Diaries reveal passions at the court of King George III

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Vivacious, flirtatious and yet serious-minded, Mary Hamilton first created waves in the court of George III when she was appointed to help look after his six daughters in the royal nursery.

A niece of Emma, Lady Hamilton, the famous mistress of Lord Nelson, her alluring looks quickly drew her to the attention of the teenage Prince Regent, later to become King George IV. In spite of the fact that Mary Hamilton was six years his senior, the infatuated youth sent her 78 passionate letters, clearly rehearsing some of the seductive skills that were to earn him a playboy reputation in adulthood.

The love letters, all written in 1779, are signed George P, GP or 'Palemon toujours de meme', and in one the excitable 16-year-old prince writes: 'I will follow, I will be conducted, I will be guided by you, throughout the whole maze of Labyrinth of this world.'

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