Everyone has heard of the Regency Period. In 181l King George lll ‘s mind became confused and he became unaware of the world around him. He was considered mad. His eldest son assumed the royal prerogative as Prince Regent until his father died in 1820.
Although the British population remembered that era in years to come as stylish, generally it was viewed as immoral, unstable, and scandalous.
It was a rare and unusual set of circumstances and no one believed the situation would ever arise again.
Only ten years later in 1830 King George died and his brother King William ascended the throne. He too was old, unwell and childless. And the next heir apparent was Princess Victoria, his niece.
King William disliked his sister-in-law the Duchess of Kent and mother to the young Victoria. He distrusted the influence upon the Duchess of her controller of the house hold, Sir John Conroy. He was determined to live long enough to prevent the Duchess from becoming Regent for Victoria. The whole country held their collective breath as William ailed and then recovered several times through out his short reign. The prospect of another Regency was very possible and not eagerly anticipated.
Despite failing health, King William’s will power triumphed. Victoria celebrated her eighteenth birthday in May 1837, the age at which she became constitutionally able to reign on her own. Twenty seven days later King William died.