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The royal dynasty that ruled Great Britain and Ireland from 1714 to 1901. VictorianBritain and QueenVicky get separate entries, since Victoria spent so long on the throne. [[TheEdwardianEra King Edward VII]] and his successors (TheHouseOfWindsor) have their own pages, and technically speaking ''not'' Hanoverians (instead being of Queen Victoria's Prince Consort Albert's house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) due to the whole male succession thing.

Originated from the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg (also known as Hanover, the largest city in it), in what is now essentially the [[TheSixteenLandsOfDeutschland German state of Lower Saxony]].[[note]]So we suppose [[UsefulNotes/AngloSaxons the Saxons]] did take back the country, eh?[[/note]]

We should note here that it was a grand Hanoverian tradition for the Hanoverians to get into personal disputes and pissing contests with their eldest sons; this had a few lasting effects[[note]]Sir UsefulNotes/RobertWalpole's rise to the position of Prime Minister was in part the product of his mediation of George I's problems with the future George II, and many of the modern royal duties of the monarchy -- cutting ribbons, going on state visits to friendly countries, etc. -- were established because they were concessions Victoria made to her son Edward, who was constantly angry at her for not giving him enough to do.[[/note]] but more importantly the disputes are often ''hilarious'' in hindsight.

!!'''George I of Great Britain'''
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'''Lived''': 28 May 1660 –- 11 June 1727
'''Parents''': Ernest Augustus, ''Elector of Hanover'' and ''Princess'' Sophia of the Palatinate
'''Reigned (in Britain)''': 1 August 1714 –- 11 June 1727
'''Consort''': ''Duchess'' Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Celle

George I (German: ''Georg'') did not become King of Great Britain and Ireland until the age of 54, and had possibly less interest in ruling the country than any other actual monarch before or since. During his early life, he'd served in a couple of wars that had expanded the Holy Roman Empire, married his first cousin. She later cheated on him. Her lover was killed, possibly with George's knowledge, and she was placed in a LuxuryPrisonSuite for the ''rest of her life''. [[ReallyGetsAround He naturally had numerous mistresses,]] two of whom became known to the British people as [[EmbarrassingNickname "the ugly one" and "the fat one".]]

Ascended to the dukedom of Hanover in 1698 on the death of his father. The removal of Catholics from the line of succession to the British throne (56 of them were ahead of his family), and the death of the incumbent first-in-line, rather unexpectedly placed his mother Sophia as heir presumptive to the reigning Queen Anne. Sophia was hardly young and died in 1714, just before Anne herself. George found himself heir and headed for the UK, but got stuck for a while at The Hague due to wind problems.

George, not having been anywhere near close to succeeding to the British throne until during his late forties, [[FishOutOfWater did not speak English, found communication with his British ministers difficult, and generally preferred Hanover to Britain anyway.]] Therefore, during his reign, Parliament became the dominant body in British government and the first "Prime Minister" (a title not yet in formal existence) emerged, Robert Walpole.

''The South Sea Bubble''

Proving that speculation is nothing new...

The South Sea Company held a monopoly on English trade with South America, particularly the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which was really getting going at this time (one of the effects of the UsefulNotes/WarOfTheSpanishSuccession was that Britain obtained the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assiento asiento]]'', the exclusive right to sell slaves to Spanish colonies).

It bought a large portion of the British national debt, by selling shares. Engaging in practices that were distinctly dodgy to drive up the price, such as "selling" shares to politicians. The politicians didn't actually pay for them, sold them back, thus increasing the price. There were also false rumours of potential profits.

Other companies joined in. (Some choice example are the company for inventing a wheel for perpetual motion, capital one million, and the notorious company "for carrying on an Undertaking of great Advantage; but nobody to know what it is." The proprietor of the latter company raised the then-huge sum of two thousand pounds in one day, and promptly skipped town.)

