Hanover, House of

[ (han-oh-vuhr) ]

A German family, distantly related to the Stuart kings and queens of Britain, who received the crown of Britain in the early eighteenth century when the last Stuart ruler, Queen Anne, died without an heir. They established an English branch of their family that still rules Britain. George III, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth II have been Hanoverians, although Victoria and her descendants have not used the family name Hanover. The control of the government of Britain by parliament has been greatly strengthened under Hanoverian rule, and the governmental role of the king or queen much reduced.

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notes for Hanover, House of

The first two Hanoverian kings, George I and George II, took little interest in their new country. George I spent most of his time in Germany and never bothered to learn the English language.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.