Historical sketch show. King George III goes from a young unpopular king to a much-loved figure, and the team give their unique insight into the American Revolution.
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# The past is no longer a mystery Welcome to...
# Horrible Histories. #
Horrible Histories presents...
Gorgeous George III.
King George III was the grandson of George II
and the great-grandson of George I,
and became the third Hanoverian King in 1760
when he was just 22 years old.
It was a time of revolution around the world,
so the monarchy wasn't always very popular,
not that young George III really noticed.
CROWD JEERS Ha-ha! Isn't it wonderful
how all the people know who I am?
Now, do take care, sir. Not everyone likes you.
Oh, dear. They don't seem to like you much, do they?
Ah, I think
it was meant for you, sir.
Oh, a gift. Wonderful.
Ow! Ow! TEETH CRUNCH
Ah, another beautiful day for a ride, eh?
Hello, hello, yes, it's me. BOOING
Recognise me from the coins?
Your Majesty, you must be careful now you are King.
Everyone can see you.
Yeah, but my people, they do love me, do they not?
See how they shower me with gifts.
Thank you for catching that with your face.
A petition for the King.
Whoo, a petition!
Be careful, sir. It may be a trick.
Oh, what, to get my autograph, you mean?
Oh, don't be shy, sweetheart, everyone loves the King.
Oh, look, a blunt butter knife. What a lovely present.
Leave that with my manservant, would you?
Right... Get your hands off me!
-Get off me!
You must stop provoking my fans, John.
I don't think much of this play -
the actors are tiny.
Oh, look, sir! A man with a gun.
At last, this play's getting exciting.
-GUNSHOT AND GASPING
How terribly realistic.
Right, exciting bit's over.
Time for a snooze.
It's true. Over 40 years,
people really did try to assassinate George four times.
Although it's not quite true that the same servant got hit every time.
One lady tried to stab George with a blunt knife
and when someone tried to shoot him at the theatre,
he really did fall asleep afterwards.
That must have been one boring play.
He should have gone to see this next real-life Georgian attraction
which took the nation by storm.
It's the must-see show of 1743.
MUSIC: Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin
I've never seen anything like it.
Amazing! Massive! Wrinkly!
Clara the Rhino! RHINO GRUNTS
Discovered in India, a hit in Holland, massive in Germany.
Zey never saw anything like it!
-We had seen all ze animals in Germany.
Oh, used to quite like bears.
Bears are so over now!
-Good, rhino with the horn.
In a specially built luxury tour cart,
Clara the Rhino will visit
major cities all over Europe -
Nuremburg, Amsbach - wherever that is -
-I got an autograph.
Take home a full range of merchandise.
We've got woodcuts, engravings,
porcelain, clocks and boxes.
Plus, take home a piece of Clara - not literally -
your very own commemorative horn.
Look at me, I'm a rhino!
Rhino on tour.
Rhinoceros - why-not-ceros?
Despite his eccentric behaviour, George III was actually
a very simple man with very ordinary tastes.
In fact, at times he could be so dull it was his family who
were driven crazy - with boredom.
I have grown a turnip as large as my head.
Who should like to see it?
How about watching me a-make a-some a-buttons-a?
Erm, who should like to see me dismantle a clock and then...
put it back together again?
-Right, I'm going to go the theatre.
Mother, I require £1,000.
But we gave you £1,000 only yesterday!
-Give, give, give!
Frederick, William, would you like to come and help me
waste this money?
Or you could stay here
and we could discuss, hmm, I don't know,
Ah, my favourite sweet princesses.
At least you're still here with me for ever and ever.
Who should like to see my fingernail through a microscope?
Right, that's it. I'm getting married to the Duke of Wurttemberg.
But he is nearly seven feet tall and weighs the same as a cow.
And smells like one too.
(Anything's better than this.)
All right, I'm getting married as well. I don't even care who to.
You can't both leave me. It's so boring here!
George, can't you see?
You're tearing us apart with your relentlessly boring niceness.
Wait! I'll show you something exciting.
A seed po-tat-o.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir!
Good day! I'm King George III.
Sometimes my children find me rather boring, despite the fact
I love talking about farming techniques
and different types of buttons.
I ask you!
So can you guess what they nicknamed our home, Windsor Castle?
Yes, the answer is...
B - they call it the nunnery, where nuns live.
No wonder they're all trying to get married
and live far away from me, ha.
Can I interest you in a button?
Whilst George was busy being boring at home,
across the globe, the British Empire was anything but.
It expanded as far away as places like India,
from where we got cotton, tea, spices
and even some of their words too.
Words we get from India...
-MUSIC: The Star-Spangled Banner
-Under George III,
the British Empire got bigger and bigger.
