Son of the eccentric Adolphus, seventh and favourite son of George III, Prince George was born in 1819 and was briefly heir presumptive to the throne of England until the birth that same year of his cousin Victoria. Instead he became George, second Duke of Cambridge, and rose to be Commander-in-Chief of the Army aged 37, holding that position for 39 years. Often considered a hidebound reactionary, he nonetheless took a keen interest in reform of the Army, and made considerable efforts to improve the soldier's lot. In the year that the title of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was bestowed by HRH the Queen upon Prince William and Catherine Middleton on the morning of their wedding, this charming, substantial and formidably researched life of 'The Royal George' has a renewed topicality.

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