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"George III Declares War" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 Jan 2019 12:52 p.m. PST

An extremely rare handwritten letter from King George III in which he declares war on Napoleon has been sold at auction in the U.K…


Last Hussar10 Jan 2019 1:25 p.m. PST

Americans need to remember that even then Britain was a Constitutional Monarchy, and so he did what Parliament told him to.

22ndFoot10 Jan 2019 1:35 p.m. PST

Last Hussar is spot on and it is misleading to describe this letter, dated 14th May 1803, as a declaration of war.

The King acknowledges receipt of a letter with various enclosures from the ambassador to Paris, Lord Whitworth; having read them he forwards them with his agreement with Whitworth's assessment, to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool, Lord Hawkesbury. The Prime Minister at the time was Addington.

The King then states that he will remain in London, at the Tower, to assist in whatever way the government requires. By this he meant that he would give his consent to the use of the royal prerogative or his assent to any necessary legislation.

The actual declaration, when the King formally exercised the royal prerogative on the advice of his ministers (as the law still requires although no formal declaration has been made since World War II) came a few days later on May 18th. That was a much grander document.

Last Hussar10 Jan 2019 1:59 p.m. PST

It is a point I am reminded of whenever I see how "we rejected a King, we don't do monarchy". HM has been a figurehead since 1688, though a good PM will at least listen, because the Queen is one of the most briefed people in the country

As the chats are private, and Brenda would never divulge, whether the PM heeds any advice never goes beyond the two of them.

Parliament told George III "Tell us to go to war."
"You chaps – I command you go to war"
"Yes, your Majesty, how very wise of you."

Nine pound round10 Jan 2019 3:07 p.m. PST


JimDuncanUK10 Jan 2019 3:14 p.m. PST

Obviously the Power Behind The Throne :)

Last Hussar10 Jan 2019 3:28 p.m. PST

Private Eye's nickname for Her Maj.

22ndFoot11 Jan 2019 7:11 a.m. PST

Baghot famously summed up the monarch's role as comprising ‘the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn.'

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