On the 15th of September the Royal Mail released a set of six new stamps entitled The House Of Hanover which features the six Hanoverian monarchs who reigned over Great Britain (and for a period, Ireland too) from 1714 to 1901 viz.
First class: George I (1714-1727)
First class: George II (1727-1760)
76 pence: George III (1760-1820)
76 pence: George IV (1820-1830)
£1.10: William IV (1830-1837)
£1.10: Victoria (1837-1901)
The first Hanoverian king, George I, was notable by his inability to speak English and his frequent absenteeism (presumably to attend the courts of Brunswick and Saxony to participate in the ‘sport’ of fuchsprellen (fox-tossing) – yes, the German aristocracy actually conceived tournaments where pairs of participants entered an enclosure and, tugging sharply on the ends of a rope or sling, launched terrified scurrying foxes and other small wild animals high into the air until they were either killed or too injured to continue fleeing.
The Fox Tosser wasn’t popular and his dwindling powers heralded the shift to cabinet government.
Also German-born, George II succeeded his father to the throne upon his death. Despite spending the summers in Germany, he did take a genuine interest in Britain both politically and socially – particularly in the arts and sciences.
Born in London, George III was the first English and truly patriotic Hanoverian monarch (he never actually set foot in Hanover). Hugely popular, his keen interest in the sciences, particularly agriculture, earned him the nickname ‘Farmer George’.
George III also had the unique distinction of losing America.
The latter three Hanoverians – or at least, the periods of their reigns – are of no consequence to these pages.