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August 11, 2012 @ 10:26 am

53. William IV


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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  • Janelle

    For the UK William the IVth was the perfect rebound lover. Kind, funny, and lovable. So when it came time to walk down the isle with Victoria, they were ready to swear “for better or worse, for life” and live in happiness with a monarch they could be devoted to without regret.

    Aug 12, 2012 at 3:23 am
  • Jenny

    Wow! Another suburb episode. Only six more monarchs to go. What are your future plans? You can’t stop there. How about the kings of France? Scotland? Or the Presidents of the United States? You can’t possibly retire this podcast; it’s my favorite. Jenny From Los Angeles, California, USA

    Aug 17, 2012 at 12:02 am
  • rexfactor

    It’s true, we’re getting near the end. However, the end of the line of monarchs will not mark the end of the show as we shall be doing a Rex Factor play-off to determine who is the best of the best - plenty of life in this old dog yet!

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm
  • David Nolan

    Thanks for the mention. I’m pleased my comment on your George IV episode was taken in good spirit.

    I am now seeing William IV in a whole new light. I had very much looked upon him in the caretaker manager role, to borrow your analogy. The final result was not what I had expected before listening, but having listened to your assessment I realise how you got there.

    Jenny’s idea about rating US presidents sounds like a good one. If you’d rather stick with English/British history, how about rating key years?

    Aug 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm
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