On this day in 1727 George II and Caroline of Ansbach were crowned King and Queen of Great Britain.
George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain: he was born and brought up in northern Germany. In 1701, his grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, became second in line to the British throne after about 50 Catholics higher in line were excluded by the Act of Settlement, which restricted the succession to Protestants.
After the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father George I, Elector of Hanover, inherited the British throne. In the first years of his father’s reign as king, George was associated with opposition politicians, until they re-joined the governing party in 1720.
As king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, which was largely controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector, he spent 12 summers in Hanover, where he had more direct control over government policy.
He had a difficult relationship with his eldest son, Frederick, who supported the parliamentary opposition. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, and thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle.
In 1745, supporters of the Catholic claimant to the British throne, James Francis Edward Stuart (“The Old Pretender”), led by James’s son Charles Edward Stuart (“The Young Pretender” or “Bonnie Prince Charlie”), attempted and failed to depose George in the last of the Jacobite rebellions.
After Prince Frederick died unexpectedly in 1751, George’s grandson, George III, became heir apparent and ultimately king.