Cultural depictions of George III of the United Kingdom

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George III of the United Kingdom has featured in many examples of popular culture.

Theatre[edit]

George's insanity is the subject of the play The Madness of George III by Alan Bennett. The role was created by Nigel Hawthorne, who received the Laurence Olivier Award for his role. The play concerns George's second bout of insanity in late 1788 and early 1789, which those in the royal court, including his own son, use as a way to sidestep regal authority. Hawthorne reprised his role in the film version of the play. He also appears as a character in the Broadway musical Hamilton (as of 2015 being played by Jonathan Groff) and the play Mr Foote's Other Leg by Ian Kelly (who played George in the play's premiere production in 2015).

Literature[edit]

King George III appears in the novels Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke and Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik. Both portray him during one of his periods of illness. In the former, Jonathan Strange attempts to cure him and in the latter he is encountered by William Laurence, the protagonist, while on an errand in Edinburgh Castle - Laurence initially fails to recognize the ailing monarch in his sleeping gown, confused and walking alone at night in the snow. He is also mentioned by Douglas Adams - both in the Dirk Gently series by Douglas Adams as being interested in time-travel and in Life, the Universe and Everything, when the character Arthur Dent refers to trees as "those things people think you're mad if you talk to? Like George the Third".[1]

Film[edit]

On film, George has been portrayed by:

Television[edit]

On television, George has been portrayed by:

Other[edit]

The music theatre piece Eight Songs for a Mad King by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies depicts the increasing madness and eventual death of the king as he talks to birds.

The popular 1970s U.S. children's educational series Schoolhouse Rock features a song entitled "No More Kings" which paints George III as a tyrant reluctant to allow the colonies out from under his boot.

George III's papers do not include a diary.[2] The TV series The X-Files uses a fictional anecdote that George III's diary entry on July 4, 1776 read: "Nothing important happened today", as a plot device and as the title of the ninth season premiere. (In fact, George could anyway not have been notified of transatlantic events until weeks later).

George III is also a key character is several episodes of the anime Le Chevalier D'Eon.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Adams, Douglas (1982). Life, the Universe and Everything. London: Pan Books Ltd. p. 14. ISBN 0-330-26738-8. 
  2. ^ National Register of Archives. Papers of George, III (1738–1820) King of Great Britain and Ireland. GB/NNAF/P136128