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Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, KG (January 31, 1707 – March 31, 1751), was the eldest son and heir apparent of King George II of Great Britain. He grew estranged from his parents, King George II and Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach. Frederick Louis was the father of King George III.

Early life


Prince Frederick Louis was born on January 31, 1707 in Hanover, Holy Roman Empire, as Duke Friedrich Ludwig of Brunswick-Lüneburg, to Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Prince George Augustus, son of George Louis, Elector of Hanover.

Electress Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of James I-VI of England, Scotland and Ireland. Under the Act of Settlement passed by the English Parliament in 1701 the Electress of Hannover was the heiress presumptive to Queen Anne of Great Britain.

However, Sophia died before Anne at age 83 in June 1714, which elevated the Elector George Louis to heir-presumptive; Queen Anne died on August 1 the same year, and Sophia’s son became King George I of Great Britain and Ireland and Elector of Hanover.

George Augustus and his father, the new King, sailed for England from The Hague on September 16, 1714 and arrived at Greenwich two days later. The following day, they formally entered London in a ceremonial procession. George Augustus was created Prince of Wales.

As Prince of Wales George Augustus first-in-line to the British throne and Frederick Louis himself second-in-line. Frederick Louis’s godfather was his grand-uncle Friedrich I, King in Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg-Prussia. Frederick Louis was nicknamed “Griff” within the family.

When Frederick Louis’s parents and grandfather left Hanover for Great Britain Frederick Louis was only seven years old. He was left in the care of his grand-uncle Ernepst August of Hanover, Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück, and did not see his parents again for 14 years.

In 1722, the 15-year-old Frederick Louis was created by his grandfather King George I, Duke of Edinburgh, Marquess of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Eltham in the county of Kent. On July 26, 1726 Frederick Louis was created
Viscount of Launceston in the county of Cornwall, and Baron of Snaudon in the county of Carnarvon,

Prince of Wales

Frederick Louis was not permitted to go to Great Britain until after his father took the throne as George II on June 11, 1727. Frederick Louis had continued to be known as Prince Friedrich Ludwig of Hanover (with his British HRH style) even after his father had been created Prince of Wales.

When Frederick Louis arrived in England King George II and Queen Caroline had had several younger children, and Frederick Louis was a high-spirited youth fond of drinking, gambling and women. The long separation had damaged their relationship, and they would never be close.

The motives for the ill-feeling between Frederick Louis and his parents may include the fact that he had been set up by his grandfather, even as a small child, as the representative of the House of Hanover, and was used to presiding over official occasions in the absence of his parents.

In 1728, Frederick Louis (his name now anglicised) was finally brought to Britain and was created Prince of Wales on January 8, 1729. He served as the tenth Chancellor of the University of Dublin from 1728 to 1751, and a portrait of him still enjoys a commanding position in the Hall of the Trinity College, Dublin.

He sponsored a court of ‘opposition’ politicians. Frederick and his group supported the Opera of the Nobility in Lincoln’s Inn Fields as a rival to George Frideric Handel’s royally sponsored opera at the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket. Frederick Louis was a lover of music who played the viola and cello; he is depicted playing a cello in three portraits by Philippe Mercier of Frederick and his sisters.

He enjoyed the natural sciences and the arts, and became a thorn in the side of his parents, making a point of opposing them in everything, according to the court gossip Lord Hervey. At court, the favourite was Frederick Louis’s younger brother, Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, to the extent that the king looked into ways of splitting his domains so that Frederick Louis would succeed only in Britain, while Hanover would go to William as the Imperial Elector.