George II (George Augustus; German: Georg II) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death.
George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain: he was born and brought up in northern Germany. In 1701, his grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, became second in line to the British throne after about 50 Catholics higher in line were excluded by the Act of Settlement, which restricted the succession to Protestants. After the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father George I, Elector of Hanover, inherited the British throne. In the first years of his father's reign as king, George was associated with opposition politicians, until they re-joined the governing party in 1720.
As king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, which was largely controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector, he spent 12 summers in Hanover, where he had more direct control over government policy. He had a difficult relationship with his eldest son, Frederick, who supported the parliamentary opposition. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, and thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle. In 1745, supporters of the Catholic claimant to the British throne, James Francis Edward Stuart ("The Old Pretender"), led by James's son Charles Edward Stuart ("The Young Pretender" or "Bonnie Prince Charlie"), attempted and failed to depose George in the last of the Jacobite rebellions. Frederick died unexpectedly in 1751, nine years before his father, and so George II was ultimately succeeded by his grandson, George III.
For two centuries after George II's death, history tended to view him with disdain, concentrating on his mistresses, short temper and boorishness. Since then, most scholars have re-assessed his legacy and conclude that he held and exercised influence in foreign policy and military appointments.
The royal style of King George II was "By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Archtreasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg".
The title King of Gibraltar continues to be used by Spanish monarchs even though the territory was ceded to the Crown of Great Britain in perpetuity under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. The continued use of the title thus emphasizes a Spanish viewpoint that the British monarch merely has possession of Gibraltar, rather than sovereignty over it. The United Kingdom, by contrast, takes the position that the treaty transferred sovereignty as well as possession. It was customary for titles and arms of conquered territories to be omitted from British regnal claims. The title and arms were thus never claimed by the British monarchy.