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By Royal Appointment: Velvet previews the latest Palace House exhibition


By Louise Cummings


He is arguably one of British history’s most fascinating – and misunderstood – figures, and a new exhibition at Palace House in Newmarket will shed some light on the legacy of King George IV. Regarded by some as a dissolute wastrel and portrayed as a slow-witted dupe of his scheming butler in TV classic Blackadder, the monarch was in fact a great patron of horse racing and renowned collector of art.

King George IV: Royalty, Racing and Reputation, which launches in November, explores the colourful king’s fascination with horseracing (remarkably Charles remains the only reigning monarch to have ridden a winner in a horse race - which he did in 1671).

George IV (1762-1830) when Prince of Wales, After Thomas Gainsborough, c.1782-5. Royal Collection Trust (c) (20117166)
George IV (1762-1830) when Prince of Wales, After Thomas Gainsborough, c.1782-5. Royal Collection Trust (c) (20117166)
Goodwood Cup 1829, Paul Storr. Royal Collection Trust (20117469)
Goodwood Cup 1829, Paul Storr. Royal Collection Trust (20117469)
The Third and Last Challenge by the Champion during King George IV's Coronation Banquet in Westminster Hall, Denis Dighton, 1821. Royal Collection Trust (20117322)
The Third and Last Challenge by the Champion during King George IV's Coronation Banquet in Westminster Hall, Denis Dighton, 1821. Royal Collection Trust (20117322)

All but one of the 42 artworks featured, ranging from historic trophies and portraiture to comical etchings, have been lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection.

Palace House will prove a fitting venue for the exhibition, given that it was originally founded by King Charles II in the 1660s as a royal base for his horseracing activities.

See King George IV: Royalty, Racing and Reputation, November 28, 2019 - April 19, 2020, at Palace House, Palace Street, Newmarket. Visit palacehousenewmarket.co.uk for more information.



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