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Prince George was born in 1819 at Cambridge House, Kent. His father was the youngest surviving son of George III, and brother of George IV and future kings Frederick and William IV. He had a strong military education, receiving a commission aged 13, and becoming a colonel in 1834.
From 1835 it was clear that King William was dying, and would not have a child. Consequently a search was undertaken to find an heir. The daughter of the Duke of Kent, Victoria, was the legitimate heir. However the government of Wellington thought a female would not have sufficient moral standing to represent Britain. It was decided that Victoria would marry and a dual monarchy would be established. The sons of the dukes of Cumberland and Sussex were passed over. George was selected to marry Victoria, which he did in May 1837.
One month later King William died and they ascended to the throne.