By 1720, the price had reached its peak and people were selling en masse. Those who had bought shares on credit saw the price collapse and many ended up bankrupt. The banks had to write off a load of debt they could not get back. Parliament was recalled, investigated and found massive fraud going on. This was not the first "bubble"[[note]]The Dutch had famously suffered a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania tulip bubble]] in the 1630s, and there were probably others before then[[/note]] and it certainly wasn't the last.

King George was not directly involved, but the government became rather unpopular as a result.

George was often ridiculed in England for his wooden mannerisms and supposed inability to speak English (he handled royal business in French, and may have picked up the language later in life), but by and large, contemporary accounts held him to be a better choice than the Stuarts. His treatment of his wife did however embitter his son against him, starting a tradition among the Hanovers and Wettins/Windsors of father-son animosity that lasted until the reign of Edward VII.

!!'''George II of Great Britain'''
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'''Lived''': 30 October 1683 –- 25 October 1760
'''Parents''': ''King'' George I and ''Princess'' Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick and Luneburg
'''Reigned''': 11 June 1727 -- 25 October 1760
'''Consort''': ''Princess'' Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach

Perhaps best known for the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie marched a Scottish army as far as Derby before turning back and being defeated at Culloden.

George was also the last British monarch to lead an army in battle (at Dettingen, in 1743), at the age of 60 no less.

Also, Britain reformed its calendar in 1752, omitting eleven days to switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendars, and also changing the start of the new year from 25 March to 1 January. The second of September was followed by the fourteenth, and dates were referred to as Old Style or New Style according to which calendar was being used. Most of the Continent had switched some time ago.

The song that became the UK's national anthem, 'God Save The King', was written and first performed during George II's reign – and remains used to this day, [[CaptainObvious as 'God Save The Queen']] .

As a point of trivia, [[GratuitousGerman Georg August]] was not only the last British Monarch born outside of England[[note]](Of his successors there, so far only Edward VIII and George VI have been born outside of Central London)[[/note]] but the last hereditary ruler of Hanover to be born any closer than Berlin.

His wife and consort, Caroline of Ansbach, is considered to have been one of the most powerful and beloved of modern royal consorts. Wise, compassionate, and devoted to her faith, Caroline turned down the Catholic King of Spain (and Holy Roman Emperor) to marry George, then merely a minor Protestant German princeling. As Princess of Wales and Queen she was beloved by not just Hanoverians but Jacobites as well, who (despite their religious differences) saw her as a voice of moderation, compassion, and reason. As an ally of Robert Walpole she had a great deal of influence on her husband and on the government of the day, but this was seen mainly in a positive light even by Walpole's opponents.[[note]]They didn't have much faith in George at the time, and saw Caroline as both smarter and more politically astute than her husband.[[/note]] Her early death in 1737 left both the country and George bereft; he never considered remarrying. Paradoxically, George was both a devoted husband and notorious philanderer; all of his mistresses were cleared with his wife beforehand.

George and Frederick carried on the Hanoverian tradition of mutual dislike between father and son; when George's ship was feared lost in a gale in the North Sea, his eldest son Frederick (the Prince of Wales) held a dinner party in celebration. Caroline's early death[[note]]from a hernia complicated by uterine rupture and a strangulated bowel - and unsuccessful surgery without anaesthetic to correct the problem[[/note]] was attributed by George to the rage she felt at Frederick over the stunt. Luckily for George (and possibly the nation) Frederick predeceased his father.

George's death was itself one of the more interesting royal deaths in British history. Being, like most members of his dynasty, [[AdiposeRex rather a large man]], with the wholly unhealthy diet characteristic of the 18th-century European upper classes, we shouldn't be too surprised that he died of heart disease (specifically, his right ventricle had ruptured as a result of an aortic aneurysm). However, the chain of events leading to it is darkly amusing: after finishing his morning his hot chocolate, the King went to the loo to conduct his morning labours (did we mention that on account of the aforementioned awful diet, he had chronic constipation?), and a few minutes later his valet heard a crash. Yes, [[UndignifiedDeath George II died]] [[Series/TheSopranos taking a shit]].

