Chester Square is a small residential garden square located in London's Belgravia district. Along with its sister squares Belgrave Square and Eaton Square, it is one of the three garden squares built by the Grosvenor family when they developed the main part of Belgravia in the 19th century. Chester Square is named after the city of Chester, near to which Eaton Hall, the ancestral home of the Grosvenor family, stands; the property at 32 Chester Square was used as a filming location for the music video of the Morrissey song "Suedehead". 1–13 and 14–23, 24–32, 37–39, 42–45, 45a, 45b, 65–76 and 77–80, 80a, 84–88 Chester Square and the Mews Arch are all listed Grade II for their architectural merit. The gardens are Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, they are not open to the public. The Anglican Church of Saint Michael in Chester Square was built in 1844 along with the rest of the square, consecrated two years later; the Ecclesiologist magazine criticised the opening, saying it was "an attempt - but a most unsuccessful one - to find a Protestant development of the Christian styles".
The church is with an exterior of Kentish Ragstone. The architect was Thomas Cundy the younger. Roman Abramovich, Russian oligarch, second-richest person in the United Kingdom and owner of Chelsea FC Matthew Arnold and critic Tony Curtis, had a house here when he was filming The Persuaders! early 1970s. Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews, film director and his actress wife, lived here for a few years in the early 1970s after their departure from Hollywood George II, King of the Hellenes, bought a lease on a house at No. 45 shortly before his return to Greece in 1946 Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, pop musicians, lived here in 1966-67 Nigella Lawson, celebrity chef and food writer. 19. The Reverend Canon W H Elliott, a broadcaster on religious matters for the BBC, known as "the Radio Chaplain", was vicar of St Michael's in the mid-20th century
Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
Frederick VI reigned as Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg from 1820 until his death in 1829. Born in Homburg, Hesse, on 30 July 1769, Friedrich Joseph Ludwig Carl August was the eldest son of the incumbent Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, Frederick V, his wife Caroline of Hesse-Darmstadt, the eldest child of the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, Louis IX. Frederick was appointed a captain of the Russian cavalry in 1783 and was made an Austrian general during the Great French War. For his services in that conflict, he was created a Commander of the Austrian Military Order of Maria Theresa. Despite the vocal objections of her mother, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Frederick married Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, the third daughter of King George III, in the Queen's House in the Mall on 7 April 1818, it was no love match: Elizabeth longed to be free from her domineering mother at any cost, while Frederick needed her sizeable dowry to improve the Landgraviate's strained finances. As Elizabeth was over the age of 48 at the time of their marriage, this union produced no offspring.
Landgrave Frederick V died on 20 January 1820. The new Landgrave struggled to repay his father's exorbitant debts. Nine years into his reign, the Landgrave died of complications from a pre-existing leg wound, he was succeeded by Louis William. Fraser, Flora: Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III, John Murray, 2004, London, ISBN 0-7195-6108-6
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, he was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, never visited Hanover. His life and with it his reign, which were longer than those of any of his predecessors, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of Britain's American colonies were soon lost in the American War of Independence.
Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In the part of his life, George III had recurrent, permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he had bipolar disorder or the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established. George III's eldest son, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent until his father's death, when he succeeded as George IV. Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a "kaleidoscope of changing views" that have depended on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them; until it was reassessed in the second half of the 20th century, his reputation in the United States was one of a tyrant. George was born in London at Norfolk House in St James's Square, he was the grandson of King George II, the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.
As he was born two months prematurely and thought unlikely to survive, he was baptised the same day by Thomas Secker, both Rector of St James's and Bishop of Oxford. One month he was publicly baptised at Norfolk House, again by Secker, his godparents were the King of Sweden, his uncle the Duke of Saxe-Gotha and his great-aunt the Queen of Prussia. Prince George grew into a healthy but shy child; the family moved to Leicester Square, where George and his younger brother Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, were educated together by private tutors. Family letters show that he could read and write in both English and German, as well as comment on political events of the time, by the age of eight, he was the first British monarch to study science systematically. Apart from chemistry and physics, his lessons included astronomy, French, history, geography, commerce and constitutional law, along with sporting and social accomplishments such as dancing and riding, his religious education was wholly Anglican.
