Prince Ernest Augustus was the fourth son of King George III (r.1760-1820). He was created Duke of Cumberland in 1799 . He married his cousin Princess Frederika of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1778-1841) in 1815. Following the death of King William IV of England in 1837, the Duke of Cumberland succeeded under Salic Law to the throne, of Hanover. Whilst being unpopular in England largely on account of his professed dislike of 'liberal notions', his firm rule of Hanover was regarded by his subjects as a considerable improvement on that of his absentee predecessors. Ernst Augustus appears to have taken a large quantity of Royal Plate to augment the silver already at the Palace of Herrenhausen in Hanover, his ownership of which he emphasised by the initialing of the pieces with his initials and the shorthand annotation refering to his entailed estate.