Eventually living to the age of 77, George was to this point the longest-lived monarch the land had ever seen. As holder of this record he was succeeded, as on the throne, by:

!!'''George III of the United Kingdom'''
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'''Lived''': 4 June 1738 –- 29 January 1820
'''Parents''': ''Prince'' Frederick, Prince of Wales and ''Princess'' Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
'''Reigned''': 25 October 1760 -- 29 January 1820
'''Consort''': ''Princess'' Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

->''"I glory in the name of Britain"''.

The grandson of George II (his father Frederick, Prince of Wales having died young, as mentioned above), George III came to the throne aged just 22, and went on to become both the longest-lived and longest-reigning sovereign in British history by this point. The first Hanoverian to have been born in England and raised speaking English, he in fact never visited Hanover in his long life. Unlike his two predecessors, who were mostly interested in their German territories, George's attentions were firmly fixed on Britain; at his coronation speech, he famously proclaimed, "I glory in the name of Briton".[[note]]Or "Britain"; nobody's quite sure, but either way the point is the same.[[/note]] He nevertheless also accepted the principle of constitutional monarchy; his occasional fights with Parliament were rarely all that contentious, and although he experimented with trying to control the government from outside the Cabinet he was never fully invested in that and gave it up as a fool's errand after the end of the American War of Independence. He took a personal interest in agriculture (fitting, given that Britain's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Agricultural_Revolution Agricultural Revolution]] reached its height during his reign), and wrote pamphlets on agriculture under the pseudonym Ralph Robinson. These interests earned him the [[FanNickname popular appellation]] "Farmer George".

Four major events happened during his reign: the [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution American]] and [[TheFrenchRevolution French Revolutions]], the Acts of Union between Britain and Ireland and the [[NapoleonBonaparte Napoleonic Wars]]. Content to let Parliament run things most of the time (particularly when the Tories were in charge), it's best to just read those articles for further information.

A perhaps atypically-successful family man for a British monarch, George and his queen Charlotte had a happy marriage (despite first meeting only on their wedding day, when he was already King) and 15 children, of whom eleven lived to the age of at least 60. He was also a remarkably relaxed king, preferring to live in the countryside and much more informally than many of his more traditional courtiers would like; Queen Charlotte agreed with him, going on walks through country towns with him [[KingIncognito without any servants]]. A man of great personal piety (spending hours in prayer daily) and morality (never taking a [[TheMistress mistress]] and never drinking to excess, and abhorring the [[ReallyGetsAround womanizing]], [[TheAlcoholic boozing]], card-playing habits of his brothers and, later, his sons), he is generally remembered as a good king in Britain. The Americans [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution have a more complex perspective]], but even then most historians believe him to be MisBlamed--he only had a significant role in the American crisis after the Boston Tea Party (which was beginning of the revolt's [[MoralEventHorizon turn toward anti-monarchical sentiment]]), at which point his support for a military response was just one of several trump cards the hawks in Parliament had over the doves. It's worth noting that after the USA achieved independence, he commented that "I was the last person to consent to the separation [of America and Britain], but I will be the first to accept the friendship of the United States as an independent power." He opposed Catholic Emancipation, but only because he believed it would violate the coronation oath he took to 'defend the (Protestant) faith'. Alas, he is also remembered for going quite insane (probably due to porphyria), leading to...

'''[[RegencyEngland The Regency]] (1811-1820)'''

In 1811, it was thought best that His Majesty, having gone completely cuckoo (this was not the first time, mind), should be quietly removed from power. His son, the Prince of Wales (Prinny), took over and was the nominal monarch for the next nine years. (It should be noted that from the Civil War onwards, Parliament had been growing in power - over the last century or so it had blossomed. Prinny, thankfully, did not have all that much power.)

