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August 11, 2012 @ 10:26 am

53. William IV

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Sandwiched between the Georgians and Queen Victoria, poor old William IV is perhaps the most forgotten of monarchs. Little was expected of William IV as a young man - an excitable character sent off to the navy by George III, he lived the typical life of a sailor and came home with rough habits and bad language. When he came to the throne in 1830 he proved hard-working, conscientious and arguably Britain's first truly constitutional monarch and oversaw the passing of the 1832 Reform Act which proved a major step forward in parliamentary democracy. His final challenge was to survive long enough to ensure that his niece, Victoria, would not face the regency of her mother. Could he ensure a stable legacy for Victoria? Could he be the first Hanoverian Rex Factor?

(Parental Advice: There's one instance of censored bad language by the Sailor King!)

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