George II Died on the Toilet
George II (1683 – 1760) was King of Great Britain, Elector of Hannover, and a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1727 until his death in 1760. A constitutional monarch, he exercised little control over British policy, as that was controlled by Parliament. Nonetheless, his was a calming and stabilizing presence, and the British Empire prospered and grew during his reign.
Born in Hannover, George holds the distinction of being the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He also holds the distinction of being the last British monarch to personally lead an army into battle. The latter took place in 1743, during the War of the Austrian succession, when George commanded his troops in the Battle of Dettingen against a French army.
Barring a scare in 1745, when Jacobins staged a failed uprising to restore the Stuart Dynasty to the throne, George’s time on the throne was relatively stable. He was not well loved in Britain, as he spoke with a thick German accent, had a short temper, and was widely criticized for his boorishness. Nonetheless, George’s years as monarch saw a tremendous growth in British prosperity and British prestige, as the British Empire grew to become a globe-straddling entity. His death, though, was less regal than his reign, and gave fodder for amusement at the time and ever since.
George II’s undignified death came on October 25th, 1760. That morning began like all others, with the king following his usual routine: he woke up at 6AM, had a cup of hot chocolate, then went to the toilet. However, while answering nature’s call, he ended up overstraining himself, and suffered a fatal aortic aneurism. When his valet heard a loud crash in the restroom, he rushed in to discover that the king had fallen from his… throne. He died soon thereafter.