The setting of a million historical romance novels. It's something about the tight trousers.

!!'''George IV of the United Kingdom'''
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'''Lived''': 12 August 1762 –- 26 June 1830
'''Parents''': ''King'' George III and ''Princess'' Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
'''Reigned''': 29 January 1820 -- 26 June 1830
'''Consort''': ''Princess'' Caroline, Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Prinny officially got the job in 1820. Once known as the First Gentleman of Europe (mainly because he dressed well and bathed regularly: his devotion to the dress and hygiene habits of [[TheDandy Beau Brummell]] are responsible for popularising Brummell's understated, clean-cut look and fixed the essential standards of taste for men's fashion--good fabric, a simple, elegant cut, dark colours--to this day), he had largely degenerated into an obese DirtyOldMan whose main preoccupation was depriving his wife, Caroline, of her rights as queen. His daughter and heir, Charlotte, had died in childbirth in 1817, so at least part of his reign was spent watching his brothers scramble to produce a viable heir of the next generation.

He was widely seen as a lazy, amoral wretch who lived only to eat and drink; by the time he ascended to the throne, he had grown too fat and lethargic even to womanize. One courtier said of him, "A more contemptible, cowardly, selfish, unfeeling dog does not exist....There have been good and wise kings but not many of them...and this I believe to be one of the worst." This from a ''friend''.

The only remotely noteworthy aspect of George IV's reign was his about-face on the Catholic Question: after being very supportive of Catholic emancipation earlier in his life (and secretly marrying one), George publicly announced his opposition to the Catholic Relief Act of 1829 (which gave Catholics the vote). Fortunately, Parliament forced it through anyway - probably ''due to'' his opposition. Upon his death, ''The Times'' eulogized him with the line,"there never was an individual less regretted by his fellow-creatures than this deceased king...If he ever had a friend – a devoted friend in any rank of life – we protest that the name of him or her never reached us."

A number of early Creator/CharlesDickens works are actually set during this time, including ''Little Dorrit'' and ''The Pickwick Papers''. Also, he was a bit into studying birds and subscribed to Audubon's famous ''Birds of America'' series.

!!'''William IV of the United Kingdom'''
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'''Lived''': 21 August 1765 –- 20 June 1837
'''Parents''': ''King'' George III and ''Princess'' Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
'''Reigned''': 26 June 1830 –- 20 June 1837
'''Consort''': ''Princess'' Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen

"Sailor Billy", as he was known, was actually the third son of George III (the second son [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Frederick,_Duke_of_York_and_Albany Frederick, or the literal Grand Old Duke of York]], had died some years previously). As such, he was sent into the Navy where he proved to everyone's surprise a thoroughly competent officer; none other than Horatio Nelson wrote of him, "In his professional line, he is superior to two-thirds, I am sure, of the [Naval] list; and in attention to orders, and respect to his superior officer, I hardly know his equal."

In the civilian world William was notorious for his casual manners, including his preference for walking as opposed to being driven in a royal carriage. He shocked society by openly living with his mistress and acknowledging her children - one of whom was the maternal ancestor of future Prime Minister UsefulNotes/DavidCameron. He also sparked controversy with his political activities, first forcing his father to raise him to a dukedom by threatening to run for the House of Commons[[note]]which he could have done at the time as a mere Prince, but not as a Duke[[/note]], then as the Duke of Clarence attacking government policies in the House of Lords. While no-one could have predicted he would become King years later, none of this seemed appropriate for a royal. Funnily enough, all of this--except for the political stuff--would be seen as preferable or at least not particularly objectionable in a monarch today (even the openly living with the mistress bit, although today we would simply expect the monarch to marry her and not some random foreign princess and have done with it), but at the time it was not universally agreed he was an improvement on his brother (many opted for "both awful").

After Princess Charlotte's death, he married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen in a double ceremony with his brother Prince Edward, who married Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (the mother of QueenVicky). It was happy marriage, though Adelaide couldn't produce the coveted heir, giving birth to two daughters, one who died shortly after birth and one who lived only four months, and two stillborn boys.