He was even ruler of America.
Until they rebelled against him.
Hello, I'm Geoff Reason and welcome to Battles of the Day.
Coming to live from the 18th century,
it's the Patriots versus the Loyalists
in the American Revolution.
And with one eye on tactics and another on a rising body count,
it's Jamie Castle.
Now, Jamie, the American patriots are up against a powerful enemy
in the British Loyalists,
but aren't the Americans officially British too?
They're still owned by the British at this point, Geoff, but
the government have been hitting them
with some outrageous taxes.
They can't even buy a decent
cup of tea without being taxed.
Well, let's hear from a man who loves tea and taxes,
the King of England, George III.
I make a great effort to get along with all my subjects,
but these Americans, they're...
they're unhappy, they're misled
and they're deluded.
Basically, they're idiots.
Right, I mean, you haven't even been to America, though, have you?
What's your point?
We've got breaking transfer news from 1775.
After previously fighting for the British in the Seven Years' War,
George Washington has controversially joined
the American Patriots. Jamie...
It's a high profile signing by the Patriots, Geoff.
Washington's experience could be invaluable.
George, the British Loyalists have got a professional army,
whereas your army is mostly made up
of farmers with rakes and pitchforks.
Surely you can't win?
It's true, most of my men are frightened farmers who don't
know a gun from a garden rake, but we've no choice.
It's either the tyrannical rule of the British or revolution.
Which is why I have therefore resolved to conquer or die.
Oh, my gun don't working.
I do not know this man.
Farmers against soldiers, Jamie.
It's men against boys, Geoff.
No, it's definitely
farmers against soldiers.
We've got another big battle
at Saratoga in 1777.
A shock win for the plucky Patriots, Geoff.
Wow, a victory like that is sure to attract some cash from abroad.
They won't win the war without it.
Mr Frenchman, why are you helping America?
Ah, because we believe passionately in the dream of a free
-and independent America.
No, I'm just kidding. We just really hate ze English!
SCREAMING AND GUNFIRE
Thank you very much. Oh, both cheeks, ha.
No, no, you're not French.
Jamie, a bad day for the Brits.
They may have lost America
but they've still got Canada,
The loss of America was a real blow to George III.
but back in Britain,
life under his reign saw some huge changes in the way people lived.
But from the doctors to the dinner table,
the Georgians still behaved in some pretty strange ways.
Ah, a feast fit for a king.
Funny, that, cos, ha-ha! Yes...
All my favourite foods.
You can't beat boiled eggs and a muffin.
Hold on, we sit down in order of importance,
so Papa sits down first because he's a viscount.
Actually, I'm a duke.
I'm more important than a viscount.
Ooh, cow's heels.
Delicious and cheap.
You can't beat feet meat.
Oh, yes, so it's
the Duke, the Viscount, then me...
Oh, no, no, no...then it's me.
But I'm the eldest sister!
Come on, everyone, tuck in.
This lemonade's my own recipe.
Yes, but I'm married to an earl now, so I take precedence over you.
Fine, so it's the Duke, the Viscount, then it's my sister,
then me, then you.
Is it just me or does this taste of onions?
Mmm, no, it is just me. All right, feet meat.
But, erm, I'm an earl,
and you're my wife, so we're more important than a viscount.
Yes, right, so it's the Duke,
the Earl, the Earl's wife,
the Viscount and then me.
A message, Your Highness.
Exciting news! My second favourite cow has just had a baby cow.
Pray, why is everyone eating so fast?
Sorry, forgot to mention,
when the King finishes eating they take our plates away.
Well, I didn't really want cow heel anyway.
Urgh! Oh, my...
No, no, still bad, still bad.
Ah, it's Mrs Carver, isn't it?
Yes, is Dr Hannity not available?
-No, he's hurt his back sunbathing.
But I'm his locum,
Dr Barrington Marmaduke from the Georgian era.
-Yes, it's long for Barry.
But you know, I'm a fully qualified Georgian doctor,
so don't worry about that.
Now, what seems to be the problem?
-(Why is he wearing that on his head?)
It's his acne, Doctor.
Erm, have you tried drinking seawater?
No, of course I haven't tried drinking seawater.
-Would that help?
-Oh, well, we Georgian doctors believe
that a dose of brine will cure most ailments.
I'm not drinking seawater.
No, no, no, no, not just seawater.
No, no! That would be silly.
You have to mix it with milk and tartar sauce.
-OK, I'm going.
-No, wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait.
I do have another efficacious remedy for bad skin.
What's in that?
Well, I suppose...
Oh, and a puppy.
-A what now?
-Just a dead puppy.
Don't worry, I took all the intestines out
as recommended. I'm not an idiot!
