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"I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love..."

King George III is the main antagonist of Act I. He is the King of Great Britain and believed that the Colonies will not be successful in their revolution.

Biography

After Alexander Hamilton argues with Samuel Seabury, (“Farmer Refuted”) the ensemble sings that a message from the king will arrive shortly. Sure enough, King George III shows a strong assumption that he will win the Revolutionary War ("You'll Be Back").

However, following America's success, the king becomes rather irritated and sad, saying that America cheated on England with France and that he is now fighting with France and with Spain, referring to the Anglo-French War and Anglo-Spanish War respectively. ("What Comes Next?").

Once George Washington steps down, King George learns of this and questions who might replace him. A soldier brings news that John Adams, will be Washington's replacement, and the king recalls having met him years ago in 1785, believing him to be a "little guy" that the Americans will eat alive. Musingly anticipating Adams' presidency, King George wishes him luck ("I Know Him").

While King George does not sing again, during “The Reynolds Pamphlet,” the king jeers at Alexander Hamilton alongside Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The three of them throw pieces of paper around the stage and mock Hamilton.

The songs of George III are widely considered as light comic relief but each one has a purpose in setting the scene for the next section of the show and phase of Hamilton’s life. He first appears after the characters have been introduced, to threaten the colonies. This introduces the Revolutionary War which highlights Hamilton as the military man and concludes with “The Battle of Yorktown”. He then re-appears to give warning about the political difficulties he believes the new nation will face post-independence. This precedes the next section where military battles are replaced by political battles and Washington declares “Winning was easy... governing’s harder”. In this section the audience sees Hamilton the politician. King George’s final appearance is to offer grudging respect for Washington and to mock his replacement John Adams, introducing a period of chaos for Hamilton beginning with “The Adams Administration”. This is where the audience witnesses his decline.

King George III is perceived in the show to be insane, claiming that "When push comes to shove, I will kill your friends and family, to remind you of my love.” In fact, the king did suffer bouts of insanity which many have claimed to have been porphyria, and some say that his medicine, which contained large amounts of arsenic, worsened his condition. [1]

Notable Casting Changes

Off-Broadway

Brian d'Arcy James replaced Joshua Henry, who worked in the Vassar Workshop, to portray King George III off-Broadway. [2]

Broadway

Jonathan Groff took on the role of King George III in the Broadway Production of Hamilton.

From October 27 to November 29, 2015, Andrew Rannells played King George III while Jonathan Groff filmed the Looking movie. [3]

Rory O'Malley took the role of King George III from Jonathan Groff on April 11, 2016. However, Groff returned to the show for one performance, which was filmed.

On January 17, 2017, Taran Killam stepped into the role of the king and ended his run on April 13, 2017.

During the interval between Taran Killam's final performance and Euan Morton's first one, the role was played by different cast members, including (from April 14, 2017 – July 16, 2017) Brian d’Arcy James. [4]

He was replaced by Euan Morton on July 28, 2017, and as of March 2020, he continues to portray King George III. [5]

Hamilton Chicago

Alexander Gemignani was cast as the original King George III for this production of Hamilton. [7]

Around February 2018 Alexander Gemignani was replaced by Andrew Call, who will play King George III until Hamilton closes in Chicago. [8] [9]

Understudies include Jin Ha, who understudied King George III until May 2018 when he took on the role of Aaron Burr, and Jose Rosario Jr. [10] [11]

Jimmie “J.J” Jeter and Jared Howelton are both replacement standbys for this role. [12]

Hamilton West End

Michael Jibson portrayed King George III as a member of the West End Production Cast of Hamilton. He won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical while in this role.

In December 2018, Jon Robyns donned the crown of King George III, and ended his run on November 4th, 2019.

He was replaced by Gavin Spokes,  who began performing on November 18th, 2019. [13]

Trivia

  • On the death of his father in 1751, George III became the heir to the throne, which he succeeded from his grandfather, George II in 1760.
  • George III was the third Hanoverian Monarch, and the first one to be born in England as well as to use English as his first language.
  • Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the wife of King George III, whom he loved ardently and was loyal and devoted to her.
  • In all, they had 15 children. Thirteen of them survived adulthood.
  • Apart from having his very own astronomical observatory, George III was the first ruler who had learnt science as part of his education curriculum. The Science Museum now harbours his collection of scientific instruments.
  • The current Buckingham Palace was bought by George III for his wife, Queen Charlotte in 1761, then known as the Buckingham House. Its purpose was to serve as a comfortable family home near St. James' Palace where many royal functions were held. Buckingham House gradually came to be known as the Queen's House.
  • G3.jpg
    "Farmer George" was a nickname George III acquired as he held a huge interest in agricultural activities.

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References

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