Six English monarchs have borne the name George. Brian Platt takes a quick historical survey
George I leaped over about 50 Roman Catholic relatives who were closer to the throne in 1714 because he was a Protestant. The Act of Settlement of 1701 disqualified Roman Catholics from being monarch. When the 54-year-old arrived in England, he had lived all his life in Germany and barely spoke English. He loathed sharing power with Parliament and squabbled with elected ministers. In 1715, he suppressed a rebellion in Scotland in support of restoring the Stuart line to the throne.
George II was the last British monarch to be born outside Great Britain, having been raised with his father in Hanover, Germany. He was also the last British monarch to lead an army through battle, fighting the Battle of Dettingen in 1743 during the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1746, he suppressed a second Scottish rebellion and was on the throne at the time of the British victory on the Plains of Abraham in 1759.
George III was the grandson of George II and inherited the throne in 1760 because his father died young. He negotiated the French defeat in the Seven Years’ War, lost to the 13 Colonies in the American War of Independence, and oversaw the Act of Union in 1801 that joined Great Britain and Ireland. By 1810, George III was blind from cataracts and was going insane. His son, the future George IV, took over royal duties as Prince Regent in 1811.
King George IV.
George IV lived an extravagant lifestyle and secretly married a Roman Catholic in 1785 in contravention of the Act of Succession. But the marriage was legally void, and he was forced to marry Caroline of Brunswick in 1795, whom he detested and prohibited from attending his coronation in 1820. He signed the Roman Catholic Relief Act in 1829, which allowed Catholics to sit in Parliament.
King George V.
George V inherited the throne in 1910 and visited the Western Front several times during the First World War. In 1917, due to anti-German sentiment, he changed the family name to Windsor from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
George VI became king in 1936 when his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. He endeared himself to the people by remaining in London during the bombings of the Second World War. His health deteriorated after the war and he died at 56. He was the subject of the film The King’s Speech, which won the Oscar for best picture in 2011.