Oh, I'm so sorry,
he's not learnt to automatically trust everything doctors say yet.
Waste not want not, hmm...
Now, my wonderful subjects agree that I am rather splendid,
so, they named lots of exciting new discoveries in my honour.
But which of these discoveries was originally given my name?
The answer is...
A - a planet.
My favourite astronomer William Herschel
named a newly discovered planet George's Star,
though those pesky Germans are calling it Uranus.
It won't stick.
MUSIC: (To the tune of) Parklife by Blur
# Oi Here's the thing, I'm the King
# I have ministers and minions, millions
# Well, a few, so let me tell you about my...
-# Court life
-Most days I'm awake by 5am
# I love clocks I'm a dull man who likes dull food
-# Boiled eggs, toast, plate
# Then it's off to prayers I love praying
# Like clocks too but not as much as I like God
-# And believe in the...
# Happy to spend hours in ice-cold churches
# Not sold on all this court drama
# Frankly calmer as a dairy farmer
# All the courtiers
# Noble sons and daughters
# We all bow hand in hand
# Bending backs in my court life
# Did I tell you I like clocks?
# I don't like loud knocks on the door
# It enrages my sense of enormous wellbeing
-# Quiet life
-I don't ask much of my pages
# Just no coughing, spitting sneezing or moving
# Still life
# Oh, and don't come between me and the door, else you're stuck here
# Until me or the Queen decides to leave
-# Poor wife
-And when you enter the room
# Walk slowly backwards towards the wall
# Whoops, careful, now
# All the courtiers
# Noble sons and daughters
# We all bow and offer our hands
# Think most of them can't stand court life. #
Do you know what one means?
Ho-ho! Quite a mover.
But George III certainly was an odd fellow,
and as he got older, his behaviour became more and more strange,
and rather than spend lots of money living a life of great extravagance
like other kings, it was farming that became his great hobby.
This week on Historical Countryfile, we've come to the beautiful
Georgian era to talk to a genuine Georgian farmer.
Oh, Your Majesty.
No, please, call me Farmer George.
Everyone else does, don't they?
I'm always popping in unannounced to help out on the royal farm.
Ooh! Have you met the Prussian Ambassador?
-The tall chap over there...
(Not a lot to say for himself.)
So, interesting times to be a farmer.
Oh, absolutely. All change!
More crop rotation, more selective breeding,
it's a real agricultural revolution.
We could talk about it for hours and I often do.
Mind you, I learnt everything
I know from Ralph Robinson in the Annals of Agriculture.
Ah, Ralph Robinson...
Yes, he's a genius.
Yeah, I can't see anything by him in here.
I don't believe it.
They haven't published my letter!
Ralph Robinson's letter.
That's it, I shall have to write to them again.
I mean, write to them for the very first time
because I've never written to them before,
pretending to be someone called Ralph Robinson, and ask them why
they haven't published my top tips on crop rotation... I mean...
Ralph Robinson's top tips on crop rotation
because you see, I am not him.
You've been writing in to the newspapers
about agriculture using a made-up name?
Honestly, what does a king have to do to get some respect around here?
I'm sorry, Ambassador. Ja, ja.
Ja, ja, ja, ja, auf wiedersehen.
Ich bin un Krankenwagen, ja, ja, ja.
Did you know the name George is Ancient Greek for farmer?
George III may have lived quite a plain life,
but there was nothing plain about Georgian fashion -
especially for the men.
this is Heidi,
and welcome to Historical Catwalk.
We've got fashionistas from the reign of King George.
I'm talking jewels, wigs, frills and that's just the men.
'First up, it's William the macaroni.'
'Is this, like, the best outfit ever!'
'Yeah, or have we wandered into a circus by mistake?'
William, you are everything that is best about the macaroni style.
Bright colours, frills, lace, powder, rouge, bows,
and you look a bit like a wedding cake.
and you've got a mouthful of cork balls to hide the fact that
you've lost a lot of teeth.
Well, if it wasn't for the insects
attracted to the flour in your wig
you would be perfection. WILLIAM SPLUTTERS
You are so WOW-liam.
Oh, God, I wish I'd thought of that.
Let's meet our next contestant.
Charles is a dandy.
Yeah, the...the dandies were a dandilicious reaction to the
crazy powder clowns of the macaronis,
and Charles, you have the look perfectly.
I should think so. It took me ten hours to get ready.
Normally it takes five, but I didn't like the colour
of my handkerchiefs so I had to start again.
Even King George III's son,
the Prince Regent, is following the dandy fashion.
Yeah, but there can be only one winner.
Man with the perfect green handkerchief.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-Ah! Green? It's aquamarine!
This is a disaster.
