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On the morning of October 25, 1760, George II died suddenly at Kensington Palace. His eldest son, Frederick, had died eight years earlier and the crown therefore went to Frederick’s first son, the 22 year old George. This young king’s boyhood had been spent largely with his mother Augusta and his siblings at Kew Palace.The house that was to become Kew Palace was built in 1631 for Samuel Fortrey, a French-born Flemish merchant. Fortrey created an expensive and sumptuous home that was extravagantly decorated with magnificent molded plasterwork and detailed paint schemes.
Royal associations with the building began in 1728 when the house was leased by Queen Caroline to be used for accommodation for the three elder daughters of George II. This small palace, situated just behind the larger royal dwelling called The White House, was also put to use as a school room with the future George III and his brother Edward educated there by leading politicians, musicians, and architects.
The first ‘truly British’ Hanoverian King, George III was keen to find a wife before his coronation. After a search for suitable candidates, he married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1761, on the same day as he met her!
In 1762, the Carolina colony paid honor to the royal couple by naming a city in honor or their new queen consort. They called their town Charlotte, and the surrounding county was named Mecklenburg in honor of the princess’s homeland.
This goodwill quickly faded. By the end of 1773, citizens of Boston were hanging the king in effigy and tossing East India Company tea into the harbor to protest his taxes.


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