Friday, September 2, 2011

George IV is Fat (a silly historical video from Horrible Histories)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Susan reporting:

What better way to ease into a long weekend than with a new video from the Horrible Histories?

If ever there were a monarch ripe for ridicule, it must be George IV (1762-1830.) The circumstances of his life would have tried a much better man, and even as kings go, George was somewhat lacking. While he did serve twice as Prince Regent for the ailing George III, the truth was that the father lived for so long that the son himself was long past his own prime by the time he became king. The younger George destroyed his promise as well as his once-handsome person by self-centered, sybaritic excess, and his reign lasted a mere ten years before he, too, died.

The satiric cartoonists of the day found a ready subject in George's womanizing, laziness, indulgences, and, of course, his ever-burgeoning girth. It does say something that one of the most famous quotations about him (spoken by his one-time friend Beau Brummell) – "Alvanley, who is your fat friend?" – is a dismissive dig at his weight. Clearly, if Prinny were alive and celebrating Labor Day weekend, he'd be the first one standing with an empty plate at the barbecue. O.K., not likely, but fun to imagine.

Enjoy your weekend!

Click here for another Horrible Histories video featuring the Prince Regent.


Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

I saw George IV's clothes at an exhibition at the Brighton Pavilion - really, by today's standards he was not obese. Today's very well fed guy could easy beat his girth.

Anonymous said...

Size may be relative, but from all contemporary reports Prinny was a real Big Boy. This has got to be my favorite Gillray cartoon of him from the British Museum:

Patchouli said...

I saw his corset once in a museum and his waist was 130 cm.
What a hilarious video! Made me laugh out loud.

Vicky Dreiling said...

That was great - thanks for the Friday laugh.

Unknown said...
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Louise Partain said...

Thanks for the Labor Day Weekend giggle, Susan!

Even during the hurricane when you weren't posting, I was sorting through the Horrible Histories video archives. So much fun!

Everybody stay safe during holiday and the inclement weather that is forecast.

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