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Thursday 13 August 2020

King George's Menagerie





King George IV, like many of his contemporaries, developed an interest in exotic animals and created a large menagerie at Windsor. From 'Queen Victoria's Creatures':  "Generally, George preferred the company of the docile creatures and colourful birds that lived in his menagerie, one of which, a cockatoo, was tame enough to sit on his arm as he travelled through London. So proud was he of his growing collection of interesting beasts that he granted the public admission to his menagerie on condition that they made no drawings of the inhabitants and only visited on days when he was absent. On rare occasions he made an exception to this rule, as when a young lady arrived at the gates as he toured the gardens. On being denied entrance, she sent George a message, explaining that she had travelled some distance for the sole purpose of seeing the peacocks, and, once he had ascertained from the messenger that she was a woman of great beauty, he allowed her admission. When, however, soon afterwards, he caught sight of one of his former mistresses standing by the gate, he insisted that she be detained by the guards until he had departed." 


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