At age 10, George took part in a family production of Joseph Addison's play Cato and said in the new prologue: "What, tho' a boy! It may with truth be said, A boy in England born, in England bred." Historian Romney Sedgwick argued that these lines appear "to be the source of the only historical phrase with which he is associated". George's grandfather, King George II, disliked the Prince of Wales, took little interest in his grandchildren. However, in 1751 the Prince of Wales died unexpectedly from a lung injury at the age of 44, George became heir apparent to the throne, he inherited his father's title of Duke of Edinburgh. Now more interested in his grandson, three weeks the King created George Prince of Wales. In the spring of 1756, as George approached his eighteenth birthday, the King offered him a grand establishment at St James's Palace, but George refused the offer, guided by his mother and her confidant, Lord Bute, who would serve as Prime Minister. George's mother, now the Dowager Princess of Wales, preferred to keep George at home where she could imbue him with her strict moral values.
In 1759, George was smitten with Lady Sarah Lennox, sister of the Duke of Richmond, but Lord Bute advised against the match and George abandoned his thoughts of marriage. "I am born for the happiness or misery of a great nation," he wrote, "and must act contrary to my passions." Attempts by the King to marry George to Princess Sophie Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel were resisted by him and his mother. The following year, at the age of 22, George succeeded to the throne when his grandfather, George II, died on 25 October 1760, two weeks before his 77th birthday; the search for a suitable wife intensified. On 8 September 1761 in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, the King married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whom he met on their wedding day. A fortnight on 22 September both were crowned at Westminster Abbey. George remarkably never took a mistress, the couple enjoyed a genuinely happy marriage until his mental illness struck, they had 15 children -- six daughters. In 1762, George purchased Buckingham House for use as a family retreat.
His other residences were Windsor Castle. St James's Palace was retained for
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the wife of King George III. She served as Queen of Great Britain and Queen of Ireland from her wedding in 1761 until the union of the two kingdoms in 1801, after which she was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1818, she was the Electress of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until the promotion of her husband to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, after which she was queen consort of Hanover. Charlotte was a patron of an amateur botanist who helped expand Kew Gardens, she was distressed by her husband's bouts of physical and mental illness, which became permanent in life and resulted in their eldest son's appointment as Prince Regent in 1811. George III and Charlotte had 15 children in total, she was the mother of two future British monarchs, George IV and William IV. Her other children included Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, Charlotte, Queen of Württemberg. Sophia Charlotte was born on 19 May 1744, she was the youngest daughter of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg and of his wife Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a small north-German duchy in the Holy Roman Empire. The children of Duke Charles were all born at the Unteres Schloss in Mirow. According to diplomatic reports at the time of her engagement to George III in 1761, Charlotte had received "a mediocre education", her upbringing was similar to that of a daughter of an English country gentleman. She received some rudimentary instruction in botany, natural history and language from tutors, but her education focused on household management and on religion, the latter taught by a priest. Only after her brother Adolphus Frederick succeeded to the ducal throne in 1752 did she gain any experience of princely duties and of court life; when King George III succeeded to the throne of Great Britain upon the death of his grandfather, George II, he was 22 years old and unmarried. His mother and advisors were anxious to have him settled in marriage; the 17-year-old Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz appealed to him as a prospective consort because she had been brought up in an insignificant north German duchy and therefore would have had no experience or interest in power politics or party intrigues.
