William IV was the last King of Britan and Hannover. Born in 1765 as only the third son of George III and Queen Charlotte the likelihood of his succession seems to be rather remote. Duke of Clarence since 1799 he spend most of his life in the navy and with his family by the actress Mrs Dorothy Jordan who bore him ten children.
After the death of George IV's daughter, Princess Charlotte, in 1818, there was a royal scramble to marry an heir to the throne. Soon after Charlotte's death, William married Adelaide Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. The couple had two daughters but they both died in infancy.
When his brother, George IV, died in 1830, the Duke of Clarence became king. The monarchy was very unpopular and the eccentric behaviour of William and him being very happy to be King and showing it made him
at first very popular. What he lacked in dignity his Queen made up for.
His 7 years reign was quite eventful and marked the ascent of the House of Commons over the House of Lords. he was succeeded by Queen Victoria, his niece.
Philip Ziegler has captured this king nearly to perfect and created the classic biography on Willima IV. He is not just stopping at his life befroe his succession and the typical life of the "wicked uncles", but describes his role as a monarch. Short as his reign was, he took the first vital steps to consolidate the moanrchy after the disastrous rule of George IV when the monarchy had hit rock bottom. I enjoyed this book very much. Mr Ziegler has a great talent for writing and captures the essence of the life of William IV.