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William IV

William was born on 21st August 1765, a 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. His elder brother died and he succeeded his father in 1830.


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


William IV and Queen Adelaide were crowned on 8th September 1831. The doors of the Abbey opened at 4.00am. At 10.15am 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 11.00am and the ceremony finished at 3.00pm. There was no coronation banquet as the King decided it was too expensive.


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


21st August 1765


20th June 1837


8th September 1831

William IV
King William IV by Sir Martin Archer Shee

National Portrait Gallery, London

Related Commemorations

The Shrine of St Edward the Confessor is one of the most powerful features of the Abbey. To stand in the presence of a man who is both a saint and a monarch is awe-inspiring.


The Reverend Christopher Stoltz - Minor Canon

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