The Curious Case Of King George: Bridgerton’s Most Misunderstood Monarch?

author-img By Sarmind Safi 5 Mins Read 11 September 2023

what is wrong with king george in bridgerton

King George is obviously keeping something from Queen Charlotte, as the first episode of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story ends. Rather than spending their first night together as husband and wife, George puts Charlotte up in a whole different palace.

We don’t find out why George is so hesitant and dishonest with Charlotte until later. King George was “The Mad King” because of his numerous battles with mental illness, as it is in Bridgerton, and Queen Charlotte sheds light on this.

Corey Mylchreest, in the show, focuses on George’s identity outside of his mental illness. Known as a thought-provoking and incredibly thorough reexamination of George III, the longest-reigning king of England, “myths” concerning his mental state and how he supposedly “lost” America are still mentioned today.

It is the most significant, meticulous, and sensitive new research on a British monarch in the previous half-century. George III was also deemed to be a good copy by director Nicholas Hytner and playwright Alan Bennett. In fact, Hytner’s 1994 movie won multiple Oscars.

However, contemporary historians assert that George should have received more compassionate care because of his mental illness. Now bipolar disorder, he endured harsh treatments for his diagnosis of porphyria.

King George: Bridgerton

King George Bridgerton
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We know that King George suffered from mental illness during his reign. He once spat blood and spent hours unable to speak intelligibly. He was later aggressive once more and wore a straitjacket. Rumors also circulated that George attempted to shake hands with a tree after mistaking it for the King of Prussia.

Later Life

Later Life
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George’s mental state deteriorated during the last ten years of his rule, and he appeared in public much less. He was deeply sad by the passing of his favorite daughter, Princess Amelia. He spent his last years at Windsor Castle. In 1820, George died of pneumonia at the age of 81.

Some people think he had bipolar disorder, although the royal family never had a formal diagnosis. The show’s Dr. Munro is a real person. However, Queen Charlotte supposedly only permitted him to watch King George. When charges of cruel treatment towards his patients arose, he resigned.

Due to his episodes of mental illness, people called King George “The Mad King.” But Corey Mylchreest and the Queen Charlotte team want to present King George in a different light.

Corey claimed that in order to learn more about King George’s true identity, he turned to Andrew Robert’s biography George III: The Life and Reign of Britain’s Most Misunderstood Monarch. The book paints a complete picture of George using his own words.

What Is Wrong With King George In Bridgerton?

King George In Bridgerton
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What is wrong with Queen Charlotte’s King George? The show’s writers purposefully omit his condition’s name and don’t state clearly what illness he suffered from. It is beyond dispute that King George suffered from a mental illness. Although historians have disagreed over the nature of this illness for centuries.

In fact, Buckingham Palace admits to his moments of insanity. They wrote, “After serious bouts of illness in 1788-89 and again in 1801, George became permanently deranged in 1810. He was mentally unfit to rule in the last decade of his reign; his eldest son – the later George IV – acted as Prince Regent from 1811.

Some medical historians suggest that George III’s mental instability was caused by a hereditary physical disorder called porphyria.” In the show, George experiences random hallucinations and incoherent babble. Additionally, Charlotte witnesses him writing on the walls and declaring his love to Venus, the goddess of love. That, while in his underwear.

History Of Illness

History Of Illness
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“That’s when it starts to give rise to apparent bouts of madness where people sort of move away from a level of reality,” Warren explained. “And that can give rise to things like sleeplessness. People can start to talk, become incoherent, can start babbling.”

The BBC reported that during his spells, George wrote furiously, “A sentence containing 400 words and eight verbs was not unusual. George III, when ill, often repeated himself. At the same time, his vocabulary became much more complex, creative, and colorful. These features are there today in the writing and speech of patients experiencing the manic phase of psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder.”

Since the elder George’s illness was incapacitating (then), Parliament appointed his son George VI as Prince Regent during his later years. George gave up on the disease and passed away in 1820.

Mylchreest and Amarteifio discuss the legacy of King George and how people saw it in an interview with Rotten Tomatoes. “It’s such a topical conversation,” Amarteifo said. “Men with mental health issues is a real important thing that we, as a society, need to tackle and we need to talk about.”

Wrapping Up

George III was a conservative man and yet intellectually curious. With a strong interest in the arts and science, he never went to America, Ireland, or the industrializing north of England.

His coronation took place during the French and Indian War, which the Americans know as such. In England, they call the conflict the Seven Years’ War, which reflects its complex, worldwide nature.

He was an introvert, with no friends of his own age. And was vehemently against the hedonistic antics of upper-class society. He met Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz on their wedding day, and fortunately, their arranged marriage was happy.

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Sarmind Safi

Sarmind is a Writer and an aspiring Editor who has experience in various short and long-form niches. Her academic pursuits intensely mold her industry background in content creation. She holds a Master's degree in Literature, and when not writing for professional purposes, she can be found re-reading old classics of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. She is super fond of cats and enjoys hours of doom-scrolling through memes on social media while cuddled up with a cup of desi chai. She likes to think she is an intellectual badass (colloquial: nerdy bore), and now all she needs is a sewing kit to complete the look!

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