Twelve Thousand Three Hundred and Fourteen Diamonds – King George IV’s Empty Crown

King George IV was known far and wide as the dandy king, incompetent, ugly, and vulgar.  As Prince regent, prior to his assent to the throne, he kept fast company with Beau Brummel, King of Dandies, a man sixteen years his younger.  And decadence followed.  King George was a gambler, philanderer, and spendthrift, spending in his lifetime well over £25,000,000 in today’s money.

Even his coronation crown was stuffed with rented gemstones for a cost to the government of £24,425.  The 12,314 diamonds had to be returned to the jewel dealers after the coronation as the government refused to purchase the crown for King George IV after the coronation.  The frame of the crown was created by Philip Liebart of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London.

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This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

— Shakespeare