George IV and Canning

Thirty years of private relations when they were often at odds preceded the appointment of Canning as Prime Minister in 1827 by George IV, writes Christopher Hibbert.

On meeting the Prince of Wales for the first time, George Canning was ‘charmed beyond measure’ and ‘far beyond’ his expectation with ‘the elegance of his address and the gentlemanliness of his manner’. The Prince was equally taken with Canning.

Soon afterwards, however, he swore that he would ‘never receive Mr Canning again’. For he had learned that the ‘damned scoundrel’ paid regular visits to that ‘fiend’, that ‘very monster of iniquity’, that detested wife of his, Princess Caroline of Brunswick.

The Prince had also heard that Canning and the Princess often contrived to be left alone together in the drawing-room of her house at Blackheath, and he believed - and had good reason to believe - that they were lovers.

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