Cultural depictions of George III

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George III has featured in many examples of popular culture.

Theatre and opera[edit]

The 1969 music theatre piece Eight Songs for a Mad King by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies depicts the increasing madness and eventual death of the king as he talks to birds. George's insanity is the subject of the 1986 radio play In the Ruins by Nick Dear (adapted for the stage in 1990 with Patrick Malahide as George) and the 1991 play The Madness of George III by Alan Bennett (with Nigel Hawthorne as George in the premiere production, for which he received the Laurence Olivier Award). Dear's play centres on George looking back on his life in 1817 (the year before his death), whilst Bennett's concerns George's first bout of insanity in late 1788 and early 1789, which those in the royal court, including his own son, use as a way to sidestep regal authority. Hawthorne reprised his role in the film version of the play.

George appears as a comic relief character in the Broadway musical Hamilton (played by Jonathan Groff in the original Broadway cast[1]) to sing three short musical numbers. Here, he is depicted as a cross between a scorned lover and a manchild who lightheartedly comments on the start of the American Revolutionary War, its aftermath, and finally John Adams' succession as President of the United States. He also appears briefly during The Reynolds Pamphlet, seen silently throwing around copies of the title document. While most of the play's songs are in the style of hip-hop, R&B, contemporary pop, or soul, George's numbers mimic the popular music of the British Invasion.[2]

George appears as Prince of Wales and later king in the play Mr Foote's Other Leg by Ian Kelly (who played George in the play's premiere production in 2015).


King George III appears in the following novels:


On film, George has been portrayed by:



On television, George has been portrayed by:


The popular 1970s U.S. children's educational series Schoolhouse Rock features a song entitled "No More Kings" which paints George III as a tyrant reluctant to allow the colonies out from under his boot.

George III's papers do not include a diary.[6] The TV series The X-Files uses a fictional anecdote that George III's diary entry on July 4, 1776, read: "Nothing important happened today", as a plot device and as the title of the ninth-season premiere. (In fact, George could anyway not have been notified of transatlantic events until weeks later).


George appeared in the final episode of the British radio comedy Revolting People in 2006, played by Timothy West, where he is almost convinced into calling off the American Revolutionary War.[7]


There are several extant statues of the king, not only in London (at the junction of Pall Mall and Cockspur Street, near Trafalgar Square, and in the courtyard of Somerset House titled George III and the River Thames) but also elsewhere - on London Street in Liverpool, on the Bargate in Southampton, at one end of the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park (The Copper Horse) and the painted King's Statue in Weymouth, Dorset.

The American statue of George III at Bowling Green, New York City was toppled on 9 July 1776 by Sons of Liberty during the American Revolution. A replica of the statue exists at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.[8]

Besides depictions in works of art, students for years learned the length of a mile through the mnemonic "George the Third said with a smile / 'There's seventeen sixty yards in a mile.'", 1760 being the year he came to the throne.[9][10]


  1. ^ Hamilton. "Hamilton – Official Broadway Site - Get Tickets". Hamilton. Archived from the original on 18 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Brian d'Arcy James, Jonathan Groff, and Andrew Rannells on Playing Hamilton Fan Favorite King George III". Vulture. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  3. ^ Adams, Douglas (1982). Life, the Universe and Everything. London: Pan Books Ltd. p. 14. ISBN 0-330-26738-8.
  4. ^ ""Timewatch" How Mad Was King George? (TV Episode 2004) - IMDb". Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  5. ^ The Windsors, Christmas special, 2016
  6. ^ National Register of Archives. Papers of George, III (1738–1820) King of Great Britain and Ireland. GB/NNAF/P136128
  7. ^ "Revolting People".
  8. ^ Long-Toppled Statue of King George III to Ride Again, From a Brooklyn Studio
  9. ^ Rob Eastaway (30 July 2015). How to Remember (Almost) Everything, Ever!: Tips, tricks and fun to turbo-charge your memory. Pavilion Books. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-910232-75-0.
  10. ^ Judy Parkinson (31 January 2010). I Before E (Except After C): Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff. Michael O'Mara. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-84317-431-8.