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Years ago I saw this…

Visit of George III to Howe's Flagship, the 'Queen Charlotte', 26 June 1794 by Henry Perronet Briggs - print

It’s a painting by Henry Perronet Briggs (1828) in the Royal Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and depicts the visit of King George III and Queen Charlotte to Portsmouth on 24 June 1794 to congratulate Admiral Lord Howe on his victory over the French at Ushant (the battle became known as the “Glorious First of June”). George III is shown handing Howe a ceremonial diamond-hilted sword on the quarterdeck of Howe’s flagship, the Queen Charlotte. Various members of the Royal family and the court watch. I can’t identify too many of them off hand, but conspicuous among them are the two main characters of my novel: prime minister William Pitt the Younger on the far left, and (immediately to the right of the chap in the rather dashing red and gold pelisse) Pitt’s brother John, Second Earl of Chatham. Chatham was, of course, First Lord of the Admiralty at the time and so had a prominent role in the celebrations.

I think it’s pretty cool. One day I might even go and see it in person!

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