Did You Know that the Prince Regent Went Mad?

The regency period in English history (1811 to 1820) is quite extraordinary. It started when old King George III went bonkers. Perhaps it was his disappointment over losing the colonies due to moronic taxation policies. Yes, they were his idea.  Here he is before he went bonkers

Image result for George III

The king was not dead, and there could be no new king, so there was a “regency”, where George III’s son acted in his place. This was not great for the king, as his son hated him and tried to have his doctors hasten his path to the Valhalla- Well, never mind all that. We are focused here on the regent himself.

The prince regent wanted to look like this

Image result for Prince Regent

And when he was a lad, he was rather charming. But things changed.  Later he probably looked more like this

Image result for Prince Regent

He became George Iv when his father died. By that time, his youthful charm was long gone. He had this incredible need to pamper himself which he did at least in part by consuming vast quantities of food and booze. He ended up with a 56 inch waist!

Image result for Prince Regent

This became less amusing to his subjects, who were going without due to the prolonged struggle with Napoleon..  So what happened next?

In the final years of his reign, as his health declined, George IV seemed to be increasingly out of touch with reality. He devoted his time to planning further even more grandiose building projects, none of which were to ever see fruition. He might also talk at length about his imagined exploits at the Battle of Waterloo where his imaginary role became ever greater and more heroic.

Fantasy had conquered reality. Perhaps this is what happens when you rely on fantasy to guide your sense of reality.

George IV is not the first man in power to lose his marbles in an orgy of excess. The Roman Caesars had this routine down pretty well. and you can go 9on from there. And George IV will not likely be the last of his type. Citizen Kane comes to mind. Yes,Mr. Trump, fantasy is dangerous.

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