Prince George William of Great Britain

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Prince George William
Born (1717-11-13)13 November 1717[1]
St. James's Palace, London
Died 17 February 1718(1718-02-17)
(aged 3 months, 4 days)
Kensington Palace, London
House Hanover
Father George II
Mother Caroline of Ansbach

Prince George William of Great Britain (13 November 1717 – 17 February 1718) was an infant member of the British Royal Family, second son of George II and Caroline of Ansbach who, at the time of his birth, were the Prince and Princess of Wales. He died at age 3 months, 4 days.

Early life

Prince George William was born at St James's Palace, London.[2] His father was The Prince George, Prince of Wales, son of George I. His mother was Caroline of Ansbach, daughter of Johann Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. Twenty-six days after his birth, he was baptised at St James's Palace by Bishop of London John Robinson. His godparents were his grandfather the King, the Duke of Newcastle (Lord Chamberlain of the King's Household) and the Duchess of St Albans (First Lady of the Bedchamber to his mother).[3]

The baptism was the catalyst for a family quarrel. The infant's parents wanted to call the baby Louis, and suggested the Queen of Prussia and the Duke of York as sponsors. The King chose the names George William,[4] and, supposedly following custom, appointed the Lord Chamberlain, the Duke of Newcastle, as one of the baptismal sponsors of the child. The King was angered when the Prince of Wales, who disliked Newcastle, verbally insulted the Duke at the christening, which the Duke misunderstood as a challenge to a duel; the Prince shook his fist at Newcastle and said "You are a rascal, but I shall find you out!", which the Duke apparently misheard as "I shall fight you!"[5] The Prince of Wales was banished from court, and he and the Princess of Wales moved into Leicester House, while their children remained in the care of the King.[6] Caroline fell sick with worry, and fainted during a secret visit to her children made without the King's approval.[7] By January, the King had relented and allowed Caroline unrestricted access.[8] In February, Prince George William fell ill, and the King allowed both the Prince and Princess of Wales to see him at Kensington Palace without any conditions. When George William died, a post-mortem was conducted to prove that the cause of death was disease (a polyp on the heart) rather than the separation from his mother.[9]

The young prince died at just over three months of age, long before his father acceded to the throne as George II. His parents blamed George I for his death because his grandfather made his parents leave St.James's Palace and leave their young children behind. Even though this didn't cause his death, this only worsened the relationship between father and son.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 13 November 1717 – 17 February 1718: His Royal Highness Prince George William[10][11]



  1. All dates in the article are New Style.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 5587. p. 2. 2-5 November 1717.
  3. Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings
  4. Arkell, p. 100
  5. Arkell, p. 101; Van der Kiste, p. 63
  6. Van der Kiste, p. 64
  7. Van der Kiste, p. 66
  8. Van der Kiste, p. 67
  9. Van der Kiste, p. 67
  10. The London Gazette: no. 5615. p. 2. 8-11 February 1718.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 5616. p. 2. 11-15 February 1718.
  • Arkell, R. L. (1939) Caroline of Ansbach. Oxford University Press.
  • Van der Kiste, John (1997) George II and Queen Caroline. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-1321-5