Royalty and public in Britain, 1714-1789
The thesis sets out to examine the interaction between the British royal family and its 'public' in the period between the Hanoverian succession and the recovery of George in from 'insanity' in 1789. Throughout, emphasis is given to the reception of royal activity by the press, who circulated information around the kingdom. It argues that the emergence of the domestic, popular monarchy in the middle of the reign of George III was the result of longterm considerations which arose from the activities of earlier generations of eighteenthcentury royalty, and were further developed by George III and his siblings. The growth of the royal family, and the physical and social limitations of the eighteenth-century court, led to its members finding avenues for self-expression outside the court and consequently to the expansion of the public sphere of the royal family. The subject is approached through six chapters: the move from traditional - usually sacerdotal - manifestations of royal benevolence, to sponsorship of voluntary hospitals and similar charities; accession and coronation celebrations during the century; royal public appearances in general, including the theatre and the masquerade, as well as visits to the provinces; the royal residences; royal support for scientific endeavour; and the legacy of the seventeenth century on eighteenth-century royalty, including portraiture and the family's martial connections, and the appearance or absence of mythologized seventeenth-century images in relation to the Thanksgiving of 1789. The thesis is intended to complement recent work on the emergence of national consciousness in Britain in the eighteenth century, as well as on royalty itself. It attempts to identify some of the questions concerning the place the royal family had in the society of eighteenth-century Britain, how its public image reflected that context, and how this helped the monarchy to survive as a stronger institution.