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Yes, that is Mark Gatiss in a fat suit playing the Prince Regent in Taboo

The Sherlock star is unrecognisable as the preening royal… but who was the real prince?

Published: Friday, 4th August 2017 at 2:00 pm

Yes, you saw right, that was Mark Gatiss in a fat suit playing the Prince Regent in Taboo.


The writer and actor cast a distinctly unpleasant figure as the royal in episode two of the drama, berating an underling.

It was also revealed that the character had various unpleasant ailments including a rather delicate problem with his rear end.

In fact the whole life of the Prince (below), who went on to become George IV, has been the subject of much mirth and ridicule.

Born on 12 August 1762, the embarrassment of his life started at his birth when the courtier present at his arrival pronounced him to be a girl.

As Prince of Wales and, after 1811, as Regent after his father George III was pronounced insane, George was never to prove a particularly popular figure with the British public.

His obsessive self-regard and extravagant tastes meant that, even by the time of his accession to the throne in 1820, he had become something of a national joke.

And while some contemporaries noted his charm and wit, few had a good word to say of a life characterised by self-indulgence and an obsession with his personal comfort.

As one obituary of the time noted: “At an age when generous feelings are usually predominant, we find him absorbed by an all-engrossing selfishness; not merely careless of the feelings of others, but indulging in wanton cruelty”.


Let’s not forget he was also sent up rather memorably by Hugh Laurie in Blackadder III – also as a self-centred dunderhead.


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