It was in William's reign that the Reform Act of 1832 was passed (extending the franchise to poor men and fundamentally weakening the power of the House of Lords). His reign also saw the enactment of laws against child labour (although not banning it entirely), the abolition of slavery, and the first state provisions for the poor were made.

William IV is of interest for another reason - he remains the last British monarch to actually use his "reserve powers" without the permission of Parliament, in this case by appointing a Prime Minister against Parliament's will. This wasn't the flourish of remaining monarchical authority it seemed, though, since he actually didn't do this of his own accord but in response to a request from other powerful political figures. Even in the 19th century, though, the political fuss this act caused showed just how much the reality of the monarch as 'ruler' had been shattered.


!!'''[[QueenVicky Victoria of the United Kingdom]]'''
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'''Lived''': 24 May 1819 –- 22 January 1901
'''Parents''': ''Prince'' Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn and ''Princess'' Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
'''Reigned''': 20 June 1837 -- 22 January 1901
'''Consort''': ''Prince'' Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

William IV outlived both of his legitimate children, so when he died the Crown came to his niece, Victoria. (Hanover itself, meanwhile, passed out of personal union with Great Britain and into the hands of William's younger brother Ernest Augustus, as the throne of Hanover couldn't be inherited by a woman.) Her reign was long and eventful; she became both the longest-lived British sovereign (the third time this had occurred in the last five monarchs), still outlived only by the present Queen Elizabeth II, and remains the longest-reigning monarch in British history. See QueenVicky, VictorianBritain, and VictorianLondon for more on this period. Her eldest son, Edward VII, marked the beginning of The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (from the house name of Prince Albert), known today as TheHouseOfWindsor.

(And for the sake of completeness....)

!!'''Ernest Augustus I of Hanover'''
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'''Lived''': 5 June 1771 –- 18 November 1851
'''Parents''': ''King'' George III and ''Princess'' Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
'''Reigned''': 20 June 1837 –- 18 November 1851
'''Consort''': ''Duchess'' Frederica of Mecklenburg, Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

The fifth son of George III, he was sent to Hanover in his youth for education, military training, and to get him away from the influence of the heir. By 1793 had received a lifelong facial scar on the front lines of [[TheFrenchRevolution The War of the First Coalition]], and was created Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale six years later. Of course his time on the continent helped develop his arch-conservative political views, which alongside scandals up to and including actual interference in the elections for a seat in the House of Commons made him increasingly unpopular in Britain. He moved to Berlin with his new wife (twice widowed, the second time ''conveniently'' after meeting Ernest) in 1818, but being happily married upon the death of his only legitimate niece gave him a real chance at the British throne.

His return to Britain in the late 1820s (The House of Commons would only increase his allowance if his young son was being reared locally) heralded his return to politics including fierce opposition to Catholic Emancipation, rumors of him siring a child on [[BrotherSisterIncest his sister Princess Sophia]], and loose talk from the Orange Order Lodges he had backed for years shunting aside Heir Apparent [[QueenVicky Victoria of Kent]] in favor of the Duke of Cumberland.

->"Leave, before you are pelted out."

It is note likely that UsefulNotes/TheDukeOfWellington said this to the face of the late King William's brother after the Anglo-Hanoveran Union of the Crowns ended in 1837, but the Duke of Cumberland was not a popular man in Britain and the populace of Hanover would have preferred passing him over in favor of the current Viceroy had the Hanorveran heir's younger brother Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge not refused outright to lend himself to such a thing. Tellingly, one of the first things King Ernst August did was suspend a constitution that was passed under King Wilhelm and dissolving the Hanoveran Parliament convened under it[[note]](Taking care to ''not'' void all the laws passed by it)[[/note]] on the basis that he was not consulted and it undercut the power of the monarch. This and his high-handed response to several protesting instructors at his old alma matter of Göttingen University met with yet more hostility from his birthplace.

