Six British monarchs share the name George with the Royal infant who will be christened at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace today.
The latter four Georges occupied the throne during Australia’s transformation from colony to independent nation – each leaving his mark.
When the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay, George III was in the 28th year of his 60-year reign. Remembered for losing Britain’s American colonies, he was probably a victim of porphyria, accounting for the nickname Mad King George towards the end of his life.
Did you know? Australia’s original ‘High Street’ was named in honour of George III by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1810. Today, Sydney’s George Street remains one of the busiest streets in the city centre.
When George III became ill, his son was appointed Prince Regent. Famous for his extravagant style and taste, his interest in art, and the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, he eventually became King in 1820.
Did you know? Captain Charles Fremantle hoisted the British flag at the mouth of the Swan River in May 1829 and took formal possession in the name of His Majesty King George IV of “all that part of New Holland which is not included within the territory of New South Wales”.
George V’s reign between 1910 to 1936 was characterised by a series of tumultuous events, including the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland and 1926 General Strike. None had more impact than World War I, however, during which he made over 450 visits to troops and over 300 visits to hospitals.
Did you know? In 1901, the future King opened the first session of the Australian Parliament in Melbourne upon the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia, and toured the then two-year old Perth branch of the Royal Mint.
The father of the present Monarch became King in 1936 following the abdication of his brother Edward VIII. During World War II he remained in London, gaining great popularity for his visits to severely bombed areas of the capital.
Did you know? In another parallel with his earlier namesake, George and his wife were the royal representatives at the opening of the provisional Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927.
The future King George
A wonderful companion to our Australian silver proof coin celebrating the birth of Prince George to William and Kate, this colourful Stamp and Coin Cover has just been released by Australia Post. Incorporating an Australian $1 coin struck by The Perth Mint, it also features and commemorative stamp with a post mark from George Town, Tasmania, named after the infant Prince’s ancestor, King George III.