11. The Prince Regent drew moral condemnation during the Regency
The Prince of Wales’s dissipated lifestyle became the subject of much conversation before the Regency. As the Prince Regent, his womanizing, drinking, and gambling continued without missing a step. Indeed, he added gluttony to his vices, all at the expense of the Royal Treasury and the British taxpayers. At all of his residences, he hosted large and expensive fetes, hunts, banquets, balls, and celebrations. He kept mistresses publicly (including Mary Fitzherbert). The Prince patronized the arts and sciences and largely ignored the duties of his office. He allowed favorites to influence his few decisions, to the dismay of many of the ministers in the cabinet. Most considered him self-absorbed, selfish, and irresponsible.
As Prince Regent, he held the seal of the Monarch, his father George III, and simply didn’t care what his ministers or subjects thought of his behavior. For most of his Regency and subsequent reign as King, Robert Banks Jenkinson, Lord Liverpool, controlled the government. Liverpool brought capable men into the government, including Castlereagh and Wellington, His most substantive contribution may have been the tact with which he restrained the excesses of the Prince Regent. The latter did not favor Liverpool as his Prime Minister. He attempts to appoint four different men to the post following Perceval’s assassination. None of them were able to form a government. The Prince Regent came to realize he needed Liverpool, though neither man trusted the other.