In 1814, on this day George, Prince of Wales, ruling as Prince Regent in place of his ill father, George III, officially abdicates the British throne. After the fall of London to French troops (spearheaded by a daring cavalry assault by Marshal Murat on Buckingham Palace) on 18 August 1813, the British Government had fled north to Scotland.
L'EmpereurFor the next 7 months, the French gradually pushed north from their main base in Essex, eventually reaching Edinburgh by the end of March. An attempt by General Arthur Wellesley to land in southwest England and attack the French forces from the rear had failed when Ney routed the British at Exeter on 22nd March 1814. Upon receiving news of this defeat, the Prince Regent began negotiations with Napoleon, culminating in his abdication on this day.
The Prince Regent and the Royal Family were subsequently exiled to Canada, where they would be of little harm to the French. Another stipulation of the British surrender was that Ireland be given total independence; although this was a bitter pill for the British to swallow, they had no choice. On 9th May the Treaty of Calais was signed, officially ending the war between Great Britain and France; on 1st January 1815, Ireland became the Republic of Ireland. Napoleon added a new title to an already long list: Roi d'Angleterre.