husband and I were gobsmacked when we first saw "House" and there was George/Prinny from "Blackadder" and Laurie from "A Bit of Fry & Laurie" and Bertie Wooster from "Jeeves & Wooster" playing an AMERICAN doctor with a BAD attitude! As my husband said, "I guess there just weren't enough American actors to fill the role."

 
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