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The British Regency - the Regency period in history
The Regency period in British history is defined by some to be the period from 1811 to 1820, when King George III was declared unfit to rule, and so the Prince Regent ruled instead. The Prince Regent became King George IV after the old king died. The idea of "The Regency Period" extends as a style much further than the few years which might appear to define it. In some ways, Regency style architecture, fashion, furniture (now antiques), has a period which can be extended even as far as from 1795 to 1837. In some ways, the Regency Period is that period between the "Georgian Period" and the "Victorian Period".
King George III was mad, but as with many mad people in many different periods of history, the medical treatment was worse than the illness.
A "Regency" is regarded as a period when the ruling monarch is unable to rule for one reason or another, and so a second-in-command takes on the role. Although in charge, such a substitute for a monarch is regarded as a Regent, rather than a King/Queen, as they don't hold the full title.
The Regency period in British history was a time of uncertainty, as it was at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, just after the French Revolution, and it was not known whether Britain would continue as a monarchy, or would go the way of France with the public execution of aristocrats. The Regency Period may have helped to shape that decision, and for people to have a think about what would be best. It was a time of opulence and extravagance, and some of the surviving material from the time shows a certain style.
You sometimes see companies with "Regency" in the title, as it seems to convey an air of class and possibly long-standing antiquity. There are a few Regency companies here.
Here are some further reading references for the Regency Period in history: