It was on this day 289 years ago, 11 October 1727, that George II and his consort Caroline of Ansbach were crowned King and Queen of Great Britain and Ireland.
The new king’s predecessor, his father George I, had died on 11 June while on a visit to Hanover, of which he was the hereditary Prince-Elector. According to legend, the younger George exclaimed, in his thickly accented English, “Dat is vun big lie!” when he was told of his accession. George II decided not to go to Germany for his father’s funeral proceedings, a decision that played well in English public opinion. In reality, George II was as fond of Hanover as his father; after all, both were born and raised there. Over the years, the second Hanoverian king of Great Britain would spend significant amounts of time in his German domains.
George and Caroline were crowned in Westminster Abbey, as per custom. They commissioned George Frederick Handel to write four anthems for the occasion. One of them was the mighty ‘Zadok the Priest,’ which has been played at the climax of every coronation since.
Caroline died in 1737, and George reigned until his death in 1760.