That proved to be the case. The King announced to his Council in July 1761, according to the usual form, his intention to wed the Princess, after which a party of escorts, led by the Earl Harcourt, departed for Germany to conduct Princess Charlotte to England, they reached Strelitz on 14 August 1761, were received the next day by the reigning duke, Princess Charlotte's brother, at which time the marriage contract was signed by him on the one hand and Earl Harcourt on the other. Three days of public celebrations followed, on 17 August 1761, the Princess set out for Britain, accompanied by her brother, Duke Adolphus Frederick, by the British escort party. On 22 August, they reached Cuxhaven; the voyage was difficult. They set out at once for London, spent that night in Witham, at the residence of Lord Abercorn, arrived at 3:30 pm the next day at St. James's Palace in London, they were received by the King and his family at the garden gate, which marked the first meeting of the bride and groom. At 9:00 pm that same evening, within six hours of her arrival, Charlotte was united in marriage with King George III.
The ceremony was performed at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Secker. Only the royal family, the party who had travelled from Germany, a handful of guests were present. Upon her wedding day, Charlotte spoke no English. However, she learned English, albeit speaking with a strong German accent. Many observers considered her "ugly", one commented, "She is timid at first but talks a lot, when she is among people she knows." Less than a year after the marriage, on 12 August 1762, the Queen gave birth to her first child, Prince of Wales. In the course of their marriage, the couple became the parents of 15 children, all but two of whom survived into adulthood. St James's Palace functioned as the official residence of the royal couple, but the king had purchased a nearby property, Buckingham House, located at the western end of St James's Park. More private and compact, the new property stood amid rolling parkland not far from St James's Palace. Around 1762 the King and Queen moved to this residence, intended as a private retreat.
The Queen came to favor this residence, spending so much of her time there that it came to be known as The Queen's House. Indeed, in 1775, an Act of Parliament settled the property on Queen Charlotte in exchange for her rights to Somerset House. Most of her 15 children were born in Buckingham House, although St James's Palace remained the official and ceremonial royal residence. During her first years in Great Britain, Charlotte's strained relationship with her mother-in-law, Princess Augusta, caused her difficulty in adapting to the life of the British court; the queen mother interfered with Charlotte's efforts to establish social contacts by insisting on rigid court etiquette. Furthermore, Augusta appointed many of Charlotte's staff, among whom several were expected to report to Augusta about Charlotte's behavior; when she turned to her German companions for fr
Sir William Beechey was a leading English portraitist of the golden age of British painting. Beechey was born at Burford, Oxfordshire, on 12 December 1753, the son of William Beechey, a solicitor, his wife Hannah Read. Both parents died when he was still quite young, he and his siblings were brought up by his uncle Samuel, a solicitor who lived in nearby Chipping Norton; the uncle was determined that the young Beechey should follow a career in the law, at an appropriate age he was entered as a clerk with a conveyancer near Stow-on-the-Wold. But as The Monthly Mirror recorded in July 1798, he was: "Early foredoomed his soul to cross/ And paint a picture where he should engross." Beechey was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in 1772, where he is thought to have studied under Johan Zoffany. He first exhibited at the Academy in 1776, his earliest surviving portraits are small-scale full-length and conversation pieces which are reminiscent of Zoffany. In 1782, he moved to Norwich, where he gained several commissions, including a portrait of Sir John Wodehouse and a series of civic portraits for St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich.
By 1787, he had returned to London, in 1789, he exhibited a celebrated portrait of John Douglas, Bishop of Carlisle. Beechey’s career during this period is marked by a succession of adept and restrained portraits in the tradition of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Beechey’s style suited the conventional taste of the royal family, in 1793, he was commissioned to paint a full-length portrait of Queen Charlotte and subsequently named as her official portrait painter; that same year, he was elected as an associate member of the Royal Academy. Following his royal appointment, the number of royal commissions he undertook increased markedly, in 1797 he exhibited six royal portraits. In 1798, he was elected a full member of the Royal Academy and painted George III and the Prince of Wales Reviewing Troops for that year’s academy’s exhibition; this enormous composition depicts King George III, the Prince of Wales and staff officers on horseback at an imagined cavalry review in Hyde Park. The king was rewarded Beechey with a knighthood.
Joseph Farington's Diaries give many accounts of Beechey's relations with the royal family during this period, including his temporary fall from favour in 1804, which Farington attributes to the vagiaries of George III’s mental condition. Beechey's portraits of the turn of the century are considered to be his most lively, they are closer to the flamboyant and free techniques employed by his younger rivals, John Hoppner and Sir Thomas Lawrence. Royal patronage resumed in around 1813, when Beechey was appointed portrait painter to Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, culminated with his appointment in 1830 as principal portrait painter to King William IV. In 1836, Beechey retired to Hampstead and on 9-11 June that year, the contents of his studio along with his collection were sold at Christie’s. Although capable of impetuousness and irascibility, Beechey was known for his generosity to students. In particular, he took a close interest in the career of the young John Constable. During a prolific career spanning half a century, Beechey painted many of the leading figures of his day.
His sitters included: In his 1978 novel Desolation Island, Patrick O'Brian wrote that Capt. Jack Aubrey had been painted by Beechey; the portrait, which showed Aubrey in Royal Navy uniform wearing the insignia of the Order of the Bath, hung in his home, Ashgrove Cottage. William Beechey's first marriage was to Mary Ann Jones in 1772, they had five children: Emma Amalia Beechey Henry William Beechey British painter and Egyptologist Charles Beechey Caroline Beechey Harriet Beechey He secondly married the successful miniature painter Anne Phyllis Jessop in 1793 and they had 16 children: Ann Phyllis Beechey Frederick William Beechey, Royal Navy captain, politician George Duncan Beechey, painter Anna Dodsworth Beechey William Nelson Beechey Charlotte Earl Beechey Alfred Beechey St. Vincent Beechey, clergyman Richard Brydges Beechey and admiral in the British navy Jane Henrietta Frances Beechey Augusta Beechey Fredericka Anne Beechey William Ernest Beechey Frances Beechey Phyliss Beechey a daughter S. R. Beechey Beechey’s Portrait of James Watt sold for £153,440 at Sotheby’s on 20 March 2003.
His Portrait of Mirza Abu'l Hassan Khan, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of King George III sold for £181,600 at Christie’s on 8 June 2006. His Portrait of George Douglas, 16th Earl of Morton in the dress of the Royal Company of Archers sold for £481,250 at Christie’s on 5 July 2011, his portrait of The Dashwood Children sold at auction for $821,000 including premium at Christie’s on 29 January 2014. Beechey’s works are represented in many of the world’s leading collections, including the Louvre, the Smithsonian Institution, the Royal Collection, the Royal Academy of Arts, the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Redgrave, Richard. A Century of Painters of the English School. Sampson Low, Marston. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Roberts, W.. Sir William Beechey, R. A. London: Duckwort
Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Duchess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen was a Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She served as regent for her son after the deaths in 1752–1753 of her husband and brother-in-law of the ducal appanage of Mirow and of the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Elisabeth Albertine was a daughter of Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen and his wife Countess Sophia Albertine of Erbach-Erbach. On 5 February 1735, Elisabeth married Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Mirow at Eisfeld, the youngest son of Adolphus Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, half-brother to Adolphus Frederick III, they became the parents of ten children. The death of her childless brother-in-law on 11 December 1752, six months after she was widowed, left Albertine as regent of both men's duchies on behalf of her eldest son, Adolphus Frederick IV, until he attained his majority at the age of 14 on 17 January 1753. During that brief period she ruled the Strelitz duchies under the protection of George II of Great Britain, warding off encroachments from Duke Christian Ludwig II, ruler of the Schwerin branch of the House of Mecklenburg.
