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William IV

William was born on 21st August 1765, third son of George III and Queen Charlotte. He had a naval career, served at the relief of Gibraltar and was stationed in the West Indies and Nova Scotia. He was a friend of Admiral Nelson. He succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother George IV in 1830, as the second son of George III, Prince Frederick, had died in 1827 without a son.

Marriage

He married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen at Kew Palace on 13th July 1818. They had no surviving children.

Coronation

William IV and Queen Adelaide were crowned on 8th September 1831. The doors of the Abbey opened at 4.00 am. At 10.15 am the coronation procession left St James' Palace, the King dressed in an admiral's uniform and the Queen in a white and gold dress. For the first time a special lavishly furnished annexe had been built outside the west front of the Abbey to marshal the processions. The royal party arrived at 11.00 am and the ceremony finished at 3.00 pm. There was no usual coronation banquet as the King decided it was too expensive.

Burial

He died at Windsor Castle on 20th June 1837 and his niece Victoria succeeded him. He was buried at St George's chapel.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Music for William IV's Coronation, 1831 (PDF 2,115KB)

British Royal and State funerals.... by M. Range 2016

Born

21st August 1765

Died

20th June 1837

Coronation

8th September 1831

Painting of William IV in military uniform
King William IV by Sir Martin Archer Shee

National Portrait Gallery, London

Related commemorations

You are surrounded by history at the Abbey, not like a museum where it’s just displayed, but here you are standing where history has happened.

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Gerlinde - Abbey Marshal

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