George was born on 12 August 1762, the first son of George III and Queen Charlotte. He was made prince of Wales five days later. George III suffered a particularly violent bout of 'madness' in November 1788. The plots and political manoeuvring of the first 'regency crisis' lasted until February of the following year, by which time the prince seemed on the brink of becoming regent. Then, quite unexpectedly the king recovered. George was left completely exposed, looking like a cynical, heartless figure who had exalted in his father's distress and illness and tried to use this terrible national crisis to get himself into a position of power so that he could pay off his debts. When he died in 1830, at the age of 67, George joined the ranks of 'least loved' English monarchs. He wasn't a psychopath like Richard III, a serial wife-killer like Henry VIII, a cowardly usurper like King John. His crimes were relatively mild--he was profligate with the nation's money, he was thought to have ...