George II was born in Hanover the son of George I and Sophia of Celle. He married Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach in 1705 an attractive and intelligent women, and they had 9 children. In 1708 he took part in the Battle of Oudenarde in Belgium against the French.

His father became King George I of England in 1714 and he became Prince of Wales. However his father’s treatment of his mother whom he had imprisoned left son George with a hatred of his father and they regularly quarrelled. He was even put under arrest by his father who excluded him from public ceremonies. When his father died in 1727 he became King George II and set about changing his father’s policies. Walpole was expected to be dismissed but survived on the intervention of Queen Caroline.

The death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in 1740 led to the European War of Austrian Succession in which the British and Dutch supported Marie Theresa’s claim to the Austrian throne against the Prussians and French. George II personally led his troops at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, becoming the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle. The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, in which Charles Edward Stuart (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) landed in Scotland and marched with a Highland army into England, was defeated at Culloden in 1746 and Scottish opposition brutally suppressed by George’s second son Prince William, Duke of Cumberland. Like his father he quarrelled with his eldest son Frederick, Prince of Wales, over his marriage but Frederick died suddenly in 1751.

The final years of his reign saw George retiring from active politics; however it was a period in which British dominance overseas grew. William Pitt became Prime Minister during the Seven years war against France which spread to India and North America. Robert Clive secured the Indian continent for Britain at the Battle of Plassey, and General Wolfe captured Quebec in Canada. George II died in 1760 of an aneurysm while seated on his water closet. He was succeeded by his grandson also called George (Royal family history: