A new book exposes King George III as a bigamist and casts doubts on the legitimacy of the House of Windsor, writes ALEX KASRIEL

As the Queen settles down for her Golden Jubilee year, she will be less than amused to hear that she has no right to be on the throne.

At least that is the conclusion reached by Michael Kreps, a sprightly 74-year-old, of Holders Hill Road, Hendon, whose book Hannah Regina: Britain's Quaker Queen, explores the clandestine marriage in 1749 between King George III and Hannah Lightfoot, named the beautiful Quaker Queen.

Together they had three children, two sons and a daughter, after which, King George was married to Queen Charlotte.

"It was clandestine because he was the Prince of Wales and she was a simple Quaker girl," explains Mr Kreps, who is also chairman of the Barnet Borough Talking Newspaper.

What sparked his interest in the affair was a magazine article he read early last year about a newly discovered vault in St Peter's Church, Carmarthen.

"Underneath the church was discovered a vault which nobody knew was there.

"When they looked into it, there were coffins in there which had names which were related directly to Sarah Dalton, the daughter of George III by Hannah Lightfoot.

"What is coincidental was that in the middle of his life, George III ordered an organ to be installed at Windsor Castle.

"When the order was completed but before it was installed, he changed his mind, and he gave it to this church. Nobody knew why, they thought it was strange, but they were very pleased to have it."

The couple's first son, George Rex, was said to have moved to South Africa where there are people alive who claim to be his descendants.

Their second son, believed to be called John Mackelcan, is thought to have had a remarkable career in the army, made possible by his secret connections.

The discovery of this marriage has significance to the subsequent future of the monarchy.

"It's actually a very minor blip in history with the possible exception of course in fact that all the sovereigns after King George III were out of a bigamous marriage and therefore usurpers," he said.

The reason the public has heard very little about it before, Mr Kreps explains, is that the marriage documents were kept under wraps until 1910 and they are not allowed to be forensically tested, even today.

The whole argument is based on the marriage documentation which was produced at the time.

The judge and the jury who examined the documents in a trial in 1866, said that they were forgeries. Mr Kreps believes this was a cover up to protect the monarchy.

"In the trial, the leading handwriting experts of the day said that they were genuine. The public thought they were genuine. The court said not.

"At the end of 1866, all the documents were impounded and nobody had access to them, they were locked up.

"You have to ask why. People wrote about the subject, there was a lot of correspondence after the trial. But nobody had access to these documents until 1910."

Over the year, Kreps has been a busy man. He's been in and out of the Public Records Office in Kew and the British Library, looking at documents and writings of the time in order to complete the book.

Despite the book's stark conclusions, Mr Kreps claims he is no republican.

"I tend to be a monarchist, rather than an anti-monarchist. I have no quarrel with Queen Elizabeth II," he said. "I'll be celebrating the Jubilee like everyone else I've even phoned up for tickets to see the Jubilee concert at the Palace."

Hannah Regina: Britain's Quaker Queen is published by Cardinal Publishing and will be available at all major booksellers at £14.99 or at the same price, including p&p, by calling 020 8343 4405 and quoting the Times.