In late 1810, already virtually blind with cataracts and in pain from rheumatism, George III became dangerously ill. It was clear that he was no longer fit to reign and Parliament responded by passing the Regency Act of 1811. The act created the role of Prince Regent which was assigned to The Prince of Wales and allowed him to exercise the full powers of the King. The Prince of Wales continued as Regent until his father's death in 1820, when he became King George IV.

The term Regency is used loosely, sometimes referring only to the 9 years that the Prince Regent fulfilled the duties and obligations of the King and sometimes referring to a period between 1795 and 1837 which was characterized by distinctive trends in British architecture, design, literature, fashions, politics, and culture.

The Regency style was eclectic, based on the cult of antiquity and borrowing from Roman, Greek and Egyptian designs. To these were added elements taken from nature and from French design of the mid-18th century. The Regency style was visually very rich and Regency Silver is perhaps the most elaborate and imposing of any British silver.

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