KING GEORGE III of Great Britain, born (d. 1820); The first English-born Hanoverian king and the reigning monarch during the American War of Independence, George III was the subject of much gossip during his youth. The gossip is interesting in that the young king actually walked into a preexisting rumor, very much a character in chapter two, as it were. George’s father, Frederick, the Prince of Wales, had been much taken with the charming Earl of Bute, whom he found an agreeable whist companion. When Frederick died, Bute, who had constantly risen in court ranks, stayed on, presumably as the lover of Frederick’s widow.

Enter the adolescent George, at eighteen very much the opposite of Hamlet. Rumor had it that he not only did not want to drive the usurper from his mother’s bed, but that he wanted to be there in her place. Bute’s elevation to secretary of state under George only heightened court gossip. How much of this is true, no one knows. That mother and son were both taken with the handsome Bute is true, but one and one do not always add up to three.