The 15 Best Documentaries About King George III

Aug 27, 2023 | Best Of, History

King George III was an important figure in the history of Britain and beyond. His reign saw a transformation from a monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, and he played a key role in many historical events. But aside from what is taught in textbooks, there are fascinating documentaries that provide insight into his life as well as the country’s past. Whether you want to learn more about his family and early life, or gain a deeper understanding of the many crucial decisions he made throughout his reign, here are some of the best documentaries about King George III. Get ready to dive into an extraordinary exploration of history!


1. George III – The Last King of America

George III was the last king of the United States, reigning from 1783 to 1801. He remains one of the most intriguing and influential figures in American colonial history. From his royal family’s refusal to accept independence from Britain until his death in 1820, George III captivated and challenged people around the world. This documentary will delve into his life and times, exploring the reasons behind his controversial reign. It will trace the origins of his power, from his early years as a child to ascending the throne as King of America at age 22.


2. King George III Documentary

George III, born in Great Britain as George William Frederick, was a monarch of many titles. As King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760-1801, he presided over the union of the two countries that established the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Upon his promotion to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, he became Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire. This was a fitting title for George III, as he was the third member of the House of Hanover to ascend to power and unlike his predecessors, he had been born in Britain and spoke English as his first language despite never visiting Hanover.


3. The Madness That Shook a Nation

King George III’s illness was characterized by attacks of varying intensity. At their peak, people described him as ill, paralyzed and delirious with agonizing pain. This hereditary factor had been present in his family for some time, but went unnoticed until his Royal physicians noticed discolored urine – a symptom of the disease. After studying King George III’s medical history and reports from his physicians, other members of his family also showed similar signs. This evidence suggests the hereditary nature of the illness, and how it impacted the life of a beloved monarch.


4. Royal Deaths And Diseases

This documentary explores the fascinating and complex issue of mental illness amongst royalty in Britain. It examines the infamous madness of George III, Queen Victoria’s clinical depression, and Henry VI’s acute schizophrenia; all with diagnoses from modern medical experts. It delves into the extraordinary treatments that were used to treat these illnesses, such as drilling the skull or using leeches. We hear from medical professionals who explain the historical context and implications of such treatments, as well as how far we have come since those days. We also explore the various theories that surrounded royal insanity in Britain, some more accepted than others.


5. The Life & Reign of Britain’s Most Misunderstood Monarch

The life of King George III was full of turbulent times, yet through it all he maintained a strong sense of honour and duty. Despite numerous assassination attempts, the monarch remained bravely devoted to his country’s constitution. He was an incredible family man, clearly showing his devotion to both his wife and children. In addition, he had a great passion for the arts and sciences, as he believed that Britain’s horizons should be broadened. He was also known as ‘Farmer George’ due to his passionate desire to develop the country’s agricultural capacity.


6. The life of the real QUEEN CHARLOTTE of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

George III, the King who lost America, was a fascinating and complex figure in history. His mental health struggles were well-known and even became fodder for plays and films. But what drove these bouts of madness? How did his family cope, especially when his eldest son became the Prince Regent? Did Queen Charlotte truly love her ailing husband or was she just stuck with a spouse she didn’t even like? The answers to these questions can be found in some of the best documentaries about King George III. These films take an in-depth look at his life and reign, exploring the culture of 18th century Britain as well as examining how his madness affected both himself and those around him.


7. The Children of King George III

Take a closer look at the remarkable life of King George III and his family. This documentary examines the 15 children born from his union with Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, including their individual stories and contributions to history. From Victoria, who was to become Queen of England, to Edward Augustus, who became Duke of York and Albany — discover how the King’s family left a lasting impact on his legacy. Explore their relationships with each other and the royal court, as well as their relationships with their father, King George III. Get to know this unique and fascinating family like never before! Uncover their secrets, triumphs and tragedies in an unprecedented look into an era of British history.


8. Lucy Worsley Investigates

George III of Great Britain is remembered in history for a multitude of reasons, including his mental illness and its effects on the nation. In this documentary, renowned historian Lucy Worsley uncovers royal papers to explore how an attempt on George’s life by a mentally ill subject changed psychiatry forever. She delves into accounts of his affliction and how it impacted Britain and its people during his reign. She speaks to doctors, historians, and other experts in the field to give viewers a comprehensive picture of how mental health treatment evolved as a result of the events during George’s lifetime. This documentary is both an educational journey and window into a major turning point in psychiatric history – one that still has implications today.


9. Mad King George

The world knows him as King George III, the British monarch who ruled during a tumultuous time in that nation’s history. But perhaps just as interesting was the man himself, whose mental health deteriorated during his reign and ultimately led to his deposition and removal from power. This documentary delves into King George III’s story, exploring the events leading up to his decline and how those events unfolded. The film examines his relationship with the Royal Family, how he surrounded himself with advisors and confidants who only served to increase his paranoia and confusion, and the eventual culmination of an unstable mental state that resulted in his downfall.


10. The Last King of America

The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III is a work by British historian Andrew Roberts that delves into the misunderstood reign of King George III. This book provides readers with an incredibly nuanced and detailed look at the figure who had such immense influence during the American Revolution. It dissects and deconstructs the caricature created by Americans, seen most recently in Hamilton, of a preening and arrogant King of England.


11. King George III’s Daughters

The 6 daughters of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz were a unique collection of characters. While the King had his hands full keeping up with their mischief, Queen Charlotte often found herself in the role of mediator. With 15 children to look after, it’s no wonder they earned the nickname “the nunnery” for Kew Palace where they were kept.


12. King George III’s Sons

King George III of Great Britain and Ireland was a loving father to his 15 children, who were born to him and his German wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Though the eldest three sons had hopes of inheriting the throne, their untimely deaths saw those dreams crushed. The remaining princes gained reputations as lotharios during their youth, and Parliament had to offer bribes in order to get them married off. In the end, it was King George’s granddaughter Victoria who eventually took the throne—though she would have to deal with her uncles’ bad reputations for years to come.


13. Wife of King George

Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, also known as Sophia Charlotte, was a powerful patroness of the arts and an amateur botanist who left her mark in history. When she married King George III in 1761, she became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until 1801 when both kingdoms united to become the United Kingdom. Additionally, she was Electress of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until her husband became King of Hanover in 1814. During their 57-year marriage, Queen Charlotte and George III had 15 children, 13 of whom survived to adulthood.


14. American propaganda from rebels and liberals

George III was one of Britain’s most misunderstood kings. During his time, he led the country through an era of transition and sacrifice. He faced a monumental challenge during the American Revolution but did not deserve such ire for leading Britain to victory in that conflict. Andrew Roberts delves into this fascinating story with his latest book, a biography of George III.


15. Blind History

King George III was the longest reigning monarch of England, and witnessed a turbulent period in history. He never left Windsor during his reign, yet he bore witness to the American Revolution, the birth of modern science and technology, and the Agricultural Revolution. Deeply devoted to his nation, King George Iii was renowned for his eccentric behaviour – which many attributed to madness – yet the British people loved him and dubbed him ‘Farmer George’. His moral standards set the example for future generations of royals, a tradition that has been upheld to this day. All in all, King George III’s legacy continues to shape English monarchy today.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B