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Painting of Octavius by Benjamin West
Painting of Octavius by Benjamin West

Prince Octavius of Great Britain (1779–1783) was the thirteenth child and eighth son of King George III and his queen consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. King George and Queen Charlotte were much more involved in rearing their fifteen children than was usual for aristocratic parents of the time. George was extremely devoted to Octavius, who was too young to cause the kinds of trouble that his elder brothers did by this time. Contemporary accounts describe Octavius as having a sweet nature, and being particularly close to his sister Sophia. Six months after the death of his younger brother Prince Alfred, Octavius was inoculated against the smallpox virus. He became ill and died several days later. His death at the age of four devastated his parents, and in particular his father. King George III had been very fond of his two youngest sons, Alfred and Octavius, and his later bouts of madness involved hallucinations of the two dead princes. (Full article...)

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Dendropsophus branneri
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Francis Walsingham
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Today's featured picture

Black-and-white image of Winston Churchill standing with his left hand on his hip and his right hand resting on the back of a chair

Winston Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British statesman, soldier and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Apart from 1922 to 1924, he was a member of Parliament from 1900 to 1964, and represented five different constituencies. This black-and-white photograph of Churchill, titled The Roaring Lion, was taken on 30 December 1941 by the Armenian-Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh in the Centre Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. Churchill is particularly noted for his posture and facial expression in the photograph, which have been compared to the wartime feelings that prevailed in the United Kingdom – persistence in the face of an all-conquering enemy.

Photograph credit: Yousuf Karsh

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