Views & Reviews Medical classics

The Madness of King George

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 24 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1117
  1. John Beard, FY2 doctor, University Hospital Birmingham
  1. johnbeard{at}

    A re-working of Alan Bennett's original stage play, The Madness of King George, is a classic of British cinema. Nigel Hawthorne (of television's Yes Minister fame) stars as the eccentric King George III whose bizarre behaviour, caused by what is now thought to have been an episode of acute porphyria, causes problems of propriety for his family, his subjects, and for the country as a whole.

    The story begins in 1788 with the king still finding it difficult to come to terms with the loss of the colonies in North America. The then …

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