On a different note, he made no opposition to Catholic or Jewish emancipation in Hanover itself. He saw the pledges to protect the Anglican Faith his house took upon gaining the British throne did not apply to the continental domains. While he avoided bloodshed during the widespread 1848 revolutions, Ernst August did finally cave and pass a new constitution a few years before his death at age 80.


!!'''George V of Hanover'''[[note]]Yes, [[TheHouseOfWindsor relation]][[/note]]
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'''Lived''': 27 May 1819 –- 12 June 1878
'''Parents''': ''King'' Ernest Augustus of Hanover and ''Duchess'' Frederica of Mecklenburg, Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
'''Reigned''': 18 November 1851 –- 20 September 1866
'''Consort''': ''Princess'' Marie of Saxe-Altenburg

Born in Berlin and spending most of his formative years in Britain, he was 18 when he arrived in Hanover as the new Crown Prince... and completely blind due to childhood illnesses. His father had some hopes of getting him married off to [[RoyalInbreeding his first cousin]] [[QueenVicky Victoria of Kent]] with an eye toward reuniting Great Britain and Hanover in the next generation, but that did not work out. Ernst August ''did'' override all attempts to set his only living child aside from the Hanoverian succession due to his blindness and instructed his son in the art of rulership.

It ultimately did not go well.

Georg V's 15 year reign was plagued with conflict between the crown and parliament, ending with a dispute over whether to stay out of the 1866 Austro-Prussian war. He won and sided with his Viennese ally... then was forced to flee with his family to Austria and found himself formally deposed when Prussia overran [[DidntThinkThisThrough the outmatched and strategically vulnerable North German kingdom]]. He died in Parisian exile twelve years later.

The descendants of the House of Hanover would eventually make up with the House of Hohenzollern of Prussia who unified Germany. But this too would go badly as they would side with Germany during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI rather than Britain. This led to the Titles Deprivation Act of 1917 in Britain that stripped them of titles of nobility in UK. As Germany was defeated and all titles of nobility were abolished by the new Weimar Republic, many of them were reduced to positions of hardship. Some of them would go on to support the Nazis in 1930s, only to to turn against them in 1940s, as many German nationalists did, and wound up in concentration camps by the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII for their troubles.

Georg's descendants are still around. His current heir, Ernst August Prinz von Hannover, is married to Princess Caroline of Monaco. If he chose, he could apply to the UK Privy Council to have the dukedom of Cumberland returned to him.

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!!Depictions in fiction
* ''Film/TheMadnessOfKingGeorge''
* ''[[Series/{{Blackadder}} Blackadder the Third]]''
* ''PrideAndPrejudice''
* Any work taking place in the NapoleonicWars, though those stories tend to focus on the fighting as opposed to the Hanover dynasty.
* George I appears quite predominantly in Creator/NealStephenson's ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle'' along with a few of his full-time Hanoverian ancestors. George I got roundly mocked for being rather dim (thankfully, not quite as dim as his inbred quasi-moron ancestors) and being overly interested in agriculture. It's only the female Hanoverians who measure up to Stephenson's standards.
* Works surrounding UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution may show George III from time to time:
** Tom Hollander plays a rather good George III in a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YHl_0P2EJ4 well-regarded scene]] in ''Series/JohnAdams'', where [[UsefulNotes/JohnAdams the title character]] presents his credentials as the first US Minister[[note]]The US didn't send "Ambassadors" until much later[[/note]] to Great Britain.
* ''Literature/TheScarletPimpernel'' features George IV when he was Prince of Wales. He is a close friend of Sir Percy Blakeney.
* Jack Sparrow was brought before George II himself in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' 4.
* Along with the few years before and after the coronation of Queen Victoria, ''TheYoungVictoria'' depicts the last days and death of her uncle and predecessor, William IV(played by Jim Broadbent).
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