Taking power after the death of George III, the king who lost the American colonies, George IV didn't exactly have a tough act to follow.
Before he took the throne, however, George IV caused a scandal as a prince. He led a lavish lifestyle, mounting enormous debt at a time when poverty was a chronic condition in London.
In order to have his father, the king, pay for the debts the prince had incurred, George IV married his cousin, Princess Caroline, at the order of George III. The prince also, however, secretly married a Catholic woman, Maria Fitzherbert, who had been already twice married herself.