She died in 1761, shortly before the marriage of her daughter Sophia Charlotte to King George III of Great Britain, was buried at the ducal crypt in Mirow. Elisabeth had ten children, including the future Queen Charlotte, consort to King George III of the United Kingdom
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death in 1760. George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain: he was born and brought up in northern Germany, his grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, became second in line to the British throne after about 50 Catholics higher in line were excluded by the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707, which restricted the succession to Protestants. After the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father George I, Elector of Hanover, inherited the British throne. In the first years of his father's reign as king, George was associated with opposition politicians, until they rejoined the governing party in 1720; as king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector, he spent twelve summers in Hanover, where he had more direct control over government policy.
He had a difficult relationship with his eldest son, who supported the parliamentary opposition. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle. In 1745, supporters of the Catholic claimant to the British throne, James Francis Edward Stuart, led by James's son Charles Edward Stuart and failed to depose George in the last of the Jacobite rebellions. Frederick died unexpectedly in 1751, nine years before his father, so George II was succeeded by his grandson, George III. For two centuries after George II's death, history tended to view him with disdain, concentrating on his mistresses, short temper, boorishness. Since most scholars have reassessed his legacy and conclude that he held and exercised influence in foreign policy and military appointments. George was born in the city of Hanover in Germany, was the son of George Louis, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg, his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Celle.
His sister, Sophia Dorothea, was born. Both of George's parents committed adultery, in 1694 their marriage was dissolved on the pretext that Sophia had abandoned her husband, she was confined to Ahlden House and denied access to her two children, who never saw their mother again. George spoke only French, the language of diplomacy and the court, until the age of four, after which he was taught German by one of his tutors, Johann Hilmar Holstein. In addition to French and German, he was schooled in English and Italian, studied genealogy, military history, battle tactics with particular diligence. George's second cousin once removed, Queen Anne, ascended the thrones of England and Ireland in 1702, she had no surviving children, by the Act of Settlement 1701, the English Parliament designated Anne's closest Protestant blood relations, George's grandmother Sophia and her descendants, as Anne's heirs in England and Ireland. After his grandmother and father, George was third in line to succeed Anne in two of her three realms.
He was naturalized as an English subject in 1705 by the Sophia Naturalization Act, in 1706, he was made a Knight of the Garter and created Duke and Marquess of Cambridge, Earl of Milford Haven, Viscount Northallerton, Baron Tewkesbury in the Peerage of England. England and Scotland united in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, jointly accepted the succession as laid down by the English Act of Settlement. George's father did not want his son to enter into a loveless arranged marriage as he had, wanted him to have the opportunity of meeting his bride before any formal arrangements were made. Negotiations from 1702 for the hand of Princess Hedvig Sophia of Sweden, Dowager Duchess and regent of Holstein-Gottorp, came to nothing. In June 1705, under the false name of "Monsieur de Busch", George visited the Ansbach court at their summer residence in Triesdorf to investigate incognito a marriage prospect: Caroline of Ansbach, the former ward of his aunt Queen Sophia Charlotte of Prussia; the English envoy to Hanover, Edmund Poley, reported that George was so taken by "the good character he had of her that he would not think of anybody else".
A marriage contract was concluded by the end of July. On 22 August / 2 September 1705O. S./N. S. Caroline arrived in Hanover for her wedding, held the same evening in the chapel at Herrenhausen. George was keen to participate in the war against France in Flanders, but his father refused permission for him to join the army in an active role until he had a son and heir. In early 1707, George's hopes were fulfilled. In July, Caroline fell ill with smallpox, George caught the infection after staying by her side devotedly during her illness, they both recovered. In 1708, George participated in the Battle of Oudenarde in the vanguard of the Hanoverian cavalry; the British commander, wrote that George "distinguished himself charging at the head of and animating by his example troops, who played a good part in this happy victory". Between 1709 and 1713, George and Caroline had three more children, all girls: Anne and Caroline. By 1714, Queen Anne's health had declined, British Whigs, politicians who supported the Hanoverian succession, thought it prudent for one of the Hanoverians to live in England, to safeguard