I shall have to start again.
I'll be back in five hours. Ugh!
Well, he's gone, so the clown wins.
FLIES BUZZ Ah, the insects from
William's wig have migrated.
Ah! See you next time. Ah!
All that fuss about a few fleas in their clothes.
You should see my pants!
Actually, no, you shouldn't.
George III's behaviour became so unpredictable
that in the end, his son, the Prince Regent was put in charge.
Thankfully, he wasn't mad.
No, but he was very, very bad.
I'm here at a celebration of the life
-of our much-loved King George III.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Now, thousand of people have turned out to
show their appreciation for the King.
I'm a kangaroo! CHEERING
Hang on, this isn't meant to be a celebration of my dad,
this is meant to be a celebration of me becoming Prince Regent.
Yeah, like that's
something to celebrate.
In other royal news,
ceremonial and official
royal duties have been passed
from the King to the scandalous
waste of space that is his son.
Did he just call me a waste of space?
Today, King George spent many happy hours touring his bedroom,
buttoning and unbuttoning his waistcoat.
Flappy, flappy! CHEERING
Ha-ha, he's such a character!
It's just a shame his son insists on hanging round like a bad stink.
-Haven't you got some scandal to be getting up to, as usual?
-You can't open the paper without reading about you and your
siblings embarrassing yourselves. The King's doing his best.
His best? He lost us America.
Well, if he'd had had a bit more support from his kids,
maybe he wouldn't have.
Lemon! That's a good point actually. CHEERING
Do you realise that he talked for 57 hours solid over Christmas!
-Yeah, well, he obviously had a lot to get off his chest.
-I'm Prince Regent now.
-I have been...
-# God save our gracious... #
-Listen to me!
Somebody has to take charge. My father has
-behaved completely erratically.
Yes, and he's ill.
What's your excuse?
(He thinks you're really bad now.)
Later we'll be talking to Christian VII of Denmark
who slaps diplomats in the face,
challenges random people to fights
and throws things off his balcony into the street
and he's still better behaved than the Prince Regent.
Kangaroos must get so tired! CHEERING
That's all from me, back to the studio.
So, George III lived to the ripe old age of 81 and passed the
crown on to his son, the Prince Regent,
who became George IV.
At the time of Georgie Three's death,
he was the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
Cracking innings, old chap!
# Chatty Death, Chatty Death
# My grisly interviews
# Chatty Death, Chatty Death
# They're dead and famous too
She said, "I've been dying to meet you."
I said, "You're not the only one, love!"
Oh, welcome back.
Time for my next guest,
former King of Great Britain and Ireland, George III!
WIND BLOWS Thank you. Thank you very much.
Hello, hello, hello.
You look a bit familiar. Have we met before?
Well, of course I'm familiar, I'm the King.
Mmm, and very handsome you are too.
Likewise, you have very thoughtful eyes.
So, Georgie, Georgie-boy,
how would you like to be remembered?
Well, I did a lot, erm, I reigned for 60 years.
-I was a good family man -
had 15 children, you know -
and I had a great respect for learning.
I started a royal collection of thousands of books.
Oh, yes, and you had a great collection of clocks, didn't you?
Yes, I did! Tick-tock, tick-tock.
Loved them! And I had my own astronomical observatory.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, very good, very good. What a great guy.
Do you want to tell him or shall I?
No, I'll tell him, it's my show.
Beg your pardon? Tell me what?
Well, it's a shame the only thing anyone remembers you for
is that you were mad!
-That's not fair, it was an illness
that you can get just like any other illness.
I mean, everyone gets ill sometimes, don't they?
Yeah, only last week I had a terrible cough.
-I couldn't stop COFFIN and COFFIN.
-BA DUM TSH
Coffin! Coffin, as in coughin', get it?
That one tickled your funny bone, didn't it? I can tell!
Well, it's just that my illness just happened to make me do
slightly weird things, that's all.
-Tell you what, I'll grant you a final wish...
..as long as it's being catapulted backwards in chair into a portal,
which takes you to the afterlife.
I think he was a few tombstones short of a graveyard, don't you?
But then, aren't we all?
Not me, though, eh?
Guys, not me, though.
# Chatty Death, Chatty Death Hope next time it's not you. #
-Is it fresh?
-As fresh as...
My father has been heh-heh-heh...
# The past is no longer a mystery Hope you enjoyed...
# Horrible Histories. #
A special episode of the historical sketch show about King George III. We follow George from a young unpopular king to a much-loved figure some 60 years later, and check out a bit of his court life along the way. Meanwhile, across the world we hear about some of the words we have got from India, while the Battles of the Day team give us their unique insight into the American Revolution. With, of course, our host Rattus to guide the way!