One of the most extraordinary episodes in British royal history took place on 15 December 1785 when George, Prince of Wales (later Prince Regent and George IV) secretly married the beautiful, twice-widowed and Roman Catholic Maria Fitzherbert. This marriage was in breach of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 but almost certainly valid in the eyes of the church. If it had been discovered, George might well have forfeited his claim to the throne. As it was, George and Maria lived together for twenty years, and remained deeply attached, despite George's disastrous (and probably bigamous) public marriage to Princess Caroline of Brunswick. The King's Wife is a highly readable account of a love-match that pre-echoes the later relationship of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. In the eyes of George IV's own family, Maria was his real wife.